Meatless Monday: Spicy Smoky Black Bean Burgers

My college had amazing dining halls. Each one had 4-5 different stations with varied entrees, a complete salad bar, and one dining hall even had a taco/tostada bar. Oh and unlimited fro-yo or ice cream, depending on which dining hall you chose.

There may have been fruit too. But I (along with the Freshman 15 I gained in 2006) wouldn’t know anything about that. 😉

One of the coolest things about our eating options was that each section offered a vegetarian alternative alongside each carnivorous entree. Most of the time, I would scoff at these options. But there was one thing that always caught my eye: black bean burgers. More flavorful than their typical veggie burger counterpart, I always looked for these guys and grabbed one every chance I got.

Living on my own in the “real” world, I no longer have the luxury of someone to do my dishes 3 meals per day, or cook 4 different options for me for every meal. Most of my meals are are more like an episode of Chopped: “You have beans, sesame seed paste, and breadcrumbs in your pantry…You have 20 minutes to make an entree…GO!!”

Enter: Black Bean Burger. Continue reading

Quinoa 3 Ways

QUINOA. Say it with me now: Keeeeen-wah.

Have you tried it? Have you ever had one of those grocery market deli counter pasta salads with the little crunchy balls in it and you didn’t quite know what they were? Yeah, that was probably quinoa.

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain similar perhaps to couscous (in shape/size). It starts out looking like seeds, then you cook it like rice and it puffs up, evolving into tiny balls.

After my mom and I took a cooking class at the Co-op, they gave us gift certificates to the actual grocery store part of the Co-op and we had a grand ol’ time scouring the bulk bins. While my mom went for a bunch of freshly ground spices that we had learned about in the class, I went straight to the quinoa and scooped up a pound or 2, which has lasted me all the way until this month!

I used to only make cold salads with quinoa, but when I bought that huge sack of it at the Co-op, I decided to branch out. Here are some ways I’ve prepared it. I’m sorry these photos are abysmal…they are iPhone photos and I have a broken hand!! Give a sister a break!

Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Continue reading

Weekend in Photos

I don’t know about you guys, but the weather was just lovely in Northern California this weekend. It cooled down on Friday (and even drizzled a little!), which made way for a beautiful weekend in the mid 70’s. Made me feel like I was in Santa Barbara again!

Except that I’m not 20 anymore, I’m not in college anymore, I would not touch Natural Light beer with a 10 foot pole anymore, and I can’t just roll out of bed onto my bike to get to class or work anymore whoops, I still do that 😉

Apparently I can still have fun, though, as evidenced by these photos!

Met some friends + T-Man’s coworkers at my favorite bar-that’s-2-blocks-from-my-apartment-&-has-over-200-beers! — There, we caught the end of the A’s-Giant’s game. The Giants had an awesome comeback in the top of the 9th! — Then we went to my place and played a 3 hour game of Carcassone. In-tense. Continue reading

Memorial Day Weekend + Grilled Corn

It’s grillin’ season, folks! I feel like Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and for me, summer = time to grill. Summer definitely started for me last weekend, when I went up to a beach house in Mendocino with my boyfriend and his family for Memorial Day. Then, I came home & broke out the barby to grill corn that I added to a Tamale Pie.

Here is a belated chronicle of the weekend in its full un-doctored iPhone photo “glory”…

Driving in the strange rain/sunshine that Northern California got doused with on Friday.

Our View, with a capital V…. amiright? Continue reading