Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

I love black bean burgers, melt a little provolone and A1 sauce and its better than any burger! Our family has recently started using more quinoa in recipes, so I decided to try this quinoa black bean burger recipe. It was delicious!! I didn’t think to saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper before I mix the burgers together, but next time I will try that! I also added more than the garlic recommended. Recipe and photo from Allrecipes.com 

Makes 5 burgers Prep time: 15 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Ready in: 35 minutes

Ingredients: 858677

1 (15 Ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like frank’s redhot)
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
  3. Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black beans using your hands.
  4. Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  6. Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.



Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Quinoa was labeled the healthiest food of 2013. I know from my mom’s experience is that it can be tricky to cook quinoa. If you don’t cook it with the right things, it has a bitter taste. But if you make it just right, its delicious! As I was browsing Pinterest to find new recipes I came across this one. Looking for healthy things for us all to eat, I was excited to try this recipe. It looked delicious, smelt delicious and tasted delicious. Put some Chalua on it and it makes it even better. My husband ate his with chips. He liked the flavor but had to get used to the texture of the dish. Sweet Baby enjoyed it as well. Recipe freezes well and I was able to assemble in the afternoon and throw in the oven when the hubby was on his way home from work.

Recipe and photo from Two Peas & Their Pod. Check out their site for more delicious recipes to try. It is a new favorite of mine and the best part is it’s only 6 WW points for one serving! Quinoa is packed with protein so one serving can go a long way! Tell me what you think!

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Yield: Serves 8-10   Black-Bean-and-Quinoa-Enchilada-Bake-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes-includes churning time


1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce  ( I put 3 cups)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

5.Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well!

Creamy Tomato Bisque

My favorite place to order tomato bisque is Bj’s brewhouse. Just delicious. They put these delicious, buttery croutons on top – divine! Every time I would eat it, I would turn to hubby and say, I need to learn how to make a good tomato bisque. So I found this delicious recipe from Wilderness Wife. This soup was easy to make too. It doesn’t taste like Bj’s and I’m still going to find a way to make it as delicious.  I didn’t have any curry or bay leaf – maybe that is the missing ingredient. Or as my hubby put it- everything could always use more butter!! This soup is 11 weight watchers points and serving size is 8.

Enjoy! Maybe make a grilled cheese with it. 😉 Recipe courtesy of Wilderness Wife.

  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • ⅓ c. all purpose flour
  • 2 (1 lb. 12 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. curry
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • pinch of salt (to taste)
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until tender.
  3. Add the flour, and stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, marjoram, bay leaf and chicken broth.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally, then discard bay leaf.
  6. Puree using the appliance of your choice. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender or a food processor will work.
  7. Add cream, paprika, curry, pepper and salt.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. Serve hot or cold.

Limoncello Pasta

Here is the last recipe from our Italian feast over the weekend. This pasta is perfect for summer time, the lemon gives it the perfect zest. Recipe is from Rachel Ray. Heres the video with Rachel Ray & Micheal Buble (heart throb) making this yummy pasta.

limoncello pasta


  • Salt
  • 1 pound 2-foot long pasta (regular spaghetti may be substituted)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup limoncello or white wine
  • 2 lemons, 1 peeled and 1 zested
  • 1 cup basil leaves (loosely packed), torn
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and reserve the pasta in the cooking pot.

While the pasta is cooking, combine garlic, cream, limoncello or white wine and lemon peel over medium-high heat in a medium size saucepot. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic clove and lemon peel from the sauce and discard.

Add the sauce to the pot with the reserved pasta along with the torn basil and grated lemon zest. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.

Sprinkle the Parmigiano Reggiano over the pasta and serve with roasted tomato crostini or other bread.

Serves 4

Focaccia Al Formaggio

Here is the recipe for for the yummy Focaccia Al Formaggio we made over the weekend. Its from our Mario Batali cookbook.

Focaccia Al Formaggio

Makes 8 Servings

Instructions for Dough

1 1/2 Cups WARM WATER


1 tsp SALT

1 tsp SUGAR

4 cups high-gluten PIZZA or BREAD FLOUR, plus more for dusting


1 cup freshly grated PECORINO ROMANO

1 cup freshly grated PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO


2 bunches SCALLIONS, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

2 tbs fresh ROSEMARY, chopped




Put the warm water in a large warmed bowl, ass the yeast, and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 3 minutes, or until foamy.

Add the salt and sugar and stir to combine. Add the flour and olive oil and mix, first with the spoon and then using your hands, until the dough comes together into a ball that no longer sticks to your fingers.

Wash and dry your hands. Transfer the dough ball to a work surface and knead, occasionally dusting the dough with a teaspoon of flour or so, until you have a smooth, firm ball, about 15 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth. Place the bowl in a warm area (such as above the refrigerator) let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil tow 11 by 7 inch baking sheets.

Place each piece of dough on an oiled baking sheet and, using a rolling pan or your hands, flatten it to fit the baking sheet. Using your fingertips, poke indentations across the entire surface of each bread. Sprinkle with both cheeses, drizzle with the olive oil, and then sprinkle with the rosemary, scallions, and salt. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, until golden born on top and bottom. Serve warm.


Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Here’s a yummy recipe I came across. Word of advice: don’t accidentally put in the whole onion instead of just 1/4 of a cup like the recipe calls for. Like a scatter brain I did that and way TOO MUCH onion. I think I’ll be burping onion for weeks. I’m sad I ruined dinner, because it has such good flavor! Add some garlic and maybe some fresh cilantro. We grilled the chicken. Enjoy! Recipe & Photo from Dinner, Dishes & Desserts.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Enchiladas-2-blog-1024x663

1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 onion, diced
1 cup sour cream (I used a mix of low fat and fat free)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese
8 small tortillas (I used flour, but corn would be good too)
Enchilada Sauce (2 small cans, or your own recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine chicken, onion, sour cream and 1 cup of cheese in a bowl.  Fill tortillas with chicken mixture.  Roll, and place seam side down in a 13 x 9 baking dish that has a small amount of enchilada sauce coating the bottom.  Pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbly and warm.  Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (makes them easier to remove from the pan).

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 21 points (for 2 enchiladas) 11 points (for 1 enchilada)

What’s for Dinner?

18428645646I haven’t tried anything new in awhile, but I brought back a family favorite. We finished the whole thing tonight. Puzzled I turned to hubby, do I normally make a double batch? We must, because there is usually leftovers for a second night. I thought I’d re-share this favorite. I was reminded how lazy  easy this meal is,  Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. This time I added just a bit of lime juice, cumin and chili powder. It gave the chicken a delicious flavor. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken

I’ve made a weight watchers Baked Chicken that is really similar to this slow cooker lemon pepper chicken. I will share both recipes with you.

The weight watchers recipe uses fresh herbs (although I never have fresh on hand-I use dried and still just as yummy) and lemon juice to give plain baked chicken fantastic flavor. These flavors would work well with turkey cutlets or white fish fillets as well.

Baked Chicken Weight Watchers

3 Points Plus Value, Servings: 4, Prep Time: 10 min, Cooking time: 35 min, Level of Difficulty: Easy


1 pound Chicken breast raw, without skin or bone, four 4 oz halves

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp  olive oil

2 tsp Rosemary, fresh chopped

2 tsp Lemon Juice

2 tsp parsley

1/4 cup chicken broth (I’ve made this recipe without chicken broth)

1/2 medium lemon quartered for garnish

I added a couple cloves of garlic.

Preheat oven to 400 degress. Goat a small, shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to prepared pan and drizzle with oil; sprinkle with lemon juice, rosemary and parsley. Pour broth around chicken to coat bottom of pan. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with fresh lemon and serve. Yields 1 chicken breast half per serving.

Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken

I love using my slow cooker. Its perfect for me and my struggles to have lazy days. This recipe had a very yummy flavor, the only thing I didn’t like was having to cook the chicken before I put it in the slow cooker. It does give the chicken a yummy texture-but if I’m in a hurry its not ideal. So next time if I’m running low on time, I’ll just throw it in frozen and try it that way. I also added a couple cloves of garlic with this. Enjoy! Recipe and picture from The Recipe Critic 


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 package dry italian dressing/seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
1.  Prepare your chicken by rinsing it and trimming the fat.  Since the chicken breasts that I buy are always huge, I cut them in half making them more like tenders.
2. In a shallow dish, combine the flour and pepper.  Coat the chicken in the flour.
3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan on your stovetop over medium heat.  Once melted, brown each side of the chicken, but not cooking it throughout because you will be putting them in the crockpot.  You just want them to have a nice golden brown breading on each side.
4.  Spray crockpot with cooking spray and place the chicken into the crockpot.  Sprinkle the italian seasoning package top of the chicken.
5.  Mix together the lemon juice and chicken broth.  Pour over the chicken and seasonings.
6.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Enjoy!

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

With the weather getting warmer and a full propane tank-we are grilling again! We made Grilled Honey Lime Chicken, of course its an over-night marinade, which we found out too late. But it still tasted good, so next time we will let it marinate like the recipe calls for. Recipe & picture Source: Cooking Classy

Grilled Honey Lime Chickenhoney+lime+chicken31

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1.5 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


  • If chicken isn’t an even thickness then place chicken in a large ziploc bag and seal bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken to an even thickness.
  • Place chicken in a non-reactive dish in a single layer. In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the mixture in a non-reactive, airtight container in the refrigerator. Pour remaining mixture over the chicken, cover dish and allow to marinate 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat. Once preheated, brush grill lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill and cook (with lid closed) 5-8 minutes per side until juices run clear (cook time depends on the thickness of the chicken, internal temp should register to 160 when done), baste each side of chicken with reserved marinade during the last minute of cooking. For juicier chicken, plate chicken, cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • Notes for better grilled chicken: don’t flip chicken over and over again, it only needs to be flipped once, and if you like the cross marks as pictured you can flip it a second time during the last minute of cooking. For the mouth watering grill marks brush the grill with olive oil before cooking and then when flipping to opposite side, this also prevents sticking as well. Don’t press down on chicken when grilling or poke continuously, this will release the juices and that delicious marinade. Don’t overcook or chicken will be tough, for tender chicken cook until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Don’t lift grill lid more than necessary.

Chicken Noodle Soup & Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

I know some places are getting into spring and warm weather. But here, March is our snowiest month! Chicken noodle soup is great for fighting the flu! So if your feeling something coming on-making this chicken noodle soup. Earlier this month I made this delicious Chicken noodle soup that was passed down to me by a friend. When I tried heres I knew my hubby would love it and I needed the recipe. And I was right-he loved it. When she gave me the recipe she said she doesn’t measure she just tastes and eyes it as she goes.

chicken noodle

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook a whole chopped white onion, 4 crushed garlic,celery, and baby carrots in olive oil with poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, bay
leaves, pepper, I added ginger (help with decongestion, break up mucus in the throat, and help fight viral infections) … All
in a big pot until they are tender. While they are cooking I use “grandmas ” frozen egg noodles from King Soopers and let them thaw. Also I cut up a rotisserie chicken without the skin into little pieces. Once all the veggies are tender add the chicken. Then add two 32oz boxes of chicken stock and one 32 oz box of veggie stock. Taste and see if it needs more seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 30 min. I add fresh parsley and milk. Then enjoy! I think it taste better the next day after it has been in the fridge over night.

After it had cooked for 30 minutes, we put the soup in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Just watch it and make sure it doesn’t cook the broth out like it did to ours. We went to the store the next day to buy some more stock.

I love eating bread with soup. I found this delicious recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread on Pinterest to go with our Chicken Noodle soup.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

recipe from a hint of honey

1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

6. Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 round loaf.