Black bean and quinoa veggie burgers

Oh hey! We’re back, though I no longer live in apartment 608. Since Yawita has been jet-setting of late and I’ve moved to central Virginia to do this, we’ve been a little overwhelmed.

Last month, our farmmune became members of Steadfast Farm’s Omnivore CSA, which includes whole wheat flour, wheatberries, black beans, beef, and trout delivered monthly from Red Hill, VA. We love Steadfast because it’s freaking awesome they’re doing local wheat and dried beans, and also because Brian smokes a mean trout, and because Mihr is really nice and Sylas is a cutie. But we digress.

As someone who is still intermittently vegetarian and gluten-free, I’ve obviously gravitated towards the black beans. My favorite way of preparing them is similar to Claire’s Cuban Black Bean soup, but thicker. Really, I’m just a sucker for fennel seed in black beans.

Last time I made our Steadfast beans, I used the leftovers to make some curried veggie burgers. Since Jo recently asked for quick protein snacks that can keep well, I thought I’d share this curried veggie burger recipe, inspired by the Primlani Kitchen.


½ c. cooked wild rice (or brown rice, if you are constrained by available products or available funds)

1 c. cooked black quinoa

2 c. cooked black beans

2 jalapenos, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 small green pepper, diced

2 whole star anise

1 t. grated ginger or ½ t. ground ginger

1 t. garam masala

1 t. cumin

1 t. cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


Saute onion, ginger, all the peppers, and star anise till softened, approximately ten minutes. Remove the star anise before proceeding. Add onions and peppers to the rice and quinoa.

Mash one cup of black beans to a smooth purée and add to the mixture, along with the rest of the cooked beans. Add the rest of the seasonings.

Grill or fry the patties until golden brown and seared.

We served these over my newest G-free product obsession, millet and flax rolls from Sami’s Bakery. To clarify, I have become obsessed with Sami’s Bakery in general, not just the rolls. Also served with sharp cheddar and avocado.

You can make this mash and save it in the fridge for a few days, or freeze some patties for a rainy day, which apparently happens frequently in Geneva.

Note on prices: Yes, black quinoa is expensive. I’m not quite sure what to do about this. I had some leftover from when I had a job, so decided to get crazy by cooking it this week. Not sure when we will replenish our stocks, if ever.


Comfort soup

It’s not really winter anymore and was insanely warm out today, but since I’m having an inexplicably difficult time digesting solid foods right now I decided to make this filling soup with red lentils, leftover roasted sweet potatoes, and peanut butter.


1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 c. red lentils

4 c. water

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 large roasted sweet potato, cubed

1/2 c. peanut butter mixed in 1 c. boiling water

2 T thai red curry paste

1 t cinnamon

3 large carrots, chopped

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped

4 leaves kale, chopped

salt (lots) and pepper (lots) to taste


Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When onions are clear, add water, lentils, and tomatoes, then add Thai red curry paste,  cinnamon and salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and let cook around 20-25 minutes or until lentils begin falling apart. Add sweet potato and peanut butter (in water) and continue to cook on low for 5 minutes, then if you want a smooth base for the soup (i did) use an immersion blender to blend everything together. Add carrots, bell pepper, and kale and simmer until vegetables are the desired level of cooked, then add salt if needed and serve.


(Gluten-free) Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Walnut Pesto


In my continuing quest to get as much kale and sweet potato into my body as possible…

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 pound sweet potatoes
1 to 1.5  cups flour of your choice – rice, amaranth, quinoa, chickpea or a blend (I’m still experimenting)
1/2 teaspoon salt
spices to your liking – try a pinch of nutmeg, or of basil or sage.
Roast the sweet potatoes as you usually would (on 400F for 45 mins or until completely cooked). Let them cool completely to room temperature, then remove from skin and mash using a potato riser or a fork. Incorporate all ingredients together into a dough; the dough should be moist but not sticky. If it sticks, continue to add flour until it achieves the desired consistency. The goal is to have the minimum amount of flour necessary to keep the gnocchi together; more will make it tough.
On a floured working space, roll the dough into ropes about a half inch wide (approx. the width of your thumb). Feel free to pattern with your fork if you want. Cut the dough into about half-inch (or longer) pieces. Try to be consistent in the size so that they will cook evenly.
Cook gnocchi in a pot of boiling water until they float, then enjoy with some kale and walnut pesto!


The 608 Smoothie

Some may think that the recipe would be fairly obvious, but that would be unfair to Jo, who is having trouble getting her proportions right.

First let me say that smoothies always remind me of my second year of grad school, when Steph & I were the sole patrons of Sublime on Elliewood. Seriously, we kept that place in business for a whole year, until their lack of other customers willing to pay $5.75 for a superfood smoothie when you could get a veggie sandwich and a bag of chips for the same price at Take-It-Away next door finally forced them to pack it up.

(makes 2 8-oz smoothies.)

Substitute Sublime Superfood Smoothie

1 c. plain Greek yogurt (always stick to plain yogurt!)

3/4 c. almond milk

1/2 apple, 1/2 banana, and 1/4 c. blueberries (or other fruit, i just like these ones)

1 t. agave or a splash of fruit juice (optional depending on the sweetness of your fruit)

Optional: 1 T pollen (no more than this at first), 1 t. flax or hemp seed, and/or 1/4 c. granola for an extra crunch

Blend. Enjoy.

note: Jo, I originally wrote this for you somewhere about an hour outside of CDG where my morning travel smoothie consisted of 1/2 c plain yogurt topped with 1/2 c frozen orange juice (extra crunch). When on airplanes, it’s important to remember that the pressure always causes the yogurt to explode all over oneself, so it’s recommended to open it facing the seat in front of you.


Amazing “Morning Glory Muffins”

This recipe comes from “Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen” by Julie & Charles Mayfield (which I just saw has a somewhat amazing average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 based on 200 ratings on Amazon – guess it’s a self-selecting community?). I am not paleo, but this book seems to have a lot of good gluten-free tips and recipes.  Full disclosure: the book is “borrowed” (without prior consent) from D, but when I realized that this book had the recipe for his amazing almond flour muffins that he made for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t resist borrowing it for the next week or so.  I haven’t made these, but I’ve eaten them, and they’re really great, even better than gluten-full muffins.



2.5 c (375 g) almond flour
1 T cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c (100 g) carrots, grated (the smaller the better)
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and grated (the smaller the better)
1 c (75 g) shredded coconut
1 c (150 g) raisins
3 large eggs
2 T honey (optional)
1/2 c (125 mL) coconut or avocado oil
1 t vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and grease a standard-sized muffin pan (12 cups).

2. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add carrot, apple, coconut, and raisins and combine well.

3. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil, and vanilla extract together.

4. Pour mixture over your dry ingredients and mix well. The batter will be very thick.

5. Spoon out into muffin pan and place on middle or upper rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes (for moister muffins, allow batter to sit for 30-60 minutes once mixed before putting into the pan).  When a toothpick inserted in the top of a muffin comes out clean, they are done. Cool muffins in pan for 8-10 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooking.

Stuffed spaghetti squash with quinoa, sunflower seeds and walnuts

For Thanksgiving Day 2, Steph adapted this version of whole living’s Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios and made a stuffed spaghetti squash. She wrote about it over there, so I’m reposting over here.

Stuffed spaghetti squash with quinoa, sunflower seeds and walnuts
1 large spaghetti squash (or other)
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup goats cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts

4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon plus a bit of grated rind
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp dried mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork.

While quinoa cooks, brush squash with  oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet or pan at 350 until tender 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, cheese, nuts. Whisk dressing with a fork in a small bowl, pour over the quinoa mixuture and combine well. Taste and re-season with salt and red-pepper flakes or anything else. for a sweeter flavor, opt for paprika, more fennel/mint/agave. Remove the sqash and carefully pack the stuffing into the sqaush. Press down with the back of a large spoon after each scoop. continue until the stuffing is heaping out of the squash.

Put the stuffed squash in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. For a crispy topping leave uncovered, for a softer squash, cover with foil.

Steph’s spicy sweet potato pie

Reposted from Steph’s blog, here’s her adaptation of a classic Sweet Potato Pie, with a gluten-free pie crust that I added.


1 c. almond flour
1/2 c.c pecans, roughly chopped
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 c. softened butter
2 T honey
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine almond flour, pecans, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir wet ingredients into the dry until completely combined. Using your fingers, press the dough into a 9 and a half inch pie pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and cool completely on baking rack before filling.

2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs total or 1.5 cups mashed), peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. Ground Ginger
1/4 t. Clove or Cardamom
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 T melted butter
Pecan halves for decoration
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

3 tablespoons firmly packed, light brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Read more:

Put the sweet potatoes into a medium pot and cover them with water by an inch. Bring to a boil. Boil slowly until the potatoes are tender with no absolutely no resistance at the center when pieced with a fork.

Drain off the water and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Do not use a potato ricer or food processor.

As you mash the potatoes, add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; then whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. The butter goes in last.

Once the filling is well-mixed, pour it into the baked pie crust. Arrange pecan halves around the outside edges and sprinkle the top of the pie with more ground cinnamon. After about 10 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and quickly sprinkle the pecan streussel all over the top, evenly. Bake for 15 minutes until the filling is set and the edges of the crust have browned.

About baking times: Some recipes call for baking the pie up to 40 minutes. I don’t understand why, but depending on your oven, yours might need a little bit more time. Just try to make sure that the center of the pie is set. My trick when I’m not sure is to turn off the oven and let the pie sit as it cools– if it’s just barely set, by the time the oven cools off the pie has set, but isn’t overcooked.

Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
via The Best Sweet Potato Pie by Leah Chase of Dooky Chase Restaurant, New Orleans | Thai Food by SheSimmers.