Quinoa Leftover Veggie Burgers

We’re trying to reduce food waste after I saw this article about Food Waste (be sure to click through to the infographic!) and watching Dive.

Tonight dinner time came around. I had a cup of quinoa leftover at the bottom of the bag, which isn’t enough to do anything with to serve the family. Or is it?

I cooked the quinoa thinking about some quinoa based veggie burgers I had seen recently. Then I got into the anti-food waste spirit!

I combined:

2 cups leftover hopping john
1 cup of leftover cooked collard greens and some of the liquid for processing
1/2 of a leftover green bell pepper
1/2 of a leftover yellow onion
1 can garbanzo beans-rinsed
2 tsp chopped garlic

I ran all that in the Vitamix until it was a hummus like consistency. You could use a food processor. I stirred in the cooked quinoa. I formed 6 largish “burger patties” by using a large spoon and thwapping it into the skillet with a bit of heated oil.  I fried them until brown on both sides. I also made 6 mini meatloaves in the oven. (I just put the mixture in the muffin pan and baked.)

I served on hamburger buns with leaf lettuce, tomato and mustard.

Note: They aren’t a veggie burger for people who expect a “meat” like burger.

Verdict: Easy, popular, and no “I can’t eat more reheated greens and Hoppin’ John.” guilt

Zucchini Quinoa Boats–With Flair

Tonight I knew I must do something with the zucchini. There was also the matter of the couscous. I have some sample size packets of Bob’s Red Mill couscous and quinoa leftover from BlogHer Food.

(Disclosure: No, they didn’t ask me to blog about it, but I did receive the sample from the company. By the way–their products rock. I wish I could find the full line in a single store nearby. Yay for their really GOOD nutritional yeast and their pearl couscous. (a new addiction) They do have mail order.)

Ok, so I grabbed the zucchini and inspected to see if they were indeed still edible. They were. I grabbed the couscous from the stockpile room and peeled off the peelie coupon for the next purchase. Oh wait, it was quinoa! Oh well, that works.

So, I cooked the quinoa according to the directions. 1/2 cup quinoa/1 cup water.

I split 3 medium large zucchini (6-8 inches long 1-2 inches in diameter) in half length-wise and scooped them out.

The quinoa was ready–but what to mix with it to add zing? No mushrooms or canned mushrooms. My default for stuffed veggies usually involves mushrooms. We did have a can (4 oz?) of fire roasted green chilies though. Hmm…sure–why not? I drained it and mixed it in. One more thing. CHEESE! Ha–feta to the rescue. I tossed in about 1/2 cup feta. Mixed it all together and stuffed the zucchini boats.

Baked until tender–about 30 min.

Consensus: delicious.

My thoughts: Easy, nice protein, and feta and green chilies? an odd combination to think about but totally tasty together. Give it a try.

Nectarine Chili Sauce

Nectarines looked great last night at the supermarket. I can only imagine they look just as fantastic at the farmer’s market. Now what to do with them? How about Nectarine Chili Sauce. This recipe from an undated newspaper clipping uses the bounty of the season in a delicious way.

Nectarine Chili Sauce

1 1/2 lbs nectarines, pitted
1/2 lb tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Chop nectarines to measure 3 1/2 cups-3 3/4 cups. Peel and core the tomatoes.  Chop and measure 1 cup. Combine tomatoes, nectarines, onion, and green pepper in a 2-qt saucepan.  Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes or until thickened. Pour into hot jars and set in boiling water bath with boiling water to half the depth of jar. Add boiling water to cover the jars by 1-2 inches and bring to boil.  Process 10 minutes.  Remove jars from water at once, let stand and cool. Store. Makes 3 (1/2 pint) jars.

Too much cooking…and sprouts

We like many people have tightened our belts quite a bit and aren’t eating out as much–or really at all. I hadn’t noticed that we ate out or ordered in so much because we really didn’t that often–maybe once a week ordered in/grabbed something from a local sandwich shop and went out once on the weekend. (not counting our post grocery smoothie stop or 3x weekly coffee trips)

After cutting back, I have noticed though and I feel burned out. The lack of menus and cooking with what is on hand seems simple enough and no one has complained. Except me. I dread dinner. I hate it. Sure, there is plenty on hand to eat-more than ever before with the stockpile. I just am not motivated by anything other than the revelation that nothing will save me from fixing dinner. So, the clock turns, I go in the kitchen I select from the abundance of food and serve it day after day. Please tell me someone else gets tired of cooking!

We did make the Chocolate Caramel Covered Matzoh over the weekend. We also made Peep Pops. (ok girl child did the heavy lifting when it came to peep pops–but I made the prettiest one I swear!)

I made the ham ball (or in this case egg) to go with a post on BlogHer last week: Hamming it Up. You should go read it! I tell an embarrassing but funny story about a ham disaster and share a Ham Ball recipe that I shared here years ago–but this time it has A PICTURE. What? You know you want to see a picture of a 50s cream cheese “frosted” ham ball. Go look and sparkle. It’s worth it–I swear!

My Women in the Kitchen post was also syndicated on BlogHer. (YAY!) Go give it some love and a sparkle or two.

In other news, girl child broke out her sprout kit over the weekend and we now have a ton of lentil sprouts, some other kind of sprout, and “salad mix” sprouts. Do you have any good ideas for using sprouts?