Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quinoa Chickpea Burgers

Who's ready for another yummy non-meat burger recipe?! Let me start by saying that my husband's first words, after taking his first bite, was, "Why does this taste like chicken?" This recipe is simple, tasty, and full of the meaty texture that many of us enjoy when it comes to eating burgers. Enjoy!

Quinoa Chickpea Burgers
1/2 C. quinoa
1 C. vegetable broth
1 16oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/4 C. bread crumbs
1 serrano pepper, seeded & diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
Extra virgin olive oil
4-8 hamburger buns
Favorite toppings

1. Combine quinoa, broth, garlic, and seasonings in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until cooked - about 15 minutes.
2. Pour chickpeas into food processor and pulse until chopped. Combine chickpeas, bread crumbs, and egg in a small mixing bowl.
3. Once quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat, uncover and let cool a bit. Then pour into food processor and blend until desired texture is reached. Add to chickpeas and bread crumbs, mix well. Form 4-8 patties.
4. Heat olive oil in a medium-large skillet. Once the oil is hot add the patties (you may need to cook in batches) and cook until browned on both sides - about 4-5 minutes on each side.
5. Remove patties to a plate lined with a paper towel, let sit for a minute or two before serving.

*Serves 4-8*

*I served our burgers with tomato, lettuce, and spicy ketchup on a lightly toasted bun. Delicious!*

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Encourage Reading!

I recently participated in an online Usborne Books party and I was so inspired! I have loved reading since I was a small child. I remember how much my younger brother struggled to enjoy reading, he finally found a book series when he was a bit older that he really enjoyed and he seemed to enjoy reading after that. I have always remembered that experience, especially because I have 2 sons that can barely sit still through a book most days, and a husband who struggles with enjoying to read. I want my children to enjoy reading because I believe it helps so much with school studies, communication skills, vocabulary, etc. Here are some ideas for you that I gathered from this video shared during the party:

This is my favorite idea! I absolutely love the idea of having books everywhere, I can imagine that it would be very helpful with encouraging your kiddos to read more often.

The lady in the video is amazing and super fun to work with! You can contact her for more info by going to her site:

(She's not asking me to post this, I was just so inspired!)

Melaleuca for Dandruff

I have struggled with dandruff since my pre-teen years and I have always used extra-strong dandruff shampoos. Over the last few years I have noticed that these shampoos seemed to cause build-up in my hair and they ALWAYS strip the color out of my hair whenever I have dyed it. So a few months ago I did a quick internet search: "natural dandruff treatments", and I found quite a few blogs and articles full of ideas. I had a couple bottles of melaleuca already so I gave an idea a try and you know what? It works! And it is so simple! Here's what I do:

I keep the bottle in my shower and 3-4 times a week I add 8 drops of melaleuca to regular shampoo (I have A LOT of hair, you may need fewer drops). I wash my hair, let it sit for a minute or two, then rinse. That's it!

My hair is not only dandruff-free but it feels so soft and healthy! And, doing this does not strip the color out of my hair! I have not tried other brands of oils so I'm not sure if they would be quite as effective. One bottle lasts me about a month which is pretty awesome, this is much cheaper vs the brands of dandruff shampoo I would typically purchase, and it is MUCH better for my hair! Get your bottle here:

Mango Upside Down Cake

We were so anxious to eat this cake that I didn't get any pictures until it was nearly gone!

Let me start off by saying that I am not a huge fruit fan, it's very rare that I will just eat a piece of fruit. BUT, I do love fruit smoothies, fruit mixed into my oatmeal, sliced bananas in my cereal, and I definitely love fruit in pies and cakes! This is a recipe that I came up with years ago and I haven't made it in quite a while. A sweet neighbor of ours recently gave us 4 beautiful mangoes and I just couldn't resist making this cake. I love the slight crunch on the outer edge of the cake, the mangoes are perfectly sweet, and the cake itself is incredibly soft and fluffy, in the words of my husband, "this is the perfect cake, I really don't know why you would even want to make any other white cake recipe". Plus, this is super simple and takes less than an hour from start to finish!

Mango Upside Down Cake

3-4 mangoes, peeled and cut into strips
1 stick butter3/4 C. brown sugar (packed)

-Grease 8" round cake pan

1.  In small saucepan melt together butter and brown sugar on medium heat.  Add mangoes and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Remove mangoes with slotted spoon and place on bottom of greased cake pan.  Allow butter and sugar to continue to simmer for about 3 minutes or until it becomes a syrup.  Remove from heat and set aside.

1 stick butter, softened3/4 C. white sugar (you can reduce the amount to 1/2 C. if you'd like)2 large eggs1 tsp. vanilla extract1 2/3 C. all-purpose flour2 tsp. baking powderPinch of salt3/4 C. milk

-Preheat oven to 350 F

2. In medium bowl beat together butter and sugar until mixed, it may be slightly lumpy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and mix in until blended.

3. Add 1 cup of the flour, 1 tsp of the baking powder, the salt and half of the milk and beat until blended.  Add in remaining flour, baking powder and milk and mix until blended.
4. Carefully, and slowly, cover the mangoes with cake batter.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotate half-way through, until top is a light golden color and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  
6. Let cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.  
7. Heat up the syrup on medium heat until warm and pour over cake. Serve cake warm or cool; enjoy!

p.s. A handy trick to removing the cake from the pan successfully is to go around the edge of the cake with a knife then bang the pan a few times on the counter top to loosen the bottom.