Quinoa: You Healthy Bulgar!

For those who don’t know, Bulgar is a type of cut wheat. But it was punny, so I used it.

Anyways.

Saturdays. Saturdays mean a bit of sleep, a bit of cleaning, and a bit of fun in the kitchen!

The menu was 2-fold

Maple Cranberry Apple Quinoa

3-Grain Veggie Burgers

I’ll be honest… I made them up as I went along. To be fair, I started with some recipes but sometimes when I’m hit with the creative-cooking bug, I just use them as a rough outline.

It all started off when I got up: quinoa must be soaked. So I soaked it for 15 minutes. Since I’m using it in a breakfast dish I figured I would make it the least bitter it can be. I got the quinoa from the local Main Street Fruit Market. It was dirt cheap for 1 & 1/2 cups of the Goosefoot related “grain.” I’m a huge fan of the Fruit Market. It is as local as it can be; lots of organic options, good and inexpensive meat, gourmet cheeses, and grains and spices in normal amounts. I hate going to Homeland and getting a huge bottle of spice when I really only need it every once in a blue moon. If I ever move, my first priority will be finding a comparable market.

I didn’t have cheese cloth or a mesh strainer so just word to the wise… take it off the towel before you dump it into the pot… You’ll be smelling burnt quinoa for weeks.

After 15 minutes of simmer time and 5 minutes of rest: I had the best batch of cooked grains I’ve ever had in my life. They’re nutty, fluffy, and so cute.quinoa

The next step was the Bulgar wheat. It’s sticky and MUST BE COOKED IN A 1:2 RATIO. Very imperative. It came out sticky and wheaty.

After the quinoa and wheat, I cooked Basmati rice and started the Garbanzo beans in the slow cooker — 2 cups beans, 6 cups water.

Noelle and I went to workout (completed day 3 of  our first week of Couch to 5k. Go us!); when we came back, I started mixing up brunch. I kind of took a recipe from Vintage Mixer and definitely tweaked it. Her recipe looks GREAT but I didn’t have all the ingredients. Here’s what I did for the Maple Cranberry Apple Quinoa Bake:

Oven @ 375

3 cup of cooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups instant oats (cooked)

1 1/4 cups half/half (don’t tell Noelle!)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 large egg

2 apples, diced into small pieces

1/2 cup cranberries

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp Vanilla (the real stuff, duh)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

Assemble quinoa, oats, cinnamon, apples, and cranberries. Stir together wet ingredients with vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar. Mix it all up and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

Enjoy with maple syrup on top =]

___________

After brunch, we cleaned the house for our Mary Kay party that’s happening tonight. Our house hadn’t seen a good cleaning in a long time.

While Noelle showered, I assembled the veggie burger mix. It was best to let it sit for most of the afternoon. To be honest, I’ve been missing the veggie burgers at the ARA in college. They were meaty and tasty and cooked to perfection. With a soft white bun, mayo and mustard, lettuce and tomato: they were perfection. I couldn’t get enough of them. So I did a little bit of searching and I found recipe similar to how I believe the ARA ones were made. We feasted on them just before the party. I stole them from a blog but again, didn’t have all the ingredients. I changed a few things from the original recipe.

3 Grain Veggie Burgers

3 Cups cooked quinoa

2 cups cooked bulgar (definitely 2 cups water to 1 cup bulgar…)

2 cups cooked basmati rice

2 cups cooked and pureed Garbonzo beans

2 cups baby carrots

6 green onions

2 cups of cap mushrooms

1/2 clove of garlic

1 tbs:

Cumin

Paprika

Kosher Salt

Pepper

Ground Mustard

Oregano

2 large eggs

Bread crumbs (I had to use triscuits)

Mix together the grains (make sure the bulgar is mushy… if it isn’t, it could cause problems later). Then, mix together spices in a separate bowl. In a food processor, chop up the carrots, garlic, and green onions; add to the grains. Slice and cook the mushroom caps with some olive oil and salt and pepper (I also cooked them with a bit of white wine). In the same food processor, chop up the mushrooms (I had to chop mine pretty fine because Noelle doesn’t like mushrooms). Add the shrooms to the grain/veggie mixture. Then, add the spices and stir. Beat up the eggs into the garbonzo beans and add them as well. Add bread crumbs until the mixture seems to hold together by itself. Mold and freeze.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 mins with a bit of EVOO on the tops. YUMMY.

We bought those flat buns that are half the calories, slathered on some mayo and mustard, some lettuce and tomato and feasted until our hearts content. Noelle also put BBQ sauce on hers, and I added some spicy banana peppers. So. Good. And now our freezer is full of the buggers.

If I have any revisions, I’ll post them. Meanwhile, if YOU have any revisions or advice please let me know. These recipes were not too labor intensive, but I did have to think ahead about making the grains and what not. But it was so worth it.

Shemomedjamo. (which is roughly translated as, “oops, I accidentally ate it all”)

MK

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