Chickpea Vegetable Quinoa Burgers

Prep Time: 45 minutes to an hour Cooking Time: 25 minutes

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large zucchini, grated on the largest grating side of a box grater
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pine nuts combined and lightly toasted 3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste if desired
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1/2 heaping cup dry)

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram 1tsp. paprika

1. To prepare chickpeas, soak dry chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse them in the morning. Place chickpeas in a pot with enough fresh water to submerge them by several inches. Heat to a boil, and reduce to a simmer with the lid of the pot tilted so that some steam can escape. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until peas are tender. Drain and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can use very well-drained canned chickpeas but fresh ones are much tastier!

2. To prepare quinoa, rinse it thoroughly in a sieve until the rinsing water runs clear. In a medium saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth with 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover and cook for about 14-15 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the germ has spiraled out. Fluff and allow to cool. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium saute pan. Saute onion until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Add zucchini and continue to saute until zucchini is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Grind pumpkin and sunflower seeds with pine nuts in a food processor until they resemble a fine meal.

5. Add quinoa, chickpeas, mustard, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and seasonings to the mixture. Pulse a few times to combine. Then run the motor to continue the mixing process. You want the beans to be broken down and for the mixture to hold together well, but you also want to retain a bit of texture.

6. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the zucchini, onion and garlic. Mix with hands (as if you were making a meatloaf). When everything is incorporated, season once more with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Shape mixture into 6-8 patties with hands (or make meatball sized rounds for appetizers that can be eaten with toothpicks). Brush with remaining Tbsp. olive oil and bake on a parchment-lined roasting pan in a 375 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes (if making meatball sized rounds, check at 15-20 minutes) flipping once halfway through. They are ready when golden brown. 

Broccoli Fontina Quinoa Muffins

Prep Time: 15-­20 minutes Cook Time: 20­-25 minutes Yield: 13­15 muffins

3/4 cup uncooked and rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (low sodium is best)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups of cooked broccoli florets, finely diced (steamed frozen broccoli works fine) 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine the quinoa and vegetable broth and cook covered for 12­15 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the germ has spiraled out (about 12­15 minutes). Fluff and allow to cool. Cooked quinoa can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

3. Heat olive oil in a saute pan for about 2 minutes and add the onion, cooking over medium heat and stirring occasionally until caramelized. Add the mushrooms (if using) and cook for 2 minutes, again, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Allow time for cooling.

4. In a large bowl combine cooled quinoa, eggs, broccoli, onion, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, cheese and paprika.

5. Lightly grease a muffin tin (and three muffin spaces on an additional tin). Spoon and pack quinoa mixture, almost filling each muffin space. Bake for 20­25 minutes. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

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Candied Walnuts

Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 3 minutes


1 cup walnut halves

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1. Combine walnut halves, maple syrup and salt in a large bowl and mix so that nuts are well-coated. Pour mixture into a dry saute pan on medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Nuts are finished when fragrant.

2. Spread nuts out on parchment paper to cool for 15-20 minutes. When completely cooled store in a mason jar or airtight container - or eat them immediately because they are that good!

Scrumptious, Healthy (sugar and gluten free) Banana Bread

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes


4 medium bananas roughly mashed (about 2 1/2 cups) 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
4 eggs
4 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 Tbsp. high quality vanilla extract (I like Nielsen Massey) 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate (70% or higher) chopped into small chunks (optional) 1/2 cup high quality milk chocolate chopped into small chunks (optional)
1/2 cup of candied walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine banana, almond butter, eggs, butter, vanilla and almond extracts in a high speed blender or food processor until mixture is homogenous. Pour into a large bowl.

3. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Fold into wet mixture and then fold in the chopped chocolate and candied walnuts.

4. Pour batter into a well­greased loaf pan and bake on the center oven rack for approximately 55 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. I also lightly cover the cake with aluminum foil after 40 minutes and allow the cake to finish baking that way for the final 15 minutes. 

Chocolate "doodly mousse" or Spoonable, Dense Chocolate

Warning this is a, lavish, INDULGENT treat, but a heaping spoonful is all you'll need to reap maximum satisfaction! It's a silly story why my husband and I call it "doodly mousse" but we do, and I think it's a cute name for this special, rich dessert. You'll need a Vitamix or any high speed blender that has a tamper to push ingredients down when the mixture becomes thick and hard to move.

Prep Time: 35 minutes Yield: 3 cups which is a ton!


1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 generous tsp. instant espresso powder
3 Tbsp confectioners sugar
8 oz high quality dark chocolate very finely chopped (a combination of 65%-­85%)
4 oz. high quality milk chocolate very finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. high quality pure vanilla extract (I like Nielsen Massey Tahitian Vanilla for this recipe)

1. Place water, cream, espresso, confectioners sugar and chopped chocolate into the Vitamix pitcher in this exact order.

2. Start to run the blender on Variable 1. Use the tamper to aid in the blending process.

3. Slowly increase speed to Variable 10, using the tamper as necessary. Once all the ingredients have broken down and move easily within the pitcher pause the machine, remove the tamper and replace it with the cap secured in place.

4. Blend for 3 more minutes until mixture is melted, smooth and creamy

5. Remove lid and steam will escape. Allow mixture to cool and occasionally stir very gently. Pour mixture into a glass storage container and add the vanilla. Stir to combine gently but thoroughly.

6. When the chocolate is completely cool, give it one last stir, cover it with an airtight lid and refrigerate 4­ to 5 hours or overnight.