Tag Archives: beans

Meeska… Mooska… Mouseka-Cakes: Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties

5 Aug Go Running, Mama!- Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties; easy, healthy, make ahead meals in fun character shapes

Sunday morning, I woke up feeling icky!  As can be expected when you have a toddler in the house, Baby Bird sensed this and decided to wake up extra early while Daddy was our for his long run and swim.  She pampered me with lots of hugs and kisses- which I adore from my sweet girl- but she also wanted my undivided attention directed towards making character voices for all of her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse character dolls.  Not exactly a relaxing moment of recovery.  Though caffeine is normally avoided in our household, caffeine made a welcome appearance as I did my very best Goofy impersonation waiting for Daddy to make it home.

Go Running, Mama!

I do my best to be a super healthy gal, but sometimes this happens.

Since there is no such thing as a mama sick day, I knew I wasn’t going to get tons of rest which meant I needed to try to buy myself some time wherever possible.  On top of that, I wanted to attempt to stay in my home in my yoga shorts, sweatshirt, compression socks, and totally-not-of-the-moment-for-a-30-plus-year-old-mother messy bun barring medical emergency or fire.

One problem- I needed to go to the grocery store.  Aside from a major run on the market last week for end of the season peaches, I hadn’t purchased much produce lately as I was working through what he had in the fridge.  I also haven’t gotten a CSA order in a few weeks since we have been in and out of town.  And, thanks to feeling icky, I forgot to confirm this week’s Monday order so I wont start my week off with a rescue box of goodies.

Even if I had remembered to confirm my order I still would have been in a jam because Baby Bird has Mickey Mouse Dance Camp this week thus a yummy lunch that is both toddler friendly and toddler manageable must be packed for 5 days.

So my choices were a) go to the store b) make it work and get creative in the kitchen.

I’m sure someone is looking at that and thinking “hmmm… isn’t ‘c) send your husband to the store’ an option?”

In short- no.

No, it’s not an option.  My husband is very helpful.  He is very kind.  He will shop for every item on our list.  But he will also call me about each item as though I must guide him to the exact location for each and every thing like I’m the world’s only grocery Onstar.  He is a perfectionist and wants to bring home exactly what I needed.  But when I’m feeling bleh- done is better than perfect, so that was a no-go.  Plus, his weekend time is far better spent loving on Baby Bird than going Whole Foods Orienteering.

Don’t fret!  There’s a little something you should know about Jenn- cooking is almost like breathing to me.  Seriously… if I haven’t cooked something recently it’s possible that I’m dead.  Running, dancing, and cooking are cathartic experiences for me and since we don’t have a treadmill or a dance room at our house, a good deal of home time is spent in the kitchen having fun.  And anyways, this past Thanksgiving when I was so sick with the “super flu” that I could barely stand up I managed to rally and cook a 5 course meal (in aseptic technique a la the science lab teacher I used to be) that I couldn’t even eat so feeling icky is just a minor bump when it comes to food action.  I may train for marathons on the pavement, but I also train for moments like this in my kitchen.  Trust me- there are at as many miles on my Kitchenaid stand mixer as there are on my most recent three pairs of Adidas Bostons combined!

But I digress.  Back to the challenge at hand…

The produce situation was abysmal.  There were some berries (score for lunch bag snacks!) and TWO ZUCCHINI left over from the previous evening’s zucchini pie.  That’s it for fresh and seasonal.  Sad.

Luckily, last week my sweet friend Laura and I were chatting about the big hits in our toddlers’ dining repertoire as we waited for our girls in toddler yoga and she happened to mention that her little one could always be counted on to eat quinoa patties.  Quinoa patties are awesome because they are an easy “disposal” food for any leftover chopped veggies you have on hand as well as an ideal vehicle in which to hide nutrient dense greens that can sometimes be a struggle for picky eaters. Plus they freeze really well.  I had totally forgotten about how great and easy they were and made a mental note to make some for Baby Bird soon.

Go Running, Mama!

Baby Bird still hasn’t quite grasped the hand placement for bridge!

Since we always have a plethora of quinoa on hand, soon became Sunday as I knew they would pack will in a toddler lunch and require no utensils.  Quinoa patties were a perfect fit for some grated zucchini and they also gave me the opportunity to use up some leftover black beans and corn kernels from last Friday night’s Southwestern pizza.

I made a little more quinoa than I needed for the patties as well so I could whip up a batch of Cinnamon Quinoa Lunchbox Bars that could pack easily for snack time at camp as well as make an easy breakfast if I wasn’t in tip top shape by morning.

Instead of the usual round patties, I went for a Mickey Mouse shape.  How fun will that be for Baby Bird when she eats her Mouseka-lunch at Mouseka-camp!?

The quinoa patty experience reminded me one of one of the biggest encouragements for starting this blog- remembering all the things I’ve done that I feel are worth repeating!  On that note… thanks for virtually hanging out with me and helping to clear my never ending case of Mommy-brain.

Enjoy!

Go Running, Mama!- Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties; easy, healthy, make ahead meals in fun character shapes

Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties

  • 1 1/2 c quinoa, prepared and cooled to room temperature (about 1/2 c quinoa cooked in 1 1/2 c water or stock)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 1/2 corn kernels (I used frozen- defrosted)
  • 1/3 c black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs flax meal
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp prepared dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Position a box grater over a kitchen towel. Grate the zucchini onto the towel.  Gather the shredded zucchini in the towel and wring over the sink to remove excess liquid.

In a small mise en place bowl, mix flax meal and water and allow to congeal.

Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.  Add corn, beans, and shredded zucchini and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to incorporate and remove pan from heat to cool.

In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add flax meal mixture, flour, and chives and beat once more to incorporate.  Add the quinoa to the egg mixture. and mix.  Turn the zucchini mixture onto a cutting board and roughly chop before adding to the egg mixture.  Mix well to combine.

Go Running, Mama!- Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties; easy, healthy, make ahead meal

Spoon mix into cookie cutter

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Using a cookie cutter (Our Mickey Mouse cutter encompasses the combined area of a 3.5 inch biscuit cutter, so if you are making these for adults a round cookie cutter about 3.5 inched in diameter will work perfectly!) spoon the mixture into the cookie cutter until it fills the cutter halfway.  Gently slide the cookie cutter off of the patty and repeat, making sure to space them out enough that you can flip them halfway through cooking with a spatula without disturbing the shape.

Go Running, Mama!- Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties; easy, healthy, make ahead meals in fun character shapes

Remove cookie cutter carefully to maintain shape

Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven to flip and then bake for another 15 minutes, rotating the pan when you return it to the oven.

Makes about 16 patties (8 servings)

Question for y’all: Does anyone else have a great, easy tried and true recipe you wish you didn’t frequently “forget?”

Bean and Greens Pizza with Purslane + Amaranth Greens and Aduki Beans

25 Jul Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

We took a fabulous little min-vacation this past weekend to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort for a little resting, running, and relaxation which was a very welcome pick-me-up for my ultra-busy husband.  Knowing that we would be gone for the weekend, my grocery and CSA basket usage the past week was geared towards using up the most perishable local produce before we left and only shopping for healthy snack items that we could tote to the resort.

When we got home on Sunday, I pulled out the item in the fridge that needed to be used that night for dinner which happened to be a beautiful bunch of purslane and amaranth greens.  You see them in the photo?  With the heart around them?  Yeah, I kinna love purslane and amaranth greens.  Like… a bunch.  Holy salad awesomeness!

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

Our default meal on Sunday nights is homemade pizza.  It’s a great way to use up leftovers or unused produce and any leftover slices make an easy lunchbox meal that can be packed quickly on busy Monday mornings.  We’ve enjoyed greens on salads many times before, so I was excited to give it a go with some of my current favorite greens.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

While I baked the pizza, hubs dry-hopped an IPA with citra hops and cardamom pods in his Randall Jr.  as his contribution to our relaxing Sunday dinner.  You see that- I’m not the only kitchen creative in this house!

The results were splendid- wilted greens, caramelized onions, and seasoned adzuki beans could have stood alone (as they do in the photo above) but we decided to up the comfort factor with a little cheese.  (Feel free to go sans-cheese to keep it vegan or dairy free.)

Pizza and beer make for a happy Sunday meal- especially when the pizza is topped with ingredients that are going to fuel you the right way on Monday morning.

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza with Purslane, Amaranth, and Aduki Beans

Beans and Greens Pizza with Purslane + Amaranth Greens and Aduki Beans

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 heaping cups of flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • cornmeal

For pizza toppings:

  • 1 bunch purslane and amaranth greens mix, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly slices
  • 1 can aduki beans, rinsed and drained (Eden Organic uses BPS-free cans)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt pepper

To make crust:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk flour, undissolved yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Heat water to between 120-130 degrees F and add to dry ingredients.  Add olive oil and stir until well combined.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth and elastic and turn into a ball to rest.Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Line a full sheet baking pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Roll with a rolling pin or hand stretch to fit the capacity of the pan (this will make a rectangular pizza- use a pizza stone if you desire a round pizza).  Carefully pinch and turn up the edges all the way around the dough to form a slight lip on your pizza crust.

Bake for 10 minutes and then remove to top before continuing the baking process.

To make toppings for pizza:

Pour beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly.

While crust is rising and par-baking, coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat pan to medium/medium-high.  Add onions and season with 1/2 tsp salt.  Throughout preparation of crust cook onions, stirring occasionally.  Once onions begin to brown, reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Coat the saute pan with olive oil once again and hear pan to medium-high heat.  Add beans, ume plum vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 3-5minutes until heated through and then add one clove of garlic, thinly sliced.  Saute for 2 minutes more before adding greens mix to pan.  Saute until wilted, stirring frequently, and then remove from heat.

To assemble pizza:

While par-baked pizza crust is still warm crush the second garlic clove, slice it in half and rub the crust with the cut portion of the clove.  Using a pastry brush, brush entire crust with olive oil.  Spread caramelized onion across crust evenly.  Add beans and greens mixture to pizza crust.  Sprinkle with cheeses.

Remove from baking pan and bake directly on the oven rack in the 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is crisp.  Remove to a cutting board.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting with a pizza wheel.

Serves 4 adults and one toddler.