Guest Post: Keen for Quinoa

I'm handing the ropes over to my foodie friend and sorority sister Noel today! She is a foodgrammer, loves to cook and like myself, obsesses over food. She makes me drool at everything she posts on her Instagram, so I asked her to come up with a recipe to share on Take A Bite! 

Hey guys, Noel here. I am a simple food lover. When I go to bed at night, I plan my breakfast. When I eat my breakfast, I plan my afternoon snack/ lunch. But I am thinking about my dinner ALL day. While I currently have no food blog, I have a daily struggle on whether to start one. You can, however, find me on Instagram--->@food_onmy_mind

I am 100%, without a doubt, keen for quinoa! I try to incorporate it into every meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner.  When Annie asked me to do a guest post, I had no clue what recipe I would give her.  But obviously I wanted to do something quinoa! However, a typical quinoa meal for me consists of cooking the quinoa separately and topping it with something or other.  So I wanted to make something where the quinoa and whatever else I added to it was one, single entity.  Annie and I tossed around ideas and we settled on Quinoa Avocado Black Bean Burgers!

Yes, all that goodness was put into one, single (vegetarian) entity.  I had made black bean burgers before, and had never been successful so I was nervous to test these babies out.  However, these particular BBB’s were made with special tender, love, and care (and I have since gained a food processor, which helped, A LOT).  

I invited a few friends to join me in taste testing and for the first time in my black bean burger career, I was successful.  I did learn that my original recipe was a bit spicy (I love spicy as much as I love quinoa), so the one you’ll find below has been modified to a lower spice level.

Now, I was really back and forth on what to put on my BBB.  So naturally, I made two combinations of toppings and ate half of each burger. 

Burger 1:  Dijon mustard, feta cheese, heirloom tomato, and alfalfa sprouts.

Burger 2:  Spicy mayonnaise (homemade), blue cheese, heirloom tomato, and spinach.

For those of you who are spice maniacs, like me, burger 2 is for you.  It was spicy let me tell you!  I will admit though, burger 1 was my favorite.  The combination of feta and alfalfa sprouts with the BBB was mouth watering.  I even made it into a salad the next night.

Black Bean Burgers
yields 6 burger patties

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 avocado, cubed
1 shallot, diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. smoked Paprika
1 tsp. hot sauce of choice
1 egg white
zest and juice of lime
salt and pepper
*1/2 cup of cilantro would also be a great addition

Directions:
Reserve 1/2 cup black beans and set aside.

Add the remaining beans, shallot, spices, lime zest, juice and hot sauce into the bowl of a food processor, fit with a steel blade. Process until the mixture is the texture of a very chunky puree. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining beans, avocado, cooked quinoa and egg white and stir together. (Turn so not to mush avocado) *If adding cilantro, do it at this step.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties and chill in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour, or more.  Make sure patties are thin, so that they cook through. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the patties to the pan. Cook them until browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. Serve on salad, with a bun and toppings, or in lettuce wraps/pocket bread.

Recommended toppings:
Tomato
(Extra) avocado
Raw onion or sautéed white onion
Alfalfa sprouts
Arugula, spinach
Feta, blue cheese, Parmesan
Spicy mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Salsa
Fried egg

Happy reading and happy eating!

Noel

30 in 30

I did it! If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my obsessive food instas over the past month. I already love annoying people by posting pictures of my food, so when one of my friends jokingly asked me if I could post 30 food pictures over our Christmas break, I turned it into a challenge. 
I personally had so much fun doing it and surprisingly got a cumulation of support along the way. Several times I had people ask me to take a picture of them with their food so it could be {14/30} or so on! 
Here is a collection of all 30 food grams! Head over to my Instagram for details about each picture.
Don't think this is the end of my food Instagrams, but I promise it won't be as excessive!
xo annie

My Favorite New Photo App

Have you heard? The lovely sisters Elsie and Emma, who write A Beautiful Mess blog, now have their very own photo editing app! The "Beautiful Mess" girls always have the cutest pictures on their blog and are known to edit and style with a vintage and whimsical feel. This is exactly what the app provides. There are various filters, borders, text and doodles you can add to your pictures. 

I woke up yesterday and the first thing I did was download the app. I have had so much fun adding text and boarders to my pictures. It gives them a little something extra that is so fun! Once you edit your picture it instantly saves to your camera roll or allows you to easily share to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or email!

Here are some of Elsie and Emma's examples!

images via A Beautiful Mess
Here are a couple of my edited pictures. 

#Abeautifulmess is now available in the app store for iphone, ipod touch and ipad. You have to have at least iOS 6 and wifi to download it. It does cost $0.99 but it is so worth it.

xo annie