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Special Thanks to Abby for feeding us this post. 🙂 Looks like we all have something new to try this weekend! I think I have most of this in my cupboard.

We’ve been grilling the Rachael Ray recipe, Portabello  Mushrooms, and either eating them on salads or off the grill on buns. This aught to mix things up and still satisfy the summertime flavor bug for grilled or BBQ food.




The original recipe used breadcrumbs to bind everything, which I forgot when it came time to make these. The patties held up fine without them, just be sure the mixture is chilled before forming them. Use the leftover quinoa mixture to make two large patties topped with a new batch of yogurt dressing, sans pita bread for a few less carbs, if you monitor that sort of thing.

Recipe adapted from Whole Living

Serves 2, plus generous leftovers


  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Pitas, each 6 inches (I used two whole pitas to feed both of us, stuffing two paties inside each half)
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally


In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil; add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside.

While the quinoa cooks, cut each pita in half and warm in the microwave for 20 seconds. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, half the scallions and juice from half a lemon. Stir together and test for seasonings.

In a food processor, pulse carrots until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, 3 remaining scallions, beans, egg and cumin. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pulse until combined and mostly smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add two turns of olive oil. Form mixture into 8 small patties (I used an ice cream scoop to make them uniform), about half an inch thick. Cook for three minutes per side, or until browned and the burgers are heated through. Set on paper towels to drain.

To serve, gently open each pita and spoon a little dressing in the bottom. Add two patties, a few cucumbers, and more dressing, as desired.

Read this entry Quinoa Burgers with Greek Yogurt Dressing – cooking after five – home and much more at Cooking After Five.

Hi there. Happy Food-day (or something like that).

Wednesday night  be and me hit the good ol’ Fresh & Easy just outside of downtown Los Angeles. My shopping list filled with necessities for B, Trixie, and me, a list of ingredients from Budget Friendly Meals (ala Rachael Ray) we went shopping.

Last night we made…

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • One 10-ounce box couscous
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 flatbreads or pitas, warmed


Preheat the oven to 425°. On a baking sheet, spread the chickpeas and pine nuts in a single layer; roast until the nuts are golden and the chickpeas are warmed, 7 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic and cumin. Stir in one-third of the lemon juice.

In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon EVOO to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the couscous, dill and chives. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, pine nuts, cauliflower and parsley and dress with the remaining lemon juice and 2 tablespoons EVOO; season with salt and pepper.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Spoon onto 4 plates and top with the salad. Serve with the garlic yogurt and bread.

Visit Rachael Ray for more great recipes: Rachael Ray’s Official Website :: Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

Fresh and Easy

OK be excited. A Fresh & Easy opened just outside of Downtown LA. Yes we all wanted it here in the city center but I don’t think the grocery store operators were quite convinced about the market. I don’t think that will last long.
Every aisle was packed with groceries. The Hollywood Fresh & Easy is a shadow compared to this place. Fresh fruits, vegetables, sauces, meats, cheeses, wine, and beer. Yes it was a shopping paradise, seen on the faces of all the happy people. Literally.

Yes the workers were snappy and talking it up, telling jokes and seemed to be in good spirits. It was the customers though that really made me smile. I’m not kidding when I say it was apparent on the faces of all the happy people.

“Hi!”, “Hello” and other wide lipped, toothy greetings. Even a cheeky conversation at the check out.

It is inexpensive, which is a total bonus compared to the Ralph’s Fresh & Fair, significantly. Although I love having the Ralph’s I much prefer to find my groceries at the Grand Central Market, Marukai, and the various little market’s peppered throughout out home zone.

That said we did spend a hundred bucks rather easily… but that was six bags of groceries, TP and paper towels too.


Check it out.

Fresh & Easy
1025 E Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(213) 765-0918

8AM – 10PM

Find it. Shop it. Love it.


… I’d have to let you slap me. 🙂 It’s kind of wrong for me to even think it.

Anyway I haven’t posted about any of the fun foods we’ve been eating and creating. I was keeping up with it semi-regularly on the Journey before my computer crashed. My fingers are still crossed that the Time Capsule did it’s job and my information is saved in that little packet of information I can see via my PC but cannot open.

“Yada. Yada. Yada.”

vegetarian_classics_Celia_Brooks_BrownAnyway, Birgit my sister-friend got me this great book for my birthday back in August, World Vegetarian Classics. As the subtitle says it’s filled with “Over 200 essential international recipes for the modern kitchen”.

Notice me looking back over my shoulder at my “modern kitchen”…. HEY! At least I finally have some new pots and pans. *ahem*

Any-who-who I’ve tried out a few for B and me and I’ve got to say that they really are great food combinations! Here are two that I particularly enjoyed, note that on the second recipe I switched it up a bit from printed directions…

Trator Yogurt and Cucumber Soup with Walnuts (Bulgaria)
(Pg. 77, “Northern European and Russia” section)

*S: Super soup. I love Yogurt and cucumbers. We ate this up for dinner and I saved the rest for breakfast. LOVED it. Directions from the book are included.

Ingredients: 2 cups chilled Greek or thick and creamy Yogurt; 1 cup chilled water; 1 garlic clove, de-germed; Course sea salt and ground black pepper; 2 medium cucumbers, chilled, peeled, de-seeded and finely diced; handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped (I used Lemon Balm because I did not have mint).

Garnish: Virgin sunflower, olive or grape seed oil.

Whisk Yogurt and water together in a bowl until smooth. Pound the garlic with a large pinch of course sea salt in a mortar until smooth. Alternatively, use a garlic press. Stir the garlic into the yogurt mixture. Add the cucumber and mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Watch the salt). Leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Pour into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of oil and chopped walnuts.

This went together with the next recipe perfectly, the way we switched up the base.

Houby paprikas Mushroom Paprika (Hungary)
(Pg. 78, “Northern European and Russia” section)

The design of this mushroom recipe was intended to be served over rice, pasta or Spätzle but I decided to pull an old favorite: 1/2 Pasta, hot over 1/2 salad which blanches the salad a bit. I then poured the mushroom mixture over the top.

… go ahead, you can drool, it was good …

Ingredients: 2 tbsp butter (I subbed that with grape seed oil); 1 medium onion chopped; 1 lb of mixed mushrooms (I went Agaricus, Crimini and Shiitake); Sea salt and ground black pepper; 1 tbsp (add a bit more if you prefer a bit more of that subtle spice of paprika); Generous pinch of cayenne pepper; 1 cup sour cream or Crème fraîche; 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill; Rice, pasta or Spätzle. Again I did the 1/2 pasta, 1/2 salad which was a mixed greens.

Heat a large saucepan over a low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, then increase the heat and stir. When the moisture from the  mushrooms has been released, allow it to evaporate, concentrating the flavour. This might happen quickly or slowly, depending entirely on the type of mushrooms used.

Add the paprika and cayenne and dry for a few moments longer, until the paprika turns a shade darker. Finally, add the sour cream or Crème fraîche and dill, and allow it to bubble for a further 5 minutes or so.

Serve over the rice, or pasta (+or pasta+salad  mix).

I gotta say, so far so good Celia Brooks Brown. We’re loving these flavor combinations and the break down of the sections by region and cuisine is fun and interesting as well.

Happy eating.

Scott K Smith

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