Recipe: Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

This new recipe comes by way of my little sister which she found on a food blog, whose author ate at this restaurant in Grand Rapids, MI and found the original recipe on a cooking website.

When my little sister first made them for us they turned out to be massive patties of vegetable goodness falling everywhere out of the bun. I swore there must be a way to make them stick together better. My wife and I attempted a second time with the leftover veggie mixture for a longer cooking time, but again they fell apart. The third time (pictured) I sprayed more oil on the grill pan and made the patties a little bit smaller. After reading through the food blog and cooking website I think I’ve discovered my error. The cooking website notes to use:

“Pour a generous amount (8” depth) of grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil in the bottom of a large skillet.  Heat the skillet to high heat, taking care not to let the oil smoke.”

Basically, you need to fry the patties so that they will stick together – not as healthful as I hoped. I’m thinking using a bit of egg in the mixture will help it congeal and keep the vegetable goodness less fried.

Here is the recipe that we adapted from the two listed online.


  • 2 cups of diced onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of cooked lentils
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups of mashed sweet potato (about 2 sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1.5 cups of oats (any kind)
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder


  1. Pre-cook the lentils and quinoa.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. We used our food processor to blend everything together into a nice sweet potato “dough.” Let the mixture set in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours.
  3. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions become clear.
  4. Make the burger patties from the mixture. They can be as big as you want because they won’t shrink when cooked.
  5. Place a thin layer of oil on a pan to cook the patties (we’ll try to cut down on the oil as much as we can – feel free to be as liberal as you need). We used a grill pan, but I think the uneven grill surface caused the burgers to separate more during the cooking process. A flat pan would be best.
  6. Cook each side of the patty for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce, or I prefer a dab of hummus on top.

Recipe: Lemon Rosemary Chicken

My wife and I don’t eat a lot of beef, so that leaves us with chicken. Its not always easy to find a new chicken recipe that is different enough to be fun if you eat chicken on a regular basis, but this is on recipe that has turned out to be a staple of our dinner repertoire. It is quick, full of delicious flavors, and very easy to make without having dry chicken.


  • Chicken Breast (sliced in half helps for quicker cooking)
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • (2) Lemons
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Onion (half, diced)
  • Ground Red Pepper or Cayenne
  • Rosemary


  1. Slice the lemons in half and squeeze them into a pan (remove any seeds). Add 3 teaspoons of olive oil.
  2. Dice half of the red bell pepper, half of the onion, and the 2 cloves of garlic – add those to the lemon juice and olive oil.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in the pan with the diced vegetables, lemon juice, and olive oil on medium heat (cut chicken in half length-wise speeds cooking)
  4. Remove chicken after the outsides are cooked. Be sure to scoop the vegetables on top of the chicken breasts. Add ground red pepper and rosemary to the tops of the chicken breasts. Place everything in a glass pan to cook longer at 300 degrees in the oven.
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables, rice, or salad.

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

My wife discovered an excellent recipe that is great for a “meatless Monday” in the hardy months of cold, wind, and snow.

We’ve made it a number of times now and absolutely love how quick, delicious, and nutritious it is. Sweet potatoes and black beans are both considered “superfoods,” which means that they are full of great nutrients that will make your body (and your stomach) happy! We adapted our recipe from


  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced (also called a yam in the US, but any yam sold in the US isn’t a yam unless its sold at an international market or specialty food store)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • (1) 15oz can of black beans (or soak and boil dry black beans the night before for lower sodium)
  • 1 cup canned, diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of water


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add diced onion and chopped sweet potato until onion starts to brown.
  2. Reduce heat and add enough water to cover the chopped sweet potato. Let simmer until the chopped sweet potato pieces are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce and black beans (and/or kidney beans) in a large pot, add as much spices and herbs as you desire.
  4. Once sweet potato pieces are soft mix them into the tomato sauce with black beans.
  5. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, or bread.

Serving size: 2 cups

Calories: 374 calories (14 g protein & 15 g fiber)

Recipe: Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup

We have discovered the perfect Halloween/ Autumn seasonal recipe! Nichole and I had been searching for a good meal to make that included pumpkin  (besides the famous pumpkin dark chocolate cookies). Many of the dishes we found were made with squash or didn’t sound very appetizing, until Nichole found this great spicy pumpkin soup recipe.

This is a great meal to use the season’s favorite vegetable to boost your list of healthy, delicious, and warm meals as the weather cools off and (hopefully) before any snow falls.

We adapted our recipe from this entry on

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 2 pie pumpkins (seasonally available)
  • (1) 14oz can of coconut milk
  • Red Thai curry paste
  • Olive oil


  1. Cut the pie pumpkins into quarters (I suggest using a strong knife, serrated is better – see above), be sure to save some of the pumpkins seeds to roast and add to the finished soup.
  2. Roast the pumpkin quarters at 350° for an (1) hour.
  3. When the pumpkin has cooled, scoop it off of the skin into a good sized pot.
  4. Put light olive oil on a cookie sheet and roast the saved pumpkin seeds for about 6min on each side, until crisp and crunchy, but not burnt.
  5. Add the can of coconut milk and 6 teaspoons of Red Thai curry paste and bring to a simmer.
  6. Use a food processor, blender, or hand mixer to puree the delicious mixture while adding cups of water to attain the desired consistency.
  7. Eat with garnish of parsley leaves, sourdough bread for dipping, and a chilled glass of Reisling wine.

Recipe: Chisaya Mama Stuffed Peppers

Since moving to Ann Arbor, Nichole and I have had the chance to try out some new recipes, some of which we are very proud of and enjoy sharing. With my job working in healthy weight loss through education and healthy food choices and Nichole’s upbringing in healthful (lactose-free) foods, we have a wonderful repertoire of recipes for those with their good health in mind.

We picked up a stuffed peppers recipe from Meijer one day because it looked interesting, had lots of vegetables, and decided to make healthier with our own additions. We added more corn and quinoa. Quinoa was considered sacred by the Inca people, calling it chisaya mama or ‘mother of all grains.’


  • 2 Bell Peppers (of any color preference) (30 cal./pepper)
  • (1) 16 oz Jar of Corn & Bean Salsa (from Meijer) (260 cal.)
  •  (1) 8oz Can of Whole Kernel Corn (120 cal.)
  • 1 Can of Black Beans (rinse before using) (330 cal.)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (4 cal.)
  • 1/4th of an Onion (1-2 cal.)
  • 1/2th Cup of Quinoa (Brown Rice can be substituted) (344 cal.)
  • 1/2 lb. of Ground Turkey (425 cal.)
  • Pam Cooking Spray with Olive Oil (0 cal.)


  1. Spray a good sized pan to cook the ground turkey.
  2. Add finely diced the garlic and onion to the pan along with the ground turkey, cook until browned.
  3. Add 1/2th cup of quinoa & 1 cup of water to a pot. Set to boil until water is gone.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine: browned ground turkey, cooked quinoa, kernel corn, 1/2 – 1/3 can of rinsed black beans, and the jar of salsa.
  5. Cut 2 bell peppers in half and clear out the insides.
  6. Place the pepper halves in a glass pan or on a cookie sheet and fill the pepper halves with the stuffing mixture.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

One (1) stuffed pepper made with this recipe has about 325 Calories with lots of fiber, protein, and other nutrients to help you feel full for a long time.

Average cost for the meal, making 4 stuffed pepper halves: $17