Un-stuffed Mushroom Burger

We have somewhat of a burger obsession around here.  As soon as it gets to be prime grilling weather, we make up new burgers often.  This recipe is a spin-off of Pioneer Woman's Brie-Stuffed Mushroom's, which by the way, could change your life.

Please don't think we're obese because all we eat is homemade cheeseburgers, pasta, and pizza.  I do make healthy, waist-conscious food almost every day....I just blog the outlandish, amazing-tasting, fat-laden food more often apparently. 

Un-Stuffed Mushroom Burger
inspired by Pioneer Woman

1 lb ground beef
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 onion, grated or minced
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
plenty of salt & pepper
2-3 Tb. butter
8 oz sliced mushrooms (or more)
salt & pepper
wedge of brie
4-bakery rolls
butter for buns

In a bowl combine beef, garlic, onion, parsley, salt & pepper.  Make four even patties and heat the grill.  While the grill is heating, melt the 2-3 Tb. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in the mushrooms and saute them, lowering heat if necessary.  Continue cooking the mushrooms until they are soft and cooked to your liking, then season with salt & pepper.  Cook the burgers on the grill, topping with plenty of brie and letting it melt before removing from the grill.  Butter the buns and quickly toast them on the grill.  Serve the burgers on the buttered, toasted buns topped with plenty of mushrooms.

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Black Bean & Quinoa Bowls

This recipe is vegan. (GASP!) I almost put that in the title, but I knew some people wouldn't even look at the recipe because of that, so I didn't.  I'm finding that with my youngest son's food allergies (beef, pork, cow's milk, strawberries, oats and peanuts), combined with the foods I'm not giving him temporarily (wheat, eggs, soy, tree nuts) vegan recipes are making life easier.  Cooking vegetarian and vegan actually makes cooking easier because the prep work goes so fast without having to cook meat, grate cheese, etc.  I need more vegan recipes!

Several months ago my mom challenged us to eat animal products less frequently, so I started cooking vegetarian a couple times a week and I realized we didn't really miss the meat on those nights.  AND it's much less expensive to skip the meat.  While we have no intention of ever giving up cheeseburgers and going vegetarian/vegan completely, it is not a big deal for us to do without it sometimes. 

I recently posted another quinoa recipe and someone commented with an idea that made me try this for dinner tonight and we liked it!  I loved that this entire meal was ready in the time it takes to cook quinoa.  I made a quick guacamole to put on top but simply chopping an avocado for the top would be perfect if you want to make it even simpler.

Black Bean & Quinoa Bowls
serves a family of 5 or 3-4 very hungry adults

1 c. dried quinoa, cooked with 2 c. water according to directions

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10-oz can Rotel, mostly drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
salt & pepper to taste

2 large avocados
2 Tb. thick salsa
generous dash of granulated garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tb onion, minced
Tabasco to taste

3 green onions, chopped
lime wedges

While the quinoa is cooking mix together black beans, rotel, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic, salt & pepper.  Cook in a small pot over medium heat until hot or microwave 3-5 minutes until hot.  In a small bowl mash the avacado with a fork and stir in salsa, garlic, salt & pepper, onion and tabasco.  Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. (Or, simply chop the avacado and set aside.) To assemble the bowls, layer some quinoa at the bottom of a bowl, top with a generous amount of black bean mixture, a dollop of guacamole or chopped avacado, sprinkle on some green onions and serve with lime wedges.

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