Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Sometimes finding a dinner that pleases both myself as a vegetarian and my meat-loving very hungry fiancé is not that easy. I always search Pinterest for new inspirations for tasty meal options. I recently happened upon a recipe for a spicy quinoa veggie burger and decided I had to give it a shot. The recipe was originally taken from the PopSugar Fitness blog that has tons of inspiration for healthy meals and great easy to do at home workouts. 

Here's how to make this tasty veggie burger:


1 small sweet potato, baked
1/4 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup dry barley
15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 fresh red peppers


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the sweet potato for 45-60 minutes or until soft.
  2. While the sweet potato is baking, cook the quinoa and barley in separate pots until soft, about 30-60 minutes (barley takes a little longer).
  3. Remove the stem and seeds from the red peppers. Cut the whole pepper in quarters and the half a pepper in half, and roast all six pieces in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the sweet potato is baked and cooled, combine garbanzo beans, sweet potato, parsley, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, flour, and one tablespoon oil in a food processor.
  5. Allow the grains to cool, and then in a separate bowl, mix the bean mixture with the quinoa and barley.
  6. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot pan, and use the back of the spoon to pat them flat and form four-inch diameter patties. Brown both sides of each burger. Serve on a bun with one piece of the roasted pepper, sliced into thirds.

6 servings


Calories per serving

It was definitely not the easiest veggie burger I have ever made, but it was definitely the best. My fiancé asked twice during dinner when I would be making this again. I believe that is a good sign.

<3 Kelly Jean

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kitchen Remodel

One of our first projects as new homeowners was to give our kitchen a re-facing. When we first toured the house we loved everything, but we just weren't too keen on the faux antique finish on the cabinets. In my opinion it made them look dirty, like someone had splashed brown liquid all over the cabinets while cooking. 

I couldn't find any pictures of our actual cabinets beforehand, but I believe this picture I found on google is pretty close. The point is I just didn't like it. Others may love this look and try to replicate it on their cabinets, but it was just not for us. We figured there was no time like the present to get this taken care of before we took the time to unpack anything in the kitchen. After coming to that decision it was time for us to start the work. We enlisted the help of one of my sisters and a friend of ours to help us remove cabinet doors and sand EVERYTHING.

I let my fiancé do the majority of the power sanding since he had prior experience using this type of equipment. I however did take a few spins on the Black & Decker Mouse Sander myself. It was surprisingly easy to use and made quick work of the job of sanding the cabinet walls and faces. After many days of coming home from work and sanding until bed we finally finished that part of the project. 

Next, we moved on to moving all large appliances out of the room, taping off the area, and putting rosin paper down to protect our granite counter tops and floors. 

After all the prep work the only thing left to do now was to prime, choose our paint colors, and get started painting. Painting is a LOT of work! It is definitely no easy task and not one to be rushed. 

In the end it turned out BEAUTIFUL! Sadly, I have to admit that my fiancé and I didn't do any of the actual painting of the kitchen ourselves. After choosing our colors and priming everything we were realizing all the mini-issues you come in contact with while repainting cabinets. Luckily for us our situation allowed us to have the opportunity to hire someone my fiancé's family had previously worked with to paint everything for us so that we could have the professional look we were going for. And since we were having someone come in to do the cabinets we figured we'd have them do the walls as well.

The final look was more beautiful than I could have imagined. I felt like the kitchen now looked pristine and cheerful, rather than dreary and dirty. It was definitely worth the time, effort, and money it took to get everything done.

<3 Kelly Jean

Monday, May 19, 2014

First Time Home Owners

Recently my fiancé and I decided it was time for us to give up our role as property virgins and purchase our first home. We had been living in a one bedroom apartment up until the point it flooded due to a burst pipe in the sprinkler system. The apartment complex handled the situation badly and didn't take the proper steps to repair the damage. 

After that we were forced to move out and were gratefully given the opportunity to stay with his parents until we could find a home. After a month of searching we thankfully found our DREAM home with the help of an amazing realtor.

Now we are learning what it's like to be home owners. There is constant work to make things the way WE love it and indefinite work to keep it clean enough for my standards.

Here's my handy fiancé mowing our enormous backyard. 

<3 Kelly Jean