Embracing my inner foodie

About once a month, my friend Jude and I schedule coffee talk time. We meet in the morning at one of our favorite local spots, grab some coffee and, well, talk. We catchup. We brainstorm. We listen. We encourage. It’s one of those things I eagerly look forward to each month. At our last coffee talk, I mentioned something about how I’m finding a real connection and joy being in the kitchen and cooking for myself again. “I don’t think I’m at the level of foodie,” I said to Jude, who, after all is Jude The Foodie for the website BelowTheFalls.com and someone with amazing knowledge of food on multiple levels. “Oh, no,” she told me. “You are a foodie.”

I suppose it depends on how you define a foodie. Because I’m not very good at telling you what spices are in a certain a dish by tasting it or describing texture or aroma or advanced cooking techniques. I wouldn’t know what to do with any recipe from Julia Child (though I secretly love her) and I don’t consider myself to have a refined palate. Previously I would have considered at least one of those traits necessary to self-identify as a foodie. But then again, I can pretty much define myself however I want. Perhaps foodie isn’t so far out of reach.

A food stylist I am not, but this was a fantastic black bean burger and corn bread dinner.

This notion of foodie came to mind on Monday night as I took my first go-round at homemake black bean burgers. Working at home in the afternoon, I pulled out the bread machine and filled it with ingredients for a yeasted corn bread. As the machine did it’s work, so did I. Then, I turned my attention to the recipe for Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers from Vegetarian Times. It was a bit labor intensive, but not overly so. I red the recipe reviews and reduced the water in the black bean mixture and added oats to help bind the burgers together. With some spring mix and the cornbread, it was a really tasty, and healthy dinner, which left me with five burgers for my refrigerator and freezer. (The recipe said it makes eight. I made six.)

Perhaps one of my hang-ups on self-identifying as a foodie is the notion that to be a foodie you can’t be committed to good health. I know this is not true. I know this through Jude. And I know this through myself. In fact, perhaps I’ve embraced my inner foodie because I want to enjoy my time in the kitchen, enjoy my food, savor it and nourish my body. So with a huge amount of gratitude to Jude for making it OK for me to say I’m a foodie, here’s the recipe for those delicious burgers:

Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  •  15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried steak seasoning


  1. Stir together quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, place onion and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.) Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in 3/4 cup black beans, garlic, steak seasoning, and 1 to 1 1/2 cups water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
  3. Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining quinoa and remaining black beans. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape bean mixture into 8 patties (1/2 cup each), and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown.



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