Butternut Squash Burgers with Orange and Cinnamon Spice

Burgers are probably one of my favorite meals to make. Especially now that summer is here all I can think about is grilling, cookouts, picnics and outdoor dining! And…burgers, burgers, burgers.


I don’t actually have a grill at my apartment to make the quintessential, slightly charred burger that’s reminiscent of summer, but I make do with my oven. Turns out baking burgers are just as delicious! Especially when you make Butternut Squash Burgers with Orange and Cinnamon Spice. Scrumptious!


Look at all those herbs!


I know squash isn’t in season now, so this isn’t really a typical summer burger, but I had some butternut squash in the freezer that I needed to use up. And I thought I’d try doing something a bit different with it, like make a burger!

In the end I decided to sauté the squash with bell peppers to form the base of the burger. Then I added some chickpeas for protein, some oats for texture, and some spices for flavor! And voilá, butternut squash burgers!

What’s your favorite summer veggie burger recipe?

Butternut Squash Burgers with Orange and Cinnamon Spice

Makes 4 burgers

1 can chickpeas

1/2 cup of oats

1 cup butternut squash, diced

1/2 cup bell peppers, diced

1/8 cup of jalapeños, diced

dash of cinnamon

1 tsp of dried orange peel

1 tbsp dried basil

2 cloves of diced garlic

1 tsp olive oil

In order to make these burgers I took out frozen and diced butternut squash and bell peppers from my freezer a few hours ahead of time to let them thaw.

Then, whenever you are ready to prepare the burgers start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and lining a baking sheet with tin foil.

Next heat a skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the skillet is ready, add in the garlic, squash, peppers and jalapeños and cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes. Basically until the ingredients are warmed through.

While the veggies are cooking in the skillet, add the chickpeas and oats to a large mixing bowl.

When the squash mixture is done, add the squash to the chickpea and oat mix and mash with a fork until you reach the desired consistency for the patties.

Lastly, stir in the cinnamon, orange peel, and basil and then form the mixture into four patties.

Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 7 minutes.

Add whatever toppings to your burgers that you’d like and enjoy!

More basil please,



B-licious Black Bean, Beet and Barley Salad

The other day I whipped up this quick, tasty, and healthy summer salad. I brought it to lunch with me at work and a friend pointed out that a majority of the ingredients in this salad started with the letter b. She’s so wise!

I hadn’t actually noticed until she brought it up, but I thought I’d try to come up with a fun and fitting name for the recipe; hence “B”-licious Black Bean, Beet and Barley Salad!


There are actually bell peppers in this dish as well. So many glorious foods that start with the letter b!


It was such a beautiful magenta color that I could not help taking a million pictures of it. Close up!


This salad was wonderful served chilled and kept well for the entire week. It even became more flavorful as time passed as the salad was able to soak up some of the dressing. Yum!

I highly recommend making this salad, especially as it is a recipe that is quick, tasty, healthy and can easily be doubled or tripled. It would be great for a fourth of July picnic!

B-licious Black Bean, Beet and Barley Salad

Serves 5

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of sliced beets, unsalted

3/4 cup of dry barley

1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

juice of one lime

chopped cilantro

1 tbsp ginger spread (like a ginger jam)

1 tbsp of water

To make this salad, start by cooking the barley according to packaged directions. I bought a little bag of barley from Trader Joe’s that only took 10 minutes to make. Score!

While the barley is cooking you can go ahead and chop the cilantro, and then add the black beans, garbanzo beans, beets, bell pepper and cranberries to a large mixing bowl.

When the barley is done, add it into the mixing bowl and stir all the ingredients.

Then combine the ginger spread and water in a small dish, just to get the consistency a bit thinner. Drizzle this dressing over the salad mix along with the juice of the lime. And stir again.

Now add in as much cilantro as you’d like, mix one final time, and then refrigerate for an hour before serving. Enjoy!

Beets are back,


What I Ate Wednesday # 20 and Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie

Oh how I’ve missed participating in WIAW! I am so glad to be back in the swing of things and cannot wait to see everyone’s summer eats!! In the spirit of WIAW and varying up my food routine, I tried incorporating some different foods into my meals and experimented with some new recipes. A grapefruit for breakfast!? Say what?


That’s right, yesterday morning I had a perfectly lovely breakfast and it did not include a banana. Instead, I had a half a grapefruit and some blueberries for my fruit fixing. I also had some vanilla greek yogurt and peanut butter toast. It was delicious, light and refreshing in this hot summer heat!


For lunch I had some Beet, Barley and Black Bean Salad that I made the day before. I ate it chilled and boy did it hit the spot! There was a cilantro, lime juice and ginger glaze on top of this salad and I will share the recipe soon!


Along with the salad I had a pita pocket filled with spinach, roasted red pepper hummus and almond pulp. Simply wonderful.


Dinner was a tasty new take on the classic Temp Tacs (tempeh tacos). This time I made the taco filling with onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, garlic, ginger and a little apple cider vinegar. Yum!


I also had a peach with dinner. So glad peaches are back!


And for dessert I had a Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie. This was such a sweet and enjoyable treat! I ended up using frozen avocados in the smoothie, which gave the smoothie the most amazing light and fluffy texture. It was like eating a cold, silky mousse dessert. You have got to try this smoothie!

Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie

Serves 1

3/4 cups of almond milk

One sliced, frozen banana

2 tbsp vanilla greek yogurt

1/4 a sliced, frozen avocado

1 large handful of fresh blueberries

Simply place all ingredients into a blender and let it whirl. Serve immediately for a delightfully cool dessert!

Thanks as always to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons!



Italy Weeks 2 and 3!

Hey all! I am back in the states! My trip was absolutely fabulous, but after a month away I am very glad to be home. I have eaten an abundance of amazing food this past month in Italy, France, and England, but I have missed cooking so much. I cannot wait to get back in the kitchen!

But before I share some new recipes with you here’s a look into all things food I enjoyed in Italy.


Fava and white bean spreads on bread, and fried elderberry flowers. Delish!


Olive oil cake and homemade strawberry gelato. This was hands down one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. It was made with fresh oranges and was perfectly dense and moist. I am going to make this cake this summer!


Apricot croissant. Sweet, flaky loveliness.


Picnic goodies! Bread, cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, cherries, strawberries, and more!


Wild berry and caramelized fig gelato. Heaven!




Pizza! Yum!


Rooftop picnic and veggie goodness.


Watermelon sorbet with cacao nibs and mint. Unbelievable.


Fresh cherries right off of the tree!


And cheese. A never-ending amount of glorious cheese.

Honey and cheese are a delightful pair,


1 Year Blogiversary from Italy!

Hello from Italy!

I had hoped to blog more regularly in order to keep you all up to date with my travels and the fabulous food I’ve been eating, but every minute of my day has been scheduled to the max with the course I am taking. I have spent the past few weeks studying Italian cuisine and the Mediterranean diet and it has been an experience of a lifetime! I cannot wait to share everything with you all!

On another note, one year ago today I created this blog! Initially I had the intention of writing about my life as a grad student, but over the year the blog evolved into mainly a food blog where I share vegetarian recipes from all of the the dishes I have made. There is nothing I’d rather do than spend time in the kitchen cooking, baking, and creating healthy and delicious meals for family and friends. Although I still don’t have a recipe to share with you today, I’ll leave you with a recap of my first food-centered week in Italy.

Here I am with Alyce, on the plane and ready for take-off!


Best plane snack ever. A butter brezel! Basically a doughy pretzel roll with a slab of butter. Surprisingly delicious!

image-1The most amazing view of the Swiss Alps from my airplane window.

image-2And this was my home for the past few weeks in Florence. Villa la Pietra!

image-3This is the little kitty that’s always roaming around on campus. So adorable.

imageHanging at the villa.

image-1Enjoying my first dinner out in Florence. Lots of bread, pasta and wine!

image-2The Duomo. The city of Florence is about a 40 minute walk from campus, and I loved walking there and back almost every day. Especially when this is what you see when you get into the center of the city!


My first cappuccino. Taste!

imageFirst breakfast on campus. Oatmeal, granola, and peanut butter. An apricot croissant and an orange!

image-1A lovely lunch on campus. The meals here have been very good for campus food. And there are always vegetarian options! This was a salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, bell peppers and balsamic vinegar, some bread and more balsamic, asparagus and some pasta with mushrooms.


I have enjoyed a million different gelato flavors while I have been here, and gelato may just be my favorite desert ever. I’ve never had gelato like the kind that they have here in Italy! It is creamy, rich, full of flavor yet does not feel heavy at all. This was watermelon and it tasted like you were eating fresh, juicy watermelon. Unbelievable!


One day we visited a sheep farm and the family there made us homemade ravioli with their freshly made cheese and swiss chard. Heaven!


I also found a pear and pecorino cheese risotto dish for lunch one day. This was absolutely divine and I cannot wait to try making my own version once I am home! Pears!


This breakfast roll was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever had. It was a doughy bun sprinkled with raisins and rosemary. An interesting combination I’ve never used but it was insanely good. This trip is giving me so many ideas and I cannot wait to be back in the kitchen!


And lastly I’ll leave you with another gelato combination that was phenomenal. Dark chocolate and pistachio. Oh. My. Word.


I’ll be wrapping up my travels soon and will be posting installments soon about week two and three of my stay in Italy!