Tag Archives: walnut

The Beet’s Mushroom Walnut Quinoa Burger (Vegan)

1 Jul

The most popular posts I’ve ever done on Food, Mostly are vegan.

Coincidence? I think not.

In my opinion, vegan cooking requires just a little extra creativity and innovation. It is one of the reasons I enjoy preparing it so much. And it seems as though there are a lot of you out there searching for vegan inspiration! 

The number one, hands-down most popular post on the history of this site is this recipe for tofu “butter chicken” (and one of my personal fave recipes ever). The second is for this balsamic and honey glazed tempeh bowl, and tied for third is this recipe for veggie burgers made with black beans, mushrooms and walnuts from a few years back.

Every so often I like to revisit old recipes (as I believe I’ve improved in the kitchen/blog over time). However, this time I stole a similar recipe from the kitchen at work.

I present to you, The Beet‘s famous Mushroom Walnut Quinoa Burger



You’ll Need:

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used half white, half crimini)
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter (can substitute tahini, as I did)
1/4 cup tapioca starch (can substitute corn starch)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to coat mushrooms

1. In large roasting pan, combine walnuts, onions, garlic cloves and mushrooms. Coat with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper.
2. Roast for 30 minutes at 400.
3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa on stove top.
4. Once roasted, drain off excess moisture and combine mushroom mixture in food processor with 1 cup of cooked quinoa (reserve other cup) along with tahini (or almond butter) and tapioca starch. Leave oven hot.
5. Once blended, add rest of cooked quinoa and mix (so the quinoa remains whole)
6. Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
7. Form into patties (makes approx 8) and put on greased baking sheet. Bake burgers at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
8. While baking, prepare your toppings.
9. Serve hot!

They’re not the prettiest but any stretch, but they’re tasty, filling and easy to prepare.

Note: these burgers are not crispy. They are a bit soft. For a crispier (and more decadent) effect, coat in cornmeal and fry in coconut oil. Also, taste for flavour again after adding the quinoa, as I find it can dilute the depth a bit.

Load up with your favourite toppings! I chose fried balsamic mushrooms, old cheddar-not vegan!!-, hummus, avocado and BBQ sauce.

Or…if you’re just plain lazy and happen to be in Toronto, come visit me at my adorable little home-away-from-home, The Beet!




Italia, Salone Del Gusto, and a Pomegranate Pear Birthday Cake

28 Nov

So, Italy was a whirlwind, last minute adventure with the lovely Michelle.

We ate lots, drank lots, and traveled North to Torino to attend Salone Del Gusto, 2012. It is a massive trade show. We attended wine and espresso tasting seminars, and consumed more salami samples than I care to admit.

Rome to Turin to Florence to Tuscany and back, we had a dreamy time.

In honour of Miss Michelle’s birthday this weekend, and our trip, I baked this cake with an Italian twist. It turned out to be molto deliziosa!

Pear Cake with Pomegranate and Ginger Buttercream Icing 

(Based on this recipe for Pear and Pistachio cake, my original plan, but alas, I could not locate any in time!)



  • 4 sticks of butter, browned
  • 6-8 unripe pears, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups coconut sugar (also can use brown sugar)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour and add parchment paper to two 9″ pans.
  2. In a small  saucepan, melt butter over low heat. When it has completely liquefied, turn heat to medium to brown the butter. It will bubble, and brown bits will form on the bottom of the pan, and smell nutty. Be careful not to burn, or butter will taste bitter.  Set aside to cool. You should have 1½ cups.
  3. Core the pears, leaving the peel on, and shred using the large side of a box grater or the medium-size grating attachment on a food processor. Gather shredded fruit into a triple thickness of cheesecloth or paper towels, and squeeze the liquid from the pears.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then drizzle in brown butter and add vanilla. Add flour, and stir until just incorporated. Stir in shredded pear and walnuts gently. Divide the batter evenly between pans.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cakes have puffed and are lightly browned. Remove to a rack and let cool entirely before peeling away the parchment paper.
  6. Stack cooled cakes and generously spread icing between layers. Add fresh pomegranate in between the layers for a fresh pop. Garnish with more pomegranate and pear chips.

*Note- the recipe above is originally  for a three layer cake, not two.  I decided to only use two of the three layers because they were a) pretty thick and b) I didn’t think I’d have enough icing. Three layers would have been HUGE.  I would suggest putting 1.5 cups of the batter aside and make some cupcakes with it instead of the third layer!


(I did not use the icing recipe from the site mentioned above, although I tried unsuccessfully twice to mix egg whites with butter- disaster!)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  1. Beat room temperature butter on medium speed until soft, add icing sugar gradually until smooth.
  2. Increase speed and add vanilla, milk,  and gingers for about 3 minutes.
  3. Adjust flavour if you’d like more sweetness. This is not an overly sweet icing.

Pear Chips

  • Thinly sliced pears
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine sugar and water until dissolved over medium heat, and add lemon juice.
  3. Slice pears vertically and let stand in water for ten minutes as soon as its cut
  4. Remove from syrup, and let excess drip back in the pan
  5. Bake for 1.5 hours, or until very dry, flipping half way through.
  6. Snack on these, or garnish the cake with them!

Here is my (rather unfortunate) photo of this lovely cake!

It tasted great!

Happy Birthday Michelle, and thank you for the memories!

I miss Italy already, and can’t wait to return.

Immy May

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