Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Hey friends <3 How’s your day going? So glad you enjoyed the step video and I’m happy to hear I wasn’t alone in the leotard over shorts craze. If your mom/aunt/friend still has any hanging around, they’d be perfect components for a fitness-inspired Halloween costume.

It’s been a pretty great humpday over here- work and out to lunch with a friend during my lunch break.

Of course, I always know it will be a good day when breakfast involves chocolate.


[Slice of heated pumpkin chocolate chip bread with butter and 2 over hard eggs]

The pumpkin bread tastes even better the next day….

I also wanted to show ya our dinner from last night, because it ended up being one of those on-the-fly things that turned out really well.


Black bean quinoa burgers with peanut butter crusted sweet potato fries.

Um, yeah.

For the burgers, I was inspired by my friend Brittany’s Quinoa Cakes and Emily’s Black Bean Burger recipe. I really didn’t have time to chop (we were running late), so all I did was pulse 1/2 C quinoa, cooked, in the food processor with half a can of organic black beans, chili powder, cayenne, sea salt, garlic and pepper, and then stirred in the rest of the beans whole. [Chopped onion and carrot would have been nice in here, too]

Baked them up for 25 minutes at 375:


and for the fries, I followed Ricki’s recipe exactly, just subbing out peanut butter [the Pilot said almond butter always tastes *rancid* to him. More for me] and sweet potatoes instead of parsnips. This recipes is fantastic with any root veggie, too.


They only cooked for 30 minutes, so they were more mushy than crunchy, but tasted fantastic all the same. I packed everything up to-go [his on a bun with cheese, mustard and greens, and mine salad beast style] and we ate it in the car on the way to birth class.

In between bites, the Pilot said “this is really, really good” and I said “and it’s vegetarian. I figured I’d make something veggie for dinner tonight since I’m going to wager that you had some kind of beef for lunch.” [I have no prob that the Pilot eats beef, but I do try to create some sort of balance with what I cook, or otherwise he’d live off Puffins and beef]

“The chupacabra is not beef. It’s steak, ham, bacon, cheese and beans wrapped in a flour tortilla.”

My husband, ladies and gentlemen.

Today’s workout was a nice 45-minute walk with Bellerton


and an arms day. I did *this arm workout* and it definitely did the trick.

Dinner time over here!

See ya in the morning <3



Something to think:

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future”
? Deepak Chopra

Something to watch:

This video made my day:

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  1. Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews on October 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Those fries look awesome!

  2. Lauren on October 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    That is my FAVORITE recipe for root veggie fries! You should try it with Pecan Butter, it’s kind of crunchy and more “meaty” tasting when you use that 🙂 I think it adds an awesome earthy flavor to them. I also often add curry powder and eat them with hummus. AH-mazing 🙂

  3. Christine @ BookishlyB on October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Those burgers sound good. Is it bad that I’m trying to decide what kind of cheese would go best on them? 😉

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      haha not at all! the pilot had pepperjack on his 🙂

  4. kathleen @ the daily crumb on October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    i saw that video earlier today… made my morning!

    love these burgers, gina! i have a tub of black beans that need some lovin’. can’t wait to try out the recipe! i also have yet to jump on the nut crusted veggie fry bandwagon, but they look oh-so-delicious!!

  5. Brittney on October 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    “Puffins and Beef” made me laugh out loud.

    Don’t be mad if one day I use it for a short story. I’m forming an idea already.

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      hahah i just want to read it 🙂

  6. Nada (One Arab Vegan) on October 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Peanut butter crusted sweet potato fries.

    I’m sorry I can’t even fathom how incredible that combination is. 🙂 And quinoa burgers? Genius. I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy quinoa (even though I’ll happily eat it straight from the pan with some salt, pepper and EVOO), so thanks for this!

  7. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    That was the most adorable video ever!! I love Nicki, and that little girl is too cute!!

  8. Amanda on October 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    That video made my day also! I actually was home early enough to watch Ellen & the whole interview she had with those little girls was so adorable. I loved how Nicki Minaj glanced at the audience and smirked when the girl didn’t say some of the bad words – so cute.

  9. Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows on October 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Just bought a bag of sweet potatoes at TJ’s — so fries are def on the dinner menu this week, although they never seem to come out as crispy as I like when I bake them. Any tips?

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2011 at 12:17 am

      cook them longer, but watch the temp because nut butter can burn quickly

  10. Hillary on October 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Two things:

    1. I am a little bit in love with your husband. This post was just too funny.
    2. This video made my day. If my future daughter has an ounce of this girl’s personality, I’ll be thrilled!

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2011 at 12:17 am

      hahah! totally allowed

  11. Anna @ On Anna's Plate on October 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Those fries look so good– I forgot about the nut-butter-crusted root veggie phenomenon!!

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on October 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    your eats look awesome!

    I remember about 12-18 mos ago when I saw tons of recipes for nut butter coated & roasted veggies. I tried my hand at carrots, ginger, PB, agave and they turned out pretty good but nut butter in the oven can go from nothing to charred in a hurry…I learned 🙂

    And you are always so kind to link up everyone’s recipes and cite the sources…you are with that. Always girl 🙂

  13. Allison @ Food for Healing on October 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    sweet potato fries are on the agenda for tomorrow nights supper, can’t wait!

  14. Meghan N on October 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I actually have leftover quinoa and black beans in the fridge that I need to make use of, this is perfect! Can’t wait to try them.
    FINALLY the word that I’ve been looking for to describe how almond butter tastes to me, “rancid.” Although I did just recently try Barney Butter and it tasted better!

  15. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on October 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    “It’s not beef it’s steak” quote of the day!

    Those burgers look great! I love homemade veggie burgers 🙂

  16. Brittany on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I recently (finally) got my husband to try AB in place of his beloved PB, which he’d eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, left to his own devices. He said the same thing the Pilot says. “This tastes…rotten. You sure it’s not expired?” What?!

    The burgers look awesome; gonna give those a try with the onion addition!

  17. Carrie on October 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    The pilot is not alone! I’ve tried repeatedly to get on the almond butter train, but yes, to me, it tastes rancid!

    But gah, those sweet potato fries look amazing.

  18. Krystina (Organically Me) on October 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Ugh, men. My boyfriend eats like 4x the amount of food I do and it astounds me that he still weighs 170lbs. If he had his way, he’d live off of fried chicken breasts, white rice, and bagels.

  19. Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous on October 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Ahh I love Sophia Grace!! WAYYY too adorable! And she hits the notes perfectly! I have been trying to learn Super Bass for weeks and I still don’t have it down! Hahah(:

  20. danielle on October 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I love that little girl!!!

  21. Stephanie @cookinfanatic on October 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    That little girl is so talented!!! Such a cute video!

  22. Wendy on October 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this clip. It’s adorable and it made my day.

  23. Heather on October 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Those burgers sounds delish, Gina! I love how you fused 2 amazing recipes into another genius creation!

    Sophia Grace is HYSTERICAL. I watched her and Rosie on Ellen today and they are so cute. Their video online is just precious. She is so talented! And a RIOT.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2011 at 12:15 am

      and not bratty in the least- just adorable and SASSY

  24. Ricki on October 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks so much for giving the Almond-Crusted (or PB crusted, in this case) root veg fries a try! Glad you liked them (despite the slightly limp result–they do crisp up if baked a bit longer). 😉

    And congrats on the SHAPE nomination, too! I tried to install my own badge without success. . . how the heck did you do it??

    PS The pilot’s lunch was hilarious.

    • Fitnessista on October 13, 2011 at 12:14 am

      thanks for creating such an awesome recipe 🙂
      i couldn’t figure it out, either- my web wizard did it for me

  25. chelsea on October 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I had black bean burgers today =D I find them soooo yummy!

  26. kaila@ healthy helper blog! on October 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    PB SWEET TATER FRIES!?!?!? Come to mama!!!! That sounds redonkculous!!!

  27. Lena on October 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Wow…the burgers and fries both sound ridiculously delicious. I must try that some time.

  28. Sara K on October 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I love black bean burgers- but quinoa, that’s a nice addition- one of my favourite vegetarian burgers has lentils, wheatberries, and portobello mushrooms…among other things, it’s just a plethora of fabulous textures

  29. Lindsay @ biking before bed on October 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I am slowly introducing my boyfriend to vegetarian foods. He actually does pretty well with tofu. I think this looks like a perfect man approved meal. The fries look especially delicious.

  30. Moni'sMeals on October 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    these burgers sound amazing. I could make them now if I wanted..I have everything I need. I too love the “root” fries. all ways too. 🙂

    Loved that clip on Ellen… my husband wanted me to watch it, amazing lil girl!

    puffins and beef..haha awesome. 🙂

  31. Rebecca on October 13, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Omg, I saw that clip of the little girls last week, that was cute! haha & those burgers look really good!

  32. Ali on October 13, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Those fries look AMAZING! And I think it is so funny what your Tom said about his lunch, oh my goodness. I did a pushup workout with P90X today, and I am SO SORE!!!

  33. Leslie Wingate on October 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I read your blog last night before bed and had a dream about it! It was about me taking a college class online (also discussed yesterday at work) and a nutrition class had a test about your blog. I answered incorrectly so I had to call you on the phone so you could straighten me out. LOL 😀

  34. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning on October 13, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Great quote at the end of your post! And did I miss it? Did you post a recipe for the fries?
    I am the queen of making veggie burgers, but have yet to make one with quinoa! Guess that will have to be the next kind I try. 🙂

    • Leslie Wingate on October 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Click the Ricki’s recipe link, I believe. 🙂

  35. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on October 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

    LOL I love the Pilot’s defense for his lunch. Such a typical guy! You’re a good wifey for trying to look after his health. 😉

  36. Michaela on October 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    very interesting beef story 😉
    oh gosh, that video is so precious!!!!!!!

  37. Brittany on October 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Your quinoa black bean burgers sound delicious and I LOVE those pb crusted sweet potato fries. I want some right now. 🙂

  38. Jen@foodfamilyfitness on October 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I have to try those fries, maybe it will turn me into a sweet potato liker 🙂

  39. Ilana on October 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

    dude, that video…cant get over the pure joy in that child!

  40. Liz @ Southern Charm on October 13, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Ohh those burgers and fries look so GOOD!!

  41. mi-an d. on October 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I’ve made those fries before with angela’s (ohsheglows) recipe. totally.amazing.!

  42. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on October 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Your fry-shapes are perfect! How do you do that?? I have tried various methods and mine always look huge, misshapen, and uggo.

  43. Katie on October 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Love that the pilot eats Puffins! That’s not SO unhealthy!

    Thanks for the stellar recipes as always.

  44. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on October 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I love quinoa and just had my Crispy Quinoa Cakes for dinner last night. The night before that I had my Black Bean Burgers…so it looks as though this might be a perfect marriage! Can’t wait to try :).

  45. Ellen on October 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Best video ever!

  46. Andrea on October 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Love the something to think quote. Very very true! Video is toooo cute! I wannabe 5 again!

  47. Lara on October 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I love that you shared a recipe for a black bean quinoa burger. I had my first quinoa burger at a new burger place in Southern California called The Rider’s Club ( The burger was good but not phenomenal. It fell apart too easily so it ended up being more of a quinoa souffle than an actual burger. I’m hoping to try your recipe and see how it turns out! Hopefully it won’t fall apart! I’m looking forward to perfecting a quinoa burger on my own 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      let me know what you think!

  48. Alexis @ hummusapien on October 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I love how you made those burgers in such a pinch! PS–that video is hysterical..I’ve probably watched it ten times now!

    • Fitnessista on October 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      me too- i have a giant smile on my face each time too. she is amazing and hilarious

  49. Kacie on October 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I made the quinoa-black bean burgers last night (and added some onion), they were good! I had one today crumbled over a salad. I liked it best warm with a laughing cow wedge and salsa on top!

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