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As my feet disappear beneath my growing baby belly, reality is starting to set that in just a few months we’ll be parents. Parents!! Our lives will be changing. Our food lives will definitely be changing.

Food is Matthew’s livelihood and has been our hobby since the moment we met. We’ve cooked countless meals in our little kitchen, often taking our time and making it the centerpiece of the evening. Most of our cooking is done with what we have on hand, no planning required.

But like I said, reality is setting in. Soon we’ll be juggling full-time jobs on opposite schedules, a newborn baby, an overly energetic puppy and a blog, plus all of the usual day-to-day things people do, like cooking. So tell me, how do you do it all?

I’m thinking we need to have an arsenal of quick weeknight recipes – the kind you can make half asleep or forget on the stove for an extra few minutes. Over the past few weeks I’ve made a running list of meal ideas. We even started planning meals in advance (ah!) and buying all of the ingredients in one trip to the co-op. Wow, does this whole planning thing work.

These quinoa burgers, adapted from Heidi Swanson, were our first bright idea when coming up with the weeknight meals list. These little gems have carried us through the summer. We’ve packed them for long car rides and picnic lunches and have substituted in every fresh herb in our garden. The quinoa and eggs provide protein and finely chopped kale can be snuck in for another nutritional boost. They’re fantastic from the oven but are just as good cold. I love that you can even make the quinoa a day or two in advance, cutting the prep time in half. The baking time is forgiving, a good thing for those of us easily distracted.

Friends, help us out! What are your go-to weeknight meals?

Baked Quinoa Burgers
{gluten-free}

Makes 10 burgers

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3/4 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free)
5 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh garden herbs (your choice – chive, parsley, tarragon, basil)

Sweat the onion and garlic in a pan over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. In the last minutes, add the chopped kale and toss around until wilted but bright green.  Let cool for a few minutes. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Make a ball with the mixture packed tight in your hands in between the size of a golf ball and a baseball. Flatten the balls with your palm onto a greased cookie sheet, preferably on a silpat. Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, flipping halfway through.

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