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Two Dinner Ideas for Busy Nights

by Courtney on August 13, 2014

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Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this once or twice (or a thousand times) this past year, but it should be no secret…meals in this house have changed quite a bit.

Since having Lucas, Jay and I have found that our desire and ability to spend a good amount of time on any given meal just isn’t gonna happen. More times than not, we opt for something that can be ready and on the table within 15 minutes. When Lucas is in charge, we’re lucky if he gives us 15 seconds to get his meal on his tray. ;)

During the warm summer months, I think we both feel less pressure to have any sort of big, elaborate meal on the table. At least half of our weeknight evenings are usually either devoted to softball games, or in this summer’s case, working on the bathroom (which I swear, is ALMOST done and I cannot wait to show you guys the finished product!) so we’ve had to come up with ways to keep things simple, while not sacrificing taste or flavor.

So recently, I was given the opportunity to try out some MorningStar Farms products and decided to use that as a little challenge to go one small extra step to make a fun and delicious meal.

morningstar farms products

To celebrate the summer season, MorningStar Farms® is stopping at local festivals across the country to serve up a variety of delicious, flavorful and good-for-you meal options during the “Good Food for Good Times” tour.

I mean, don’t get me wrong…we find it totally acceptable to pop a Spicy Black Bean burger on the grill and then on a bun or some bread and call it a sandwich. But I wanted to kick it up a notch, without having to spend too much extra time in the kitchen.

The results? Surprisingly easy, quick, and super delicious!

The first meal I decided to try features the MorningStar Farms Buffalo Chik Patties. I’d never tried this variety for and was eager to see just how spicy they actually are. Well, let me warn ya…they’re hot at least for me…I think medium salsa is hot, so take that as you will)!

So rather than use it as a sandwich, I switched it up to create a dish that I knew Jay would really dig: a quick and easy Buffalo Chik Pasta Salad. When I made it, I only created enough for one serving, but it would be super easy to double (or triple, or whatever) the ingredients to make the appropriate number of servings.

pasta2

Buffalo Chik Pasta Salad

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 MorningStar Farms Buffalo Chik Patty, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup cooked pasta (use your favorite shape!)
  • 2-3 tbsp each of chopped celery, carrots, and onions
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • 1-1/2 tbsp light ranch dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss to coat evenly. Serve hot or toss in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and serve chilled. Enjoy!

pasta1

I served Jay his pasta salad chilled, which I think we both enjoyed (duh, of course I tried some!) better than if it was hot. Especially on a nice, warm summer evening!

So while Jay enjoyed his spicy Buffalo Chik Pasta Salad, I got to work on my own meal creation, featuring one of my long time favorites: the MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger.

burger2

When I was thinking earlier in the day about what I wanted to do with my black bean burger, my mind kept immediately going to guacamole. Maybe it was because I knew I had two avocados sitting on my counter waiting to be eaten. Or maybe it’s just because it’s been too long since I had a Mexican fix…

Whatever the reason, the guacamole easily became the star of this sandwich, along with some melted Colby Jack cheese and kicked up mayo as the supporting roles. Here’s the deets…

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Fiesta Guacamole and Kicked Up Mayo

(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • ½ of a small avocado, mashed
  • 2 tbsp corn
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped or minced onion
  • ½ tsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • splash or two of Frank’s RedHot Sauce
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger, cooked
  • 1 slice Colby Jack cheese (or any cheese of your liking)
  • iceberg lettuce
  • 1 sandwich roll, toasted if desired

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine avocado, corn, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper to make guacamole. Set aside in the fridge to chill for about 5 minutes
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine mayo and hot sauce.
  3. If desired, melt the slice of cheese on your Spicy Black Bean Burger at the end of cooking.
  4. Assemble sandwich: Spread mayo on top of roll, then layer bottom of roll with cooked burger and cheese, then fiesta guacamole. Serve and enjoy!

burger1

With both of these recipes, I loved the versatility of the MorningStar Farms products (did you know they have more than 30 products and 600 recipes?!), working in both a sandwich and a pasta salad dish. Sometimes I forget just how easy it is to be creative (and quick!) with meals like this, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious they both turned out!

Be sure to visit www.morningstarfarms.com to find exciting new ways to enjoy MorningStar Farms® and spice up your kitchen.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim @FITsique August 13, 2014 at 6:57 am

Both dishes look pretty darn good. I have never tried their products before, but with classes beginning back up in a few weeks I will be needing quicker dinner options. After 12 hour clinical days, work, class, and studying there just isn’t much time to cook in depth meals! I know you know the feeling!
Kim @FITsique recently posted..What to do When You Don’t Have Time to Exercise

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2 Brynn August 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

I love keeping ingredients on hand that help me pull a meal together in a flash. The pasta sounds really good – such a fun use of a veggie burger!
Brynn recently posted..WIAW: Meatless Monday

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3 Andrea @ Pencils and Pancakes August 13, 2014 at 8:10 am

I tend to stay away from the processed food now but I used to love those fake chicken patties.
Andrea @ Pencils and Pancakes recently posted..Broiler Chickens: Start to Finish

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4 Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie August 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

Those black bean burgers are the best! During my vegetarian days, I ate one almost everyday on a salad with light ranch dressing and salsa. So good!
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5 haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine.com August 13, 2014 at 8:55 am

these both look wonderful! i would love to try out that pasta!

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6 Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat August 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

Since I’ll be having twins in a very short time from now, quick, easy and healthy meals will be a must in our household. I’m a big fan of Morningstar Farms products, so I’m loving both of these meal options.
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..WIAW #46 – Blueberry Muffins and Cookie Dough

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7 Katy August 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

M husband would LOVE both of these recipe! I have never made a buffalo pasta salad before but it sounds like something we would love! Thanks for sharing.
Katy recently posted..WIAW: Ribs and More

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8 Koryn @ High Heels & Healthy Alternatives August 13, 2014 at 11:17 am

Nice! I used to love the Morningstar Products, especially in my vegetarian days. Great for quick meals when I needed them! That pasta salad recipe is right up my alley too… hubby is training for a marathon so the carbs help, and still healthy! Plus, we have a 6.5 month old so I’m right there with ya re: “our desire and ability to spend a good amount of time on any given meal just isn’t gonna happen.” Lol!!
Koryn @ High Heels & Healthy Alternatives recently posted..6 Month Update!!

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9 Britt@MyOwnBalance August 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Those black bean burgers look delicious! I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy meals!
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10 Claudia August 13, 2014 at 9:36 pm

So yummy! That seems to be impressive!
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