Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing


This time last year: Cranberry Field Roast Panini (2012)


Oh Hello again!

It’s been a while. My b.

Once again, life got crazy, and I am now in my THIRD rented kitchen. What’s up, change?

I could give you a whole host of reasons why I have not been able to post much in the last two months, but who has time for that? The real point is that I have so many fun summer recipes I want to share with you guys, this one in particular is scrumptious, and after almost two months away, you have to start of big. Cue Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing.



Summer is the perfect time for dishes like this, because they are so refreshing, they use seasonal ingredients, and they are best served chilled- perfect for a summer day picnic or a porch dinner.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and I hope you are able to share it with someone you love.

I have come to realize recently, how special that exchange really can be. Here’s to nourishing your heart while nourishing your body.

With love,

a rented kitchen


Citrus Honey Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly chopped honey roasted cinnamon almonds or mixed nuts*
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil


  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside for later.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the quinoa, berries, almonds, mint, and basil. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, and gently stir once more. Serve fresh and enjoy!


Notes and Tips!:

  • If you cannot find red quinoa, regular quinoa will work as well! Feel free to make it a day in advance, as long as the quinoa is cool prior to making the salad.
  • Blue Diamond, as well as stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, carry honey roasted cinnamon almonds and/or bags of mixed nuts! If you cannot find that exact combination, aim for something similar, or substitute with sunflower seeds or mixed nuts!
  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Links below photos!):


Vegan Pumpkin Curry



Day Six of Pumpkin Week, finally brings this delicious fall food blog series to a close. I have had so much fun cooking up all these yummy pumpkin dishes! Thank you for being a part of it!

It is amazing to recognize the incredible variety one ingredient can hold. If time, energy, and money allowed, I could have easily kept rolling with this pumpkin series for weeks, because there are so many pumpkin recipes out there! If this pumpkin series tickled your fancy, then I highly suggest doing some more research, because pumpkin is incredibly versatile.

Despite an end to this pumpkin series, this fall will continue to bring a wide variety of delicious and seasonal vegetarian dishes coming your way!

I hope you stay tuned and come back often. Yummy things are happening in this little rented kitchen, and I love sharing them with you all!

Happy Fall, and eat up!

XO, A Rented Kitchen


Pumpkin Week

Day One- Pumpkin Recipe Review

Day Two- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Day Three- Spiced Pumpkin Pie Dip

Day Four- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Rosemary

Day Five- Pumpkin Spice Bread with Streusel Topping



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (from the can or homemade)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz, 425 g), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans (7.5 oz, 212 g) or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1- 2 Tablespoons red curry paste (try starting with less and adding more spice as you desire)
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons honey (or, use agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan version)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Cups cooked quinoa


  1. Prepare the quinoa, in a large pot, as directed.
  2. In your largest skillet (or at least a very large skillet!), heat the olive oil. Cook the chopped onion and garlic for roughly five minutes on medium heat.
  3. Rinse and drain the beans, and then add the beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and coconut milk to the pan.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon of curry paste, and mix in thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, add 1 Tablespoon of honey to the pan, balancing out the heat as you prefer. Continue to taste and balance out the curry, salt, and honey as desired.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil and thoroughly stir ingredients together.       Reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with quinoa and garnish with chopped green onion.


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Julia’s Album
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links below photos):

Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce




It’s amazing how, when life gets busy, one can manage to eat, but not really eat a full meal. As a senior in my last semester of college, I have become remarkably good at ‘food on the run.’ Disgustingly good, actually. You know the drill- the protein drinks, granola bar, or fast food thing routine you have going on. I personally, am a fan of the clif bar for lunch and a handful of chips on the way out the door routine. Not exactly my best effort.

After a while, this on-the-run meal plan is bound to become draining. I unfortunately, can vouch for that. Sometimes you just need to slow down, enjoy a meal at the table, share it with someone you love, and absorb some nutritious and delicious food! That, my friends, is the beauty of cooking. Cooking a full meal, forces you to slow down. You cannot make water boil any faster than it’s already doing.

This meal was the forced result of a very busy semester. I found myself craving a warm and hearty meal that I could enjoy all week long, that would satisfy my taste buds, and give me a minute to slow down. The result- one very happy tummy, three envious roommates, and a recipe worth sharing!

Therefore, without further ado, I give you the Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce. Dig in people! The time is now!




Burger Ingredients:

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup water or veggie broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (or 1½ cup cooked chickpeas)
  • ¾ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Toasted burger buns
  • Coarsely chopped peanuts


  1. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa. Shake as much water as possible, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the drained quinoa to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly roasted.
  3. Add the water or vegetable broth to the quinoa, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done and set aside to cool for five minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, combine the chickpeas, oats, cornmeal, salt, paprika, garlic, and sesame oil in the food process, and blend until finely ground. Once mixed, add the egg, and blend until evenly moist.
  5. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a large bowl and fold in the quinoa, pepper, onion, and additional 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  6. Using your hands, form 6-8 patties, depending on your size preference.
  7. To cook the patties, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once lightly browned and cooked through, remove and serve!
  8. To make the slaw, toss the cabbage, carrot, and cilantro together in a bowl.
  9. To make the sauce, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a liquid measuring cup until smooth.
  10. Assemble the burgers by lightly toasting the buns, then topping each patty with a handful of slaw, a drizzle of peanut sauce, and a squeeze of lime juice and/or chopped peanuts as desired!



Notes and Tips:

  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • To make gluten free, make sure you are using guten free oats and a burger bun! Enjoy!
  • Source: Annie’s Eats
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious eats from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below photos):

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa



It is kind of crazy to think that I started this blog as a sophomore in college. It’s even crazier to think that I am now a senior in college! Where did the time go?! I can tell that it is the last semester of my senior year, because I am busier than I think I’ve ever been.

We all go through seasons and make choices to commit to different things that occupy our lives, and in this last stretch I have found myself committed to probably a few too many things. It’s a balance, and I’m learning. However, despite the crazy, I do not regret any of my decisions or commitments because my every day is filled with so much joy.

One of the negative consequences of my busy schedule is this blog and my cooking efforts have been slightly neglected. I promise to you I am still cooking up a storm here in Richmond, however the posts have been coming slower than usual recently and I apologize for that!

I have a ton of changes coming my way in the next several months- a new school, a new degree program, a new community all together. Despite these changes, one thing that I know will not change is my passion for environmental friendly living, and my commitment to witnessing to that through this blog.

Thus, I appreciate all of you patient enough to continue following despite my crazy college schedule. You all are one of the sources of my daily joy, and for that I am so grateful.

Enjoy these delicious sweet potato quinoa cakes! They’re seriously as good as they sound.




Sweet Potato Quinoa Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Blackberry Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add the sweet potato, onion, ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Stir thoroughly, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft.
  3. Create a circle in the center of the pan, and toss the garlic into the middle. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, and then stir into the potato mixture.
  4. Transfer the potato mixture into a large bowl and mash well.
  5. Add the quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, and remaining salt and pepper to the bowl- mix thoroughly.  Once mixed, stir an egg into the bowl for added moisture.
  6. Using your hands, shape four equally sized patties.
  7. Meanwhile, heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet you used previously over medium heat. Cook the patties one at a time, about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  8. To prepare the blackberry salsa: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Use alongside or on top of the patties for an extra kick of flavor!  



Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4 patties
  • Source: How Sweet It Is  
  • Gluten Free? Use Gluten-free bread crumbs! 
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links below!)

Recipe Links:

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing



I have an internship now. As a senior in college, my professors want their students to know what it feels like to be working out in the real world.  Thus, I went and spent too much money buying some business-casual clothes (as compared to my norm of oversized sweaters and cotton everything!), and got to work!

What I did not realize about having an internship from 9-2 three days a week, is that similar to high school, I had to pack a lunch. What?!

This process has been the most comedic of all, because I somehow manage to forget almost every single morning, and end up packing a bizarre assortment of random foods. For example, a few weeks ago I took those vegetarian homemade pigs in a blanket to work with fruit snacks and pretzels- real professional, I know.

This absolutely fantastic salad was made in an attempt to have something nutritious and delicious, that doesn’t make me look like I have the eating habits of an 8 year old as well. You win some, you lose some.

So here’s my advice: Whether or not you are considering making this dish for your family dinner, a potluck, or your lunch at work- Do IT! This salad is absolutely addicting. You’re welcome in advance.

Happy cooking!

Love, a rented kitchen.



Salad Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage (depending on how much crunch you like! I went with 2!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup  peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin (if necessary)


  1. Quinoa: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer.  Then, add 1 ½ cups water to the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15- 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Then, fluff with a fork, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing.  Microwave the peanut butter and honey (or agave) in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil to the peanut butter, and stir until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the dressing to the quinoa, and then fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.
  5. Top with cashews or peanuts and green onions.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges!


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Monique from Ambitious Kitchen
  • If you want a thinner dressing, add about teaspoon of water and/or oil to the dressing mix!
  • One perk to this recipe- the quinoa absorbs the flavors of the dressing and tastes even more flavorful after a few hours/days! So go ahead, make your dinner in advance, you over achiever.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’! Check below for the recipes!