As a vegetarian of 20-plus years I occasionally have the urge for the mouth-feel of a good old burger. Now I have no desire for red meat or any other meat for that matter but sometimes I just want to be able to have something burger-like that’s actually tasty. Usually I resort to the old standby I’ve used since about 1986 which is my boxed Nature Burger which although it doesn’t really have the mouth-feel of a burger I really do like the taste of them and they come packed with lots of whole grain fiber and good stuff. So those are always on hand for fast meals.
But when I saw the recipe for Quinoa Burgers that my good friend Camille at Camille Cooks posted (she got it from another blog called Edible Aria. We like to share the love.) I instantly knew I had to try them. You see, I love quinoa. It’s a nutritionally packed grain that dates back to Egyptian royalty. Not only that but it’s one of those ingredients like rice and tofu that really doesn’t have a big taste on its own so it really lends itself to becoming whatever you want it to. My only disappointment with this recipe was that neither Camille nor I had actually thought of making burgers with this wonderful grain before she found this recipe. It’s all good though.
The list of ingredients for this recipe is so simple and uncomplicated that you tend to think that they can’t be that flavorful but I assure you that they are indeed very flavorful and will be well received among the people you’re cooking for.
2/3 cup of quinoa
1 1/3 cups water or both (I used my favorite Rapunzle Vegan Bouillon for this task)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
2 green onions, slivered
1/3 cup of corn flake crumbs or bread crumbs (I opted for the bread crumbs because it’s what I had and I rarely have corn flakes in the house)
salt and pepper to taste
Preparing the quinoa burgers is as easy as adding the quinoa, water, and bouillon in a saucepan and bringing to a boil. Once the appropriate boil is achieved reduce the heat, cover and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. This took about 30-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you start to see the quinoa kind of ‘unfurl’ a bit and get translucent. You can then remove it from the heat and fluff it with a fork. Now let it sit there and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Once it’s cooled to room temperature you can stir in the cheese, green onions, eggs and bread crumbs and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Now refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. This is vital in order to get the mixture firm enough to form into patties and cook. I used the time to go do my workout for the day. I figured a watched pot never boils and decided to go watch my programs while I worked out instead. I like to call it multi-tasking. 🙂
After the hour is up just heat some olive oil in a pan and shape the cooled mixture into four burgers and cook over medium heat. Cook until golden brown on both sides. You can then serve it like a good old burger with your favorite fixings or you can serve it like I did sans bun with a side of fast coleslaw or any other side you like.
I used Camille’s suggestion of coleslaw but I made my version of it. Mostly because it’s quick and I always make it this way. I am sure Camille’s version is fantastic too. Her cooking usually is. My coleslaw consisted of the following:
1/2 medium head of cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
3 ribs of celery, diced
3 Tbsp of Mayo (more or less according to taste)
2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Basically I just mix the Mayo and Red Wine Vinegar together and mix it all together with the remaining ingredients. I taste to make sure it’s to my liking and then adjust as needed. I then put it in the refrigerator for just a few minutes to give the flavors a bit more time to mix together. Then I just serve and enjoy.
I found the quinoa burgers to be not only tasty but really satisfying especially knowing that I was eating something that’s really good for me. I hope you’ll give these burgers a try whether or not you’re a vegetarian. I think you’ll find them a nice alternative from time to time.