|Quinoa burgers with tomato jam|
It's the new new thing.
And apparently rightly so, given the recent bruhaha over arsenic levels in rice. Not to mention all the research that tells us a diet without a lot of white rice and pasta might help us all to be a little less ... well ... how shall we say ... fluffy?
So bring on the quinoa!
I like quinoa because it's not too grainy or health-food-storish, like bulgur (oy, I tried to like bulgur because Bittman says I should, but I just can't deal with it). I can almost pretend quinoa is pasta.
I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical when I tried this recipe for quinoa "burgers." My experience has been that grain-based veggie patties tend to fall apart when you try to flip them in a frying pan. Which is why, frankly, I didn't even buy burger buns when I made these; I just figured I'd call them "fritters" or "hash" and be done with it.
But --- ha cha cha! -- wouldn't you know it? They stayed in one piece! A real patty!
And they were seriously very delicious. I'm not a vegetarian (far from it -- I tend to refer to myself as a meatasaurus) but I do try to work some meatless meals into our dinner rotation. I often find them disappointing because they lack the "body" that I like in a protein-based meal.
But not this quinoa recipe. This one is a keeper!
Whether you eat these quinoa burgers fritter style on a plate, as is shown in my photos, or burger style on a bun (which is how I ate them as leftovers, with some cheese and guacamole -- WOW!), you'll want to complement them with at least a little avocado and tomato. Or, even better, whip up a little spicy-sweet tomato jam and mix it with some mayonnaise -- a really perfect condiment for these patties.
Also, feel free to play with the spices a bit, based on what you like best.
I'm certain that these will even prove to be kid-friendly. As always, let me know if you try them!
Quinoa Burgers (slightly adapted from Eating Well Living Thin)
(Note: This recipe yielded 7 bun-sized patties for me.)
2 cups cooked quinoa (just cook quinoa according to package directions)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
3 tablespoons flour
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl and mix well.
Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Using a half-cup measuring cup, drop quinoa mixture by the cupful into the pan and cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, flipping each patty carefully with a wide spatula.
Serve patties on buns with traditional burger toppings or bunless, as fritters, with chopped tomato, avocado and tomato jam mayonnaise (see above).