Lately I have been experimenting with quinoa, which seems to be very trendy right now. A friend of the family dropped off a few quinoa burgers from Wild by Nature (a local health food grocery) and I have been enjoying them for a healthy lunch. Last night I decided to make my own version with all the ingredients I love in a veggie burger. These quinoa burgers are really delicious. They are packed full of nutrition from the quinoa itself and all the added vegetables. When you bake them in the oven they get a little crispy on the outside but they are still soft on the inside. I recommend makes these for lunch or dinner and the left over burgers freeze very well. To defrost, all you have to do is pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy!
Tip for this recipe (updated 2/25/13)
-To make things easier I like to chop the vegetables in a food processor. I chop the shallot and carrot first, while that is sauteing, I chop the mushrooms and zucchini (it turns into a paste) and then saute that mixture with carrots/shallot. I season the vegetables and then add them to the quinoa.
-You can use 1 whole egg, instead of 1 egg white to help with the binding of the patties.
-Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop 6 equal mounds of quinoa mixture onto baking sheet. Flatten and shape into patty form.
Vegetable Quinoa Burgers
1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp olive oil-divided
1 carrot-peeled and grated
8 oz button mushrooms-divided in half
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper-to taste
3-4 tbsp all purpose flour (any gluten free flour will work in place of all purpose flour)
1 onion-thinly sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 slices of cheese (your favorite cheese will work)
Hamburger buns (I used gluten free sandwich bread)
1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add to a small sauce pan and fill with 3 cups of water. Place on the stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 12 minutes or until quinoa is cooked. Drain extra liquid and transfer to a large bowl.
2. While the quinoa is cooking; cook the vegetables. Add olive oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add in shallots and carrots; cook 5 minutes until soft. Add in zucchini, 1/2 the mushrooms, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper; cook 5 more minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl with quinoa.
3. Add in egg and flour to quinoa mixture. Mix together until all ingredients are incorporated. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form quinoa mixture into 6 patties and place on baking sheet. (If the mixture does not hold form, scoop a large spoonful onto baking sheet and form patty on the parchment paper) Refrigerate for 1 hour to set (you can freeze the patties for 25 minutes for a faster set).
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place baking sheet with quinoa burgers in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When they are slightly golden brown on the bottom, flip the patties carefully and bake additional 10 minutes.
5. White the burgers are in the oven heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in sliced onion and brown sugar. Saute the onion until the are soft and caramelized; about 10-15 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook until soft; about 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
6. The last minute of baking place cheese onto the quinoa burgers to melt. Remove from the oven and place on bun. Top with caramelized onions and mushrooms and a little mixed greens.