Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Very Veggie Quinoa and Bean Burgers

Meatless Monday has been such a success around here, I'm thinking of adding another meat-free day later in the week. I always seem to have tons of dinner ideas that use alternate forms of protein, like these burgers. Andrew and K can't stand store-bought veggie burgers, but I love them. What I don't love is the price - they are super-expensive, but I bought them for years because I was too intimidated to try it on my own. 

I think I hit the jackpot with these. Not only are they easy to make, but they use ingredients that I always have on hand and the boys finished them in minutes. I was actually quite impressed.

This recipe makes 8 burgers. You can cut the recipe in half if you want, or you can make them up to the point of cooking and freeze the extras so you'll have them on hand for a quick dinner another night.

Very Veggie Quinoa and Bean Burgers
Makes 8 burgers

What I use:
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa (1/2 c. dry quinoa cooked in 1 c. water)
  • 1 15oz. can beans (white, black, pinto, whatever you like), rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (for sauteing veggies)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic in oil
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs and 1/2 c. panko (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (for cooking burgers)

How I do it:

1. Puree the beans in a food processor. Place them in a large bowl with the cooked quinoa. (Make sure the quinoa is not too wet.)

2. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, and spinach. Cook until the onions start to soften and the spinach is wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the veggies to the quinoa and beans. Add the salt and mix until well combined. If the mixture doesn't seem like it's going to hold together, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs.

5. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, almost 1 inch thick.

6. Coat them in bread crumbs, if using. (I did some with and some without. They are both good, but the bread crumbs add a nice crust.)

7. Add more olive oil to the pan and cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Serve on buns with standard burger toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, etc.) or wrap them in lettuce or eat them naked. (Naked burgers, not naked you - lol. But then again, what happens in your kitchen, stays in your kitchen.)

Note: If you want to skip the pan-frying bit, you can bake them. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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