Traditionally we have not eaten a lot of red meat in our house- nor did I (as far as I can remember) growing up. Burgers, tacos, spaghetti/meatballs, the occasional steak were sparsely dotted amongst leaner proteins in my Dad's kitchen. I don't know how much red meat Travis ate growing up, but I do know he doesn't really cook that much for himself when I am at work. However... like most men, he does grill pretty well, so will usually default to making himself a T-bone or NY strip when it's just him. It's not usually a balanced meal when he does this, as the steak is more than likely to be accompanied by a baked potato with bacon and butter. And if you remember high school biology at all, potato is more of a starch than a healthy vegetable. Yes, yes- I know it has vitamins and minerals and etc etc etc, but it is higher on the glycemic index and as my kitchen boyfriend Alton would say, "That's another show."
After my love inhaled two huge quinoa burgers and commented on how delicious they were, I asked him if he realized there was no meat in them at all. Seemingly stunned, he shook his head.
SUCCESS! Hip Hip Horrayyy!
(commence happy dance)
I myself also loved these healthy beauties. They are chewy, flavorful, not too salty, and have a wonderful crust from being pan seared. They DO kind of fall apart with each bite, and I ended up having to eat around the edges first so that I would not drop one single piece of quinoa burger. I am very near needing to make another batch since they are almost gone... I've had them pretty much every day for lunch this whole past week.
I happen to love them with Rudi's whole wheat organic hamburger buns, but if you're stricter than I am with carb intake, feel free to wrap them in some lettuce leaves without sacrificing any taste whatsoever.
Also feel free to garnish with some bacon... because bacon makes everything better.
Quinoa Burgers with Chipotle Mayo
Adapted from Saveur
Makes 6 patties
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1 (15-oz.) can great northern or cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and roughly mashed with a fork
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup light mayo
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (from a can), seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon sauce from chipotle pepper can
Lettuce and buns for serving.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil once the pan is hot, then add carrot, onion, celery, and pepper. Saute 4-5 minutes, until just soft. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl (I used my stand mixer to prevent spillage) and add the spinach, mashed beans, quinoa, breadcrumbs, oregano and mix on low until combined. Taste prior to adding the eggs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the eggs and mix well.
Divide evenly into 6 pieces and form into patties. Place on a plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate 20-30 minutes until chilled through. This will help them stick together during the cooking. Meanwhile make the chipotle mayo and prepare other condiments and other side dishes.
In the same medium sized skillet used to cook the veggies, heat it again over medium-high heat. Once hot, spray with non-stick spray and add up to 3 patties at a time. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, being careful during the flip so they don't fall apart. Cook another 3 minutes on second side. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with remaining patties, if you're planning on cooking them all.
Serve hot with toasted buns and other desired condiments and sides.
Uncooked patties may be wrapped individually with plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.