Greek Quinoa Burgers2011-03-31
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We are continuing to look at ways to incorporate Quinoa into our diet and ran across a recipe on the whole living website for these Greek burgers. Not only did these look good, but they allowed us to stay true to our goal of at least one meatless meal a week. Served along side a greek salad this makes for a filling and delicious meatless menu that is easy to make.
In our kitchen we have now tested this recipe twice. Once with cannellini beans and once with the great northern beans. The second time we made the recipe we attempted a double batch which we would not recommend. The mixture is soft and will not process properly unless you have a large commercial kitchen food processor. One short cut for a weekday meal would be to make the quinoa the night before and have it cooled in your refrigerator.
The burgers have good flavor but the dressing is the only thing that really makes this Greek. In fact, if you are looking for more Greek flavor I would crumble some feta into that dressing and perhaps a touch of garlic. We have served these with and without pita and enjoyed it both ways. During the cooking phase we found that the burgers did not take the 8-10 minutes a side. Either our heat was too high (my wife will tell me it always is) or it is just not necessary. Cooking them the full length of time would have lead to burnt burgers for us.
If you are looking for a healthy burger change that is not one of those commercial veggies patties you can find it right here. It is also a great base recipe for some other variation that we may experiment with in the future.
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 medium carrot, cut in chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 pitas (each 6 inches)
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil and then add rinsed quiona. Cover the saucepan, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is fully absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then set aside.
In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky. The mixture should be wet and sticky. Put into a medium bowl and mix with a spoon to ensure and even mixture as necessary.
Divide the mixture into four portions and form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties (note that dipping hands in water helps prevent sticking). If the burgers are too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.(see note above regarding cooking time.)
While the burgers cook in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and yogurt sauce.