Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quinoa Burgers

I decided to try out some vegetarian recipes this week.  Enjoy it while you can, cuz this doesn't happen often (ever!) in Kathy's Kitchen!

The first recipe came from Epicure Selections, and it uses a quinoa salad recipe as the base for vegetarian burgers.  You only need half the salad recipe to make the burgers, but I opted to make the full recipe so we could have leftover salad for lunches this week.

1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1 - 19 oz./540 ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. each Lamb Seasoning, Souvlaki Seasoning, and Greek Oregano (or 1 tbsp. Greek Dressing)
1/4 c. olive oil
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 c. feta cheese
salt & pepper
2 eggs
1/2 c. oatmeal or breadcrumbs

Bring quinoa and water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and add to chickpeas.  Mix Greek seasonings, olive oil, and vinegar and pour over top.  Add remaining ingredients (except eggs and oatmeal).  Scoop 4 c. of salad into a bowl and add eggs and oatmeal.  Form into patties (carefully - they have a tendency to fall apart!) and place in a frying pan with some oil over medium heat.  Don't move them around or squish them down while they are cooking.  Cook for 8-10 minutes per side.  Serve on a bun with your favourite burger toppings.
These were the kids' burgers, served on mini-ciabatta buns I found at Superstore.

I had very low expectations for these burgers when I was making the patties.  They just weren't sticking together very well.  Plus I thought it was a little odd to basically be cooking a salad and serving it on a bun.  But the key to making these burgers is how you fry them - you have to just let them sit and firm up on each side.  Don't fiddle around with them.  Don't squash them down.  Don't move them around.  Use a non-stick frying pan so that they are really easy to flip.  We still had some casualties, but for the most part the patties turned out really well, and they were delicious.  My daughter even said so.  (And my son wasn't thrilled about them, but he did eat his without any gagging or spitting, so I will take that as a "thumbs up"!)
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