Quinoa-Bean Burgers (and Variations)

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I’ve been dithering about whether on not to post this recipe for a few days now.  It’s good, it’s reliable, but it isn’t fabulous.  It is quick to put together and freezes well.  It does use up leftovers.  But what really tipped the scales in favour of posting is that it illustrates a basic veggie-burger form, a method, which can be adapted to suit different culinary inclinations.  Think of this recipe as a skeleton, you can flesh it out as you wish once you understand the structure.

So here it is along with my personal notes:

  • About 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (or any other grain such as barley, millet, rice or bulgur.  make sure it’s cooled.  the longer it’s been sitting in the fridge the better, except if it’s turning green, then it’s bad)
  • 1/4 cup nut or seed butter (or use whatever pressings are left over from making a batch of cashew or almond milk)
  • a small can of tomato paste (or 1/4 to 1/2 cup mashed potato, squash, sweet potato, carrot, a flax egg or two, you get the idea)
  • 2 cans (19 oz) black-eyed peas (or any other bean)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted chili powder (or curry powder, or a mix of spices you like)
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano (or more spices you like)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt (or more or less as you like)
  • fresh ground pepper (or the pre-ground stuff)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl mash the beans with a potato masher until they’re mostly mushed.  A few whole beans is fine if you don’t mind that.  If you really want things fine, feel free to use a food processor.
  3. Add the butter, tomato paste, quinoa and spices and mix well.  You may even want to get in there with your hands to get things good and even.
  4. If your hands aren’t already in the bowl, putt’em in there and shape the mixture into patties.  Set the patties onto a pan lined with parchment paper.  The recipe makes about 12 patties total.
  5. Bake 25 minutes per side (50 minutes total) if you like a pretty crunchy burger (I personally don’t like mushy-middle burgers, but that’s me); less for a more tender patty and more if you want to burn them.
  6. The mexican-spiced version above works well with guacamole and fruit salsa in a whole-grain bun.

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