So, there are moments in my day where I ask myself, “Have you done anything non-ordinary today?” Sometimes this question leads me to the spontaneous shopping spree, driving to a different part of town, reading Russian literature, or trying out different types of food. The latter won for today.
*VEGAN/VEGETARIAN ALERT. THIS IS A CARNIVORE REVIEW ON HAMBURGERS. SKIP TO THE RECIPE DOWN BELOW IF YOU SO WISH.
Ohmygoodness,ohmygoodness,ohmygoodness. (Yes, these phrases did not require any spacing due to the fact that my mind and taste buds did simultaneous somersaults when I discovered this recipe as I was practically hyperventilating). You can find the original recipe from Epicurious here.
Now, I love good ole’ fashioned hamburgers: meaty, juicy, salty, with ketchup, pickles, crispy lettuce, ripe tomato, cheese, and no mustard (eww). The problem with these mouthwatering delights to human kind is that they are carb-filled, cholesterol magnets that make you feel as guilty as getting caught doing something you’re not supposed to do. It’s like whenever I walk into In-n-Out Burger and order my number one usual, I feel as if every single workout routine I had done that week all went to crap because of one meal. Now, this recipe will not replace the amazing taste meat adds to a hamburger, but I assure you, this is a healthier option on those I’m-supposed-to-be-dieting-but-I-really-freakin’-want-a-Big-Mac-and-I-swear-on-that-Yoga-instructor-I-am-going-to-shoot-myself-if-we-do-another-downward-dog nights. 😉
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (see how to cook below)
- 1 cup of beef broth (vegetable stock is good too)
- 2 large eggs, beaten (use SmartBalance no eggs if you are vegan)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese (if you’re vegan, you can skip this ingredient. Just increase the amount of salt by 1 teaspoon)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- Water, if needed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper)
- 1 large handful of chopped spinach
- 1/3 can of black olives, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
How to make Quinoa
Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 2 cups water and 1 cup of beef broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is soft. Don’t throw away the broth, you will need this for later.
Combine the quinoa, broth, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, spinach, onion, olive, garlic, and cheese. Add the bread crumbs and rice flour. Mix thoroughly.
*You can find the rice flour in the Asian aisle of your local supermarket.
Add all the herbs and mix with the patty mixture. I warn you, it will be a little messy, but it’s fun mixing the ingredients together with your hands. This is a kid-friendly recipe for all the parents out there! Most children enjoy interaction with their food and like seeing the creation process, so this is a great way to spend time with your kiddos :).
Next, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 patties and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are toasty brown. The quinoa is already cooked, but you want your onion and olives to be a little golden. Flip the patties and repeat the process until all of the mixture is gone. Remove from the skillet and either place directly on the plate and serve, or if you have a little time, cool on a wire rack for about five minutes then serve.
This meal is delicious with a simple side of avocado (maybe add tomatoes, some leftover red onion, cilantro and there’s guacamole for you ;). The guac I had with these patties was divine. And what are patties without any dipping sauce? Quinoa is very versatile, and you can pretty much dip it in anything. For me, however, ketchup was still the primary winner. No one can ever go wrong with a bottle of Heinz.
Enjoy! Let me know how your meal turns out in the comments below. Oh! Before I forget. This recipe is not only tasty but will also make your kitchen smell heavenly, so put out those kitchen candles and let the smell sink in! Trust me, it will smell delicious.