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Burgers to Die For: Gluten Free, Whole Grain Quinoa Burgers

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quinoa-burger-recipeYou want to eat healthy, you want to feel better, so you think about moving to a more plant-based diet or eating more whole grains. But you worry that you’ll be hungry or possibly not get enough protein. Fear not! I’m introducing you to today’s quinoa burgers, which will fill you up and leave your body energized.

If you were raised on the standard meat and potato diet, the concept of having a meatless meal or trying new whole grains might sound foreign and scary. Rest assured, I understand. Vic and I were raised on the standard diet and more, you know…the one where we not only ate meat daily but often twice or three times a day (aka…at each meal)!

So meatless meals and days were scary for us too. Regardless, a few years ago Vic and I made the decision to include not only more meatless dishes into our meal plans, but meat-free days. You should have heard the kids’ resistance. They couldn’t imagine a day with a meat-free main meal, let alone a full day several days a week! As burger lovers, they definitely couldn’t imagine a burger made with anything other than meat.

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY

Fear not, we’ve made great headway and so will you. To our pleasant surprise, this dish is one that our kids love and ask for when we do our weekly meal planning. In fact, on the weekend, the kids were naming their three favorite meals. Quinoa burgers were in the top three for each of them! When they said this, my heart expanded as I know these burgers are not only tasty, but healthy and cheap to make. Meeting those 3 criteria makes it one of my favorites and one I just have to share with you.

Full disclosure, this isn’t my recipe. A friend sent it to me, but I don’t know the website it came from. But I do know that it’s originally by someone named Faye. Thanks Faye, you’ve made meatless burgers a hit in my home, and I hope by sharing this in many others too.

Tip: Quinoa is a gluten free whole grain that is loaded high in B vitamins (the feel good vitamins). It’s also a complete source of protein, one that contains all eight essential amino acids. That means it’s equivalent to meat as a protein source. It also provides iron, so no need to worry about your kids missing their daily dose.

Without further adieu……the recipe!

Quinoa

  • Measure 1 cup quinoa, rinse the quinoa in lots of cold water.
  • Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa to 1 cup water, add 1 chicken stock cube.
  • Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  • Turn off and let cool.

quinoa-burger-ingredientsBurger Fillings

  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery finely minced/cut
  • ½ small onion finely cut
  • 4 tbsp flour – I use brown
  • Ground chili flakes to taste – or fresh cut chili (this is optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil – I made it without
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp garlic salt or powder
  • ½ tsp pepper

When the quinoa is cool, put it in a large bowl and add the burger fillings. Mix together.

Cooking the Burgers
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and add about 1-2 tbsps. olive oil.

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When the oil is hot, I use a ¼ cup measuring cup and drop the burgers into the pan. Fry until golden brown. We like them crunchy, so I let them go a little longer than golden. Flip, and do the same on the other side.

quinoa-burger-recipeSlice your favorite whole wheat bun or gluten free bread and top with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and other burger toppings.

This recipe is testament to the fact that healthy whole grain food can and does taste fantastic.  Enjoy!

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