Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Harvest Month- Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers

I have had very little experience in cooking with the great variety of grains available for your pantry shelves. So a few weeks ago, while thinking about the next challenge I might present to myself once my self-imposed grocery budget was lifted, I thought that the fall season would be the perfect time to try out some of these different grains. Fall, harvest, grains- you get it. So, my goal for the month of November is to try one recipe a week that utilizes a grain that I have never cooked with before. And with that in mind I went searching for my first recipe while meal planning this weekend. I rather quickly found this recipe, which is from Martha Stewart's wholeliving . I recently had a more or less failed attempt at making baked falafel, so this recipe seemed like a good challenge in a slightly similar vein. And I had a much more successful attempt with this one. These came out so deliciously! They were also very easy to make and despite my concern that the burgers would not stay together through cooking I had no problems once I chilled them as the recipe suggested. Highly recommend these as a very filling vegetarian meal option. Quinoa is the member of the grain group with the highest amount of protein, so combined with the beans and an egg you definitely don't feel like you've missed out on anything during your meatless meal.

Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers
Recipe from Martha Stewart's wholeliving; Serves 4

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
15 oz. great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
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; add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; 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.
  • Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If 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.
  • Meanwhile, 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.
My notes: I served this with a hastily thrown together greek salad, using some of the cucumber, a 1/4 of a red onion I had in the fridge, two seeded tomatoes, juice of half a lemon, drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of feta. Oh boy, I love Greek salad- even a hasty one! The tart dressing and salad, and salty feta were good compliments to the slightly spicy burgers. Wetting your hands when forming the patties and refrigerating them are both key, in my opinion, to getting these burgers ready for the pan. I definitely look forward to making these again.

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