1st Place Quinoa Burger

A grocery store in our area had a burger contest that a friend of ours entered.  He didn’t win, but he got the recipe for the 1st place winner in the Veggie Burger category and said it was amazing.  Kelley gave me the recipe for the burger because she wanted me to make them (she’s subtle like that), since she knows I cook with quinoa a lot.

Quinoa has been my thing for years because it’s faster to cook and much healthier than rice.  It’s considered a complete protein and very high protein compared to other grains – well, actually it’s a seed.  Regardless, I love it – I love the texture and the versatility, and I’m not hungry a 1/2 hour later like I get after eating rice.

I finally made them the night before they left for vacation and they were tasty!  I mixed up the ingredients in a bowl before I left for yoga, and when I got home I mixed them up more and formed the burgers.  Well, Lo did that part…so “we” did it.  Here are the burgers before they were cooked:

The mixture is pretty gloopy (is that a word?), so we didn’t want to try to grill them.  We cooked them in our cast iron pan with a little oil – I love our cast iron.  They were pretty thick, so I was worried about them being “gloopy” in the middle once the outside was done, but they really weren’t. At the last minute I decided to throw cheese on them, but it didn’t have time to melt well.  These would be great to make if you’re having a cookout and not all of your guests eat beef – or just for anyone.  They aren’t one of those weird fake veggie burgers that are pretending to be beef.  Lo does NOT like it when food that supposed to have meat doesn’t have meat, but he thought they were good and would definitely eat them again.  Our friends loved them.  I served them with Sushi Salad and Grilled Zucchini Ribbons and Prosciutto, which were both also awesome.  I’d have to say it was a pretty great last meal before they left!

1st Place Quinoa Burger
Adapted from the recipe submitted by Michael for the 2012 Market District® Kingsdale Best Burger

  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (I thawed some that I had frozen)
  • 1 seeded/minced poblano pepper
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I diced green, orange, and red pepper strips)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • dried oats for binding (I used certified gluten free to be safe – oats are easily cross-contaminated during processing)
  • preferred cheese, some had dill gouda and mine had laughing cow swiss
  • arugula greens, washed and dried (we didn’t use any greenery)
  • Giant Eagle® bakery onion buns (we didn’t bother with buns – 2 of us are celiac and the guys didn’t care)
  • other preferred toppings – the recipe suggested thinly sliced Vidalia onion

Puree black beans with Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  I used my stick blender directly in the bowl that I was going to use, but you could use a food processor or blender. In large bowl, add all other ingredients listed through black pepper, then add the pureed beans.  Add oats until mixture starts to stick together and can be formed into patties (approximately 4″ diameter, 1/2″ thick – ours made 8 burgers) Saute in a little oil over medium heat, 3-5 minutes each side until heated through, add cheese. Serve on buns (or not) with your preferred toppings and condiments. Kelley and I used spicy mustard with Claussen pickles on the side.

My cold “spreadable” Laughing Cow Swiss was not so spreadable on this burger, but it’s all about the taste:

What are you making for Labor Day Weekend?

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