Healthy Quinoa Burger

The world has changed from our North American meat and potatoes society.
It is now meat and couscous (North Africa) or quinoa [KEEN-wah] (Peru) in South America. You may also try bulgur (durum wheat) from Turkey, a cousin to couscous. Wild quinoa has its roots from the Spanish (Peruvian) area. Merging cultures helps us to add healthy variety to our meals.
I prefer quinoa as a side to my meal or on its own.


Tasty Quinoa Burgers

QUINOA (pseudocereal grain)
It is not a member of the true grass family like wheat. Quinoa has powerful health benefits. It is high in protein – more protein than rice or wheat and tastes great. Since it is not related to wheat or grain quinoa is gluten-free.. Quinoa recipes can be sweet or savory. Marathon runners load up on cinnamon scented quinoa with walnuts, honey and coconut milk. Is quinoa the new breakfast of champions?

Quinoa Burgers Recipe with Beet Greens

1 bunch of BEET GREENS, stemmed and washed (1/2 to 3/4 pound)
2 cups cooked quinoa, preferably rainbow quinoa
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
⅔ cup finely chopped carrot
⅔ cup finely chopped onion
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice mill
2 garlic cloves
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 egg (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Either steam the beet greens for 2 minutes above 1 inch boiling water, or blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain, squeeze out excess water, and chop medium-fine. Place in a large bowl with the cooked quinoa.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are just about tender, about 3 minutes, and add the ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, and add the cumin and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for another minute, and remove from the heat. Stir into the quinoa mixture.
3. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or in a bowl using a fork or a potato masher, purée the chickpeas with the lemon juice and, if using, the egg. Add to the quinoa mixture and stir everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Begin heating a heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Seasoned cast iron is good, and so is a heavy nonstick pan that can go into the oven. Moisten your hands lightly and shape 4 large or 6 smaller patties. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 1 to 2 minutes on one side, until nicely browned. Carefully turn the patties over and place the pan in the oven.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the patties are lightly browned; if they fall apart you can patch them together with some pressure from the spatula. Remove from the heat and serve, with or without buns, ketchup and the works.


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