The Year of the Quinoa comes with new tastes
So, let’s assume you’ve taken to the whole vegetarian thing. lr at least a veggiebased diet. You’ve cut the meats, added the nutrients and managed the over-processed meatless options.
But now you’re out to eat and crave that burger. Your eyes instantly go to the veggie burger that boasts of black beans, roasted vegetables and fancy spices. Don’t do it.
Too often I’ve bitten into a “veggie” burger and disFRYHUHG LWs 90 SHUFHQW fiOOHUs and only 10 percent of those promised ingredients. It tastes like cardboard or, even worse, has the consistency of it.
By far the worst veggie burgers, though, are the ones that I sit there and ponder “Did they get this right?” It tastes like a meat burger. There have even been times that I’ve had to ask the waitress if that’s what it is. They just look at me like I’m nuts. Isn’t that what a veggie burger is supposed to taste like? No. If I wanted that I’d order a beef burger.
So in most cases I’d rather order a sandwich. Anything but that thing they want to call a veggie burger.
I must take a moment to make exclusions here. lccasLRQDOOy, yRu wLOO fiQG D sPDOO restaurant that knows what they’re doing. These restaurants tend to be new and alternative. They produce food on a smaller scale.
These veggie burgers are hand-crafted with care. They’re given attention. They’re fresh.
Popular types of veggie burgers at these restaurants don’t just talk about roasted veggies.
lften they’re created with OHQWLOs RU TuLQRD Ds WKHLU fiOOHU. BuW Ds fiOOHUs FRPH, WKHsH WwR are far from typical cardboard. Lentils and quinoa are nutritious, carrying numerous vitamins and minerals.
Both contain proteins. But let’s not forget the important part, both are tasty.
If you haven’t heard of quinoa, it’s a grain that has been dubbed by many nutritional and vegetarian organizations as the super food because it contains high amounts of protein, fiEHU, B2 DQG PDQgDQHsH. ,W’s also a good source of iron and lysine, according to Forbes magazine.
These nutrients help improve brain and metabolism energy, increase tissue growth and repair, and include more antioxidants.
nuinoa has become such a popular grain, the Food and Agricultural lrganization of the United Nations has named 2013 the year of the quinoa.
thile not quite as popular, lentils are also very nutritious. In 2011 Dr. lz, a health talk show host, named red lentils as one of the best anti- aging super foods because of LWs KLgK fiEHU DQG SURWHLQ.
I just started eating quinoa, so I haven’t developed a good recipe for a burger yet. However, after three years of reading and experimenting, I have developed a great red lentil and spinach burger. This burger was inspired by a lentil burger from my local pub when I studied abroad in London.
Luckily, I was able to make a great duplicate because they no longer serve these.
Be warned though, these burgers are very perishable and only last a few days in the refrigerator. So this recipe makes two or three burgers. Red Lentil and Spinach Burgers 1/4 cup dried red lentils 3 tbsp. and 2 tsp. Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup loosely chopped spinach, remove stems 2 cloves garlic 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 egg pinch of cumin pinch of ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1/2 tsp. garlic powder Soak lentils in warm water for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. After lentils have soaked, drain the water.
In a food processor add wet lentils, spinach, garlic, Panko bread crumbs and onion. Pulse a few times, scrapping the sides as needed, until the onion and spinach are fiQHOy FKRSSHG.
Dump mixture into medium size bowl. Add egg and mix well.
Add cumin, ginger, black pepper and garlic powder. Mix well. If mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs by the 1/2 tsp. If the mixture is too dry add water 1 tsp. at a time until it forms.
Cover a plate or cookie sheet with wax paper.
Take a handful of mixture and form it into patties. Place formed patties onto wax paper-covered platter leaving a couple of inches between each burger. Refrigerate at least a half-hour.
Coat a pan with a thin layer of olive oil, heating at a medium temperature. Place burger in pan and let bake on one side for approximately 3 minutes. Flip and do the same with the other side. Continue this pattern until both sides are browned and hardened.
Alternatively, grill these burgers using Non-Stick Reynolds trap foil. Individually wrap each burger with this foil. Any other foil will cause the burger to stick, even if coated with a nonstick liquid. drill 15 to 20 minutes on low to medium flDPH.
Serve burgers on toasted rolls with your favorite condiments.
Food for Thought Caitlin Burns