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Asian Quinoa Burgers

Posted: 4/24/2012

Posted April 24, 2012

Asian-style Quinoa Burgers

PG tested

Who says a burger has to be full of meat to also be full of flavor? These tasty vegetarian patties are made with black beans and quinoa, a grain-like ultra-nutritious seed that's been grown in the high Andes of South America for more than 3,000 years.

First cultivated by the ancient Incas, quinoa is considered a "superfood" because it is high in protein, calcium and iron, and it's also a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. Hoisin sauce and ginger add Asian notes to these burgers, which we topped with grilled pineapple and roasted red peppers. But you also could flavor the bean mixture with curry, barbecue sauce or Southwestern spices.

--1/3 cup red, black or rainbow quinoa (I used red), rinsed and drained

--1 3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained

--2/3 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)

--3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

--1 teaspoon ground ginger

--1 teaspoon five-spice powder

--1 tablespoon olive oil

--6 pineapple slices, fresh or canned

--6 hamburger buns

--Burger toppings: sliced red onion, roasted red peppers, pickled jalapenos, lettuce

Cook quinoa by bringing it and 2/3 cup water to boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

In a food processor or blender, combine 2/3 cup cooked quinoa (recipe will yield 1 cup), black beans and rolled oats, stopping as needed to scrape the sides. Add hoisin sauce, ground ginger and five-spice powder. Continue blending, until the mixture is the texture of wet Play-Doh. If it's too thin, add more dry ingredients; if it's too thick, add more flavoring. Transfer the bean mixture into a bowl and, with wet hands, press into 6 bun-sized patties.

Set a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Slip burgers carefully into the hot oil, one at a time, until the pan is full but not overcrowded. Cook the patties until they acquire a crispy crust, about 4 minutes on each side.

To cook pineapple, drop full rings onto a grill pan and give them a few minutes on each side for crispy, caramelized stripes. (Canned rings work fine, but pat them dry with a paper towel first.)

Slip quinoa burgers into buns, top each with a pineapple slice and add other toppings, as desired.

Makes 6 burgers.

-- Adapted from MensHealth.com

Look for more quinoa recipes in Thursday's Food & Flavor section or at post-gazette.com/food.

©2012 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 
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