I’m really getting into this quinoa scene now that I’ve finally sampled it. I have long wanted to make my own veggie burger and once I cooked my first pot of quinoa I thought again, “I should try to make a veggie burger.” And so today I did… I looked around online to get the general gist but my attention span was short. After looking at only one recipe and taking it at face value, it appeared you combine veggies, quinoa and a binder. The binder was interesting, using egg, bread crumbs and cheese, but the rest of the recipe was a little boring. So I ramped up the veggie variety, added black beans, used multiple cheeses and added steak seasoning for a hint of meaty flavor. This effort was way-delish, but was somewhat time-consuming and certainly made for a lot of dirty dishes, bowls and pans. It made 8 burgers and since I was experimenting, I baked four of them. I had the oven on anyway at 425 degrees for sweet potato fries. At that temperature, the burgers browned up nicely and the cheese crisped the top and bottom a bit – all good. We ate two and I froze the leftovers for another experiment. If the frozen burgers microwave well for a quick lunch, then I could make a large quantity of these, bake and freeze, and the stockpile of a quick and healthy lunch option would justify the time and the mountain of dishes.
The other four we grilled. They were also delicious, though I would recommend grilling over a lower heat than we started at. We served with a side of Grilled Romaine with Apple Slaw Dressing, and just for fun, we topped one with Artichoke Yogurt Dip.
Another great thing about this veggie burger is it could be gluten free. Everything I used is gluten free to my knowledge. I don’t have to eat a gluten free diet, but from my limited internet searches, true gluten free dieters would need to verify the cheeses they use in this recipe, the spice blend, and perhaps the black beans.
Well, here we go – this is how I did it, with approximate measurements, of course!
2 to 3 slices stale bread (I used Udi’s gluten free bread)
4 ounces sliced Portabella Mushrooms
1 cup cooked Black Beans – drained and rinsed
1 cup finely shredded Zucchini
1 cup finely chopped Vidalia Onion, Sweet Peppers, Celery – I probably used about 1/4 onion, 5 or 6 mini peppers and 1 stalk celery
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for sautéing)
2 teaspoons Steak Seasoning (I used McCormick Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak Seasoning) – Note, because I used this seasoning, I did not use salt and pepper. If you’re gluten free, verify the seasoning you use.
1 – 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
Tear the bread and place in a food processor. Pulse until you have small, evenly-sized bread crumbs (does not have to be super fine). Transfer to a bowl and measure 1 cup.
Place the mushrooms and black beans together in the food processor and pulse/chop, being careful not to puree to a mush. Transfer to a bowl and rinse the food processor.
Finely chop the onion, peppers and celery in the food processor. Measure one cup.
Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion, pepper and celery mixture until the liquids have evaporated and the veggies are beginning to brown.
Add the zucchini and sauté one minute or so.
Add the mushroom and black bean mixture along with the steak seasoning.
Cook several minutes until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and mixture is just beginning to brown. Transfer to a large bowl and cool.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add the bread crumbs, quinoa, egg and cheeses to the cooled veggie mixture. Mix well.
Use a large scoop to scoop onto baking pan (I lined mine with “release” foil). Flatten or use a biscuit cutter and a spoon to flatten into even “burgers”
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned to your desire. Or grill over medium heat on “release” foil. Try to flip only once.