Tag Archives: quinoa

Quinoa and Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Veggie burger served with sweet potato fries and romaine lettuce and pear salad with goat cheese.

Veggie burger (baked version) served with sweet potato fries and romaine lettuce and pear salad with goat cheese.

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.

Grilled veggie burger served with grilled romaine and apple slaw dressing.

Grilled veggie burger served with grilled romaine and apple slaw dressing.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.

Grilled artichoke yogurt dip is a zesty, cheesy topping for these burgers.


On the grill - release foil was the way to go with these.

On the grill – release foil was the way to go with these.


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

1 Egg

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.

Veggie Burger 1 (1280x956)

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.

veggie burger 2 (1280x956)

Finely chop the onion, peppers and celery in the food processor.  Measure one cup.

veggie burger 3 (1280x956)veggie burger 4 (1280x956)

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.

veggie burger 5 (1280x956)

Add the zucchini and sauté one minute or so.

veggie burger 6 (1280x956)

Add the mushroom and black bean mixture along with the steak seasoning.

veggie burger 7 (1280x956)

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.

veggie burger 8 (1280x956)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Add the bread crumbs, quinoa, egg and cheeses to the cooled veggie mixture.  Mix well.

veggie burger 9 (1280x956)

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”

veggie burger 10 (1280x956)

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned to your desire.  Or grill over medium heat on “release” foil.  Try to flip only once.

veggie burger 11 (1280x956)





Quinoa Salad with a Hint of Orange

Believe it or not, this was my first effort using quinoa.  I just kept slicing and dicing and mixing and tasting and the end result was pretty good.  Our neighbors were grilling some lamb with mint jelly for a sunset party and I thought this might make a nice side dish.  I garnished the finished salad with crumbled feta cheese and served some extra cheese on the side, which added a nice creaminess and a bit of salt to each bite.   Leftovers were delicious used the next day as an hors d’oeuvres scooped up on pita chips.  I’m documenting from memory here so I can try again with photos when I next have the time.


1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Water

Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook five minutes.  Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.  Fluff and cool.  Toss in a large bowl with the salad ingredients and dressing below.

Salad Ingredients

Use as much or as little as you like and any variety you like, in true Creative Recipe fashion.  This is what I used:

Fresh Carrots – peeled and grated.  I used fresh unpeeled carrots because they really do taste better than the prepackaged minis.  I used the small shred on my hand grater.

Celery – very small dice

Sweet Red Bell Pepper – very small chop (I chose red for the color)

Red Onion – very fine dice

Yellow Squash – grated.  I used one small squash (tastes better than the large) and grated it with the skin on, using the large shred on my hand grater .

Radicchio – thinly sliced and chopped.  This adds a great color and a nice bitter contrast

Mandarin Oranges – 1 can, drained and chopped.  This was an after thought – or I should say after I tasted the salad.  It seemed too much on the bitter side from the radicchio, and the oranges added a nice sweetness and balanced the radicchio.


Juice of 1 small Lemon

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

Sugar or Honey to taste (start with 1 teaspoon and go from there)

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon dried Dill Weed

Coarsely ground Black Pepper to taste