Last night I made veggie burgers to use up some hamburger buns I had left over from last week's pulled pork sandwiches. I based my recipe on this from epicurious.com, but I used quinoa instead of bulgur because I had a Costco-sized bag of it (as an aside, if you have a 4-pound bag of quinoa, don't keep it on the top shelf of your cabinet and then pull it down all willy-nilly, unless you want to still be picking quinoa out of your hair the following day). Overall, the burgers were tasty--a little mushy, which I think could be improved by making smaller patties and cooking a bit longer (I made 5 patties total, but I adjusted the recipe below to make 6). They were too crumbly for the grill, so I cooked them in a skillet. This morning, I diced a leftover burger and topped it with a poached egg for breakfast--tasty!
Quinoa-Pinto Bean Burgers
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion, divided
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
6 slices low-fat Muenster cheese (optional)
6 multi-grain hamburger buns, toasted
In a medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Cook half of the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer cooked quinoa and onion to the bowl of a food processor, and add beans, soy sauce, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining raw onion. Pulse until finely chopped. Form rounded 1/2 cups of mixture into 6 (3 1/2-inch-diameter) patties. Chill at least 10 minutes.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Cook patties, carefully turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Add a slice of cheese during the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking, if using. Serve on toasted buns.
For the side dish, I made a grilled cabbage slaw based on this recipe, also from epicurious.com. I bought a head of green cabbage at the farmers' market this week, so I halved the recipe & left out the red cabbage. I enjoyed the grilled vegetables for a change from usual slaw (plus, cooking cruciferous veggies such as cabbage makes the phytonutrients more bioavailable), but the dressing was a bit too sweet, so next time I'll probably decrease the sugar to only two tablespoons.
Grilled Cabbage Slaw
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (or less to taste)
1/4 cup canola oil plus additional for brushing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 medium head of green cabbage, quartered through core
6 to 8 green onions, trimmed
Spray grill rack with non-stick spray, and preheat grill to medium-high heat. Whisk vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, and parsley in medium bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Brush cabbage and green onions with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill cabbage wedges until dark grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill green onions until charred on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to work surface.
Chop green onions and cabbage; place in large bowl, discarding cores. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.
I also served pickled asparagus and beets that I made and preserved a couple of weeks ago, with delicious margaritas to drink! I use this recipe (also from epicurious.com--such a great resource) for classic margaritas: 1 part fresh lime juice, 1 part Cointreau, 2 parts tequila.