Thai Quinoa Burger

Quinoa, pronounced ˈkēnwä, is a wonderful grain that I love to eat often. Quinoa is a great alternative to rice and is a fulfilling element to any meal. Ten years ago, you never heard about quinoa. These days, you hear about quinoa everywhere. It’s like the popular, new kid in school. It’s all the rage. Therefore I’ve been experimenting with quinoa a lot recently. One thing I came up with is quinoa burger. It’s a vegetarian Quinoaand it’s satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I love a juicy, cheeseburger but these are fantastic when you’re taking a break on meat or if you’re trying to please the vegetarians in your life.

My sister in-law is a vegetarian and has been for several years now. I created this recipe for a a contest at my culinary school and she was my muse. Every time we go to a restaurant, her options seem to be pretty limited. She usually settles for a salad or a black bean burger. There just aren’t a lot of options for the growing number of vegetarians out there. So, I present you with a lovely, vegetarian masterpiece. The texture is wonderful. The Thai flavors are spicy and fresh. Peanuts, carrots cilantro and a spicy aioli make this quinoa burger an overall win, in my book. For the record, for those who don’t know, aioli is just a fancy word for a flavored mayonnaise. I know we fancy restaurants had us all fooled for so long but the cats out of the bag. The quinoa stays moist while acquiring a crispy outer crust when cooked. It’s a satisfying choice for anyone.

Ingredients

Preparation time: 25 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total: 35 minutes

-Patty

• 2 cups prepared quinoa
• 1 cup canned garbanzo beans
• ½ medium yellow onion; chopped
• 2 egg whites; beaten
• 1 tbsp red curry paste
• 2 tsp brown sugar or honey
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• ¼ tsp fresh chili paste
• 1 tsp green onion; sliced
• 2 cloves garlic
• salt and pepper; to taste

-Spicy aioli

• 2 tsp sriracha
• ¼ cup mayo

-Additional Ingredients/ Toppings

• Hamburger buns, the most important part! I used whole wheat.
• shredded carrots
• fresh spinach
• crushed peanuts
• cilantro
• cucumber

-Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

-In a food processor, combine all patty ingredients and pulse until blended.

-Form patties into a burger shape. This recipe should yield about 4 patties.

-Heat a skillet on medium heat; spray with non-stick cooking spray.

-Add patties to the heated pan and allow to cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Do not over crowd the pan.

-While the patties cook, prepare your spicy aioli just by mixing the two ingredients until blended. You can add more or less sriracha depending on the level of heat you prefer.

-Once the patties are cooked, removed from heat and assemble.

-Spread the spicy aioli onto the bun, top with the quinoa burger.

-Top with thinly sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, cilantro and spinach. Sprinkle with the crushed peanuts.

There you have it. A satisfying spin on a burger that’s not only nutritious, it’s vegetarian palate worthy.

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