Thursday, March 21, 2013

.cheesy quinoa burger.

last night i made the most delicious dinner. perhaps a little on the light side, but amazingly tasty. and a little healthy too!

cheesy quinoa burgers!

i originally pinned these ages ago and just keep by passing them by in my weekly dinner planning, however after trying to use up some of my pantry staples, i decided to give the ol' quinoa jar a dust-off. see, i actually don't love quinoa. rice, pasta, couscous, or potatoes - sure! but quinoa i just can't seem to master. until now! this recipe is crunchy and light tasting, full of protein and may just be one of my newest fav dishes! the husband approved as well, so bonus!

and because this recipe is so versatile, here are a few changes you could potentially make:
1] throw some heat into the mix. add some tabasco or sriracha sauce to the recipe and treat it as an actual burger [minus the bun] by adding some slices of avocado and tomato then topping with the tzatziki.
2] i would cook a meat dish to accompany it and use this recipe as a side dish. chicken, salad and cheesy quinoa cakes?! don't mind if i do!!
3] make these as an appetizer. make the burgers smaller and top with a tsp of tzatiki or fry sauce [equal mix of mayo/ketchup] and pile on a plate = perfect appie!!
4] for a dairy free version [not my cup of tea, but perhaps for someone else!], substitute the cheese for daiya cheese or tofu!
Cheesy Quinoa Burgers
[recipe adapted from here. Makes approx. 10 burgers]
2 rounded cups Cooked Quinoa ]see below for cooking instructions]
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese [or other variety, if you prefer]
1/2 cup low-fat Cottage Cheese
1 medium Carrot, finely grated [OR 1 cup shredded Zucchini, squeezed dry]
3 Eggs
3 tbsp All purpose Flour
2 Green Onions, including white parts
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Cumin
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
Olive Oil, for frying

To cook Quinoa for the above recipe:
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
*In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18 - 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

1] Make the cooked quinoa [as per above]
2] In a large bowl, combine the 2 rounded cups of cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot [or zucchini], eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt and garlic powder.
3] Heat a frying pan on medium with a couple teaspoons olive oil. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2-inch thick. **To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, cook them on medium-low to medium heat slowly so they have longer to set-up and cook without burning. Makes them easier to flip, too!**. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.

Easy Tzatziki
[recipe from here]

3/4 cup Thick Plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp Sour Cream
1/2 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated [then squeezed of excess water]
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp dried or 2 Tbsp fresh Dill Weed
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1] In a small mixing bowl blend together the yogurt, sour cream, grated cucumber, garlic powder, sugar, and dill weed. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Chill. **This is best if made a couple hours in advance!

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