Eating vegetarian food doesn't mean you have to give up on taste. Granted, not all veggie burgers can match the real thing, but this one is very flavorful and satisfying - and good for you as well. It's got lots of umami flavor, and is sautéed in a hot skillet until it's browned and slightly crispy on the outside, like a good burger should be. You could even cook these on the grill.
Quinoa is a nutty grain that thrives in the high altitude of the Andes mountains. People have cultivated quinoa for thousands of years for its high protein content and other nutritious properties.Accessorize these "burgers" with crema de aji (a spicy sauce made with aji amarillo chile peppers), salsa criolla (Peruvian onion relish), or pebre (Chilean salsa), and serve them on quinoa dinner rolls.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Veggie Burgers
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup uncocoked quinoa
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 3-4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional)
- 1 cup cooked red pinto beans or black beams
- 1/2-1 cup bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Aji Amarillo sauce or salsa criolla for garnish
- 4-6 Hamburger buns (Quinoa dinner rolls make good hamburger buns)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the potato cubes on a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then fold the sides of the foil up and over the potatoes to make a sealed packet. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven to cook while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Remove from oven once the potato cubes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse the quinoa grains with water. Mince the garlic. Place one tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Sauté garlic over medium heat until fragrant. Add the quinoa and toast briefly, stirring. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer quinoa for 15 minutes over low heat. Quinoa is ready when the liquid is absorbed and the grains are translucent and hvae visible white "threads" or "tails". Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork.
- While the quinoa is cooking, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a heavy skillet. Add the chopped scallions and tomatoes, cumin and chile powder (if using). Cook over medium heat, stirring, until vegetables are soft. Add beans, 1/4 cup vegetable broth, and 1/2 tablespoon sugar and continue to cook over low heat, until all of the liquid is evaporated, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, bean and vegetable mixture, and sweet potatoes. Taste for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs and stir well. Test mixture to see if you can form it into patties. Add more bread crumbs if mixture seems too wet. Shape mixture into 4-6 round patties (depending on desired size), about 1 inch thick. Patties can be refrigerated (or frozen) until ready to cook.
- Wipe skillet clean and place 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat, and place the patties in the skillet (cooking them batches if necessary). Cook veggie burgers until well browned on one side, then flip them and cook until well browned on the other side.
- Garnish burgers with aji Amarillo sauce or salsa criolla, and serve on hamburger buns.