Spinach & Shallot Quinoa Burgers (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
I started making these quinoa patties/burgers a few years ago when I was eating mostly plant-based as a tasty alternative to a meat-filled burger. And even though I eat more meat now than I did then, I still like being able to make these to top off salads, grab as an easy snack, or just nosh on as the main event with other sides for dinner.
Filled with plant-based protein from quinoa, garbanzo bean flour, and egg, these patties are so versatile and flavorful with the help of shallots, leeks, and spices. Give these a try as a great meatless Monday recipe, or just to change up your meal routine a bit.
An added bonus, they're super easy to put together. I recommend making the cooked quinoa ahead of time to allow to cool almost completely before making the patties -- this will help the ingredients mix together better and keep the egg from cooking while mixing the ingredients.
Quinoa is super simple -- I'll never forget how to make it. The ratio is one cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Put both in a pot (with a pinch of salt), bring to a simmer and allow to cook on low heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until the water is steamed off and the quinoa is sprouted and fluffy.
I'm a huge fan of quinoa for its nutty, earthy flavor and it's satisfying texture. Not to mention, it has a host of health benefits, along with the other ingredients in this recipe. Here's a snapshot of the benefits of these ingredients:
- A gluten-free seed eaten as a grain, quinoa has more protein than many other plant foods, and contains all of the essential amino acids (properties that we need to get through our diet because we cannot produce them on our own).
- High in fiber and antioxidants.
- Low glycemic index, so no blood sugar spikes.
- Contains high levels of vitamin K
- A great source of manganese. Having healthy levels of manganese helps to maintain proper and healthy bone formation, keeps the body producing collagen, and regulates blood sugar.
- Also high in iron, which helps with transporting oxygen throughout your body (spinach is one of the best non-meat sources of iron!).
Garbanzo Bean Flour:
- Garbanzo beans are super high in fiber and protein.
- A resistant starch, garbanzo beans help to keep the colon healthy.
- Helps to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
- Known to be high in antioxidant properties.
- In the same family as garlic and onions, shallots also have similar anti-viral properties to its relatives.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooled)
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (I love to use Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour)
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 1/4 cup diced leeks (the green part for milder flavor and nice color)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped baby spinach
- 1/4 tsp dried cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp mineral salt or sea salt
- 1 egg - optional (can omit to keep vegan, but the burgers will be more crumbly and breakable)
- 1 tsp avocado oil or ghee for cooking
- In a large bowl, fold together all ingredients (before adding egg, whip it up in a separate bowl with a fork) until well-combined.
- Using your hands, gather about a 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup-sized balls of the mixture, and form the patties.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat avocado oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Once hot, reduce heat to medium, and place each patty into the pan. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes (until golden brown), and flip before cooking on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is also golden brown. Once cooked, remove each patty from the pan and allow to cool slightly before eating.
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