Gluten-free Vegetarian +Vegan Option Quinoa Black Bean Burger

January 21st, 2011 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Corn, JM friendly, Nut Free, Quinoa, Rice Free, Soy Free, Vegan Option, beans, tomatoes 6 Comments »

The DH has been traveling a lot for his job lately, and been gone from home and missing out on good home cooked meals. So when he got home relatively early the other night, I wanted to make him something tasty and healthy to make up for all the meals he’d been skipping or having at restaurants. We had a pot of quinoa I had cooked for lunch, so I thought I’d do something simple involving pasta sauce, beans, cheese and a microwave. What can I say, I wanted to spend time with the guy and not just spend all night in the kitchen. As I started adding ingredients to my quinoa, I got inspired. What If I put in the basic ingredients I’d had in mind, but instead of microwaving them, I made quinoa burgers on the stove? It wouldn’t take much extra time and would taste so much better. Of course, being me, I couldn’t just stop there, and I ended up making the vegetarian burgers, two sauces, and serving them on La Tortilla Factory Sonoma Corn Tortillas with some organic lettuce. Homemade tortillas would have been better, but if you can’t make them, those are the best pre-made tortillas I’ve found. They are even a little larger than normal ol’ Mission corn tortillas. Anyway, I digress. So I dragged the DH to the table and made him have a real, home cooked meal for the first time in far too long. And guess what? He loved it! I could tell by the way he kept going back for seconds, and how he said, “Hey! I would order this at a restaurant, on purpose!” And he told me to make it again, anytime, as he was spooning his third serving of avocado dressing on his burger. Funny, I thinned out the avocado with mayonnaise simply because I didn’t have enough avocado to make a full recipe without it, and the DH raved and raved about it. Boys.

The burgers are delicate when they are hot, so make sure they have a nice golden crust before turning them. They solidify and get very sturdy once they are cooled in the refrigerator, and become softer again once they get very hot again. Basically, I think it is due to the cheese (or un-cheese) which helps bind them together melting and then solidifying.

They are great on corn tortillas, would be delicious in a gluten-free hamburger bun, and were completely lovely as a breakfast “burger” served with a side of hash browns. This recipe was just something I threw together on a whim, but it was such a success that I can see it going on our regular menu rotation. A great way to use leftover quinoa!

After this recipe was such a hit in our household, I did a search for other gluten-free quinoa burger recipes:
Renee’s Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Bean Burger Recipe
GF Made Easy Black Bean Quinoa Burger Recipe
Gluten-free Cat’s Quinoa Burger Recipe
Gluten-free Dish’s Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
Gluten-free for Good’s Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger Recipe

Here’s an earlier Book of Yum recipe for veggie burgers:
Sweet Potato Black Bean Vegetarian Burger Recipe

Just want to buy one? Read my article reviewing the gluten-free veggie Burger options

Shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Gluten-free Wednesdays

Why is it that Baby Yum always steals my food in the middle of a photo session? I had to chase her around the kitchen in circles to get this quinoa burger back. Silly Baby, all she has to do is ask and I’ll give her some!


Breaking Gluten-free News: Speaking of burgers and sandwiches, did you hear that Subway is testing a gluten-free bun option in their Texas stores? Reportedly the bun is manufactured off-site in a gluten-free facility, comes in a sealed plastic bag and they use a single-use knife to cut the bun. Despite efforts to train staff in cross-contamination issues, I’m skeptical that they will be able to provide a truly gluten-free product. The condiments and any sandwich fillings will surely be contaminated, don’t you think? Besides, the bread smell alone in that place makes me feel queasy, personally. Nevertheless, at least another mainstream corporation is thinking about catering to gluten-free customers, which can only be a good thing. I just hope they don’t end up causing more harm than good by doing it improperly.

Gluten-free Vegetarian Quinoa Bean Burgers with Vegan Option
Ingredients
4 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked, simmered with 2 cups water)
1 can drained, rinsed black beans
1/2 can organic stewed tomatoes, drained (I used muir glen with green chilies)
1 egg OR for vegan, 1 flax seed “egg”* blended or food processed
1/2 cup roasted frozen corn (Trader Joe’s, or regular un-roasted)
4 scallions or green onion, minced
1/4 cup sorghum flour (or your favorite gluten-free whole grain flour)
2 cups monterey jack cheese OR for vegan, daiya mozzarella
small handful fresh cilantro, diced

olive oil or your favorite oil

Directions
Prepare a large baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper, if you have the latter. The paper is optional but makes life easier. Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine quinoa, beans, and tomato in a medium-large bowl. Stir with your hands or a large spoon, mashing the beans a little if possible. Create a well in the mixture for the egg or flax “egg” and use a fork to whisk whites into the yolk. Fold the egg or flax “egg” into the mixture and combine thoroughly. Microwave briefly or cook your corn so it is no longer frozen and stir into your mixture along with the minced green onion. Sprinkle with half of your flour and fold in. Add your second half of the flour and combine. Sprinkle with cheese or un-cheese and mix it so it is evenly distributed throughout. Add cilantro, fold together one final time. See if you can create a patty with the mixture. If it is too wet, add a little more flour.

On medium-high, heat enough oil in a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Carefully add enough medium-size patties, one at a time, to cover the bottom of the pan and not have them touching each other. I had two full batches. Fry until each patty has a golden-brown crust on the bottom and then carefully turn over. Cook second side until golden brown.

Carefully remove first batch to your baking sheet and put in oven. Let bake while you make the second batch in your skillet, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve while the second batch is in the oven, if you like.

Enjoy!

Notes
We served these on tortillas with lettuce, red pepper pico de gallo, and avocado dressing. DH LOVED them, and I did too. Yum!

*Flax egg= 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water, blended or food processed

Pepper Pico De Gallo
Ingredients
1 roma tomato (organic preferred)
1/4 of a red or yellow pepper OR handful of mini peppers
1 or 2 green onions
dash of fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (or less, to taste)
salt to taste
dash of pepper or California pepper
Directions
Mince your roma tomato and discard the watery pulp. Put the nice minced pieces in a small bowl. Mince your red or yellow pepper OR your mini peppers- I got a big bag of adorable mini yellow and red peppers from Costco in a bid to get Baby Yum eating more veggies and have been putting them in everything. Mix peppers into the bowl with tomato and sprinkle with salt. Mince your green onions and add them to the party. You can use less or more, to taste. Use more if you will be eating the pico de gallo soon, and use less if you are going to let it sit overnight or for at least a half hour. It becomes even more delicious the next day, and flavors of raw ingredients mellow. Squeeze a bit of juice from a fresh lime or lemon on top of the mixture and mix together. Finely mince your cilantro and add to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and fold ingredients together. Let it sit. Refrigerate in a sealed container if you are going to leave it longer than half an hour or overnight. Use on something delicious.
Avocado Dressing Recipe
Ingredients
1/4 avocado, mashed
Equal amounts of mayonnaise (Vegan mayonnaise would make recipe vegan!)
1 small amount of scallion, minced into tiny tiny pieces
Pinch of lemon or lime juice
white pepper if desired (I didn’t
Directions
Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve on something tasty, preferably with my pepper pico de gallo.
Notes
The DH LOVED this. You can double or triple the recipe. I didn’t have very much avocado, so I made a small batch.
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Gluten-free Vegan Indian Split Green Pea Dal Soup Recipe

January 10th, 2011 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Indian, Soy Free, Vegan, dal 6 Comments »

One thing that never would have occurred to me before I had a child is that a nice, thick dal makes the perfect baby or toddler food. If it is the right texture, Baby Yum enjoys spooning it into her own mouth and even popping little hand-made balls of dal into her mouth. While some of the baby-safe foods I’ve made have been a tad boring (organic carrot puree, anyone), dals have been a fun dish that both I and Baby Yum can enjoy eating. This morning I was determined to make us a tasty dal for breakfast that Baby Yum could enjoy with some jowar roti or sorghum flatbread. Unfortunately, I was all out of my favorite dals- toor dal and red lentil. The only lentil I had in any quantity in my cupboard was organic split green peas from Whole Foods. I was all set to make some split pea soup (which Baby Yum also enjoys), when I noticed a recipe for dal on the side of the bag. It sounded a tad bland, but I was inspired. So, I googled up some split green pea dal recipes, thought about it for a bit, and came up with this tasty dal. I hope you enjoy eating it as much as we did in our household, where it met with the approval of all the ladies in the household- me, Baby Yum and my dairy-sensitive Mother, too!

*Dal also make great food for those who have had dental work done or have to be on a liquid diet for any reason! You can add water and puree in blender as needed. Beats a smoothie any day, in my book.

This recipe was entered in Diane’s Real Food Weekly Event.

Vegan Split Green Pea Dal Recipe
Ingredients
1 Cup organic green split peas
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. oil (I used olive, but grapeseed,canola, mustard, or coconut would work too)
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
Directions
Rinse and drain split peas, and put in a soup pot with the water, bay leaf and 1/2 cup onion. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low for an hour or until tender. Add water as needed if split pea mixture gets too dry or starts to brown on the bottom and stick to the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet on medium and add your cumin seeds. When they turn brown, add your onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the ground spices and mix together. Turn heat to medium low and let onion turn translucent and start to caramelize. Add your tomato and saute until tomato softens, 4 or 5 minutes. Ladle spice and onion mixture on top of your softened split peas and gently fold together. If desired, you can add some water to your skillet, swirl it around the pan to collect all the yummy spices that are left on the bottom of the pan, and pour that into the split pea mixture as well. Turn heat to low and let flavors mingle for 5 minutes or so. Turn off heat and serve!
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