I didn’t want a veggie burger.  I didn’t want a soy burger.

Today I wanted a quinoa burger.

Yes, a quinoa burger—pronounced “keen-wa” burger.  If you’re wondering what in the world this could possibly be, you are not alone.  When I first came across the little circles of grain-like seed, I wondered the very same thing. 

(As Memere would say, “kaneech-ie-what?”) 😉

If you’ve ever cooked with quinoa (and enjoyed it!) you will love this simple burger.  If you’ve never cooked with quinoa, then you’re in for a real treat. 

Quinoa is high in protein, completely gluten free, and filled with vitamins and minerals.  It’s also quick and delicious.  Where brown rice will take a good 40 minutes or so to cook, quinoa is ready in under 15.  This is important for people like me who want dinner on the table within half hour of arriving home. 😉 

I doubled up on the quinoa burgers last night, as I had leftovers sitting on the brain.  Because as delicious as a stuffed whole wheat pita can be, I’m such a sucker for leftovers.

A big green salad mixed with broccoli, red peppers, cucumbers and more.  Topped with a diced burger and drizzled with olive oil.  A simply delicious meal. 

Quinoa Burgers—as seen on Martha Stewart (serves 4)

With the habit of adding in garlic and cayenne to most of my meals, it felt a little strange to not add it in with these burgers.  But I’m very glad that I refrained.  The simple addition of cumin is lovely, and it really goes well with the subtle flavors found in the rest of the ingredients.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

As an aside, these could easily be transformed into a vegan entree by replacing the egg with a flax to water combination, which would help to hold the mix together.

If you really want a quick meal, make this mix the night before and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook! 😀

  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
  • 1/4 a red onion, diced
  • 15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 4 six-inch whole wheat pitas
  • sandwich filling ideas: avocado, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, radishes, sprouts, etc.


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; add quiona, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the onions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
  3. Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

Question: What is your favorite *must have* food item at Thanskgiving?  Stuffing!  And homemade, chunky cranberry sauce. 😀


special weekend post: quinoa

I have a thing for quinoa.

It all started back when I decided to go vegetarian for a few months.  I dipped and paddled my way through an assortment of new meals.  New flavors.  New ideas.  Some were interesting, most were delicious, and a few were disgusting (*cough, cough*veggie hotdogs*cough, cough*.)  In the end, I realized that eating a vegetarian diet was at its best and brightest when it was kept simple.  Yes, convenience is completely necessary in my life sometimes.  But for the real deal—to really see the vegetarian diet shine—you have to go back to basics.

Real food.  Real flavor.  Simple.

And that is when I first tried quinoa.  That little grain that kind of resembles a flotation device.  Not only does it boast a very high protein content, it’s also completely gluten free and super quick to cook: 15 minutes from boiling point to bowl.  What’s not to love?  I worked it into many of my meals.  It became the substitute for rice.  It became my breakfast of choice, paired with fresh maple syrup and fruit.  It worked marvelously with flavors ranging from soy sauce to tomato sauce to pesto.

Although I’m no longer a strict vegetarian, some of my favorite foods were discovered during the time that I was.  Quinoa was one of many, and tonight I threw together one of my favorite quinoa meals.  This dish has the potential to cook down and become more of a pilaf, but tonight I took it off the burner early enough to call it more of a chili.  It’s delicious served either way. 😀

Chickpea Quinoa Pilaf (or chili)—taken and tweaked from Veganomicon

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T. tomato paste + 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 1-15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for about 7 minutes.
  2. Add cumin through tomatoes, saute for another minute.
  3. Add quinoa and saute for 2 minutes
  4. Add chickpeas and broth; cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 18-20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is evaporated.

Question: What is your favorite grain?