Beet & Quinoa Burgers
This recipe was inspired by #meatlessmonday and my effort to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet for health, and for the environment! There are a lot of veggie burgers on the market that are wonderful, and a lot that are packed with fillers, such as bread crumbs and preservatives. And although my issue is with the added processed ingredients, it’s not for their perceived “unhealthy” attributes. It is about our effort and desire to consume a plant-based burger that, in reality, is not any healthier or more plant based than a normal beef or chicken burger. In other words, I find it quite frustrating when I see my clients put a lot of effort into improving their diet quality, only to choose items marketed as “plant-based veggie burgers” but consist mainly of breadcrumbs. To help you better understand what I mean, imagine this scenario…
You have been a big soda drinker for a while and have decided to cut it out to improve your overall diet quality. Instead of reaching for a Pepsi, you now drink lemon/lime seltzer (fizzy water). Now, you have been drinking the flavored seltzer for a few weeks and you feel proud of your changes and experience increased motivation to make more positive changes going forward. However, your friend has just informed you that the so-called “flavoured seltzer” was in fact Sprite. Therefore, you ditched the Pepsi in an effort to improve your health, but have actually replaced it with Sprite, another soda with similar nutritional makeup. Imagine how frustrated and let down you would feel!
So, incorporating certain processed “plant-based burgers” provide no additional benefits compared to the original animal-based burger. Note: there are animal based burgers out there that are BOOMING with nutrition. I am not shaming beef, turkey, lamb, or chicken burgers in any way. I am however, simply stating that incorporating more plant based protein sources into your diet is beneficial, but making sure those changes provide the intended nutrients.
Thus, I created this plant-based beetroot and quinoa burger that is packed with nutrients and taste delicious! Quinoa is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat (omega-3 and omega-6)! Additionally, Quinoa is a complete source of protein, meaning it provides all the essential amino acids, making it an incredible pant-based protein source! I also decided to bind my burgers using a flax-egg (flaxseed + water) to increase the fiber and healthy fat content!
It is important to note that this batter needs to rest in the fridge for up to an hour before cooking for optimal consistency!
Yield: 4 Burgers
· ½ cup dried quinoa
· 1 cup vegetable stock/broth
· 3 medium/large beets
· 1 cup rolled oats
· 1 flax-egg (1 TBS ground flaxseed + 3 TBS water)
· ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
· ½ cup chopped fresh mint
· Zest of ½ medium un-waxed lemon
· Juice of 1 medium lemon
· 1 clove of garlic
· Salt + pepper to taste
· Roast beets in foil at 400F (200C) for 1 hour or until fully cooked
· Use quinoa directions to cook ½ cup using the vegetable stock/broth. When finished, put in mixing bowl to cool
· Make flax-egg and let sit for 15 minutes
· Place peeled beets + flaxseed + the remainder of the ingredients into a food processor
· Combine mixture to the chilled quinoa and refrigerate for 30 minutes
· Form the batter into 4 burgers and place on a baking sheet lined with sprayed parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
· Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
· Cook burgers for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Spray the top of the burgers with spray of choice (I use avocado oil) to ensure crisp edges!
· Let burgers cool and set before serving!
Pair burgers with a lemon-tahini dressing or guacamole dip J