Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quinoa-Cannellini Burgers: A Gluten-Free Veggie Burger for Grown-Ups

I feel slightly guilty calling these "burgers" - Not because they're vegetarian, but because they just seem too sophisticated for that moniker. The flavors are too dynamic. These firm, protein-packed, slightly spicy patties can stand alone as the "meat" of a meal, and taste as good topped with chutney or salsa as they do with ketchup (I've tried them with all three!) Chipotle aioli seems like it would be a good match, too. These burgers are delicious on a bun, but they beg for a hearty whole-grain bread or a kaiser roll rather than a plain ol' mass-produced hamburger bun. They're not all-American BBQ fare, after all. These are gourmet veggie burgers for grown-ups.

The patties are easy to make, and are a great way to use up leftover quinoa. They are packed with nutrition, and are a great way to get some whole grains into your diet. Got leftovers? Try cutting them into pieces and using them as a filling in a bean and cheese burrito made with a brown rice tortilla (believe me, it's fabulous). They heat up quite well in the toaster oven (though I'd pass on the microwave, for fear of losing their crispy outer crust). I always make an extra batch just so that I have plenty of leftovers to keep in the fridge.

I prefer to use very well-cooked quinoa for this recipe. Though I usually toast my quinoa before cooking it, I didn't find it necessary for this recipe. If you cook it in tomato soup (my preference) or in vegetable broth, the flavor of the burgers will be enhanced - But reduce the salt in the recipe by half. To prepare the quinoa, cook 1/2 cup of quinoa in 1 cup of liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat but keep covered, and allow to continue steaming until very soft and fluffy.

When I was making these, my mother asked what I was cooking. When I told her, she gave me a funny look. Turned out she thought I'd said "quinoa-kundalini burgers". So from now on, cannellini beans shall be known as "kundalini beans"!


a/k/a Quinoa-Kundalini Burgers

[ Gluten-Free / Soy-Free / Nut-Free / Vegetarian / Pareve ]

1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa, firmly packed
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 jalapeno, minced, including seeds
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup grated carrot
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
Generous amount of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil, for frying
Additional sorghum flour for dredging

Using the back of a fork, mash the beans slightly (they should not be completely smooth). Add all other ingredients except olive oil and flour. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Slowly sprinkle in 3/4 cup of sorghum flour, combining until a loose "dough" is formed that is dense enough to be handled (use additional flour if necessary).

In a 12" pan, heat up oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of additional sorghum flour on a plate or in a pie tin. Compress "dough" between your hands to form 1/2" thick patties of about 4" diameter. One by one, carefully dredge them in sorghum flour, making sure the flour is distributed on both sides and along the edges of each patty. Use a slotted spatula to transfer carefully into hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and slightly crisp. In between batches you may want to replace the oil. Remove burgers from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel or pieces of brown paper bag to absorb excess oil. Serve hot.


Anonymous said...

Would these work with brown rice flour or Pamela's Pancake/Baking mix or do they really need the sorghum flour? I appreciate it.

ByTheBay said...

Brown rice flour should work fine as long as it's finely milled - You may find you need a little more or a little less of it, since every flour has a different level of liquid-absorbence. I would pass on the Pamela's Baking Mix, personally, and just use a single finely milled GF flour.

Sea said...

Ooh, these look yummy. And I love the idea of a chipotle sauce, mmm.


Shala said...

I do not have a gluten problem, I am allergic to ALL wheat family products. I can have barley and oat, I do not like sorghum. I am going to try these other flours; barley and oat. I am excited to find a yummy "hamburger" for me :)

Emma P said...

Hi you! Any idea if these burgers would work with some kind of egg substitute? Maybe flax seed meal?

Trying to get back into cooking. And it's not going to work if I don't find good recipes that are:
low-carb/high protein (for me)
nut-free, egg-free, milk-free (and sesame free) (for Z's allergies)
whole foods-y
vegetarian (for K)

I'm OK with not all meals being all of those things, but I'm trying to have at least a bunch of good recipes to work from. Is hard. And it's a little silly that I'm starting here on a gluten-free blog when that's something I actually don't need. But I love the recipes you post on FB. So, if you have any other cooking blogs or books or recipes to recommend I'm all ears. Thanks!
(email me if u don't mind - I might not remember to check back)

ByTheBay said...

Emma - I'm going to e-mail you this comment, too, but since other people might be interested...

I don't know if this would work without eggs, but it may. You just may find it a little more crumbly. What I would do is puree 1/3 or so of the beans (and fork-mash the others) to help with binding, add egg replacer, and maybe add a little bit of some sticky type of flour such as potato starch or tapioca starch to help it bind.

look on the sidebar of my blog and sort by different things like "main dishes" and "vegetarian" and whatnot. i do have a bunch of recipes that would fit your needs, actually, though they're not all main dishes.

i think these veggie burgers are super tasty. i hope you like them. said...

This really does look great, my friend was talking about this at dinner today! Do you mind if I post this on my Gluten Free Girlie Recipes and More facebook page under your name? I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Could I freeze these before cooking?