Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eggplant Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

Lately I've been cooking with quinoa quite a bit. What I like about it, other than the fact that it's a complete protein source, is that it cooks up fast. It's also super versatile and can be used in many different ways, such as a base for a veggie burger.

I try to keep veggie burgers in the freezer for a quick meal. I'll admit that I used to buy them out of convenience. But they can be quite pricey. Plus, if you make your own, you can control the ingredients and choose whatever flavor combos you fancy most. Did I mention it's a lot cheaper too?

Since I make veggie burgers often, I try to get creative with ingredients and flavor profiles. I had an eggplant on hand that needed to be used quickly, so for this veggie burger recipe, I decided to go with more of a Mediterranean flair.

While I used chickpeas, you could use another bean of your choice, but I like the texture of chickpeas for veggie burgers. Other beans can often be too soft I find. But, it's absolutely up to you. That's the beauty of a veggie burger!


Eggplant Chickpea Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup red quinoa (white would be fine)
1 cup water
5-7 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flax + 3-5 tbsp water (I let mine get thick)
3 oz tomato paste
Splash of balsamic vinegar (to help loosen mixture if needed)
Salt, to taste
Handful of fresh basil, as much as you like

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cubed eggplant on a prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt. Bake until soft.

In a small pan, combine quinoa and water. Cover and bring to a boil, lower heat and cook approximately 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed

In a food processor, puree quinoa, oats, chickpeas, basil, salt, sundried tomatoes, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the flax mixture.

Next puree the eggplant then combine in the bowl with chickpea and quinoa mixture. If you have a large enough or powerful enough processor, this can be done at the same time.

Mix well then form into patties (I got 6 patties) and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 20 minutes, flip and continue to bake until browned and firm.



I topped these with caramelized onions, spinach and Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Shreds. Of course, there are plenty of other options for topping these veggie burgers!

What's your favorite veggie burger recipe?