I would love to post about a nice Cinco De Mayo margarita (if I was into that sort of thing) or other Mexican-inspired dish in honor of today’s holiday. However, I’ve been holding out now for about a year with a certain staple recipe of mine. I can’t give any sort of reason why I haven’t shared this recipe before but now seemed a good a time as any to share.
Let me start by saying that this brilliant recipe is not my own. About a year ago during the internship, we were required to host a “heart healthy” luncheon for the other interns and dietitians. The meal had to be within a certain budget and meet requirements for calorie content, saturated fat and several other nutrition parameters. My lunch was the first to be held way back in October 2011. I wasn’t too into cooking at that time and the recipes aren’t anything that I would now call blog-worthy.
However, by late May or possibly early June our last lunch was being hosted by Sarah. Sarah created the menu and the grocery list and after a long day on the inpatient floors, I followed her back up to Boston and we prepared the meal for the following day.
Being the overachievers that we are, we headed to the gym first and then to the grocery store, and while we were at it, we did a dry run of the burgers for dinner that night, playing host to her brothers and their friends.
I make these burgers about once a week, and like many of the veggie burger recipes in my collection, they freeze well and can be served up for weekday lunches and quick, weeknight dinners.
If I haven’t convinced you by now to add quinoa to your pantry staples, I think I might win you over with this recipe.
Slightly adapted from Sarah’s original recipe
Makes 6-10 depending on the size of the patty
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (at room temperature)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup diced mozzarella
1/2-1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
dash of smoked paprika
1/2-3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
olive oil for cooking
Combine cooked quinoa and eggs in a large bowl. Add in cheese, onion, sun dried tomatoes and spices and stir to combine. Add bread crumbs and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Add additional breadcrumbs if mixture appears to omoist to form into patties.
Once desired texture is achieved (the mixture should come together easily but still be slightly fragile and moist – I would recommend adding more than 3/4 cup bread crumbs), form mixture into patties and heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Cook burgers until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 7 minutes total, flipping halfway through.
Enjoy on your favorite whole grain bun, pita pocket or over salad. Feel free to include add-ons like avocado, goat cheese, arugula, spinach, ketchup, etc.