The “what to eat for lunch/snack/dinner” struggle is real – am I right? I need variety but also just don’t have time to think. These mediterranean quinoa burgers have become the answer to that question; they’re now a staple at home . They go perfectly well with hummus and greek yogurt (almost a replacement for falafels). I also frequently eat them with a quick salad thrown together with whatever’s fresh that day or in the fridge and needs to be used. Today it happened to be beets. I tossed them in a little lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and topped them with crumbled feta, parsley, paprika, za’atar and sumac – a perfectly mediterranean balanced meal. It would have been better balanced with a glass of red wine but, you know, weekday lunch so there are some boundaries you have to set for yourself.
I came across an article by CNN on the latest research on the Mediterranean diet (I read on Flipboard frequently and tweet about the articles I find interesting, if you want to see more follow me on Flipboard and Twitter). I was happy to realize that although it isn’t necessarily a conscious effort, these are some of the foods I eat daily! They also feature frequently in my recipes, like this one. Olive oil, quinoa, green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, wine – some of my favorite things. When something is good for you and tastes good, you know you’re doing well in the kitchen. Read the article for some inspiration and more of the science behind why the Mediterranean diet wins.
If you cook in batches, quinoa is something that can be pre-cooked and refrigerated for a few days for quick and easy use. Even if you don’t, these patties are ready in under 30 minutes. How? 15 minutes to rinse boil the quinoa while chopping one onion and parsley and gathering ingredients + 5 minutes to form the patties + 5-7 minutes to cook them! Voila – your mediterranean quinoa burgers are ready. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out for you in the comments below. Binding the mixture is probably the only challenging part of it. Once you get the hang of it it’s a no-brainer. If you follow a special diet, these are gluten-free and can be made vegan as well.
- 60g dry quinoa, rinsed well and cooked
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp tahini
- ½ tsp za'atar seasoning
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tbsp crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Breadcrumbs or one lightly beaten egg or half a boiled potato (as needed to bind the mixture)
- Olive oil or vegetable oil for greasing a pan
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients except the last two.
- Form patties sized about 2" in diameter.
- If the patty doesn't hold together, mix in 3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs into the mixture or coat each patty with breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can add one beaten egg or half a lightly mashed boiled potato to the quinoa mixture.
- Place patties on a nonstick pan on low-medium heat, allowing to brown slightly and cook through, turning once one side is cooked.