Today’s Vegetarian Times recipe is a black bean quinoa burger. Quinoa is a terrific seed that is often used to replace many meat dishes for terrific vegetarian alternatives. It is a wonderful protein-packed food and has a very slight grain/nutty taste with a texture similar to goetta…if you have ever had that.  Quinoa is quickly becoming known as a super food because it is a protein powerhouse, has low cholesterol, it is rich in fiber, builds bones and contains a great amount of iron. It is also yummy as a burger….something all Americans should not miss out on simply because they don’t eat meat.

Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers

Serves 8

Here’s a delicious veggie burger you can whip up from scratch. Any steak seasoning (which is just a combination of herbs and spices) will work to give the patties a rich, hearty flavor. Stash a few in the freezer for busy weeknight meals. For super-easy cookouts, bake the patties ahead, then reheat them on the grill. Serve with your favorite burger fixings.

½ cup quinoa
1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped (¼ cup)
1½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
and drained, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 tsp. dried steak seasoning
8 whole-grain hamburger buns

1. Stir together quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. (You should have 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.)

2. Meanwhile, place onion and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.) Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in 3/4 cup black beans, garlic, steak seasoning, and 11/2 cups water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

3. Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining 3/4 cup quinoa and remaining 3/4 cup black beans. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cool.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape bean mixture into 8 patties (1/2 cup each), and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on buns.

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