Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search

Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

« It's gettin' steamy in here: Steamed Sigtebrod a.k.a. Danish Spiced "Rye" Bread (gluten free, vegan) | Main | Tarragon Roasted Turnips (gluten-free, vegan, ACD) »

Sunny Quinoa Burgers (vegan, gluten-free, ACD)

It may be cloudy outside, but I'm having a sunny start to 2009 in my kitchen.

I've been wanting to make my own sunflower seed burger, mimicking the beloved Sunshine Burger, but with a non-rice base. Thanks to 2009, I have the day off today, and decided to give a whirl. I'm totally pleased with the result of my experiment! I had some red quinoa already cooked up in the fridge, and thought its sticky texture would make the perfect base to hold everything together. I was right! The result is dense, high-protein, super nutritious burger that could be jazzed up a million ways. The red quinoa and flecks of green parsley look lovely as well. Success! I'd like to try this recipe again, including grated carrot, finely diced onion, miced bell pepper, or something along those lines...

I used the seeds raw, but you could toast them if desired for a nuttier flavor. Also, I kept the seasonings really simple, but you could add any combination of herbs and spices. Eat with your favorite gluten-free bread, sandwich fillings, and a side of veggies, or serve alone with a tasty dip! Or - here's a thought - make the balls really small and serve up like savory truffles...I'm doing that for the next party I host.


Sunny Quinoa Burgers

yield: 4-6 burgers, depending on how large you make them

1 c raw sunflower seeds
1 1/4 c cooked red or white quinoa
splash water
1 tsp Herbamare, celery salt, or seasoning salt OR a splash of tamari
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried onion flakes
optional: any other herbs/spices you'd like

Pulse sunflower seeds in food processor or blender until coarsely ground, until they resemble very coarse bread crumbs. You may have to grind your seeds in batches depending on how large your processor/blender is. Transfer ground seeds to large bowl.

Place 1 c of the cooked quinoa, Herbamare, parsley/herbs/spices in the processor/blender. Pulse a few times with a splash of water, stirring between pulses, adding just enough water to get things moistened. You want a chunky paste to form, with some whole quinoa grains left over. Transfer quinoa paste to the bowl with the ground seeds.

With a big spatula or your hands (my preference!), knead the quinoa and seeds together, adding the remaining 1/4 c of whole quinoa grain. It should form a slightly moist, sticky dough.
Divide into 4-6 balls, and flatten into patties. Eat as is if you are in a hurry, though they won't be as tasty as if you warm them up for a crispy nutty flavor!

To warm them you have two options:

  1. option 1 (no added fat): heat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment, and bake until warm and golden, flipping as necessary.
  2. option 2 (crispy and delicious): heat sunflower oil in fry pan. When hot, fry patties until warmed through, and golden brown and crisp.

Approximate nutritional information per patty (yield 5 patties): 200 calories, 12 g fat, 18 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein


Approximate nutritional information for entire recipe: 1000 calories, 61 g fat, 90 g carbs, 17 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 36 g protein

Bon appetit!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (11)

These vegan burgers sound intriguing. I was just talking about veggie burgers with my husband at lunch today; quinoa seems like an excellent ingredient in this quest for a gluten-free veg-burger. Very nice. Happy, healthy New Year!

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarina Allrich

Thanks for the well wishes for 2009! I wish you the same. Try out the recipe, and please let me know what you think! Have you tried the Sunshine Burger? It was my inspiration for this recipe, you might like it! The Southwest flavor is really tasty. Hope to see you on the blog again!

January 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

These are the best veggie burgers! I like the recipe just the way it is! but a little modification could make it even more tastier. THANK YOU so much! I have been searching for this recipe for my whole life. I love your recipes because we have almost identical restrictions.

January 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Thank you for the kind words, Thomas, I'm so glad you enjoy these! I'd love to hear what modifications you make if you try some out. As a side note, they freeze well - freeze them right after making, and heat frozen patty in oven or in pan until golden and warm. so make a big batch and save some for later! I don't know what I'd do without my freezer. Hope to see you back on the site again, and happy wishes of health to you!

January 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim


I'm new to the world of quinoa but we have someone staying with us with a lot of dietary restrictions so have been experimenting. Have made banana porridge with soya milk and no added sugar which has gone down well.

Sorry if this is a really silly question but when you say a cup and a 1/4 of cooked quinoa does that mean cook 1 1/4 cups of quinoa and use what you end up with or measure out 1 1/4 cups of already cooked quinoa. Hope that question made sense! Glad to see that quinoa freezes as I'm sure we will carry on eating it once our visitor is gone.


July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi Liz! Not a silly question, I can see how that would be confusing.

I mean 1 1/4 cups of quinoa that is cooked already - when I made this recipe, I was using up leftover cooked quinoa. : ) If you are starting from scratch, cook between 1/2-3/4 c of dry quinoa. That should yield at least 1 1/4 of cooked quinoa, and enough for the recipe.

One note: as with all whole, dry grains, soaking and rinsing quinoa is really important. Quinoa has a bitter, natural coating on it called saponin that can irritate digestion. soaking and rinsing washes off this coating, and starts the sprouting process, which makes digestion easier. Rinse the dry grain, then soak for 6-8 hours in water at room temperature. Drain, then rinse while rubbing the grains together. If you really don't want to soak it, just make to rinse it really really well before cooking.

I hope you like the recipe! Let me know how it turns out. I like these burgers a lot! Feel free to add fresh herbs or other spices. I want to try adding shredded carrot or a little zucchini...


July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Hi Kim
Thanks so much for getting back to me your site has been really helpful, I had tried cooking quinoa before but it wasn't a success. I think I'll try the burgers tomorrow as I have some quinoa in the fridge, I feel as if I'm either soaking it or cooking it at the moment but it's nice to be able to give our guest something she can eat and the rest of the family are hooked too! Like you I had thought some grated carrot and zucchini with maybe some cumin and corriander. I'll let you know how it goes.


July 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi Kim

Made the burgers the other night they turned out really well. I mixed a good teaspoon of dried cumin with a little water and fried it with a shredded carrot for a few minutes,I also added some fresh corriander. Very nice!


July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi Liz, That sounds awesome! I love cumin and coriander - they are probably two of my favorite spices - especially with carrot! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out, and hope to see you around the blog again. Happy cooking!

July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I made these tonight. They were PERFECT! Thanks so much!

July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndréa

Thanks for the amazing recipe!
Can this be made ahead and either sit out over night or refrigerated? I'm planning on having these for brunch tomorrow.
Thanks again,

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlisa
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo