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!