Today’s recipe puts a vegetarian twist on the burger that even non-vegetarians will enjoy. These black bean and quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) burgers are full of tasty flavors and spices and high in protein and fiber.
Quinoa is a seed, and many cooks use it as a grain. It’s sometimes referred to as the “mother grain” because of its nutritional value. But compared with many grains, quinoa is gluten-free and contains greater amounts of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and dietary minerals. The seed resembles the size of the tiny pasta called couscous, but it’s slightly crunchy and more nutritious.
Specifically, quinoa is a good source of iron, copper and magnesium. There are 8 grams of protein in a cup of quinoa. More important, people enjoy the sweet and nutty flavor of quinoa. It’s no wonder savvy food manufacturers are adding it to pasta dishes and premade salads.
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To prevent a slightly bitter taste, rinse the uncooked quinoa in a mesh strainer and shake off the excess water before you add it to a recipe. We mixed the quinoa with black beans to create a burger that contains 11 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Serve these burgers with healthy fixings like avocado or fresh sliced vegetables and top them with a little ketchup, mustard, low-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing. Be creative! Instead of making a burger, shape the bean and quinoa mixture into meatballs and serve them on top of whole-wheat noodles or brown rice.
If you’re not already a vegetarian, these burgers may bring you one step closer to making more meat-free meals.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog. For questions about today’s recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
Makes: 4 servings / Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup water
15-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black beans. Form the black bean mixture into 4 patties. Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil cooking spray and bring to medium-heat. Place the patties in the pan and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
207 calories (15% from fat), 3 grams fat (less than 1 gram Sat. fat), 33 grams carbohydrates11 grams protein451mg sodium54mg cholesterol91mg calcium7 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 4 vegetables, 1 starch, ½ fat.