Kiddo Quinoa Veggie Burgers
I had to go on a work trip recently and was gone for almost a week. I was so busy before I left that I didn’t have time to really prep a bunch of meals in advance for my family (which is what I normally do).
Instead, we just made it work and Bets took a trip to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on good meals that they could easily reheat while I was gone.
One of the hits for the little dude was the little quinoa veggie burgers. He absolutely loved them and the competitive cook in me decided to try to make a homemade version that could stand up to the store-bought version.
Spoiler: He liked both quinoa veggie burgers just fine, but mine were a lot cheaper to make and you can customize them to your tastes! What’s not to love?
1) In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil along with the red pepper, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until veggies are soft. Then add lime juice and remove from heat.
2) Cook quinoa according to packaging. I usually cook mine in 2 cups of water per cup of quinoa. Then I let it simmer on low, mostly covered, for about 10-15 minutes until the quinoa gets tender. Then I drain the any extra water, return the quinoa to the pan, and let it steam off the heat for 5 minutes.
3) In a food processor, add cooked and slightly cooled quinoa along with veggie mixture, bread crumbs and egg. Pulse until combined into a loose mixture. Add drained and rinsed black beans at the very end so they are still mostly whole.
4) Pour about 1 cup of bread crumbs on a plate and shape about 1/4 cup amounts of the burger mixture into patties. Then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat until all patties are made.
5) Clean out your skillet and add another 2-3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add 4-5 patties depending on pan size and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they are lightly browned.
6) Remove patties and let cool. When all patties are cooked, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer. Freeze completely. Once the patties are frozen, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months.
Reheat frozen patties in the microwave (30 seconds per side on high) or in a 325 degree oven until warmed through.
Quinoa Veggie Burgers
These were the things that my little dude just loved. There were four to a pack and my recipe made about twelve.
I tasted one of his one night and they seemed pretty standard. They had good flavor though and the spices were stronger than I was expecting. I tried to kind of simplify and reverse-engineer this ingredient list in my version.
I kept my version as simple as possible. It started with some red pepper and frozen corn that I tossed in a skillet with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder (not spicy) and cumin.
After this cooked for a few minutes and softened, I removed the veggies from the heat and added some lime juice. This kept the citrus flavors nice and bright in the recipe.
Okay. Let’s talk quinoa! Honestly, the best thing to do would be to use leftover quinoa for these because you only need about 2 cups and it works best if it’s cooled.
But you can absolutely make a fresh batch for the recipe. I cook my quinoa in 2 cups of water per cup of quinoa. Once the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes of simmering), I drain any extra water and let the quinoa steam off the heat for about 5 minutes.
The result is really nice, fluffy quinoa!
Then you can add the quinoa to a food processor with all the other ingredients except the black beans.
Pulse the mixture a few times until everything is combined and then add the black beans right at the end. You want to make sure the black beans are mostly whole in the final burgers.
The quinoa veggie burgers will be too soft to cook like this though. The final step to firm them up is a coating in bread crumbs. I made small burgers for my dude but you could make larger ones for adults if you want.
About 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture per patty is a good ratio.
I did a tester batch just to make sure this was going to work. It was really tasty!
Then I went into factory mode and made all my burgers.
The final step is to cook the patties in a little oil over medium heat for a few minutes per side until they are nicely browned. These look perfect to me!
Most Important Step: Before you freeze these bad boys, it’s important to let them cool and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
To prevent sticking, I recommend freezing the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the patties are completely frozen (I just let mine freeze overnight), then you can wrap them individually for easier storage.
Reheating these is pretty easy. You can either microwave them in quick 30-second bursts or heat them in a 325 degree oven until they are warmed through.
I served one up to my dude for a taste test.
At first he was like… EXCUSE ME?!
But then he was, like, YES PLEASE!
These quinoa veggie burgers were a real hit with my guy and I felt good about him eating them. Quinoa? Red peppers and corn? Black beans? Sure man. Eat as much as you want!