I met with a patient not too long ago who was vegetarian. When we were talking about the reasons he was struggling with his weight, his food budget surfaced as a concern. It wasn’t the amount that was the problem, but instead how he was spending it.
“What is your monthly food budget?” I asked.
He replied, “About $750.”
Of course I asked how many people this amount feeds and he reported five, two of which were young children.
When we started looking at where he spent the bulk of his money, “meat substitutes” and prepared vegetarian meals were, by far, where he was spending the majority of his food budget. I was 1) floored and 2) unable to produce a go-to veggie burger recipe on the spot.
I was inspired after meeting with this patient. Inspired to not only to get this patient stretching his budget much, much further…but to land a seriously delicious veggie burger recipe to share. It is unfathomable to me as to how someone would fork over that kind of money before considering the option of cooking…it absolutely blows my mind. If you’re an avid vegetarian meal consumer, these are for YOU!
If you THINK you wouldn’t like veggie burgers, this recipe is for YOU, too!
It likely goes without saying, but Mr. Prevention was NOT happy about this meal. He popped in a frozen Jack’s pizza but wouldn’t you know he was piecing apart one of these patties before it was even off the griddle. He was sampling and sampled again. I think he tried a third bite before admitting he was wrong…admitting that, once again, he falsely judged a vegetarian recipe.
This recipe is going in the mail straight to that patient. I hope he takes the bit of effort required to make these because “the juice is worth the squeeze”. Don’t forget the yogurt sauce…so good, especially with the spicy Southwest flavors of the burgers. I did serve these on a bun, but you could certainly eat them solo. Veggie burgers just got taken to a whole new level and the nutrition stats couldn’t be more impressive (7.2 grams of fiber and 4.3 grams of fat per burger!).
Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burgers slightly adapted from The Foodie Physician
½ cup dry quinoa 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 red onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 large egg 2/3 cup frozen corn 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 chipotle in adobo, minced 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup oat flour
½ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt 1 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Remove from heat. Note: this step can be done ahead of time.
Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté until onions are softened, 5-6 minutes. Place the mixture into a large bowl. Add black beans to the bowl and using a potato masher or fork, mash together until a pasty mixture forms.
Stir in the tomato paste, egg, corn, cilantro, chipotles, cumin and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in the cooked quinoa, oats, and oat flour until well mixed. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties, compacting them well with your hands as you form them. Place the patties on a baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
To make the yogurt sauce, stir the yogurt, honey and mustard together in a small bowl.
When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 400 F or heat a griddle to medium-high heat. If baking, spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place the patties on the sheet cook 10-12 minutes until the patties are golden brown and crispy. Carefully flip the over and cook another 10 minutes. If using a griddle, heat 4-6 minutes per side or until slightly golden. Serve patties with the yogurt sauce.
Yield: 6 burgers with 1 1/2 tablespoons yogurt sauce (nutrition information excludes bun)
Nutrition Information (per burger): 236 calories; 4.3 g. fat; 31 mg. cholesterol; 418 mg. sodium; 38.7 g. carbohydrate; 7.2 g. fiber; 11.3 g. protein
Result: Lots of flavors and textures in these! Store bought veggie burgers cannot hold a candle to these. Make large batches and freeze them individually for later. I love the cumin and chipotles and I was very pleasantly surprised to know that these hold together so well. A keeper recipe, for sure!
Our 4 Christmases have come to an end. Family, friends, and husband were far too generous. We are heading home with a more-packed car, an exhausted bulldog, and only 2 work days until the weekend T’was a very merry Christmas indeed!
While the past week and a half has been all about the sugar, I’ve moved on to all that is healthy (and good!)!