Quinoa is a wheat-free, gluten-free grain and can be consumed by anyone that suffers from celiac disease. Although I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, I know I feel a lot better and have fewer digestive complaints when I limit the amount of wheat products in my diet.
I have a box of Ancient Harvest brand quinoa pasta in my pantry. According to Ancient Harvest, “quinoa stands alone as a complete protein grain. It supplies all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern.”
My daughter, who’s 19, followed a vegetarian diet from the ages of 13 to 16. Although I’m not vegetarian, as an amateur athlete and foodie, I supported her decision to be meat-free during those three years. I was always looking for new recipes I could make for her that the entire family could enjoy. We have a chain of burger restaurants in south Florida, BurgerFi, that makes a delicious quinoa burger for their vegetarian patrons. My daughter and I really enjoy BurgerFi’s veggie burger so I thought I would try to make my own version of a quinoa burger.
Where to Find Quinoa?
Besides quinoa pasta varieties, you can also buy quinoa in its raw state. You can find quinoa at most grocery stores, in either the rice or pasta aisle. I found red and white varieties of organic quinoa at the 4th Generation Market in Boca Raton, Florida. But you should be able to find it just about anywhere these days; Publix, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods.
If you use the white variety of quinoa, you will end up with something that looks similar to a turkey burger. If you use the red variety of quinoa, you will end up with something that looks similar to a traditional beef burger.
Before you can make quinoa burgers, you have to cook your quinoa.The quinoa I purchased didn’t come with directions on how to cook it so I searched a couple of recipe sites on the Internet. I wasn’t sure if my quinoa was pre-rinsed or not so I just assumed it wasn’t. I placed the quinoa in a pan and covered it with water and let the quinoa soak a minimum of 5 minutes then used a fine mesh strainer to drain off the water.
NOTE: I have another recipe for a quinoa burger that uses sautéed spinach, kale and collard greens. I’ll write that up as a future article for the Creative Cottage.
Lynn Smythe, Founder The Creative Cottage
Vegetarian Quinoa Burgers
Learn how-to make a vegetarian burger using quinoa.