Southwest Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Avocado Cream

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Quinoa, black beans and sautéed veggies with a kick of spice topped with creamy avocado sauce. Sign. Me. Up!

As mentioned, I’m quite enamored with the superfood, quinoa. Not only for its versatility in cooking, but also because of its impressive nutrient profile. I’m also fanatical over anything in burger form with endless healthy toppings. Quinoa + burgers = match made in heaven, right??

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As mentioned, these quinoa burgers are super versatile. If burgers aren’t your thing, you could throw one of these patties on top of a salad, chop it up and wrap it in a tortilla, or mix it with rice or pasta.

I sandwiched my quinoa patty in a corn English muffin. Usually I go the whole-wheat route, however the corn seemed most fitting to compliment the flavors of the burger.

Oh and the avocado cream sauce? A refreshing blend of lime, Greek yogurt, avocado and cilantro. I use Greek yogurt in place of mayo and/or sour-cream for everything. It’s the perfect healthy substitute to lower the total fat and cholesterol while amping up the protein. Double win!

Feel free to be as liberal with this sauce as you please ;).

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The general rule of thumb for cooking quinoa is using 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid. This means you will need 1 cup of water for every 1/2 cup of dry quinoa. 1/2 cup of dry quinoa should yield around 1 1/2 cups cooked.

To cook, add the water to your quinoa in a medium pot and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium/low, and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. This will take 12-15 minutes. You will notice that the quinoa becomes sort of translucent and you can “fluff” it with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, add your diced vegetables to a heated skillet with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the peppers soften and onions become translucent.

Combine the cooked quinoa, sautéed veggies and black beans in a large bowl and allow to cool for ~10 minutes. If you add in the egg while the mixture is still hot, the egg could scramble rather than act as a binding agent. Add your spices, whisked egg and bread crumbs and stir until well combined.

Form the mixture into 5-6 patties using your hands. The mixture is a little on the sticky side, so I found that spraying my hands with a spritz of non-stick cooking oil made for ease of handling.

Spray the same pan you sautéed the veggies in with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-heat. Cook the patties (in batches, if necessary) on both sides until they are golden and warmed through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. Make sure to be gentle when flipping them, and make sure that both sides are brown and crispy.

To prepare avocado cream sauce, toss 1/2 avocado, 3 tbsp 0% fat plain Greek yogurt, juice and zest of 1/2 lime, 2 tbsp of fresh cilantro and a dash of Kosher salt into a food processor. Process until well combined.

Once all of the burgers are finished, assemble by sandwiching them between bun of choice, top with veggies and avocado cream. Eat!

Southwest Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Avocado Cream

Ingredients

Makes ~5 medium-sized burger patties

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked as instructed
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1/3 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/3 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1/3 onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg +  1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Avocado “cream” sauce

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 tbsp 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest from 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Dash of Kosher salt

Directions

  • Add 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium/low, and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, add your diced vegetables to a heated skillet with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the peppers soften and onions become translucent.
  • Combine the cooked quinoa, sautéed veggies and black beans in a large bowl and allow to cool for ~10 minutes. Add your spices, whisked egg and bread crumbs and stir until well combined.
  • Form the mixture into 5-6 patties and cook in a non-stick skillet on both sides until they are golden and warmed through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.
  • To prepare avocado cream sauce, add 1/2 avocado, 3 tbsp 0% fat plain Greek yogurt, juice and zest of 1/2 lime, 2 tbsp cilantro and a dash of Kosher salt into a food processor. Process until well combined. Assemble. Enjoy!

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Nutrition facts per serving (1 burger on one corn English muffin with 1 tbsp cream sauce)

Calories: 350; Total Fat: 8.5 gm; Saturated Fat: .5 gm; Cholesterol: 37 mg; Sodium: 360 mg; Carbohydrates: 57 gm; Fiber: 6.5 gm; Sugar: 7 gm; Protein: 17 gm

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