Quinoa Garbanzo Burgers

I love a good burger. You know, just minus the meat. But really, it is a well known mission of mine to find and devour good veggie burgers. They are hard to find out in the real world; there are only a few places here in Boise that manage to make them well. Mostly I have resorted to making them at home but (given my limited culinary experience) they are hard to get just right. Recipes I have tried tend to be a little, um, mushy. As in nothing even closely resembling a patty. And they also can be a bit bland. Now, I have found a pretty damn good black bean burger recipe, but I had yet to successfully create a good quinoa patty.

Those days are over, friends. Because I decided to make a burger of my own. If recipes just aren't working out for you, I'd recommend taking this approach. Just wing it! It's so much fun to get creative in the kitchen. It is even more fun when that creativity is successful and delicious. I mean, the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn't turn out (again). Or you could always give my recipe a try! These burgers were so good, filling but light too and full of flavor. The patties formed perfectly and there was none of that 'refrigerate the mixture for such and such a time' nonsense either. I literally mixed these up and then grilled them. The best.

Quinoa Garbanzo Burgers, makes 4 large patties:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup GF oats, blended (you could also use breadcrumbs)
Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
4 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Romaine lettuce
Mayo and Dijon mustard
Thin slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions: Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth and set aside. In a large bowl, use the back of a fork to mash the garbanzo beans into a paste. Mix in the chopped spinach, onion, and garlic. Thoroughly combine this mixture with the cooked quinoa (which should be a little cooler by now). Add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese, combining thoroughly. In a blender or food processor, pulse half a cup of oats into a grainy powder. I use this instead of breadcrumbs, as I prefer the taste, but breadcrumbs should be just fine to use. Add this powder and a beaten egg to the mixture. On a griddle, heat up a thin layer of olive oil over medium high heat. Form patties in your hand and place on the heated oil. Cook each side thoroughly, at least five minutes, before flipping or you'll end up with a broken patty. Cook both sides until golden brown.

Toppings, if desired: Lightly grill thin slices of mushrooms and onions in a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Once slightly tender, add 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to the pan and cook for another minute or two. Layer your quinoa garbanzo burgers, on (gluten free) bread or buns, over thin slices of mozzarella cheese and top with the onions and mushrooms. Finish with a leaf of romaine lettuce and a spread of mayo and Dijon mustard.

These are also delicious just wrapped up in a big leaf of romaine lettuce or simply eaten alone. Enjoy!