Gluten-free vegan quinoa burgers with potato salad

Gluten-free and vegan!  Excitement! 

Update: As my roommate and fellow food blogger Brittany has kindly informed me, I should probably clarify that the bun is not GF, only the burger patty itself.  There. Now go forth and cook.

My summer burger craving got resolved the healthy way.

Like: square burger patties. Dislike: harsh sunshine shadows

I was in a bit of a rut last night when trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner.  The balmy summer weather and sweaty bike commutes were making me drowsy and in desperate need of something that resembled an easy going weekend BBQ.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve virtually stopped using meat in my dishes (besides chicken, because chicken is just so damn good), a result of both my inherent cheapness and the fact that meat now makes my stomach feel like it wants to rip itself to shreds.

Anyways, my attempted vegetarian-minus-chickenism, led to the finding of an alternative burger source.  Back in the winter I made a chick pea burger, which turned out to be awesome and extremely photogenic (like I’ve said before, food miraculously tastes better if it’s also pretty).  Since I couldn’t very well duplicate a recipe, I settled on making quinoa patties.  Chalk up another win for my favourite protein-filled summer grain!

I had no idea how to make quinoa burgers, so I googled recipes, settling on the very first one I read.  From here, I actually tweaked the recipe a lot (translation: left out a few non-critical thing), making my burger so incredibly cheap (without sacrificing taste).  There were loads of delicious spices that made for a tasty patty and a pretty pan:

And because no impromptu Thursday night BBQ is complete without a salad, I quickly whipped up a potato one, matched with crunchy celery and red pepper and drizzled with a smooth dijon vinaigrette.

Dinner was eaten on the patio in our hammock.  Bliss.

Recipe: Gluten-free vegan quinoa burgers
Adapted from Savvy Vegetarian
-1 cup quinoa
– 1/2 cup mashed chickpeas, drained
– 1 tbsp tomato paste
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp dried coriander
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
– 1 tsp olive oil

Highly recommended toppings: baby arugula (more spicy kick, yum!), dijon mustard

Boil 2 cups of water in a medium-sized pot.  Add quinoa and reduce to a simmer.  Let cook until quinoa has absorbed all the water, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher.

In a skillet, dry roast the spices, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Toss all the quinoa minus a 1/4 cup, chick peas, tomato paste and spices into a food processor (I used my magic bullet!).  Blend as well as you can, and remove with some chunks remaining.  Put the mixture in a bowl and stir in salt and pepper.  Stir in the 1/4 cup of remaining quinoa.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a medium skillet (or on your BBQ, if you have one, in which case I’m majorly jealous), heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Fry the quinoa burger patties until each side is browned.

Serve on bun or pita with baby arugula, dijon mustard and anything else your heart desires.

Makes 2 large quinoa patties.

For the next half hour, bike as fast as your legs will take you to the local grocery store and purchase potatoes for…

Recipe: Mediterranean potato salad
Adapted from Canadian Living
– 8 mini red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
– 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
– 1/2 cup celery, diced

Dressing
– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp dijon mustard
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/4 tsp salt
– Dash pepper

In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes just until fork-tender, about 10 minutes; drain and let cool.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper until blended.

Add potatoes to dressing along with red pepper and celery.  Gently toss to coat wellMakes 3 servings.

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