When I got asked to review a copy of Quinoa Cuisine: 150 Creative Recipes for Super-Nutritious, Amazingly Delicious Dishes by Jessica Harlan & Kelly Sparwasser, I couldn’t resist! I am crazy about this superfood. Quinoa is a complete protein that provides all nine essential amino acids, it contains calcium, iron, fiber, potassium, B vitamines, and vitamin E. It has lysine, which is essential in helping the body grow and repair tissues. It’s been shown to help ease migraine headaches, prevents clogging of the arteries and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Quinoa has a wonderful nutty flavor and you can easily replace more common grains with it to add substance and health benefits without sacrificing taste. From breakfast to desert and all the potlucks and picnics in between, the 150 recipes in Quinoa Cuisine includes:
- Quinoa Biscuits and Gravy
- Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad with Lime Dressing
- Two-Bean Quinoa Chili
- Balsamic Baked Tofu with Asparagus-Caper Quinoa
- Poached Pears with Spice Quinoa
This cookbook is not vegan, but it does offer a handful of vegan-friendly recipes and has a vegetarian section. However, if you are good at veganizing recipes, almost every recipe can be simply modified. To give you an example of this, I took these fabulous Lentil-Quinoa Cheeseburgers, which are perfect to make for your Fourth of July Celebrations. I posted the original recipe with my notes on how to modify the recipe. This book has so many mouth-watering recipes, I can’t wait to veganize the rest!
Lentil-Quinoa Cheeseburgers (Jessica Harlan & Kelly Sparwasser)
These “burgers” have a tender interior but a nice crust on the outside. They’re a great veggie option when you’re sick of store-bought frozen meatless patties. The smoked paprika adds a nice flavor, so it’s worth seeking out at a supermarket or specialty food store that has a well-stocked spice aisle. Extra cooked burgers without cheese freeze well. You can reheat them in the oven or microwave, on the grill, or on the stovetop, just as you’d prepare commercial frozen burgers.
Makes 8 Burgers
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed
5 cups water, divided
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ small yellow onion, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 cup brown lentils
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup quinoa flakes
canola oil, as needed
6 slices American or cheddar cheese
6 hamburger buns
lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes,
ketchup, mustard, or other condiments
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and the remaining 3 cups water, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain.
3. In a blender, purée the lentil mixture with the bell pepper until they form a slightly chunky paste. Add the soy sauce, paprika, garlic powder, a generous pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper; pulse to combine. Transfer the purée to a bowl and stir in the egg, then stir in the cooked quinoa and quinoa flakes. The mixture should be about as thick as mashed potatoes and able to
loosely hold its shape.
4. Using about ½ cup of the mixture for each burger, form into patties. Place on a plate or baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as several hours, to allow the burgers to firm up.
5. Heat about 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet, griddle, or grill pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the burgers in the pan, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Cook until the underside is browned and crisp, about 8 minutes, then flip and cook until the second side is browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Top with cheese and either cover the pan or put the burgers under a broiler for 1 minute to melt the cheese. Serve on buns with your choice of condiments.
How to Veganize this recipe:
1) Replace the egg with 1 tbsp flax meal or chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp warm water. Allow to sit for several minutes until the mixture firms up like an egg.
2) Replace cheese with Vegan Cheese of choice. or eliminate this step altogether.
3) If you want to eliminate the oil, use vegetable stock or water and sauté the vegetables with that. Add veggies to heated saucepan with 1-2 tbsp of veggie stock or water and sauté, adding more veggie stock or water ass needed to prevent burning. This works just as well as using oil and will save you all that extra fat!
4) Bake the burgers instead of frying them. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place burgers on non-stick baking mat or parchment-lined baking tray. Use a little cooking spray on the mat or parchment to prevent sticking. Bake burgers for 20-30 minutes, turning once halfway through baking.
Now for the Giveaway…
*This Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated. =)
To enter the contest, leave a comment telling me what’s your favorite quinoa recipe. Don’t forget to leave your contact information so I can let you know if you win. =)
You MUST leave each entry as a separate comment or only one comment will count.
- Like Quinoa Cuisine on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall.
- Subscribe to Virtually Vegan Mama
- Like Virtually Vegan Mama on Facebook and leave a comment on my wall.
- Follow Virtually Vegan Mama (@virtveganmama) on Twitter
- Tweet about this giveaway and tell me that you tweeted in the comments section; “I just entered to win Quinoa Cuisine @virtveganmama”
- Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page and tell me that you did so in the comments section
- Stumble this giveaway
- Pin it
All entries must be completed no later than Tuesday, July 10th 2012, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 11th 2012, on my blog, and the winner will also be notified via the email address they provided in the comments section.
Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only. =)
Good luck and Happy Fourth of July!