Quinoa Cuisine Cookbook Giveaway and Lentil-Quinoa Cheeseburgers!



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!



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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

black pepper

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!



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  1. katherine d says

    i love quinoa for breakfast! Like baked quinoa with pumpkin, maple syrup, and cranberries.

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Rechel Harris says

    I like it for breakfast made the night before in the slow cooker. I add cocoa, almond milk, agave, vanilla and its similiar to rice pudding.

  3. Ora Emmerich says

    I mix quinoa with cooked onions and mushrooms for a delicious lunch or side dish. I also enjoy putting quinoa into any green salad for extra protein, texture and flavor.

  4. says

    Hubby and I discovered Quinoa a year or so ago, but have recently in the last few months been cooking it A LOT. Hubby cooks it and pairs it with baked chicken for easy work lunches. I use it in place of pasta and top it with homemade spaghetti/tomato sauce. We use it as a side dish seasoned with garlic, onion, etc. Last weekend I started a gluten-free diet, and quinoa is a life saver! I used it in place of pasta for a ‘pasta’ salad that I made for a get together last weekend (and also made the pasta version). And just today I topped it with GF sloppy joe meat – YUM! I can’t wait to try your burger recipe (minus the bun for me)!

  5. Joan says

    I love Quinoa and would love some new recipes. The Quinoa Lentil Burger sounds devine. One of my favorite recipes using Quinoa is a grain and veggie salad my daughter makes. It’s fantastic.

  6. Joan says

    I like QC and this is the comment I left on their wall:
    Joan Osborneposted toQuinoa Cuisine
    2 seconds ago
    Love Quinoa and always looking for new recipes. Happy to have found this site.

  7. Joan says

    I like you on Facebook and left the following comment:

    Joan Osborneposted toVirtually Vegan Mama
    2 seconds ago
    Love your cover photo. Happy 4th.

  8. Kelsey says

    My very favorite thing to do with quinoa is make quinoa patties! Super easy. Just mix quinoa with egg, garlic, onions, and whatever spices you want, make them into little patties, and pan fry them in olive oil. I love to eat them with a fried egg on top. This book looks fabulous!

  9. Sara says

    My favorite quinoa recipe is a mexican salad, with black beans, avocado, corn, cucumbers and peppers. I make a cumin lime dressing for it. I think that is what we are having for dinner tonight.

  10. Claudette says

    My favorite quinoa recipe so far is a Southwest Quinoa Salad. Very yummy hot or cold and great in burritos. I also love quinoa with spinach, garlic and chickpeas, sauted together. Always looking for more great recipes.

  11. says

    Hm… I think the best recipe with quinoa I have ever made was a cheezy broccoli quinoa bake with tofu cream cheese – so rich! (although most certainly a winter food, doesn’t sound so good in 100 degree weather!)

    • says

      quinoa meatballs and sphtgeati squash. He thought I was joking.When I brought the dinner to the table, he took one look at it, went to the computer and tweeted: My wife said she was making quinoa meatballs and spaghtetti squash I thought she was kidding. She wasn’t!

    • says

      I wanted to say that this rpecie made me think of GHEE. My son is allergic to all 8 allergens and dairy is one of them but he can eat Ghee. So i use it whenever a rpecie calls for oil or butter in place of dairy. It’s fabulous and still has many nutritious components of butter!

  12. Lisa mccann says

    I use quionia as a part of my plant strong diet. Last night i made the following cold salad

    Cooked quiona

    Chopped red pepper

    Chopped green onions
    Can of drained black beans
    Dreasing: veg broth, 2 tsp balsamic vineger, mrs dash chipole seasoning to taste, lemon or lime juice add to above. Refrigerate. Serve

  13. Bonnie says

    What an exciting giveaway! I have been reading about quinoa and seeing it popping up in recipes and finally bought some at the grocery store. This book would be so helpful in introducing this new superfood into my diet. Good luck to all!

    I subscribed via email :)

  14. Shannon says

    I love to cook Puerto Rican style red beans and quinoa. Delicious and nutritious. I would love to try out some new quinoa recipes from the book.

  15. Diana G says

    I love to make a quinoa pilaf with onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms and corn. I cook it with vegetable broth. It’s very tasty and very filling. thanks.

  16. Danielle says

    I don’t have a favorite, but I did enjoy a wonderful spinach-quinoa salad today with buffalo mozzerella, tomatoes and balsamic vinagrette dressing.

    • says

      Cindy That is interesting. As I reclal pasta uses whole eggs as an ingredient. WalMart’s pasta must not use the yolks. In any event, the problem I have with wheat (semolina usually) based pasta is my body treats it like sugar most (oddly, not all) of the time. My total cholesterol level is a very low 125 so I pretty much don’t worry about it. The quinoa pasta doesn’t raise my blood sugar at all and on occasion, I’ve noticed a drop after a dinner that included quinoa. If blood sugar isn’t an issue for you (or Frank) then I think your instincts are on target.

  17. Theresa says

    My favorite quinoa recipe is Greek Quinoa Salad with bell pepper,cucumber, red onion, olives, feta and red wine vinaigrette.

  18. zarah says

    I love quinoa these burgers sound so good! I love making sprouted quinoa tabouleh, or quinoa with asparagus, peas, and green beans with pesto

  19. says

    I love quinoa so many awesome recipes i couldnt pick just one but heres one the whole family loves!

    Cheesy Quinoa Bites
    Makes ~28 bites
    •2 cups cooked quinoa
    •2 large eggs
    •1 cup shredded carrot
    •2 stalks green onion, diced
    •2 cloves garlic, minced
    •1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    •1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    •2 Tbs all-purpose flour
    •1/2 tsp seasoning salt
    •1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, cilantro, cheese, flour, salt and pepper.
    3. Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each).
    4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

  20. says

    This looks delicious and I want to make this soup. I would have to cut back on the curry paste, as we have ereats that claim they don’t like curry…….Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul.

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