Legumes and quinoa burger
Beans, peas, lentils, groundnuts and their like belong to the botanical family of “Leguminosae”. Their edible seeds are called legumes or pulses.
The legumes are very important from a nutritional point of view because they are a widely available vegetable food containing good quantities of protein and B vitamins in addition to carbohydrate.
You can find canned legumes (in water) and for me that is the best part, because you can cook a meal in just few minutes and get delicious nutrients. But, for more flavour and texture however, dried legumes are the better choice.
In this recipe I chose canned cannellini beans, slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends, they are from Italy and are creamy white in colour. When cooked, they have a fluffy texture and a slightly nutty, mild flavour. You can find them all year round.
- 1/2 cup quinoa.
- 1 1/4 cup water.
- 380 g cannellini beans carton or canned (in water), drained and rinsed.
- 1 red pepper, chopped.
- 1 spring onion, chopped.
- 1 clove garlic.
- Rapeseed oil.
- Sea salt (to taste).
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste).
- Cook the quinoa in 1 1⁄4 cup of water in a pan, lid on. Tip out into a large bowl to cool so it doesn’t over cook and go too soggy.
- Pat the cannellini beans dry with kitchen paper. Tip into a food processor along with the garlic, little salt and pepper. Blend until fairly smooth, then mix with the quinoa, red pepper and spring onion.
- Shape into patties with your hands.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the burgers, then quickly fry for 3 mins on each side until lightly golden.
- Serve the burgers on their own, but consider any two or three of the following embellishments: lettuce leaves, baby spinach or rocket, or baby kale (raw or barely wilted), roasted red peppers, green sprouts or peeled and sliced avocado.
*For dried beans, soak them in lots of cold water for a minimum of 5 hours (they’ll expand, so make sure your bowl is big). Drain and rinse, then put them in a large pan, cover with 5cm of cold water, bring to the boil, scoop off any foam, then boil for a further 10 minutes. Scoop the foam off again, then add just a little salt (too much salt before they’re cooked will harden the skin, as will anything acidic like lemon juice or tomatoes), and simmer gently with the pan lid half on for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tender. Keep an eye on the water level, and add more if necessary.
**You can bake (to 180ºC or 350ºF) the burgers in a baking sheet with parchment paper, for 10 minutes or until lightly golden and firm on each side. Remove from the oven and serve the burgers on their own or with a salad of your choice.