Veggie burgers aren't just for vegetarians. They are actually a wonderful way to get a dose of healthy plant based protein into your diet. Whether you are eating the patty individually, or adding it to a meat based sandwich, the health benefits are undeniable. In addition, this recipe can add a substantial boost of flavor with it's abundant Italian nuances.
I feel the cannellini beans provide a neutral base for the burger, as does the quinoa. Between the quinoa and beans, this recipe packs about half the protein as a beef burger, but with 22 times less fat.
When I composed this recipe, I used a gluten free bun, accompanied by avocado, alfalfa sprouts and the thyme aioli recipe that's provided below. Feel free to use whatever lettuce of choice (arugula, kale, baby spinach, romaine, etc), as well as tomato, onion and pickle if you so choose.
serving size: 8-10
total time: 40 minutes
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 can (or 2 cups) organic low sodium cannellini beans, well rinsed
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled**
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried leaves)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup veganaise (or organic mayo)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Gently steam the 2 cups of spinach by placing the greens in a medium sized, dry saucepan on low heat, and cover for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, keeping it covered. In a large mixing bowl, gently mash beans with a fork or potato masher. Add quinoa, wilted spinach, sundried tomatoes, flaxseed meal and spices, then mix the contents until an even consistency appears. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator so all of the flavors can marry.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Form the patties by gathering approximately one 1/3 cup of the bean mixture into a ball and then gently flatten. If you have a small sized ring mold, it forms better structured patties. Form between 8-10 patties and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven.
While the patties are baking, compose the aioli by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator until the patties are done baking. Allow to cool slightly before building the sandwich, or you may risk crumbling the patties. Using a spatula, transport the patty to a bun and top with add-ons of choice!
**I extract the excess moisture by placing the quinoa in a nutmilk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze tightly