Spicy Cauliflower Burger

Do you love a good burger? How about a veggie burger?

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If you are like me, you would have answered in the affirmative to both those questions. How I wish I could eat burger (the meat version) and fries most days of the summer – straight from the grill onto my plate and into my tummy. In those instances, I try hard to remind myself I am not a teenager who can burn off those calories in a jiffy. So, I don’t indulge them in all that often.

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As a near distant substitute, I resort to veggie burgers every once in a while. It’s usually those frozen kinds. While at least one brand has come to be an OK substitute, I never get the satisfaction of biting into a real burger. At least not until I tried this homemade version for a spicy cauliflower burger.

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This recipe is not my original. It was inspired by Pinch of Yum. While I tweaked my recipe a little, much of the meat (no pun intended) is derived from the original recipe.

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Spicy Cauliflower-Quinoa Burger

  • Servings: 10
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Ingredients
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
4 tablespoons oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded Pepperjack or mild cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Burger buns of your choice

Toppings
Finely shredded purple cabbage, sprinkled with lime juice and a dash or salt
Thinly sliced red onions
Avocado slices
Chipotle mayo
Other toppings of your choice

Preparation
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Cook quinoa according to package instructions, but use only 1 cup of water or vegetable broth. Turn off heat, fluff the quinoa and let cool.
3) Layer the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with spices. Roast for 20-30 minutes. Let cool.
4) Using a food processor, pulse the roasted florets to break into small pieces that look like grated cauliflower. Take care to avoid grinding to paste.
5) In a large bowl, combine pulsed cauliflower, cooked quinoa, garlic, almond meal, eggs, salt, cornmeal and cheese. If you like your food really spicy, you can add additional cayenne or black pepper.
6) Form into patties. According to the original recipe, this should make about 10 burgers, but if you are like me, you will probably make fewer, thicker patties. It’s your choice. But, if you do make it thicker, add additional cooking time.
7) Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and cook a batch of burgers on one side until golden brown. This may take about 4 minutes or so. Flip carefully to maintain shape and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
8) While the original recipe asks to transfer the burgers to a paper lined plate, I kept mine on a wire rack placed on a cookie sheet and kept in the warm oven to maintain the crispy texture and keep the burgers warm.
9) Assemble the burgers per your taste and be amazed at how incredibly satisfying it is.

NOTE: These burgers freeze well. Reheat in the oven or over the stovetop.

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Pan-Cooked Southwest Quinoa Patty

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Quinoa has come a long way from its humble beginnings! What used to be a trendy food item of the ultra-health conscious folks, has now become a near staple in many a household – thanks to its nutty texture, delectable taste and most importantly its high nutritional value!

I use quinoa in salads, as a replacement for rice for serving with curries, as breakfast cereal and now as quinoa “burger” or patty.

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You can season these patties with your favorite combination of spices, herbs and other add-ins. I prefer the spicy notes imparted by southwest flavors of peppers, cilantro, citrus etc. and so decided to make these patties with those flavors! I used minced red peppers and zucchini to the patty mix. Needless to say, these ingredients add specks of bright colors and also boost the nutritional value. Addition of cheese not only gives a nice taste, but also helps in the holding power of the patty. As you may already know, cooked quinoa is rather fluffy, individual grains. Even with mashed black beans, you will still need the cheese in there for the best texture. I did make a few without cheese. They came out great, but I had to be extra careful not to break them while flipping or removing from pan. Lastly, even with cheese, be careful handling the patties. They are a bit fragile but so worth it when it comes to taste.

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Lastly, you can use any type of quinoa for these patties (red, regular white, a combination etc). Also, you could substitute cannellini beans (or may be even navy beans) for the black beans in this recipe. Since I used regular canned black beans (not unsalted or reduced sodium), I could get away with just 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If you are unsure of the spice amounts, taste the mixture BEFORE adding eggs so you could adjust the seasoning. I did and boy was the mix delicious even at that stage! Would make a yummy dip baked with some cheese on top. Next time!

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The formed patties can be frozen. Just pan “fry” them straight from the freeze under a low temp so the inside gets cooked through without burning the outside.

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Pan-Cooked Southwest Quinoa Patties

Ingredients
2 to 2 1/4 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely minced red onions
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup diced zucchini
1 jalapeno pepper, minced finely (remove seeds if desired)
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 cloves of garlic, grated fine
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation
1. Mix quinoa and all other ingredients EXCEPT oil thoroughly.
2. Divide the mix into 10 equal portions and flatten on parchment lined baking sheet into patties about 4-5″ in diameter and about 1/2″ thick.
3. Place the patties in single layer on a platter and chill for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can just chill the mix and form the patties immediately prior to cooking them. To do this, just take a ball of mix and flatten on palm of your hand and gently and carefully transfer it to the frying pan.
4. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Swirl to coat and place patties in the pan.
5. Cook for about 6-8 minutes. Carefully turn the patties on the other side and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes. Extended cooking results in a golden and crispy exterior while ensuring the inside is cooked thoroughly.
6. Hold in a warm oven or toaster oven till ready to serve.

TIPS:
1. If serving the patties assembled as burgers, proceeds as you would with any meat patty.
2. If serving at a later time, freeze uncooked patties after their initial “chilling” period in the refrigerator (for easier handling). Wrap individual patties in clear plastic wrap and store in a zip top bag or other airtight container. Pan “fry” frozen patties under low heat to help thaw the inside and increase heat to finish cooking and ensure proper internal temperature.

Soy-ginger glazed salmon burger with crispy Asian slaw

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We love salmon in my family – although our tastes differ when it comes to preparation method – broiled, grilled, in curries, steamed etc. But, what we all enjoy is a juicy and well-seasoned salmon burger!

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I have made salmon burger in various ways before – primarily changing up the seasoning mix. However, I had never made one infused with Asian flavors of soy, ginger and sesame. Last night seemed to be the time for it! I had all the ingredients I would need making it a snapt to proceed!

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This is a three part recipe – salmon patty, soy-ginger glaze and Asian slaw. Once you gather all the ingredients, it’s pretty fast to assemble. You could skip the slaw but I think you will miss it. 🙂 I personally think this particular burger is elevated to a whole new level with the addition of the fresh, crunchy topping. You have various options for the slaw – a combo green and purple cabbage with some tart apple, a combination of Napa cabbage with red onions and radish etc. Served on a lightly buttered and toasted bun, topped with a smattering of the slaw, this burger will likely become a family favorite!

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Soy-ginger glazed salmon burger with crispy Asian slaw

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients
Salmon Burger Patty
1 1/4 lbs salmon
1/2 inch ginger, finely minced
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely minced onions or green onions
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce or sambol oelek
1/4 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten

Soy-ginger glaze
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Asian slaw
3 cups of shredded and thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
5-6 red radishes, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preparation
1. Start by mincing the salmon either in a food processor or using a knife. If using a processor, take care not to over process as salmon will very easily turn into a “paste”.
2. Combine salmon with rest of the patty ingredients. Cover and set aside while you prepare the glaze.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and simmer on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes till the sauce thickens and become syrupy. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
4. Combine all the slaw veggies in a bowl.
5. Heat a griddle over medium/medium-high heat. Cook salmon patties for about 4 minutes per side till it is golden and cooked through.
6. Toast the hamburger buns with a very light spread of butter.
8. Toss the slaw veggies with the soy-ginger glaze.
9. Assemble the burger, drizzling bit of the glaze on the patty. Top with the tossed slaw and ENJOY!