Earth Burgers

When I first designed these burgers, I felt like I was back at my favourite health spa “Kamalaya” in Thailand.  Eating them will automatically make you feel healthier and more energised and they make the perfect meal, delicious hot or cold. Serve as a bun free burger on plates or stuff into large lettuce cups and top with caramelised onion, fresh tomato and avo. A soft organic egg, cooked sunny side up is also a lovely addition. They take around 10 minutes to make and will keep in the fridge for around 4 days.

What’s good about it:
Quinoa is gluten free and has a low GI of 53.  It’s  a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for repair.  It’s also a good source of lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair, which makes it a perfect meal after a hard workout. Your body needs protein for repair and quality carbs to replenish glycogen and quinoa is a good source of both. For added protein I’ve added tempeh which is made from fermented soy beans that helps contribute good bacteria into the gut. Tempeh also pumps up the protein content of the burger that can help nourish your immune system. Tahini helps bind the burgers and adds a good dose of calcium, whilst coriander adds minerals and acts as an anti-inflammatory. I also love to boost the nutrient + omega 3 profile of the burgers by adding chia seeds or flaxseeds.

3 cups cooked quinoa (see notes on cooking and also using brown rice as a substitute)
1 carrot grated
4 spring onion, finely sliced
2 bunches coriander (cilantro), chopped
¼ cup sunflower seeds
250 g grated tempeh (see notes on adding beans and legumes)
¼ cup tahini
4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (wheat free)
sesame seeds for rolling

Sauté carrot in a saucepan with a little olive oil or water until soft.
Combine carrot with the quinoa, spring onion, coriander, sunflower seeds, tempeh, tamari, tahini.
Mix well for 2 – 3 minutes with clean hands until the mix starts to hold together. ( I normally use disposable gloves for this) This is the most important step – the more you mix the better they stick together.
Form into even sized burgers, roll in sesame seeds, then place onto a plate and into the fridge for about 30 minutes – 1 hour to set a little. The more time they have to rest and set, the better.
Makes 10.

To cook in a pan:
Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a low heat.
Cook the balls for 5 minutes each side until golden and crisp.  Be gentle these are delicate.
Enjoy.

To oven bake
Place the balls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with a little olive oil and bake for  30 minutes in a moderate 180 oven until golden.

Nutrition per burger:

Protein: 6 g
Total fat: 6.4 g
Saturated: 0.7 g
Carbs: 7.2 g
Fibre: 2.8 g
Kilojoules: 464
Calories: 111

Notes:
Cooked brown rice can be used in place of the quinoa.
Tempeh can be replaced with cooked , mashed chickpeas.

Quinoa can be replaced with brown rice.
Add other seeds such as chia or flaxseeds to boost the nutritional profile + omega 3.

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67 Responses to “Earth Burgers”
  1. Melissa says:

    Can coriander be omitted or replaced?

  2. Perfect! I have been hunting for a vege burger for so long – loving all the natural ingredients. Thanks once again for a great recipe. :)

  3. Meg says:

    Hiya, what would you substitute quinoa for? or half quinoa half something else? it makes me feel really sick when I eat it!

  4. Meg – Have a read of the notes in the recipe. You can substitute quinoa with brown rice. :)

  5. These sound perfect! I’ve made similar tempeh cakes with brown rice instead of quinoa and tahini is always a must in the mix! I’ll try this version next time!

  6. Hilary says:

    Yum. I might make them for dinner.

  7. Peta says:

    Can these be frozen before cooking them?

  8. They freeze well Peta :) x

  9. Anne-Marie says:

    What could I use as a substitute for soy sauce. I’m not allowed to have any soy products.

  10. Victoria says:

    Hi Teresa
    Can these be frozen?
    Thanks

  11. HUBBY .) says:

    HUBBY likes .) I had them over Easter, Victoria they taste better cooked than frozen !

  12. Laura says:

    Can the tahini be substituted with anything?
    Such as mashed sweet potato?

  13. Antia says:

    Hi Teresa, im making these for tonight :)
    just wanted to know how much chickpeas i use?
    thanks

  14. Antia, Use 1 whole 400 g tin chickpeas (drained well) place into a food processor until smashed then use as required. You will love them :) x

  15. Antia says:

    ohh great thank you… ive just made the mixture and it already tastes delicious! cant wait till tonight

  16. Ele says:

    Teresa I made these last night and they were beautiful. Big fail on the pattie shaping though! I’m going to try leaving them overnight in the fridge next time but hubby and I both said that the taste is so good we don’t care that they crumbled. Perfect with the caramelised onion as you recommended and I just threw some sliced garlic and chopped tomato into the onion at the end of the cooking. As I can’t eat soy and am not into chickpeas, for my half, I substituted cooked mushrooms and pumpkin for the tempeh and it was perfect. Thanks again, lovely recipe.

  17. kate says:

    hi teresa is there a substitute for tahini? or can i go without?

  18. Adele says:

    I made these last night and stacked each burger with half an avocado, field mushroom, wilted spinach and tomato, topped with a fried egg and spicy tomato relish. I posted a photo on facebook and had all my friends inviting themselves around for dinner! You just keep on reigniting my passion for fresh, healthy food, Teresa!

  19. Jo says:

    Thanks Teresa, made these tonight for the family…only had 1 bunch of corriander so added some dried , added corn straight off the cob and used spanish onion instead of spring onions. Well done… hubby reckons they need sambal or ketchup manis but I enjoyed them as they were with avocado salsa and salad… yummo. xxx

  20. Lisa says:

    Hi Teresa… I made these fabulous burgers last night… flavour great… but they fell apart! Could I add an egg to bind it better? Or am I doing something else wrong??

    • Hey lisa, don’t add an egg. The trick is the mix and squish the ingredients really well together so they combine. Brown rice will give a firmer result to the burger if you want it that way. :)

  21. Pete says:

    Hi Teresa

    Your recipes are a revelation for me. This Earth Burger has been one of my favourites so far. Like other comments, mine fell apart, but couldn’t eat them fast enough. Thanks for providing simple, healthy ideas.

  22. Darley says:

    I used quinoa flakes, and the mix was so soggy and the burgers didn’t form at all. Am I using the wrong type of quinoa? And many cups of dry quinoa would yield 3 cups of cooked quinoa? I’m really keen to try this again!! Thanks.

    • Darley – Please don’t use quinoa flakes….you need to use whole quinoa – looks sort of like rice when you buy it. You can also make this with cooked brown rice if you can’t find quinoa. Let me know how you go. :)

  23. Vanessa says:

    Hi Teresa,

    These look great! Do you have a preferred brand of tempeh you could recommend?

    Thanks.

  24. Amanda says:

    Hi Teresa,
    As a qualified nutritionist, I have for as long as I’ve been old enough to cook for myself, had a penchant for cooking & eating good quality, nutritious food. I made these last night & simply cooked them in a pan this evening for dinner. The taste was AMAZING! I actually used firm tofu in place of tempeh & they were delightful.. I’ll be taking the remainder for lunch tomorrow.

  25. kerri says:

    Hi Teresa, I’ve made these burgers twice now and my hubby absolutely loves them. I didn’t have any tempeh on hand so i used mashed cooked kidney beans as an alternative. Will the protein content be as high as the Tempeh?

  26. Definitely, what a fantastic site and illuminating posts, I surely will bookmark your site.Best Regards!

  27. Nicki says:

    Absolutely love these earth burgers! We made them but didn’t have carrot so used grated sweet potato and also used the mashed chickpeas instead of tempeh. The fresh coriander and spring onion (which was fresh out of my mum’s garden) just boosted the flavour so much. Would these burgers freeze well? Thanks again for these yummy inspiring recipes!

    • Caitlin says:

      hi Nicki,
      i made these with chickpeas too and frezzed some before i cooked them and they were perfect! so im guessing you can :)

  28. Lauren says:

    I have made these twice now and they are just beautiful, so full of flavour!
    I mixed them for a few minutes and left them to set in the fridge and they didn’t fall apart at all. Last time I made them I froze the leftovers, and they were just as yummy when defrosted.

    Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s a definite favourite!

  29. Lucy says:

    This sounds wonderful, i’m obsessed with chickpeas and have been looking for a healthy burger for so long! What would you suggest serving these with, to complement the flavour? Would a simple salad do, or can i knock something up as a side? And could this recipe be morphed into a ‘meatball’ recipe, to put in a spag bol with your vegetable spaghetti, or are they too fragile?

    • Hey Lucy, the Earth burgers would be great served with the following ideas:
      1 Green Superfood Salad made with leafy greens, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, avocado and green dressing.
      2. Tahini mixed with a little thick yoghurt and served with roasted carrot, beetroot and pistachio.
      3. Sauteed finely chopped broccoli with loads of spring onion, parsely, mint, lemon and a little olive oil – My hubby loves this quick 5 minute dish. A little fetta is lovely on this too.

  30. Tessa says:

    How much uncooked quinoa is required to yield 3 cups cooked please?

  31. Anna says:

    I made these last night and they were delicious! I made them with pre-cooked quinoa that had actually been in the fridge all day. The mix stuck together really easily, so this may be a tip for others! I served it with an egg, sunny side up, and it was super. It kind of reminded me of Indonesion eggs, yum!!

  32. Tessa says:

    Hi Teresa, is it possible to cook these burgers on the BBQ?

  33. Michelle says:

    I used Bragg’s instead of Tamari and these were soooo good! I might reduce the Bragg’s by 1T just because I thought it might taste a little too salty but these are a must try! Thank you so much for all that you do to make healthy eating a culinary delight! Blessings, M.

  34. Erin says:

    Hi theresa, I love these burgers – they have a great flavour which was totally unexpected by me – and have made them several times – however they annoying keep falling apart. I use chickpeas in place of Tempah – but wondering if its best to undercook the quinoa will it help? I have put them in the fridge, mushed all ingredients well so they stick, I’ve even tried to add egg and flour as a last resort and no effect….

  35. Mel says:

    Teresa, these are amazing, your recipes are all amazing and YOU are amazing!! You are such an inspration and a true role model :)

  36. Jess says:

    Teresa, these are amazing! Do they have to be cooked, i didnt bother the first time i made them, we ate them chilled with salad – they tasted fantastic and held their shape really well, just wondering if there is something in there that needs cooking? Thanks

  37. Alicia says:

    Teresa, I would like to sincerely thank you for your expertise and inspiration! I can’t wait to try so many of your recipes! I am particularly inspired by your substitutions for this recipe as my little boy is currently on a low chemical diet and we need to avoid all artificial nasties in addition to salicylates and amines which unfortunately requires excluding a lot of the more tasty veges, fruits and herbs. With this recipe (and the alternatives you have suggested), I think we might be on a brilliant winner (the extent of my creativity thus far has entailed hiding brussel sprouts in everything I can :) – it is sooo hard to provide him with variety, dense nutrition and something that he finds palatable). Reading your site is now a favourite part of my day!

  38. Mitchy says:

    Best. Veggie burgers. Ever. Thanks so much Teresa! I loved how the dubious look on my husband’s face (as he saw the quinoa on the cooktop) disappeared as soon as he tried these – success :)

  39. Sharon says:

    Absolutely delicious. I used brown rice instead of the quinoa, added some lightly sauteed garlic and also mashed chick peas to help bind. As I had lots of limes I grated some zest and added some juice. The addition of the mashed chick peas, mixing them well and resting in the fridge certainly prevented them from falling apart. I topped them with some apple relish to serve. Even had one son scooping out the left over sesame seeds from the pan. A really versatile burger – and yummy BEFORE they are even cooked. Thank you Teresa for such inspiration!

  40. Sarah says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Can I leave the beans and legumes out altogether? I suffer fructose malabsorption but these sound delicious! If I can’t leave them out, could you suggest a replacement?

    Thanks :)

  41. Kristin says:

    I love this recipe! It sounds so healthy and looks amazing. Is there anything you can substitute for the tahini?

  42. Selena says:

    One word…AMAZING!

  43. Anita N. says:

    Hi Teresa, I love these but want to try the next lot with chickpeas. I prefer not to use tinned chickpeas, so how much cooked chickpeas would i use?

  44. Jessica says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Just wondering what sauce you serve these with at the Nourished cafe at Avalon?

    I had them today, they were amazing!

    Thank you

    • Hey Jessica – I sold my cafe about 2 years ago….but I designed 2 sauces for them. 1 was a mixture of tahini and tamari and the other a lovely hoisin dipping sauce with nut butter. It’s in my next book I am currently writing. :) x

  45. Lisa says:

    I made these for dinner last night and they were outstanding! Thanks Teresa for sharing your awesome recipes, we love them :)

  46. Rebecca says:

    These were fantastically delicious! Loved them, thanks!

  47. I was a bit nervous to make these. I used black tahini as opposed to regular tahini simply because I had it and wasn’t sure what to do with it. They looked terrible while I was rolling them in sesame seeds, but turned out amazing! I am still shocked at how tasty they were. Thank you!

  48. Erica says:

    Hi Teresa

    I made these last night. They were delicious. I only had a 200 gm packet of tempeh and substituted spring onions with chives. I moulded the patties while the quinoa was still pretty warm and had no trouble with them holding together. My husband raved about them.

    Thanks for another great recipe.

  49. Calissa says:

    Hi. I love this recipe and have been making these burgers for some time. My 2.5 year old has them for lunch some days at Childcare. The Childcare centre has just put a ban on sesame due to another child with an allergy. What would you recommend I replace the tahini and sesame seeds with? Many thanks

    • Hi Calissa – add a little coconut butter to help this bind together…brown rice also works better for binding than quinoa for this recipe….cook the carrots a little longer until they break up easily and they will help with binding. role is ground rice or buckwheat. T:)

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