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.
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.
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.
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.