Guest Post: Keen for Quinoa

I'm handing the ropes over to my foodie friend and sorority sister Noel today! She is a foodgrammer, loves to cook and like myself, obsesses over food. She makes me drool at everything she posts on her Instagram, so I asked her to come up with a recipe to share on Take A Bite! 

Hey guys, Noel here. I am a simple food lover. When I go to bed at night, I plan my breakfast. When I eat my breakfast, I plan my afternoon snack/ lunch. But I am thinking about my dinner ALL day. While I currently have no food blog, I have a daily struggle on whether to start one. You can, however, find me on Instagram--->@food_onmy_mind

I am 100%, without a doubt, keen for quinoa! I try to incorporate it into every meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner.  When Annie asked me to do a guest post, I had no clue what recipe I would give her.  But obviously I wanted to do something quinoa! However, a typical quinoa meal for me consists of cooking the quinoa separately and topping it with something or other.  So I wanted to make something where the quinoa and whatever else I added to it was one, single entity.  Annie and I tossed around ideas and we settled on Quinoa Avocado Black Bean Burgers!

Yes, all that goodness was put into one, single (vegetarian) entity.  I had made black bean burgers before, and had never been successful so I was nervous to test these babies out.  However, these particular BBB’s were made with special tender, love, and care (and I have since gained a food processor, which helped, A LOT).  

I invited a few friends to join me in taste testing and for the first time in my black bean burger career, I was successful.  I did learn that my original recipe was a bit spicy (I love spicy as much as I love quinoa), so the one you’ll find below has been modified to a lower spice level.

Now, I was really back and forth on what to put on my BBB.  So naturally, I made two combinations of toppings and ate half of each burger. 

Burger 1:  Dijon mustard, feta cheese, heirloom tomato, and alfalfa sprouts.

Burger 2:  Spicy mayonnaise (homemade), blue cheese, heirloom tomato, and spinach.

For those of you who are spice maniacs, like me, burger 2 is for you.  It was spicy let me tell you!  I will admit though, burger 1 was my favorite.  The combination of feta and alfalfa sprouts with the BBB was mouth watering.  I even made it into a salad the next night.

Black Bean Burgers
yields 6 burger patties

2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 avocado, cubed
1 shallot, diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. smoked Paprika
1 tsp. hot sauce of choice
1 egg white
zest and juice of lime
salt and pepper
*1/2 cup of cilantro would also be a great addition

Reserve 1/2 cup black beans and set aside.

Add the remaining beans, shallot, spices, lime zest, juice and hot sauce into the bowl of a food processor, fit with a steel blade. Process until the mixture is the texture of a very chunky puree. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining beans, avocado, cooked quinoa and egg white and stir together. (Turn so not to mush avocado) *If adding cilantro, do it at this step.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties and chill in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour, or more.  Make sure patties are thin, so that they cook through. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the patties to the pan. Cook them until browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. Serve on salad, with a bun and toppings, or in lettuce wraps/pocket bread.

Recommended toppings:
(Extra) avocado
Raw onion or sautéed white onion
Alfalfa sprouts
Arugula, spinach
Feta, blue cheese, Parmesan
Spicy mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Fried egg

Happy reading and happy eating!