We have all had a veggie burger or two over the years that has left us wanting and unimpressed. I can think of more than one occasion that I asked a server if their veggie burger was house made or brought in. A well made veggie burger can be incredibly flavorful and healthy, but unfortunately they usually tend to draw the short stick on being a featured item at restaurants.
This Mediterranean quinoa patty combines chickpeas, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and capers to deliver a delicious and nutritious veggie burger. Quinoa is one of the few non-meat sources that solely provides all nine essential amino acids. It is also a good source of protein, fiber, iron and has just over 100 calories per half cup. Chickpeas are also a great source of vegetarian protein as well with 15 g per cup and an additional 12 g of fiber. The other major ingredient in this mixture is zucchini. Zucchini has been touted for the antioxidant benefits it provides, as well as, being a great source of manganese and vitamin C.
These veggie patties also come together quickly once your quinoa is cooked. The mixture does need to be refrigerated though before forming the patties. This extra step ensures they maintain their shape when pan fried. I usually make up the mixture and scoop out a serving and fry them as needed so I can have them for lunch for a few days. If you wanted to prepare them all at once for a gathering or to have ready to re-heat quickly, use a griddle or large non-stick pan to fry and then hold them in a warm oven until serving.
- 2 C. Quinoa, cooked (from approximately 3/4 C. dry quinoa)
- 1 15 oz. can (or 1 1/2 C.) Chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 C. Zucchini, grated (from 1 med. zucchini)
- 2 Tbsp. Julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. sun-dried tomato oil (from above)
- 2 Tbsp. capers, drained
- 1/3 C. Sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Onion powder
- 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Squeeze zucchini with a dish towel or cheese cloth to remove excess moisture. Add to food processor.
- Add the chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, sesame seeds, salt, pepper and spices to food processor. Pulse until mixture is combined and fairly smooth, about 45 seconds. (If you are using a small food processor or a blender, you may have to blend the mix in batches.)
- Scrape the bean mix into a medium mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs and quinoa into the bowl and fold until well combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Form into 6 patties. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet or griddle. (If you would like to eat 1 or 2 at a time, scoop as you need it and keep the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator fro up to 3 days.)
- Pan fry for 4 minutes each side until golden brown. Serve on a bun with extra sun-dried tomatoes and greens or on a salad as an entree.