It’s not often that I make dinner for one. I am the primary cook in our house, but the duty does rotate and we have 2 nights a week that we declare “scrounge nights” where no one has to cook and we all just forage, finishing up left overs, or making a PB&J to be eaten on the couch or behind a laptop. We usually do a good job of eating together as a family unit and it’s something that I, and I hope everyone else, enjoys. Then there are the rare nights when everyone is out and it’s just me. On these rare occasions I don’t usually default to peanut butter on crackers or a quesadilla, in fact I usually try something new, partly because it means the kitchen will be empty and I can make a mess and take my time but mostly because total flops and “failures” are easily forgotten and aren’t compounded by the supportive and optimistic smiles as things get pushed around plates. “No really, it’s …good.”
I’m pleased to say that these meatless wonders were neither messy nor time consuming, but the biggest win of all was when my niece Justine ate one as a late night snack, hastily wrapped in a tortilla. Justine is a hard one to please when it comes to new foods. She is a texture-phobe and has made her feelings well known when it comes to commercially available veggie burgers. She visibly snarls in the face of a pre-frozen rice-heavy veggie option and would much prefer a grilled portabello atop a chicken breast or hamburger than alone. As she sat down to her snack I promised her she would like these seed and quinoa filled patties. She looked slightly dubious until I gave her the full run down of the ingredients. In her matter of fact way she replied, “Well, I like ALL those things, so …..” She bit in, her eyes went wide, and she exhaled a long and satisfied “Soooooooo goooooood!”.
That’s all I needed to hear.
Good in a burger bun or pita, over salad greens or topped with a fried or poached egg for brunch, this recipe makes ten 1/3 cup burgers.
1/2 C green (raw) pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 C goat cheese
2 C cooked black beans, divided
3 C cooked quinoa (from 1 C uncooked)
In a large bowl, combine spices, flour and seeds. Add 1 C black beans and the goat cheese. Mix well, add the egg and continue to mix until smooth. Stir in remaining cup of black beans and quinoa.
Pack into patties (I pressed the mixture into a 1/3 C measuring cup). Set formed burgers onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
Fry, 3 minutes per side, in a hot pan with 1 tsp olive oil until crisp. Serve immediately.
Lemon and Horseradish Aioli
3/4 C mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tsp very finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp finely minced chives
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish (use 1/2 tsp if you are grating your own fresh)
Combine all ingredients and mix well.