Saturday, 15 June 2013

Husband approved meatless meal! Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers with Homemade Tzaziki

I am so grateful to have a husband who is open to trying new things, even without his favourite meaty portion of the meal.

This recipe was discovered on The Foodie Physician's website, and is one that I will be keeping in my repertoire for years to come.

I have always been a huge advocate of black beans.  Loaded with fibre, folate and protein, these beans are a tasty way to pack nutrition into a meatless dish.

I have tried several recipes for black bean (veggie) burgers in the past, and this is by far the best (as agreed upon by my husband who is always a good sport for trying out my experimental recipes!)

Without further ado, the recipe (modified from The Foodie Physician).

Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

-NOTE: these work best if left for 2+ hours-overnight to "bind" together, although I have eaten successfully within an hour of making, although they did crumble more than if I had let them rest

-1/2 cup cooked Quinoa (this can be done in advance, used freshly cooked, or use leftovers)
-1 tsp olive oil
-1/2 red onion, diced
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
-2 Tbsp tomato paste
-1 large egg
-2/3 cup frozen corn
-1/2 cilantro, chopped (I omitted this as we do not enjoy cilantro)
-1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced (if you like spice, add more--I added 1 large and 2 small for a good amount of heat in the patty)
-2 tsp cumin
-1/2 cup rolled oats (I used Quick Oats)
-1/4 cup of flour (or oat flour, or whole wheat flour etc.)


Heat olive oil in small pan and sauté onions and garlic on medium heat until they are softened and fragrant.  Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the drained black beans.  Mash the mixture with a fork until it forms a pasty mixture.

Stir in tomato paste, egg, corn, cilantro, chipotles, cumin, and salt.  Then add in the quinoa, oats, and flour until the mixture is well blended.  Using your hands, form the mixture into patties (take into consideration the size of your bun).  I made 6 very healthy sized patties, I probably could have made 8 thinner patties instead.  Put the patties on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight being ideal for the flavours to mix and the egg and flour to bind the patty together to reduce crumbling.

When you're ready to feast, set your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray and cook for 10-14 minutes until the top of the patty becomes brown and crispy.  Flip the patties and cook for another 10-12 minutes.  (patties can also be pan fried on stove top for 4-6 min per side/hot in the centre)

Serve on a wholewheat bun with your favourite burger fixings.  As these are slightly drier than a meat patty, I HIGHLY suggest serving with tzaziki (recipe below) to moisten the burger and cool down the spicy patty.  This is a summertime HIT!

Homemade Tzaziki

Again, the husband was THRILLED with this dish and ate the leftover tzaziki for a week on chips, veggies etc. and graciously called this the best tzaziki he had ever eaten, restaurant or otherwise.

This recipe is based off one called Nancy's Easy Tzaziki and it is, truly, easy and delicious to make!

For this recipe I used my homemade greek yogurt I had prepped earlier in the week (see recipe here!) but you could easily use store bought yogurt as well.  The key is that it has to be the thick (low fat) greek variety otherwise your tzaziki will be far too runny.  You can always strain normal yogurt through a cheesecloth to get it to the thicker greek consistency, but keep in mind you will end up with a smaller amount than you started with.

-2 cups of greek yogurt
-1 large cucumber (or 2 medium)
-1 Tbsp salt
-a pinch of pepper
-2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 tsp vinegar (or you could use white wine vinegar)
-2 Tbsp of lemon juice (fresh or concentrate)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 tsp Dill (fresh or dried--I used dried with great success)


Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise.  Using a small spoon, scrape to discard the seeds and softest flesh as this will make your tzaziki far too watery.  Dice into small pieces/cubes.  At this point, toss your chopped cucumber with the Tablespoon of salt and place in a strainer (I placed mine in a coffee filter in a strainer) over a bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.  This step allows the excess fluid in the cucumbers to drain out to, again, decrease the watery-ness of your finished tzaziki. 

After an hour, remove the cucumbers from the fridge and squeeze out as much excess water as possible (I did this between 2 paper towels.)  Do it over the sink as you will be surprised at how much water comes out!  Pat them dry with paper towel and place in a small bowl.  Add to the cucumbers: vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill and pepper.  At this point you could also add a touch more salt, although I found it was not required due to the salt retained on the cucumbers (I also am a salt minimalist when I cook, so it was definitely not required by my palate.) Toss the cucumbers and these mixings until the cucumbers are well coated.

In the bowl/container you wish to store the tzaziki, place your yogurt and mix in the cucumber mixture.  Stir well to ensure a good blend of flavours. 

This (DELICIOUS) tzaziki can be served immediately (atop your veggie burgers) or can be stored in the fridge.  We found that the longer the tzaziki sat, the more flavourful it became. 

This is one of my new favourite summer meals, and I would love to hear from you if you try it! 

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