These delicious and nutritious burgers are the perfect thing to make when you have a bit of time and then to freeze and use when you want a healthy lunch of dinner but don’t have the time to prepare it. They pair beautifully with a green salad or can be eaten in a lettuce wrap or in a traditional burger bun with some avocado, tomato and greens. The heat of the harissa is tempered by the sweetness of the pumpkin and peppers, and the seeds provide a wonderful textural crunch. These ingredients work brilliantly as a salad as well. If you prefer the salad version, just omit the chia, eggs and almond meal. As all the ingredients in the burgers are cooked, they don’t need long in the oven – just 15-20 minutes and you get a beautiful crispy quinoa crust that encases clean, healthy and wonderful flavours and ingredients. Enjoy.
Quinoa, Kale & Pumpkin Burgers
1/4 jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 tspn cinnamon
oil spray (I use rice bran oil)
2 red peppers, sliced
1/2 bunch tuscan kale, leaves only, finely shredded
1 tbspn harissa (I like Greg Malouf or Miri’s)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1.25 cups quinoa (I use tricolour but any colour is fine)
2.25 cups vegetable stock
3 tbspn chia seeds
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 heaped tbspn almond meal
Rinse the quinoa and cook it by absorption in the vegetable stock. Set aside to cool, periodically mixing it with a fork so the grains don’t stick together.
In a non stick fry pan, toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds over medium heat until they are coloured. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 200C. Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, spray with oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and roast for about 30 mins or until soft and golden.
Place the peppers on a lined baking tray, spray with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 30 mins.
Heat a large non stick fry pan over medium heat, Add the harissa and the kale and toss to combine. Add 3 tbspn boiling water and toss until the water evaporates and the kale wilts slightly.
In a large bowl combine the quinoa and pumpkin and use a fork to mix together. Add the kale, peppers and seeds and toss to combine. At this point this is a fantastic salad and you can stop here if you would prefer to eat it this way.
If you want to continue to make burgers, add the chia seeds, eggs and almond meal and mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 patties and place on a lined baking tray. Spray with oil and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes.
If you are freezing the burgers, freeze them before you cook them. Line a container with baking paper and place extra baking paper between the layers of the burgers so they don’t stick. Let your burgers defrost while your oven preheats and cook them once the oven is at the desired temperature. Cooking time will depend on how thawed they are. Just keep an eye on them. if they are browning, but are still cold inside just cover loosely with foil and continue cooking.