GYRO STYLE QUINOA BURGERS

Can you make yourself sick from eating too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? If so, I’m half way there. I don’t know what my problem is, but they are all I feel like eating lately. I’ve been having them for breakfast, for late night snacks, for dinner, any time really. I even bought a box of Uncrustables the other day. And last night, at the Giant, I was looking for another box of them but couldn’t find them. I even brought it up to the woman at the register when she asked me if I found everything I was looking for, which I never do. I always wonder, what are you going to do? Stop the line to go get me what I couldn’t find? No. It’s awkward. So I tend to lie and just say yes, even if I couldn’t find everything I was looking for. But my damn PB craving took over and said “Actually, no. I couldn’t find Uncrustables. What kind of place is this?!”

Anyway, it needs to stop. It really does. Sometimes, when I’m not feeling lazy, I plan my meals for the whole week so I can make sure I grocery shop appropriately and can make some of my lunches in advance. So, last night I had planned to make greek style quinoa burgers, NOT peanut butter and jelly. It wasn’t easy and I could taste PBJ on my tongue the whole time, but I forced myself to stick with my plan and made the burgers. And boy, was I happy I did! They were really good. And I made enough to have leftovers for lunch a few days this week. It helped with the PBJ addiction… although now that I’m writing about it, it’s starting to come back.

GYRO STYLE QUINOA BURGERS

I changed the name of this recipe that I found on pinterest because when I was telling a friend about them, she assumed they had feta and olives, which they did not, although adding some feta crumbles might not be a bad idea. The yogurt sauce on these makes them more like a gyro.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
  • 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • A handful of fresh mint
  • 4 pitas (each 6 inches)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • A handful of spinach
  • Any other vegetables you want to add to your pita pocket (optional)

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Or combine 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook for about 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed.

In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky. I only have a mini food processor, so I had to do this in two separate batches. I just mixed the two batches together once they were both processed pretty smoothly with some chunks. Refrigerate mixture for a few minutes until it sets up a bit. Or keep in fridge overnight, until ready to cook burgers.

Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking– this was a great tip!).  In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, mint, garlic powder, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and other miscellaneous veggies and yogurt sauce. My burgers were small enough so that a burger fit in each half of the pita pocket. You could also slightly mash the burgers in the pita to fill up more of the pocket. Or don’t even slice the pita, and just roll it around the burger (if soft enough, or use naan) so that it’s more gyro style.

Recipe adapted from: wholeliving.com

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