I’m not exactly a fan of turning popular meat dishes into their healthy vegetarian or vegan version. I believe that making a conscious healthy choice for our diet is a great step and from here on we will continuously search to improve your new lifestyle and we will never look back. However, we still need to give a party, or to go to barbeques and picnics where one can’t rely on salads only. For these occasions you can make a healthier version of a burger, using nourishing ingredients which will help you not only enjoying a barbeque party just like everybody else, but also fueling your body with amazing nutrients.
Delicious veggie burgers are not at all a mission impossible. Actually it’s really easy to make a veggie burger that stays together and have a nice texture. This is what you need:
1. A good base – this can be anything from quinoa, rice, bulgur, chickpea, beans, buckwheat or rolled oats. This will give texture to your burger and is an important ingredient to create a burger that stays together.
2. Vegetables – beets, carrot, sweet potatoes, broccoli, different greens (spinach, parsley, beet greens) – these will enrich your burger with flavor, will give it a beautiful color, and also load it with nutrients.
3. Egg or egg substitute (ground flaxseed) – will help your veggie burger mixture stay together
4. Onion and garlic – for flavor
5. Spices and superfoods – to bring your veggie burger to the next level – turmeric, cumin, chia seeds, garam masala or coriander seeds.
I love veggie burgers especially because they are so versatile. You can make them the star of a Lebanese dinner (adding tahini and cumin) or an Indian one (flavoring them with turmeric and garam masala), you can serve them as patties, next to a salad, or assembled in a bun with a delicious sauce, you can make them pink (with beets), orange (with sweet potatoes), yellow (with turmeric) or green (with herbs), you can fry them in coconut oil, or bake them – either way they are delicious and nourishing.
This time I’ve chosen one of my favorite combinations – quinoa and spinach. Quinoa loads the burger with quality proteins but also with minerals, and gives it a delicate, airy texture. Spinach enrich it with calcium and antioxidants, but also gives the burger gorgeous splashes of vibrant green color. The burger is very light and doesn’t burden the digestive system like a meat burger. Moreover, it nourishes the body with quality nutrients that help it with the natural detox process.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 large organic egg
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Coconut oil for the skillet
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley
- To assemble: whole-wheat buns, red onion rings
- Heat the coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet, add the garlic, fry for a few seconds then add the spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it softens, then transfer into a bowl.
- In the same bowl add quinoa, egg, onion, salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine.
- Grease the skillet with coconut oil, shape the burgers using your palms and fry them for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Place the avocado, parsley and lime juice in the blender and process to obtain a smooth sauce.
- Assemble the burgers: cut the buns in halves, add avocado sauce on the bottom half, add the quinoa burger, top with onion rings and more avocado sauce, close the burger with the bun top and serve right away.
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