I am sure I am not the only thrifty, neurotic planner, home cook who gets a thrill from mastering my own renditions of foods I find out around town—right? I don’t often try to duplicate elaborate creations—I just assume get the real deal–but I have made an effort to master the healthy, flavourful convenience foods that would otherwise drain my bank account and add extra servings of sugar and mystery crap into my system. My grown-up granola bars, for example, cost about a dollar a piece, while a coffee shop snack bar can run you as much as $4 in Victoria, with unknown quantities of cane sugar, rice syrup and other suspicious binders….
Confession alert: I feel a bit alienated by the high-brown impracticality of “foodie” culture (which is another post aaaaall together…I digress). I am less interested in food as a sensory rubix cube and more as a daily opportunity to experience pleasure, nourishment, and contentment. That’s why practical, nutrient dense recipes like these Turkey Quinoa Burgers feel like a triumph to a Penny Practical nerd like me.
I’m so pleased with these beauty queens. They’re no Charlie Sheen winning recipe, but they are still a rather clever homemade version of the ones Thrifty’s sells out of their in-store deli.
Pure turkey burgers are so lean and easy to overcook, they are often dangerously lacking in flavour. The quinoa is a brilliant addition for both texture and taste. It keeps the patty moist and adds a nutty, grainy crunch. Also, if you cook the quinoa in stock, it adds just the right amount of seasoning—other than the ingredients you see below, there was no added salt and pepper to taste at any point!
Turkey Quinoa Burgers
Makes about 5 large patties
NOTE: I forgot to add a few gratings of fresh ginger and would recommend doing so to add just a little bit of zing to these. If you don’t like ginger, substitute with some citrus zest. I recommend orange because orange and sesame love each other. Just use zest, not juice, so you don’t add any more moisture.
500 grams ground chicken or turkey meat
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 ½ cups edamame, cooked and shelled
2 tablespoons of soy sauce (a quick splash)
A good squirt of Siracha, to taste
1 cup of quinoa (measured before cooking)
¾ cup breadcrumbs (as needed)
Toast quinoa over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups water (I added a veggie stock cube to the water. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until water is evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Pulse the cooked edamame in the food processor until it is finely chopped. Add it to a big mixing bowl with all the other ingredients. Stir until well combined. The mixture will be fairly wet so add breadcrumbs ¼ cup at a time until it is just barely dry enough to start forming into balls.
With moistened hands, form the mixture into patties. They will of course firm up if you chill them in the fridge for a half hour, but this wasn’t necessary. Gingerly transfer the patties into a medium-high pan that has been lightly coated with vegetable oil, and they will stay together just fine. They only need about 7 minutes per side, max.