Meatless Mondays: Quinoa Patties
Why meatless on Mondays? Not only is eating less animal protein a healthy diet choice, but curbing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact too. In 2006 the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture accounted for a full 19 percent of greenhouse gases—more than the transportation sector. Best of all, with recipes like these, going meatless can be a delicious weekly habit.
After a long, relentless winter here, it seems like we just skipped spring and went right to summer. This week promises weather in the 70s, and weird as it might feel to move from winter coats directly to T-shirts, no one is complaining. Instead, everyone seems pretty psyched to be outside. I got invited to a barbecue next weekend, and I can’t wait.
Summertime means good eating for vegetarians. Produce is at its peak, and even meat-centric picnics, like my barbecue promises to be, are typically loaded with great vegetables and meatless options. But the thing is, even though it feels like summer right now, well, it’s not. If you’re of the meatless persuasion, you need to think ahead a little and possibly even bring your own food if you want to attend a sure-feels-like-summer-but-isn’t barbecue.
I have lots of meat-free friends in my life, and they like to hang outside on nice days too. So I am sure to bring picnic-friendly veggie options for them to enjoy. Quinoa, a favorite of all types of eaters, makes for terrific burgers. I make them ahead and give them a quick reheat on the grill so everyone can leave the picnic full.
1 cup quinoa
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salad greens and salad dressing for serving
Whisk the quinoa into a medium pot of boiling salted water, and cook until very tender and the grains have burst, about 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa in a sieve, and cool to warm.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, coriander, cumin, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the quinoa.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat until hot. Scoop half the batter, 1/3 cup a time, into the skillet, pressing each scoop into a patty. Brown the patties, turning once, until golden, about 6 minutes each side. Repeat with the remaining batter and oil. Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the quinoa patties with salt to taste, and serve with the dressed salad.