Monday, March 11, 2013

Not So Fast Fast Food

     A few weeks back, I was shopping the aisles of Trader Joe's with my mom looking at all of the, sometimes strange, offerings. One such item that caught our eyes was the Tri-Colored Quinoa. We like rice and cous-cous so why not try something else?

     Weeks went by and the bag got pushed around in the cupboard and near forgotten about. On a Monday off with my daughter she and I were grocery shopping and trying to figure out what to make for dinner. In the bakery section we found a bag of mini burger buns, so we settled on mini veggie burgers. And then instead of fries I would make oven roasted potatoes. TJ's didn't have fake beef product that I was comfortable making into burger patties, so we planned to get that at another grocery store.

     Back at the house, it was confirmed that I was going to be making diner for my parents as well. When I mentioned mini burgers, Mom got all excited and asked if I wanted to use the quinoa to make black bean burgers. Oh yeah! There was a recipe for that on the back of that bag! Dinner plans were finally set. Couple condiment purchases later and the kitchen counter looked like this:
It's not even all in the picture!
     As the quinoa boils away on the stove, I get to chopping, slicing, and sauteing. The recipe is fairly straight forward and easy to follow. I did omit the egg, since it was optional anyway, and made them slider sized instead of a full burger. Other than that I stuck with the directions for once!

     The recipe made A LOT of 'burger' mix. I made enough to fill all the burger buns, plus 6 patties to enjoy at work for lunch, and I have enough mix to make 12 more sliders hanging out in my freezer. But I'm grateful to have those extras because it took over an hour to get these suckers made! So much more labor intensive than a beef burger for sure.
Two sliders, a serving of asparagus, and roasted potatoes
     I left condiments up to personal preferences, so mine have guacamole, fried red onions, and Mexican cheese. My daughter had cheese and ketchup. Mom had hers like mine. Dad had cheese and maybe that's it? I only have one teeny tiny regret... I wish I had toasted those buns... it would have made them perfect. Other than that though, everyone really enjoyed their black bean burgers. Mom enjoyed them so much she split the final burger with me, Dad said he would eat them again, and my daughter gave them "all the thumbs up in the whole world!" The leftovers at work attracted quite a bit of positive attention, but no way was I sharing! I put the time in, I'm enjoying my burgers. Speaking of time... I'm glad everyone enjoyed these and they made so much mix... made me feel the time in the kitchen was worth it.

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