Burgers are popularly perceived as junk food, or at the least, not exactly healthy. However, that need not be the case. Here is the recipe for a nutritious burger (even more healthy, if only whole wheat burger buns were available!) This delicious burger uses quinoa, vegetables, feta cheese, roasted eggplant and pesto and is a huge favourite in our family. It’s also a filling and healthy meal for calorie counters, when eaten minus the bun.
Pesto sauce is easily available in the store, but the taste of fresh pesto can’t be bought. Fresh basil leaves from our garden made this pesto a real winner.
Burger buns – 4
Butter/Olive oil – few tsp, for toasting buns
Tomato – 2 sliced round
Eggplant – 1 large, sliced round
Feta – 1/3 cup, crumbled
For burger patty:
Uncooked quinoa – 1/2 cup
Carrots, zucchini, beans, capsicum, corn -1/2 cup of any combination of the above vegetables, chopped finely
Parsley (fresh/dry) – 1 tsp
Bread crumbs – 1/4 cup (can also be made at home by grinding dry bread in the blender)
Olive oil – 2 tbsp + required quantity for pan frying
Salt/Chilli flakes – to taste
For pesto sauce:
Basil leaves – 1 cup (packed)
Pine nuts – 2 tbsp
Olive oil – 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup
Garlic – 3 cloves
Salt/pepper – to taste
Grind all the ingredients for pesto in the blender, adding olive oil gradually and as required. Set aside.
Salt the eggplant and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle with small amount of olive oil and roast in the oven at 240 degree Celsius for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
Cook quinoa and vegetables in pressure cooker along with 1 cup water. While quinoa is still hot, add parsley, bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and chilliy flakes and mash well to form into patties. Pan fry them with a small amount of oil on the tava.
To assemble the burgers, toast the bun with butter or olive oil on the tava. Spread pesto sauce on one or both sides as per your preference. Place patty, eggplant, tomato and spread feta cheese on top.
The patty in this burger can also be made by replacing quinoa with okara (by product of making home made soymilk), either partially or completely, as per your preference.