My friend Marina is all about healthy eating. She makes it a point to be up to date on all the latest research and is a mini-encyclopedia of knowledge on what foods benefit the body and which ones to avoid. However, she is a great cook and loves delicious recipes. I got a call from her a couple months back, right after she had returned from a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. All I can say is that she was very enthusiastic: “Julie!, Julie! – you’ve got to figure out how to make these dishes we had at this restaurant. It’s called True Food Kitchen and it’s fantastic!” I knew what she was talking about because Jenn and I had eaten in a True Food Kitchen restaurant when I visited her in California. We both fell in love with it and I posted a copy cat recipe for their Autumn Salad HERE. The True Food Kitchen restaurant chain was started by a doctor, Andrew Weil, who developed an anti-inflammatory diet. The thing is – everything was scrumptious – it sure didn’t taste like health food. At any rate, I was more than happy to experiment and figure out how to duplicate their “Inside Out Burger”. I looked up the menu on line and even found a photo without a recipe on Pinterest. The hummus recipe posted here is from the 2012 True Food Cookbook by Dr. Weil, but the quinoa burger is a hopeful duplicate. When I ate at the restaurant, I didn’t order it, so this is a stab in the dark. What I do know is the combination of this quinoa burger with the tzatziki sauce, humus, and veggies is nothing short of magical!
Ingredients for the Quinoa Burgers:
1 (15 oz,) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups cooked* multi-colored quinoa, divided into 2 cups and 1 cup
1 egg (or substitute 1/4 cup almond milk)
1/4 cup flour (rice or garbanzo bean flour can be substituted)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce (Maggi or Bragg’s sauce can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
*The quinoa is a lot more flavorful if cooked in broth (vegetable or chicken).
Additional Ingredients Needed to Serve:
Red onion slices
Feta cheese (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Using a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, 2 cups quinoa, egg, flour, cilantro, tahini, soy sauce, thyme, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, coriander, salt, and pepper. Place the mixture in a bowl and stir in 1 cup of quinoa. Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour. (This step can be skipped, it just makes it a bit easier to handle.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use about a 1/2 cup of the “dough” to form 6 patties or about 1/3 of a cup for 8 smaller ones. Place each patty on the baking sheet. To give them an even more uniform shape, put a ball jar lid ring over the top of each patty and using a rubber spatula, smooth out the top. Then, carefully remove the ring. Use the pint sized for the larger patties and the 8 oz. cup ones if making smaller patties. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, gently turning once at 15 minutes.
While they are baking make the hummus and tzatziki sauce.
Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber
2 garlic gloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Put the Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl. Slice the end off the cucumber, cut into fourths lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Grate the cucumber pieces, skin and all, and add them to the yogurt. Put the peel the garlic cloves and put them through a press. Then add the garlic, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Combine well, transfer to a serving bowl, and refrigerate until serving time.
Ingredients for the Hummus from True Food by Andrew Weil, MD:
2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove, put through a press
1 small jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 scant teaspoon agave nectar syrup (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine the beans, garlic, jalapeno, chili, tahini, lemon juice, lime juice, agave nectar, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a food processor and blend well. Slowly pour in the olive oil as the mixture is processing until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with the hummus, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, avocado slices, tomato slices, red onion and crumbled feta cheese. These can be eaten just like a burger with a bun, or presented as the top and bottom buns with the lettuce, avocado, and red onion in the middle as True Food Kitchen does. Just put 2 tablespoons hummus on the bottom patty, then veggies in the middle, cover with 2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons crumbled feta, and top with a second patty.