UO EATS: BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND QUINOA BURGERS

June 1, 2015

Although the thought of festival season has us beaming with joy, the thought of festival food fills us with dread. Overpriced burritos, greasy pizza and putrid Pot Noodles? No thanks. Imagine a wallet-friendly, guilt-free meal that is easy to pre-prepare and fill your stomach with satisfaction. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well you no longer have to imagine because fashion and food blogger, Ellie Dunbar (from Fashion Food) is here to turn your dreams into a reality with her veggie burger recipe. Over to you, Ellie:



I’ve put together a fresh, bright and colourful dish providing you with a little festival food inspiration.

If you fancy an alternative to the standard beef burger for a summer barbeque or picnic, this vegetarian and gluten-free burger is incredibly juicy, hearty and nutritious; totally blowing away the mound-of-earth misconception of veggie burgers. It’s protein packed, antioxidant rich and crammed with healthy fats. The balance of the spices, depth of the ground walnuts and kick of the fresh coriander and garlic creates a truly flavoursome treat.

The idea for these burgers originated from the ingredients that make up one of my favourite salads – spicy roasted squash, quinoa, goats cheese, avocado, red onion. The thought was to turn the concoction of flavours into a tasty patty, so when you’re eating this burger you’re basically eating a salad.

Warning: it was difficult to refrain from demolishing the mixture before I could begin to shape the burgers.

You can make up a batch of the burger mix up and freeze the patties ready for a quick summer weeknight dinner or a weekend BBQ. They also make a delicious packed lunch, stored in this Gentlemen’s Hardware Aluminium Lunch Tin; for those days when you feel like eating like a gentleman. The tins are also the perfect size for fillings with a few patties to share with friends.

Butternut squash and quinoa burgers with goats’cheese

Ingredients 
[Makes 5-6 burgers]
700g peeled and cubed butternut squash
1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Sea salt and pepper

1 Tbsp coconut oil/ghee
1/2 cup quinoa (preferably soaked for 8 hours)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

 1 onion, finely diced (white or red)

2 garlic gloves, minced

1/2 packed cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 free range egg

Coconut oil to fry
Optional:
 Goats cheese, 
avocado, 
red onion
 and tomato.



Recipe

1) Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F. Chop the butternut squash into very small cubes and coat in the spices, salt and pepper. Place coconut oil in a baking tray and place it in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt. Then chuck the squash into the baking tray and coat with the melted oil. Bake this for about 40 minutes or until the squash is very soft.

2) Whilst the squash bakes, cook your quinoa. Soaking the quinoa before cooking makes it easier to digest and enhances the nutrients. If you are soaking, thoroughly rinse, bring 1/2 cup water to the boil, add the quinoa, reduce to a low heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you do not soak the quinoa, follow the packet instructions for cooking.

3) Whilst you wait for everything to cook, chop the onion, garlic, and coriander. Place the walnuts and sunflower seeds into a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until a fine flour forms.

4) Once the squash is cooked, take the soft cubes out of the oven and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held masher, puree the squash cubes together. Add the cooked quinoa, ground walnut and sunflower seeds, onion, garlic and coriander and stir together. Now crack the egg into a small bowl, whisk and add to the rest of the mixture. As I do not currently have a food processor, I have combined the burger mix by hand, however, you could simply place all the ingredients into a food processor to save time and washing up! I actually really like the texture that the hand-mixed method gives.



5) Take a couple of large spoonful of the mix into your hands and mould it into your burger shapes. I found this mix made about 5 fairly large patties, however, feel free to experiment and make smaller sized burgers. You could also create smaller, flatter burgers which could be stacked with goats’ cheese and avocado in the middle.

6) Now take a frying pan or griddle, add a spoonful of coconut oil and set on a high heat. Make sure the pan is very hot so that the burgers cook well in the oil. Once hot enough, add one of the burgers, turn the heat down to a medium and fry the burgers on each side for a couple of minutes until golden. Repeat this for each burger. Alternatively, you could also try cooking these patties on a barbeque, with some grilled Portobello mushrooms.

Crumble on some goats’ cheese, a few slices of avocado and any other garnish you wish. A tahini dressing or dip or hummus would also taste great with this!