Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mini (Quinoa and Bean) Burgers in Pita Pockets

All these years we avoided getting cable TV. It is addicting.
And then we succumbed. We included TV in our Internet and wireless account, it was a 'bundle plan'.
Finally, about 2 weeks ago, the technician came home, installed  everything and left us with a new remote control, that now controls us.
Little S sips his morning milk watching cartoons ( he actually thinks the TV exists only for him and must play cartoons).
M comes home, demands the remote, gets it after a small struggle and threats of taking Little S to the Doctor to give 'kadu aushadh' (bitter medicine) as a cure for watching too much TV. After winning, he switches to his news channels.
And now we come to yours truly, my addiction is limited to  the Food Network, Cooking channel  and HGTV.
When I can ( read: when the boys are away), I plonk myself in front of the TV and peacefully watch what I want, no  endless chants for "Mummaaaa, cartoon. Mummaaaa cartooooooon" or Jim Cramer being mad like a...... madman and loud! 
Just the pure harmony of ingredients being mixed in the kitchens of my dreams or house hunters looking for homes of their dreams as I egg them on to buy the one that I favor.
Last Sunday, by sheer coincidence, both the boys were in their respective bathrooms, one singing tunelessly and the other telling stories to the walls and I grabbed the remote! 
And what was after the time I saw Jeff Mauro being crowned the Next Food Network Star, I saw him in his own show as the Sandwich king.
I liked how at ease he was on screen and more importantly, I liked what he was making! Veggie Mini Burger Pita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce. 

I knew I had to make these! I love veggie burgers, I love Pita, I love yogurt cucumber combination, I mean, what's not to love?
And more importantly, it was something I could make easily, with items I had in the pantry and fridge and needed maybe just one small trip to the stores.
I have made Pita earlier and I was comfortable making them again.

The good part is,  it is healthy ( if you discount the pita part as a one time thing) and filling. Makes a wonderful lunch option or even can be a great picnic food option, pack everything carefully and separately, assemble when you are ready to eat.

Here is how you make 'em

You need :

1/4 cup Quinoa
1 Can - Cannellini Beans
1/2 cup Frozen Corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the burgers:
 Rinse the quinoa in several changes of water. This is important, quinoa has a bitter taste if not washed thoroughly.
Boil 1/2 cup of water and add the rinsed quinoa. Cover and cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fully cooked. Spread it on a plate to cool.
Throw the liquid in the bean can and rinse the beans thoroughly. Roughly puree the can of cannellini in the food processor (the S'wich king purees half the beans and leaves the other half for later, a little chunky). Add the cooked quinoa, the cannellini puree, corn, panko, cilantro, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic, pepper and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix until it all comes together. Form 8 small patties, or smaller if you want. I made  really small patties as my Pitas were the size of  a large puri. Refrigerate the patties for 15 minutes to firm up.
Heat the oil in a large Cast iron / nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt ( I used regular home made yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons tahini *
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • Hot sauce, for sprinkling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix the cucumbers, yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, sugar, garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle with hot sauce, salt and pepper.
* I made the Tahini at home, since it is such a small quantity. Toast sesame seeds until light brown, cool. Grind to a paste adding some oil ( I added approximately 2 glugs). Tahini is ready. 
Place 2 patties inside each pita, top with a dollop of Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, some lettuce and tomato. 

The Burgers can be enjoyed by themselves, just spear some lettuce leaves (torn) and tomato slice on a toothpick with a burger in the middle.


Enjoy with some Siracha Sauce for dipping.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

TGIF, Folks! Enjoy the weekend!
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  1. Very unique and delicious burgers....loving it...

  2. I agree with you that Tv is like a slow poison !! My son had this bad habit of watching Cartoon channel early morning when I want him to get ready all by himself. Irritated one fine day I declared no T.v session in morning and viola !! Next day he was ready in time and there was no struggle on my part !!
    Delicious and healthy looking burgers ..

  3. This is Quinoa Falafel. How badly I wanted some recipe with Quinoa. I have the packet staring at me day in day out, with no clue of how to use it. TV is a relief at times and worry at other. Winter days and school breaks TV is my babysitter. But we restrict to 20 minute episodes each time so we are good. Everything in moderation is great. We grew up in small homes where TV was on practically from morn to night, but there was no addiction for us, when kids get older, become busy, they have no time for TV watching. Trust me on that. I watch Chopped with my Munchkin all the time. His desire of becoming a chef is getting stronger day by day. so you never know his imagination might be growing by watching some TV.
    Love Ash.

  4. Tv is only for cartons in my home! We both read and watch in our laptops. Burger sounds excellent- never tried quinoa should try to incorporate now! Love the round shapes!

  5. What a great idea. Between our kids and the man, I never get control of the blasted remote. Please watch a ton of TV so we can have more amazing recipes like this...

  6. Just drooling over the pics ...looks yum

  7. I admire you, how could you have lived without TV, am so addicted to all my food channels I cant tell you :)
    As you said, I love veggie burgers, I love Pita, I love yogurt cucumber combination so I love this dish, its something I would have after my long runs, make the patty previous day and assemble everything just before eating!Delicious :)

    P.S - kadu aushad soo cute, my mom threatened us with injection!

  8. TV takes very important place in every home,sometimes they might be useful at the same time so addictive.

    Beautiful pita bread, especially am loving those cute mini burgers.

  9. Delicious and yummy looking pita breads. Excellent preparation.

  10. Those quinoa bean burgers look quite tempting. Nice clicks!

  11. Interesting! I am a veggie fan and this looks very tempting and healthy!

  12. I watch way too much TV for my own good. You're right-- it's addictive.
    I wish I could grab that pita pocket. And the burgers look so plump and lovely!

  13. I made them yesterday. They were really good. I doubled the recipe and added a can of black beans along with a can of cannelini beans. Also added a bit of cheese, onion, olives. The yogurt sauce was great! Although I had to use tomato and onion (didnt have cucumber) and mixed the hot sauce in. The pitas came out great too!
    Thanks for posting this.

    1. Thank you, Nikita, for the prompt feedback! I am so glad u tried and liked these.
      I like your variations and will keep them in mind when I make these next.


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