Quinoa’s been the in thing in both vegetarian and mainstream cooking for several years. I like it but have to admit it’s not something that I cook with a lot. I think less is more when it’s come to this grain, so for this recipe I combined it with some cashews. Nuts have grown steadily more expensive which I’m guessing is because they got taken off the naughty list in regard to healthy fat. Cashews average about $12 a pound but I found a 2 pound bag for $7 during the holidays and been using them for lots of recipes. If you can’t find a good deal on them, switch to walnuts or even peanuts.
I’ve discovered that cottage cheese gives a nice texture and taste to veggie burgers. (Even if you hate the stuff you barely know it’s in them). Plus, it’s often on sale. My final ingredient is McCormick’s Perfect Pinch-Tuscan variety with rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes. I use it to top breads and for pasta and thought I’d try it in this burger recipe. I made them smaller, hence the word sliders, because I’ve found when it comes to veggie burgers keeping them small holds them together better.
They’re combined with a spicy corn side dish that’s a breeze to make.
¾ cup roughly chopped cashews
¼ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup cottage cheese
1 teaspoon McCormick’s Perfect Pinch-Tuscan (find it in the spice aisle)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing
For the Corn
1 12 ounce bag frozen corn
¼ cup dried peppers reconstituted or use ½ green or red pepper which you’ve chopped and sauté
Good pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon low fat/vegetarian spread
In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well and put the mixture into the fridge and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Remove it and then make 6 small patties and place on a plate. Put the sliders back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to cook them, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a skillet.
Cook two sliders at a time, about 2 minutes on each side until slightly golden brown and crispy.
Put them on a platter lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Repeat with the rest of the sliders.
For the corn-
In a large saucepan add the corn, peppers and the water you used to soak the peppers. If you’re using sautéed peppers add them and about ½ cup of water and cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
Turn off the heat and add the low fat spread and toss with the corn, serve immediately.
Makes about 2 cups and leftovers freeze well.