Friday, 22 June 2007

Mushroom and Quinoa Burgers (egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free)

I have been invited to a barbecue. How thrilling! Whenever I am invited to such an event I immediately drift off into one of my comforting reveries about the other me.

Cut to pastoral garden scene, enter lovely, floaty woman with toned buttocks and fabulous breasts. Her soft clothes hang beautifully on her willowy frame. Her perfect, happy children and perfect, happy husband smile serenely at her. They love her so. Has she ever uttered a cross word? They struggle to remember…

This delightful vision of beauty takes her seat in some dappled shade, the many people at the barbecue try not to stare as they wonder who she is. She graciously accepts the chilled glass of champagne, tips back her summer hat and engages those around her in light, amusing conversation, peppered with witty anecdotes. People stare at her in frank admiration. Children and small animals come to sit at her feet.

Then I am quickly jerked out of said reverie by the strained face of my host-to-be, who is looking uncomfortable as she says,
Err, so what-umm-exactly, umm, what do people like you eat at barbecues?’

Then I remember that I am vegetarian and that barbecues are all about meat. On my own turf this has never presented me with a problem, I am happy to eat yummy barbecued veg, and will on occasion buy – gasp – processed vegetarian ‘burgers’ or ‘sausages’. I quite like the taste of the latter, but they are not for everyone. I do remember my lovely friend Dave – who admittedly was nursing a rather large hangover – pushing away a plate of Quorn sausages and saying, ‘I’m sorry I can’t eat this stuff’. His delightful wife Vicky was mortified and quickly apologised for ‘my very rude husband’. I thought it was rather funny, I may try and serve them to him again one day.

So I am busily preparing for tomorrow’s barbecue. Of course one can’t take crap processed food to someone else's barbecue, so I have devised some rather tasty burgers. I do not wish to be a self-publicist (although I may end up having to be), but could I draw your attention to the original ‘breadcrumb’ coating the burgers? I am rather surprised at my own ingenuity!

Next time you have some weirdy vegans or vegetarians over for a barbie, you could make these for them, they tick the gluten-free box too.

So, the burgers are sorted, I just need to dig out some floaty clothes to wear for tomorrow. I’ve hunted high and low for toned buttocks and fabulous breasts, can’t seem to find those anywhere.

Quinoa and Mushroom Burgers (if you wish, serve these with Archimedes' Gluten Free Bread Rolls)
(makes about 8, I think they could be frozen, but I haven't tried it)

These can easily be cooked the day before and then re-heated in the oven. This avoids that awkward situation where the host either slaps your burgers down next to some oozing steak, or cooks all the veggie stuff first and you are left looking like a right porker with all your food lined up in front of you, and everyone else has nothing.

For the coating:
150g quinoa
Lots of black pepper
0.5 tbsp sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt)
0.25-0.5 tsp chilli flakes
For the filling:
100g quinoa
pinch of saffron
0.25tsp cumin
0.25tsp ground coriander
8 button mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil (perhaps a tad more)
3 medium carrots
400g tin chick peas
4 tbsp rice flour
1.5tbsp ground linseeds
2 'no egg' egg replacers mixed up with either rice milk or water / or if you can eat eggs, 2 eggs
Olive Oil for frying
You will also need some baking parchment and a pastry cutter about 8cm in diameter
  • Put all the ingredients for the coating into a liquidiser / blender and grind to a powder. It doesn't matter if a few whole grains of quinoa remain. Spread some of the powder onto a dinner plate, quite thickly, and set aside
  • Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Add the saffron. When it is boiling, add the quinoa and leave to cook according to the packet instructions (about 15 / 20 mins?). When the quinoa is 'al dente' - it should have a slight crunch - drain it through a sieve. Use the back of a spoon to press down on the quinoa to squeeze out most of the water
  • Whilst the quinoa is boiling, put the mushrooms, garlic and 3 tbsps of olive oil into a liquidiser or blender. Blend it all to a paste. This took a few attempts, scraping it down from the sides with a spoon, and you might find you need to add more oil. You are aiming for a thick paste
  • Put the quinoa and mushroom and garlic paste into a large mixing bowl. Add the cumin and coriander. Peel the carrots and grate them finely into the bowl. Mix it all together
  • Drain the tin of chick peas, then use a hand blender to blend them to a thick paste. You could add a bit of olive oil if you're struggling. Add the chickpea paste to the bowl
  • Mix everything in the bowl together. Add the linseeds and then the rice flour tbsp by tbsp. You want a thick mass, not too squidgy
  • Mix up the 'no egg' egg replacer with the milk or water
  • Cut out a square of baking parchment, about 15 x 15cm. Place your pastry cutter onto the parchment, spoon in some burger mix and smooth it around until you have your desired burger thickness. Carefully remove the cutter, (pushing the mix down with the back of a spoon if it sticks to the cutter), to reveal your perfect burger shape!
  • Using the back of a teaspoon, spread some 'no egg' over the surface of the burger, this is to ensure the coating will stick. If you are using a real egg, it may be easier to use your fingers to spread instead of a spoon
  • Lift the burger on the baking parchment and cunningly tip it onto your coating plate so that the burger lands 'egg' side down. You may have to flip it on and hope for the best
  • Coat the other side of the burger with 'no egg' and spoon some coating onto it. You should now be able to lift the burger up and flip it from hand to hand to remove excess coating
  • Gently heat a good amount of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, and put the burger in it. Let it heat gently for a while to warm it all through, then turn the heat up towards the end to brown it off. When it is golden brown turn it over to brown the other side
  • Remove from the pan and place onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil
  • Repeat the process until all the burger mix and coating is used up.
  • Get your glad rags on, grab your burgers and bubbly and have a lovely time at the barbecue!
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007

Food & Drink Blogs - Blog Top Sites


Mrs Steinway said...

To my fabulous breasted friend Pig. Hurrah, fame at last - I have finally made it onto your wonderful blog. I apologise again for my ill-mannered husband, and I also apologise again for feeding you an anchovy-stuffed olive. I really forgot that they are animal!! You took it very well.
Lots of love your delightful friend Vicky xx

Stay at home dad said...

Gosh, Mrs Steinway..

Er, anyway. Yes, bbqs a nightmare for veggies I have always thought. I try to cater, but it's impossible to keep a bit of the grill animal-fat free and I always hand the stuff over very guiltily.

Mr Steinway said...

Ah yes, THAT barbecue!
I remember it well. and once again sorry for my rudeness!
I also remember that hangover, but not what caused it (Often the way with hangovers!) but it was a corker, and strange to have one at the beginning of one of "Pig's" famed get-togethers rather than the end!!
Anyway my point was that even as a carnivore, I love vegetarian food. It's just that quorn doesn't seem to me to be "proper" food.
The mushroom and quinoa burgers sound good, I'll give them a go.
In fact I could try them out on one of Mrs Steinway's friends who is coming over from France...

Alisa said...

Ah, what an awesome recipe! I had been looking for some good homemade veggie burgers. May I feature this recipe and photo on our website? You can email me at alisa@ the website which follows. Thanks! -

Around My Kitchen Table said...

No need to worry about the toned buttocks and the fabulous breasts, not if your dress is floaty enough!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah, I have been thinking about toning bits quickly as I am off to the races on Friday night..

However, my sister has loaned me a gorgeous dress that covers a multitude of sins ...

Brom said...

Squats and power squats.... does wonders for the bum.

Can't help much about the other bits tho' although I'm always happy to do an assesment ;-)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Mrs S, how lovely to have someone of your musical calibre present on my blog. Your 1st apology is graciously accepted, the anchovy one went deep, I may have to ponder whether I am ready to forgive. I fear absence has enlarged my breasts in your memory.

SAHD, us veggies can always tell you know, and we know that you carnivores hope that we'll be too drunk to taste the meat grease. But thanks for trying anwyay!

Mr S, welcome to you too sir, I hope you are hangover-free today. I do agree with you that Quorn is towards the lower end of the edible veggie food scale. These burgers are indeed yummy, I'm sure Mrs S's French friend will enjoy them, if she's not too drunk.

Alisa, hello and thanks for dropping by! I will swing by your site and send you an email. Do come again!

amkt, you are right up to a point, but sometimes there is a fine line between floaty and tent!

M&M, how lovely to be going to the races! I must know from whence the dress came!

Brom, don't squats and power squats (whatever they may be)play havoc with your knees? I do find creaking knees a bit disconcerting. Re: the other bits, very kind offer of an assessment, but sadly my mirror doesn't lie and I don't need the sad truth to be confirmed by a second party ;-)

debio said...

At last...a character mentioned in a blog actually 'comments'. Where so we go from here - I foresee a thread of sub-blogs developing.....

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi. What an interesting blog you have, I am not vegetarian but like to eat as if I am atleast once a week, so I'm always on the lookout for recipes. You are a treasure! Love your description of "Mrs Perfect" here!

lady macleod said...

"people like you"? Excuse me?! You mean fabulous, creative, healthy, fun people? Those people?

I did enjoy the brief respite at the "Stepford Barbeque" I must say:-)

dulwichmum said...

With all of these mentions of toned bits and pieces, I fear I must retreat to Argos and buy myself some vibrating/toning knickers and pads - I really must keep up.

I love vegetarian food, what a shame everyone is not made to feel equal at these social get togethers!

Lisa said...

Thanks for this recipe! It's on my list of things to make in the near future. Nothing better than mushrooms, quinoa and chickpeas!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Debio, yes, it's exciting to see Mr and Mrs Steinway here, a fine musical couple. I wonder if they will start a blog? It could be called something really corny like, 'If music be the food of love....', oh i've made myself cringe with that one!

Welshcakes (may i call you Welshcakes?!), thank-you for your visit. I hope this recipe hits the I must pop back to you to find out whether Granita is alcoholic!

Lady M, I know, i do suffer some appalling racism. At least you and I know better. Stay tuned for next instalment of bbq fun!

Dulwich Mum, I am very intrigued by the thought of those pants...i may pay a visit to Argos during my forthcoming trip to UK. I didn't have you down as an Argos shopper though... Re: being equal, I guess some people are just more equal than others, you of all people should know that!

Lisa, thanks for dropping by again, hope you enjoy these burgers. I just had a peek over in your kitchen - and came across the fiddlehead soup! fabulous name, I'll be back for a proper look soon!

Akelamalu said...

I've got the floaty dress but if, on your travels, you do happen to find toned buttocks and fabulous breasts on offer, please can you order me some and I'll send you a cheque! ;)

Marianne said...

I, too, am always after the toned look, but too busy doing other things to actually acquire it, so go for the Bridget Jones big strong knicker solution under the floaty dress and promise myself I will do better.

Drunk Mummy said...

I thought I had found my long-lost firm breasts and buttocks last week, at the back of a kitchen cupboard. It turned out they were just stale hambuger baps.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Pig, the dress came from the recesses of my sister's wardrobe ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey, landed on your blog, nice stuff. I found a cool new tool for our blogs... It helps get latest news for our keywords directly on to our blog. I added it on mine. Worked like a charm.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

akelamalu, as long as they have enough spare stock (after i'm kitted out) i'll send some along.

Marianne, the only trouble with BJ knickers is that they displace the ripples upwards and then you have mad overhang just under your tits. Hmmmm.

DrunkMummy, my condolences, perhaps they could be used to pad your bra? and your pants in fact, I saw some of those bum-enhancer pants the other day...why make it look bigger? i thought to myself...

M&M, i may need her number ;-)

hello anonymous, i would like to have a look at the fabulous widget working on your blog...why didn't you put your bloglink to your name?!!


mutterings and meanderings said...

Pig, that anon is a spammer. when I get them, I delete them

Pig in the Kitchen said...

M&M, I know, my tongue was firmly in my replying cheek. I shall delete the next one, then my comments box can look mysterious with a 'this comment has been deleted by the author'. I always imagine someone has left a really filthy porno comment when I see a deleted comment, but maybe they are always just spammers?! How disappointing!

Maitland said...

I haven't tried the quinoa burgers, yet, but your writing style is fabulous!

Bob Miller said...

Hi. I came across your site through the coeliac message board. I thought I'd have a go at the burgers. They tasted delicious, many thanks. But, I should have put my glasses on before cooking them. I thought I'd grabbed the quinoa - in fact it was millet. Then I couldn't find the carrots (though of course they magically appeared after the meal was done!) and used an onion instead. Being out of rice flour, I used gram. The coating stuck to the outside nicely without any eggs. But it was your recipe - just the wrong ingredients! And as I said, lovely. I look forward to many happy hours using your other recipes.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Maitland, how rude am I? somehow I had not picked up your comment and not replied. Well belated thanks for your lovely compliment!

Bob Miller, you have made me a happy woman. I've just watched Argentina beat France at the rugby, and now your lovely comments on my blog! And I am very pleased at the tweaking of my recipe with onion replacement and millet / quinoa shuffling, all good in my book. Glad you enjoyed them, hope to see you again soon!

grot said...

This is somthing I have been looking for a long time. Thanks!!!

Felcy said...

Thank you for posting such a useful, impressive and a wicked article./Wow.. looking good!
used Catering Equipment