Miso Glazed Quinoa Chickpea Burgers

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All I have to say is, what a  summer! Looking back, I still can’t believe what I pulled off, and I am definitely glad to have it behind me ;). But actually, first I should say–1. Thank you to all who wished me a Happy 3 year Blogiversary and 2. Greetings from Rwanda!!!

Although I have been to East Africa before, this was my first time in Kigali, Rwanda. As I explained to my friends, the first word that came to mind when I walked across the  tarmac after arriving was, this place is poetic. It was nighttime and I couldn’t tell just how right I was. The next morning I felt my eyes were playing tricks on me. One of the cleanest cities I’ve even been in (period, not just in Africa), Kigali was pristine, cloaked in peace and order, even during the morning commute. And there were motorcycles everywhere! The green helmets of motorcycle taxi drivers and their passengers surrounded me and the streets for as far as I could see, making Kigali seem futuristic, like I had stepped into what is to come for the rest of us.

Everyone has been very warm, and I would say one of the most noticeable differences between my stay here and anywhere else I’ve ever been is that everyone, everyone, makes eye contact. Even when I’m riding in the car, the folks on the street are looking in the car, not just at me, but at my eyes. For the typical, ever-avoidant American who doesn’t even make eye contact with co-workers in the hallway, I can see how this could be uncomfortable, but I love it, absolutely love it. There is a human connection hundreds of times a day. It feels like a blessing.

Before moving on to my burgers, I wanted to share one last thing I learned while talking to a man who moved here from Uganda. On the last Saturday of every month, Rwandans go outside and have a community clean-up day. EVERYONE. Everyone knows what area she or he is responsible for and they clean. So, in addition to the cleaning that apparently happens regularly, there’s this community cleaning that everyone partakes in at the same time. This was very, very powerful to me. Actually, it brought tears to my eyes. An entire country, uniting each month, in solidarity, taking pride in their collective spaces. Just beautiful and unfortunately for me, almost inconceivable.

I could go on and on, and probably will in some other forum, but for now, I will leave you with the best quinoa burger I’ve ever made! It’s a bit of a cultural fusion–South American meets Japanese, but it works. And dressed with creamy avocado, end of summer sweet tomatoes, and crisp lettuce, this burger is totally worth turning your oven on for!

Happy Saturday!

Miso Glazed Quinoa Chickpea Burgers

(Printable Recipe)

For the Quinoa:

  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups vegetable broth
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 packet instant miso soup

Method:

*Rinse the quinoa for 1-2 minutes (this is actually pretty important, it will prevent the quinoa from tasting bitter).

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*Add olive oil to medium sauce pan and heat over medium. Add rinsed quinoa and lightly toast for 2 minutes.

*Add broth, pepper, and miso soup packet. Stir. Turn heat to high. Once boiling, drop down to lowest setting, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Let the quinoa stand for at least 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

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For the Burgers:

  1. ~ 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  2. 1 15 oz. can chickpeas–drained and rinsed
  3. 1/2 small onion–chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove–minced
  5. 1/2 jalapeno–diced
  6. 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  7. 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  8. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  9. 1 teaspoon Tamari
  10. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  11. black pepper
  12. olive oil

For the Miso Glaze:

  1. 1 miso soup packet (tofu and seaweed removed)
  2. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  4. 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  5. 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  6. 1/2 teaspoon agave
  7. dash cayenne
  8. dash ginger powder

Method:

*Mix all miso glaze ingredients together. Set aside.

*Add ~ 1 tablespoon of olive oil to saute pan. Add onion and jalapeno. Saute for ~5 minutes. Add garlic. Saute 2 minutes. Set aside.

*Add onion mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, parsley, Tamari, pepper, and toasted sesame oil to the food processor as well. Pulse until fully combined. Add the mixture to a large bowl. Mix in bread crumbs and cooked quinoa to the bowl. Mix. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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*Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Form mixture into six patties. Slightly grease baking pan with olive oil. Add patties. Bake ~20 minutes. Flip. Baste with miso glaze. Bake additional 15 to 20 minutes until both sides are golden brown. Baste with miso glaze.

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*To serve: brush one side with miso glaze and add burger to a bun with your favorite toppings or to greens for a hearty salad. I ate mine with avocado, lettuce, tomato,and mustard–on a bun!

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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

Comments

  1. I love quinoa and I love chick peas, so I know I would love these burgers. How clever!

  2. Yum, love the ingredients in your burgers!!

  3. I know you will, but just in case you forget – take TONS of photos please! Rwanda is a dream destination of ours. Are you going to see the gorillas?

    • You know chica, I’ve only taken ONE picture since I’ve been here… so strange for me! And no gorillas… two reasons: 1) travel ban in the district right next to the district with the gorillas AND 2. $850 price tag. But, I feel like I’ll be coming back here for sure!!!

  4. I very much enjoyed learning more about Rwanda. But I might even enjoy the fabulous Quinoa Chickpea Burger! What a fantastic burger!

  5. I can’t wait to hear about Rwanda, what a beautiful and historically engrossed destination! :)
    Delicious burgers, healthy but full of flavour!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. This healthy combo looks super yummy!

  7. Rwanda! How cool! I want to hear more about your trip once you have more time, and with some pictures. :) You made burgers with miso glaze! YUM!!!

  8. Did my commen went through? I see “duplicate” comment, but didn’t see the confirmation… Anyway I wrote: Rwanda! How cool! I want to hear more about your trip once you have more time, and with some pictures. :) You made burgers with miso glaze! YUM!!!

  9. Kigali sounds wonderful! I’ve yet to have the opportunity to travel outside of North America. I’d love to visit Rwanda some day! Hope you can post pictures at some point!

    Also, love the fusion flavours in your burger! Looks and sounds amazing!

  10. I hope you share pics of your time in Africa when you get home. My dream trip is an African Safari, would be amazing! Definitely pinned this recipe, they look and sound delicious! Hugs, Terra

  11. Glad you are enjoying your adventure. You lead a very interesting life, Tiffany. And cook very interesting food. I love the flavours you have packed into and onto these burgers.