I subscribed awhile ago to a magazine called All You and just recently got my first issue. I subscribed for the coupons (it often has upwards of $50 worth in each issue) and because I found a good enough deal to make me willing to try it out, but I think I will actually enjoy reading the magazine as well! It’s geared toward normal people, with normal budgets for clothes and a normal amount of time to cook dinner. I haven’t finished reading the issue yet, but I’ve already clipped a couple of recipes, including last night’s attempt: mushroom-quinoa burgers.

The first stumbling block on the road to this recipe was finding quinoa. I thought I had seen it at Kroger, but it wasn’t near the rice and other grains. Instead, it was in the health-food/organic section, and it was rather expensive. But given how little of it one needs to cook, I figured the bag was a worthwhile investment because it would stretch a long way.

The recipe called for 3/4 cup of quinoa, so I blithely cooked up 3/4 cup, using roughly 0.93 cup water, per the proportions recommended on the bag. I got to chopping the onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers, and had them sauteing in some olive oil while the grain simmered away. I mixed my ingredients together and began to form 4 patties…only I had a LOT more of my mixture than 4 patties’ worth. Furthermore, it was NOT forming nicely into patties. That’s when I had my first suspicion that something was wrong. However, I continued along, managing to get my patty-esque lumps into a skillet of hot oil. As per my usual, the oil got too hot and the patties were developing a slightly charred crust, so I decided to flip them early. Well. Flipping did not really happen. I managed to get a couple of them over, but it was clear that they weren’t coalescing into any sort of burger. Given that the recipe is called MUSHROOM-quinoa burgers, I would have expected there to be proportionally more mushroom, but instead I had mostly quinoa. At this point, I decided that the recipe MUST have meant 3/4 cup ALREADY COOKED quinoa. By cooking 3/4 cup, I created far to much quinoa for the sole egg in the recipe to bind together. It must have been an oversight on the magazine’s part.

I was disappointed, to say the least, but I heated the rest of the mixture through in my skillet and ate it for lunch today. A. and I did the best we could with our falling apart “burgers”–or as he politely called them, “sloppy joes.” :-) If we had had pita pockets instead of burger buns it would have been fine! The flavor was delicious, and I would definitely try this again…just with a lot less quinoa! Also, I think I’m going to write to the magazine and inquire as to whether they made an error. I’d hate for someone else to have the same disappointment as I did!

Here’s the recipe, for those who might want to brave it:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper (I used green), seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Prepare quinoa as package label directs. Transfer to a large bowl. Warm 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add vegetables to quinoa. Let cool. (I didn’t do very well at this step because I was in a bit of a hurry…not sure if that contributed to the problem.) Mix in oats, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Shape into 4 patties. Wipe skillet. Warm remaining 2 tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place burgers into skillet and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook until golden, about 5 minutes longer.

Recipe courtesy of All You Magazine reader Veronica Yan

Enjoy! And let me know if you have better luck than I did…if I try them again, I’ll report back, hopefully with pictures of beautifully grilled burgers!

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman