Where I went scrounging around for a meal last night, tonight I was determined to make something more… Wholesome. Four-fifteen this morning found me in the midst of a triage, cleaning up my eldest son’s bloody nose caused by overheating as he slept. I hadn’t gone back to sleep so by the time I got off work at 3:30 p.m., I barely had enough juice to make it home. A “quick” two-hour nap later (really, I set the alarm for 45 minutes!), it was after 7 p.m. and I almost gave in. But I needed this tonight.

The title says “better”, which begs the question, “How so?” In large part, because it is NOT a store-bought, rubbery hockey puck. It is light, crunchy and delicious, whether you choose to bake them or pan-fry them. Go wild with your toppings – you won’t regret it!


Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (mixed red and white)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/2 sweet potato, shredded
1 egg
1/2 cup garbanzo flour
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and red chili pepper, to taste – don’t be shy, season these guys up!

Put raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) into 1 cup of hot water; set aside to soak while quinoa cooks.

In a large pot, add quinoa to a cup of water, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to lowest heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed then fluff and allow to cool a bit.

Combine onion, pepper, sweet potatoes and egg in a large mixing bowl. Season well and set aside.

Drain and rinse pepitas then pulse in a food processor to a rough chop. No need to over process these; just get them broken down so they don’t end up being too huge of a chunk in your final product.

Add pepitas and quinoa to the mixing bowl and mix well with your hands (as you would a meatloaf). Begin adding garbanzo flour, sprinkling in a tablespoon or two at a time, mixing well between each addition. Use as much as you need to take away the excess wet of the egg, adding more if needed. It doesn’t need to be too dry, just not runny.

Form into patties and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping once in the middle. Alternatively, pan-fry in coconut oil on medium for a few minutes per side. Or you can bake THEN pan-fry briefly to crisp the burger up. Any way you decide, you’ll enjoy a fulfilling meal. I topped mine with mashed avocado and roasted garlic-infused olive oil then opted to skip the bread and wrap it in a romaine lettuce leaf. So good I had a second – and my hubby had a THIRD!

That’s what I call success. Now if I could just convince my offspring to try them…