Veggie Quinoa “Cheeseburgers”

One of my favorite pastimes is flipping through cookbooks. I don’t care what the focus is, I just love browsing through them to get inspired. So, when Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook landed on my desk I dove right in. I loved the concept and recipes so much it even came on holiday with me !

Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jaroh (both registered dietitians) started C&J Nutrition , a nutrition communications company and private nutrition practice, 10 years ago with a mission to make eating healthfully approachable and delicious. Jaroh said, “We’ve always been especially interested in nutrition during pregnancy and started our WellRounded NYC program (a pre- and post-natal nutrition class) shortly after starting our private practice.”

When I was pregnant with both my girls I suffered from terrible morning sickness . It started at six weeks on the dot and went for four full months. And it wasn’t just a little nausea in the morning– it was a puking-all-day-long kind of thing with not much relief. In my first trimester I actually lost five pounds, which of course was very worrying. So you can imagine how I got drawn into this book from the very first chapter: “I’m Gonna Hurl…But I’m Still Hungry: Recipes to Ease Nausea.” Clarke and Jarohs’ approach is “food as medicine” and I love that idea too. My heart always goes out to women with morning sickness, especially when I hear they have to continue working and/or taking care of their older children. It’s not easy. But it eventually passes and nature, of course makes us forget just how awful it was, and we get pregnant again!

Even though I’m not pregnant, these recipes obviously are still very apropos. They are not only easy to make (which is always a bonus) but are delicious and healthy.

I was particularly drawn to their Veggie Quinoa Cheeseburger and had to make it for my family. I’ve been using a lot more quinoa lately and I know why I like quinoa but I also asked Willow about it and this is what she said.

“One main reason we love it is because it is SO fast to cook. From a nutrition perspective, it’s really close to being a complete protein (and many sources consider it a complete vegetarian protein). It contains B vitamins (which help convert the food we eat into energy), and it’s got a good dose of fiber (5g in one cup of cooked quinoa…or nearly 25% of daily needs). But, even the most nutritious food does our bodies no good if we don’t actually eat it…and that’s why we love how quick-cooking quinoa is, as well as how mild tasting and fluffy it is. You can have a batch cooked up before take-out can even arrive. It also freezes really well and is super versatile (from breakfast to dinner…to your awesome cookies), but that’s the case for most whole grains/seeds.

Clarke and Jarohs’ approach is “food as medicine” and I love that idea too...

Veggie Quinoa “Cheeseburgers”

makes 4 servings / prep time: 25 minutes / total time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoon

olive oil

1/2 cup

finely chopped cremini mushrooms

1/4 cup

finely chopped celery

1/4 cup

finely chopped onion

1/4 cup

finely chopped carrot

1/2 teaspoon

coarse sea salt

1/4 teaspoon

garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon

freshly ground black pepper

1 large

egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups

cooked quinoa

3 tablespoons

whole wheat flour

1/2 cup

shredded cheddar cheese or dairy-free substitute

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, celery, onion, and carrot and sauté until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

Stir the egg and quinoa together in a medium bowl. Fold in the veggie mixture, stirring well to ensure the mixture is well combined. Stir in the flour and incorporate; then stir in the cheese. Using your hands, shape the quinoa mixture into 4 patties, 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden on both sides and firm, about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful when turning so they don’t fall apart.

Willow gave me a great tip. She’ll make extra “burgers” and freeze them so they’re readily available on those nights you can’t be assed to cook anything!

Here’s where you can order this great cookbook!


cookbookshealthy optionsmorning sicknessnutritionquinoa

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Willow says:

This reminds me….I need to make more to freeze! Love this post and your burgers turned out great! xx

Dean says:

The veggie quinoa cheeseburger sounds very good and I will give it a try.
I have tried some of the other recipes in the Healthy, Happy Pregnancy cookbook and all the ones I have tried so far are all very good. One in particular that I would never have tried but was talked into is the chocolate breakfast milkshake which includes cauliflower in the recipe. I have had that one a couple of times now and it tastes great and is healthy, filling and energizing. The recipes in the book all seem relatively easy to make.

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