Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quinoa & mung bean patties

Lately I have been in a real "cleaning and organizing mood".  My inner Monica Geller (remember "FRIENDS"?) woke up and and told me to arrange my drawers, segregate the paperwork, and throw out clothes I haven't worn for a while.  Of course the first step to every proper cleaning up is making a total mess.  You take all the stuff out your closets and introduce major chaos to your environment.  It is highly advisable to do this when no one is around -- after all you don't want your boyfriend to make remarks along the lines of "do you really need so many pairs of shoes?" or "how can so many clothes fit into one closet?".  

Despite the overarching chaos I find that organizing your stuff can be really therapeutical and cleansing - you feel like things in your life regain their purpose and fall back into their place, and most importantly: you get rid of all the clutter.  I don't know about you guys, but I just loooove throwing useless things away - it's so liberating! 

Mung beans: after and before soaking

Whilst in my "Monica Geller mood", I also got to cleaning and organizing my kitchen cabinets and pantry.  There, I discovered I have quite a decent stash of mung beans.  I have actually never had mung beans before in my life.  I just heard they were really healthy and good for you, so I bought them a few months ago without a clear idea of what I would do with them.  And now - BINGO!  Time to put them to good use :-)

I have always been a big fan of veggie burgers and patties, so my first idea was to make some with the mung beans.  To be honest with you -- the rest of the ingredients were also part of my "clearing the pantry plan".  But hey - they go so well together, and I wouldn't change a thing even if my pantry was stuffed with every ingredient there is.  

I decided to go for the quinoa to add some more texture to the patties -- the plan was to mash the beans, but leave the quinoa sprouts intact and with a bit of bite to them.  Not to mention that quinoa is super healthy too -- thus boosting the "good-for-you-value" of the patty.  For additional flavor, I spiked the burgers with some red onion, garlic, lime, and coriander -- you need that to give some character to the bean/cereal background.  And the finishing touch: creamy tahini, which really is essential to the dish.  It brings an incredible sesame nuttiness, which really enhances the flavor.  Plus you need the fat - after all it's the only fat going in the patties, and it helps keeping the burgers from falling apart.

These patties are very versatile.  You can experiment with the ingredients and spices -- and add things you like (or you need to get rid of when you have your own "Monica Geller cleaning mood").  Try them with chickpeas or lentils, add some curry or ginger - maybe peanut butter instead of tahini?

The burgers go very well with a fresh salad.  I made a beetroot-apple salad, for a delicious and very healthy meal - the recipe is coming soon!


Makes 6 patties

  • 1 cup / 200 g of dry mung beans (you could also use other beans, lentils etc. - just cook them according to their package)
  • 1 cup / 180 g of quinoa
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tahini
  • juice & zest of 1 lime
  • ground coriander
  • fresh coriander
  • salt
  • pepper

  • Soak the mung beans overnight and cook the next day according to the package instructions until completely soft (mine were done after about 20 minutes).  Mash the beans roughly in a big bowl.
  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions (mine took 8 minutes).  Let cool a bit and add to the mung beans.
  • Dice the red onion and garlic very finely, add to the beans.
  • Add tahini, lime juice and zest, and season well with ground coriander, salt and pepper.  Taste the mixture and season some more if needed.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Form six flat patties with your hands and bake the patties in a preheated oven (180°C) for about 30 minutes until golden brown (no need to turn, as the tray will be hot and the bottom will brown too).
  • Serve warm, sprinkled with fresh coriander, with a light and crispy salad - e.g. the beetroot/apple salad.

Bon appetit!

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