Category Archives: Grains

Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers

Quinoa and Chickpea Burger from Taste Love & Nourish

When I was recently asked if I’d review Donna Hay’s newest book Fresh and Light, I have to admit to jumping out of my office chair and doing a little dance! I’ve been a huge fan of Donna’s for a while now. Donna Hay is Australia’s leading food editor, author and publisher. Not only does she publish her own Donna Hay Magazine, but she’s the author of twenty cookbooks, a weekly newspaper column and a creator of beautiful homewares, with her own general store in Sydney. What has always drawn me to her work is her approach to using fresh and seasonal ingredients in creating beautiful and simple recipes. This book is no exception. In fact, this book is the epitome of fresh, simple and healthy.

The book itself is really beautiful. Its full-sized, lush images will have you battling between running into the kitchen to get cooking or lingering in your chair to devour each page. Each dish is photographed so beautifully…simple and elegant. Yet, her creative flair doesn’t leave you feeling inadequate or incapable of reproducing these recipes. In fact, they leave you inspired and finding that there is nothing more gorgeous (or doable) than pure simplicity.

Quinoa and Chickpea Burger from Taste Love & Nourish

I found the format of the book really interesting. I love that within each section, Donna gives you six variations on several recipes. For example, she gives you her basic frittata recipe on one page, then in just a flip, you’ve got two pages of full size images of six mouthwatering frittatas with simple adaptations below. And, isn’t that they way we all cook? We all have our go-to recipes that we change up with different seasonal ingredients. This book gives you more of those great recipes that you’ll use over and over again.

Donna Hay's Fresh and Light Review

The most difficult part of reviewing this book was choosing one recipe to adapt. After bookmarking some favorites with sticky notes, the book began to look more like a flower. I finally chose this quinoa and chickpea burger because I’ve been searching for a great veggie burger recipe for the longest time. I love veggie based burgers. They can be really versatile and they are such a great way to incorporate plant based ingredients and reduce the amount of meat we eat. I was really happy with this recipe. There are so many flavorful elements between the cumin, cilantro and jalapeño. The Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise is the perfect accompaniment with its fresh herb and citrusy flavor. We will be making these often.

I’d love to share a copy of this wonderful book with one of you. Harper Collins and Donna Hay generously agreed to send one of my readers a copy of their own. Enter here!

Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

Adapted slightly from Donna Hay, Fresh and Light

1/2 C. white quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh sieve
1 C. vegetable stock
2 slices whole wheat bread
16 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 egg
1/4 C. cilantro leaves
1 t. ground cumin
1 small jalapeño, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
sea salt
black pepper
olive oil, for brushing
4 whole wheat flatbreads
mixed greens, tomato slices and avocado for serving
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise (recipe below)

Combine the quinoa and vegetable stock in a small covered saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside and cool slightly.

In a food processor, add the whole wheat bread slices. Pulse until you get fine breadcrumbs. Add the chickpeas, quinoa, egg, cilantro, cumin, jalapeño, red pepper, sea salt and pepper. Process in short bursts until finely chopped. You can divide the mixture into 4 large patties or into 8 smaller ones. Brush each pat tie with some olive oil and place in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side.

Serve over flatbread with mixed greens, tomato, avocado and Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise.

Serves 4

Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

1/3 C. mayonnaise
juice of one lime
1/8 C. cilantro leaves
sea salt
black pepper

Combine ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender. Process until smooth.

Quinoa and Chickpea Burger from Taste Love & Nourish


  • These burgers can be made in advance and reheated. Either pop them into a hot oven for about 5 minutes or in a fry pan over medium heat. They are just as wonderful!
  • If you’d rather not eat them with flatbread, try topping some mixed greens off with the burger, adding some chopped tomato and cubes of avocado then drizzle the top with the mayo. That’s what I had for lunch today…delicious!
  • Donna makes her own tofu mayo that sounds incredible! I just used regular mayonnaise made with olive oil. If you’d like to lighten things up a bit, use a nice thick Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise. I’ve made it both ways!


Enter to win your own copy!

Take a peek at some other blogger reviews of Fresh and Light!

Berry Frozen Yogurt from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Polenta Crust Tomato Tart from Taste and Tell

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi from Chocolate Moosey

Breakfast Parfait from Wonkey Wonderful

Mixed Berry Cobbler from Sugar Dish Me

Twice Cooked Quinoa with Chipotle and Lime Chicken from A Family Feast

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Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh from Taste Love & Nourish

My Mom doesn’t own a computer. She became so frustrated with the one she had, she threatened to throw it out the window. So, she only gets a glimpse of my blog every now and then when she visits my sister. It does make me sad that the most influential person in my life doesn’t always see what I’m doing here. Today, I’m OK with that.

Each time I give her a ring, she always asks me what I’ve been cooking for the blog. I usually end up explaining how I took something traditional and gave it a healthier twist with unusual ingredients. She’s my biggest fan, but my Mom is a purist through and through. I can almost hear her say…

“You didn’t use bulgur in your tabbouleh? Hmm. You like quinoa? What’s wrong with bulgur?”

I love her dearly.

So, there is nothing wrong with bulgur. Nutritionally, bulgur and quinoa are more similar than you’d think, although quinoa is a better source of minerals, aminos and it’s gluten-free. Changing things up a bit is just in my nature and yes, I do like quinoa. It soaks up the dressing and the flavors of the vegetables and makes this tabbouleh one of my favorites.

I gave my Mom a call today. I mentioned nothing of this crazy quinoa tabbouleh.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 C. red quinoa, rinsed
1 C. water
1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1/2 seedless cucumber, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped or 2 T. dried mint
juice of one lemon (about 1/4 C.)
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 t. fine sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. ground cumin

In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you chop your vegetables.

Combine the vegetables and the quinoa in a large bowl.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Red Quinoa Tabbouleh from Taste Love & Nourish

  • I love red quinoa because it is a bit nuttier and a bit less bitter than white. No matter which quinoa you use, always give it a rinse before using. Rinsing removes saponins that give it that bitter flavor. Once you rinse, you’ll never taste it.
  • I rarely ever use dried herbs. I just prefer fresh because I love the brightness they bring. That said…my family prefers dried mint in this recipe. I think the flavor of the dried mint is a bit milder. Personally, I love the fresh mint best!
  • This salad is so versatile. Use whatever you’ve got in the fridge or in your garden. Just chop finely by hand. It’s a labor of love…but worth it. You’re able to control the dice by hand and you eliminate the chance you’ll end up with a bowl of mush if you use a processor.
  • Serve this as a side dish or pack it up for a great lunch.