Quinoa Yam Burgers

Quinoa Yam Burgers
(Makes 8 burgers)

Yummy! Quinoa is versatile, quick-cooking, and high in protein.

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 yam, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs minced fresh ginger root
1 Tbs curry powder or 1 Tbs dried green curry paste
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ cup blanched almonds, toasted and ground to a powder
½ tsp sea salt

Optional: 1/3 cup bread crumbs or one egg if needed for binding

1. Cook quinoa ahead of time (even several days ahead) to save time or use any leftover grain. To make fresh quinoa, boil 2 cups water, add 1 cup quinoa, cover, and simmer on medium low until light and fluffy, about 18-20 minutes. Remove to large bowl, cool, and set aside.

2. Steam yam in steamer basket for 15 minutes or for a better flavor use leftover baked yam. I usually bake more yams than I know I will need for dinner just to have them on hand. I like adding them to stews, soups, and burgers. Measure one cup of mashed yam.

3. In medium frying pan, sauté garlic and ginger in 2 Tbs oil on low for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in mashed yam and curry. Adjust flavors for your taste, keeping in mind it will mellow when it is added to the quinoa. Cool and add this mixture to quinoa and parsley and blend until thoroughly mixed.

4. Add ground almonds and blend again. Form into ½-inch thick and 3-inch wide patties. If batter is too soft or it doesn’t hold together when pressed into a patty, add bread crumbs until it begins to hold together.

5. Preheat oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. The oil is ready when a few drops of mixture immediately begins to sizzle. When the oil is hot, fry burgers on one side for approximately 3 minutes, gently turn over and repeat on the other side. Don’t overcrowd the pan with burgers or they will not brown.

Bites of Insight: What we call yams are actually a different variety of the sweet potato. True yams are native to Africa and vary in size from a small potato to over 100 lbs with over 600 varieties. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier with flesh colored in white, pink or brownish-black with a rough and scaly texture. Yams can be found in international markets sold in precut pieces. Sweet potatoes are relatively low in calories and have no fat. They are rich in Vitamin A, having five times the RDA in one sweet potato, as well as potassium. The yam, a tuber, is a member of the lily family, while the sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family.

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