These delicious burgers have been a summer favourite in our home, packed with protein and a punch of flavour.  I love watching the boys devour them, which is exactly what they do!  
As you may have noticed, quinoa is one of my favourite ingredients, high in protein it often takes place of carbohydrates in our meals.  I try and include it in our family diet 2-3 times a week.  By adding quinoa to these burgers there is simply no need for an egg and bread crumb binding making them free of gluten and egg.  The sauce is rich and flavoursome and wonderful served at room temperature or slightly warmed and tossed through roast vegetables the next day.  
As always, any number of variations could be used depending on your requirements or what you have on hand - the general idea being, pack in loads of great, fresh flavour!  


Burger Patties 

500g quality prime mince 
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup goji berries
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
handful of flat leaf parsley 
sea salt & pepper 

Tomato & Capsicum Sauce 

olive oil 
2-3 cloves garlic 
6 small vine ripe tomatoes 
1 large red or yellow capsicum 
1 can whole peeled tomatoes 
1 tbsp tomato paste 
1 tsp coconut sugar, could also use muscovado sugar
sea salt & pepper 

To Serve 

gluten free buns, I love Purebread's Young Buck Buns
baby spinach, handful of leaves per serving 
juice of 1/2 lemon
olive oil 
haloumi, 1-2 thick slices per serving, my favourite is the Waimata chilli 
1 spring onion 


Burger Patties
Cook quinoa in water, strain and leave to cool.  I've always found a 1:2 ratio works well for quinoa, whether cooking in stock or water - you can always add a little extra liquid if required.  
Pop goji berries in a bowl and cover in boiling water for 5 minutes - they should become soft and fluffy, doubling in size.  
In a large mixing bowl add mince, quinoa, goji berries.
Finely slice (or grate) onion, chop flat leaf parsley, crush garlic cloves and add to the bowl.  
Mix to combine (use your hands!) and season well with sea salt and pepper.
Roll into large balls (around 1/2 cup per pattie) and press onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Cover and pop in the fridge while making the sauce.  

Tomato & Capsicum Sauce 

Cut around capsicum stalk, scrape out seeds and cut into 4 or 5 pieces.  I cut the bottom of the capsicum off to ensure the pieces are as flat as possible.  
Rub the skin with a tiny amount of olive oil and place skin side down in a heavy bottom frying pan over a high heat.  Char the capsicum until the skin is blackened and the flesh soft.  Immediately place the capsicum in an airtight container (this makes removing the skin a breeze!)
Add a glug of olive oil to pan, crush garlic and gently fry.  Cut tomatoes in half and add to the pan, flesh side down.  Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat before adding whole peeled tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar.  Turn the heat to medium/low and simmer.  
Peel capsicum, slice and add to the simmering sauce.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  
Remove from the heat and blend.  
Season well with salt and pepper.  

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and cook patties for 15 minutes.  I find cooking these on baking paper there is no need to flip as they become lovely and golden on the bottom side.
A few minutes before they are cooked, cut burger buns in half and rub with olive oil, bake until warm and crispy.  
Toss spinach leaves with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.  
Grill haloumi until golden on both sides. 
To create the perfect, curled spring onion garnish, slice the green part of a spring onion into long, thin strips, add to a bowl of cold water with a cube or two of ice and leave for five minutes.  Wa-lah, the perfect finishing touch to these mouth watering burgers!  

To serve, place half a bun on each plate - top with a handful of baby spinach leaves, pattie, a dollop of tomato and capsicum sauce, a slice or two of grilled haloumi and top with spring onion.  

Makes 10 generous patties and 2 cups of tomato & capsicum sauce. 

Enjoy.  x Zoe

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