I've found that patties are great ways to bulk up a meal without adding meat. They are versatile, full of flavor, easy to throw together, and actually provide satiety. I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy being hungry, so I'm not about to try surviving on salad for the sake of meat avoidance.
These mushroom quinoa burgers are quite tasty: even my husband, a don't-call-it-a-burger-if-there's-no-meat guy, sent me a text to tell me how much he liked them after I packed a couple in his lunch one day. And that herb aioli? Heaven.
Don't settle for salad, people.
Quinoa - not actually a grain and instead a member of the chenopod family along with beets and chard - is rich in nutrients, unlike many grains. It is high in manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate, and packs 8 grams of protein per cooked cup. There have been few research studies on health benefits of quinoa in humans, but some studies on rats have shown that daily quinoa intake reduces internal inflammation. This isn't surprising given the anti-inflammatory compounds found in quinoa, including phenolic acids and vitamin E.
The outer layer of the quinoa seed contains phytonutrients called saponins. Saponins, while possibly beneficial to health, are quite bitter-tasting, which is why most people choose to rinse quinoa prior to cooking.