At the beginning of the year, our Social Media Specialist Sam Long resolved to begin a new journey of learning to enjoy the kitchen. She has written a blog series over the last several months about following healthy recipes and cooking from scratch. Join her on her most recent quest to conquer the world of quinoa, and enjoy a sweet bonus recipe in honor of Independence Day!

A little-known fact about me is that I love the Fourth of July. I love the fireworks, cookouts, warm weather, and getting together with family and friends. Because I love this holiday so much, I decided to go above and beyond this time and make two recipes: Quinoa Burgers and American Flag Fruit Pizza.

You might be wondering why I chose to make quinoa burgers if I'm not a vegetarian. You're right! I am not a vegetarian. However, I do know that many of our members are gluten-free or dairy-free, and some are vegetarians. A few weeks ago, we asked our Facebook followers what recipes they would like to see, and that's when I realized that I had not made a vegetarian-friendly meal. Enter Quinoa Burgers.

The recipe I found on Coffee & Quinoa's blog was extremely easy and had minimal steps to create the burger patty. quinoa-burger-on-plate

I started by preparing the quinoa. I dumped 2 cups of uncooked quinoa into a strainer and ran cold water over the top until it ran clear. Then I combined the 2 cups of quinoa and 2 cups of water into a medium-sized pot and let it come to a boil. While I was waiting for the pot to boil, I mashed the beans together into a large bowl. I minced the garlic, measured out the panko bread crumbs, and grabbed one large egg. I combined the garlic, quinoa, salt, and pepper with the beans. The next step was to add the bread crumbs and one large egg. Once the mixture was mixed thoroughly, I began forming the patties. To make cooking the patties easier, the recipe suggests putting them into the fridge for 30 minutes.

While my quinoa burger patties were chilling in the fridge, I started to work on the dough for the American Flag Fruit Pizza. The recipe from Pinch of Yum was not specifically designed for a flag-shaped fruit pizza, but the recipe was easy to follow and you can make the pizza into any shape you want. The dough was a fairly simple and classic sugar cookie mixture: sugar, flour, vanilla extract, salt, eggs, and butter. I mixed all of it and replaced the chilled burger patties in the fridge with the pizza dough to chill for about an hour.

quinoa-patties-in-frying-panBack to the good part! I added a splash of olive oil to a large frying pan and placed four patties into the pan. After a few minutes on each side, they were finished. I assembled my burger with cheese and a little bit of mayo and took the first bite. I was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious! I will definitely make these again.

I finished my burger, cleaned up the kitchen, and took the chilled pizza dough out of the fridge. I greased the bottom of a small rectangular baking sheet before rolling the pizza dough out flat. I set the oven to 350 degrees and let the dough cook for about 20 minutes until it was golden brown. When it was finished baking, I took the pizza out of the oven and let it cool. I took this time to slice up the fruit and make the frosting.

I chose to make a lighter frosting with Lite Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mix. Once the dough was cool enough to spread the frosting on, I covered it corner to corner and began laying out the blueberries and strawberries. You can be as creative as you want, but here is a picture of how to create the American Flag pattern.

american-flag-fruit-pizza

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July and enjoys all of the wonderful food and fireworks! Happy Birthday, America!