You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.

Charles Kuralt

I had the pleasure once again to host a cooking demonstration at ShopRite. Amy and the rest of the nutritionist team at ShopRite, Colonie (1730 Central Ave, Albany) is awesome. If you’re looking to eat better or just find yourself overwhelmed going grocery shopping, stop by their station to set up a meeting.

My first demo with ShopRite was 2 years ago when I made sushi. It was pretty intimidating since I was literally in talking distance from the people who went to school for years to learn how to do it. I was teaching people how to do it in their own homes! Miss that demo? You can check it out in my blog archive or CLICK HERE.

My second demo, last year, I tried to introduce some calcium into people’s diets with dairy replacements. For example, like spinach artichoke dip but want to eat it healthier? That’s also in my blog archive or CLICK HERE.

This year, I went burger. Not the kind of burger you’re thinking of though, a quinoa burger. I’m obsessed with quinoa because it’s such a versatile ingredient. You can cook it up like rice and add a few stir-fry vegetables or, as I did at ShopRite, make a burger. If you’re like me, I eat more hot dogs and hamburgers in the Summer than I do the rest of the year and though they’re not terrible for you, why not cook up a quinoa burger and bump up your protein for the day? Quinoa (keen-wa) is a grain that has been called a “superfood” that is not only gluten-free but a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron that you could be eating in each burger! You can even make sliders if you’re hosting a party! This recipes makes about 4-5 burgers depending on size.

INGREDIENTS:

–          1 ½ cup cooked quinoa (any color, I prefer tri-color)

–          2 eggs, beaten

–          1 small onion, finely chopped

–          ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

–          2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

–          ½ cup panko bread crumbs

–          1 tsp baking powder

–          Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the quinoa, eggs and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Add onions, cheese, and garlic and then add bread crumbs and baking powder. Let sit for a few minutes so everything settles together. You can add more water to moisten or breadcrumbs to make drier if needed. Bake at 400F on parchment lined baking sheet for 20-30 minutes flipped halfway through.

With every burger, you need something to either go on it or go with it so I took on hummus two ways: Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Hummus and Garlic Black Bean Hummus.

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With hummus, though, I tend to eyeball my ingredients and go by taste rather than measurements. I like more garlic than most so I put in a lot. I would recommend starting with the base (chickpea/black bean) and then add the flavor slowly, tasting in between. That way you won’t end up burning your mouth with garlic or not tasting the roasted red pepper at all. Once you get the hummus base, you can add any ingredient you want. Check out the grocery store and see which ingredients the big name products use and go for it! The best part of making your own hummus is not only that you get to make your own flavors but you’re using fresh ingredients!

INGREDIENTS [ROASTED RED PEPPER CHICKPEA HUMMUS]:

–          1 clove garlic

–          1 (15oz) can of chickpeas

–          2 tbs lemon juice

–          1 ½ tbs tahini

–          Olive oil to taste

–          Roasted Red Peppers to taste

 Drain can of chick peas and rinse. Mince garlic before adding to food processor. Add chickpeas and process until broken up not still chunky. Add red peppers gradually and process while tasting to make sure the flavor is what you’re looking for. Add additional ingredients (tahini, lemon juice and olive oil) and process until desired consistency.

 INGREDIENTS [GARLIC BLACK BEAN HUMMUS]

–          2 cloves garlic

–          1 (15oz) can of black beans

–          2 tbs lemon juice

–          1 ½ tbs tahini

–          Olive oil to taste

 Drain can of black beans and rinse. Mince 1 clove garlic before adding to food processor. Add black beans and process until broken up not still chunky. Taste and gradually add more garlic until it’s the flavor you prefer. Add additional ingredients (tahini, lemon juice and olive oil) and process until desired consistency.

If you have any questions on my recipes or on ShopRite, feel free to send me an email at 518BitesNSights@gmail.com and if you want to keep up with other events I’m going to or hosting, make sure you follow me on Facebook 518BitesNSights!