Rethink Your Food with a Meatless Monday

It’s football season. The propane is wafting. The T-bones are sizzling. The sports announcers are arguing.

Call it nature or nurture, but it’s an American assumption that football calls for grilled meats. This year, however, rethink your food and consider adopting a Meatless Monday barbecue.

This week we highlight a kick-you-in-the-mouth vegetarian recipe that is so delicious, you’ll never miss the animal protein.

As you settle in for Monday Night sports, prepare your mind and body for the week ahead with this health-boosting meatless meal.

meatless monday zucchini quinoa burger factor 75

Zucchini Quinoa Burgers from Food52

-Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup onion, chopped finely

1 1/2 cup zucchini, julienned on a mandolin or grated on the largest setting of a box grater

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted

3/4 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste

Black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (1/2 heaping cup dry)

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup dry)

2/3 cups water

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

1. To prepare chickpeas, soak beans overnight. In the morning, rinse them and discard soak water. Place beans in a pot with enough water to submerge them by several inches. Heat to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 min to an hour, or until beans are tender. Drain and store in the fridge for up to three days.

2. To prepare quinoa, rinse quinoa in a sieve. Add to a small pot and add 2/3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, with a lid slightly ajar on the pot, until the water is absorbed and you can see the thin “ribs” of the quinoa becoming detached from the grain. Fluff, cover, and let sit for a few moments. Store in the fridge for up to three or four days.

3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add zucchini, and continue to ssauté until zucchini is cooked through and onion is translucent. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Grind pumpkin seeds, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor till they’re broken into a fine meal.

5. Add quinoa, chickpeas, the dijon mustard, lemon, dill, paprika, and oregano to the mixture. Pulse to combine a few times. You want the beans to be broken down and for the mixture to hold together well.

6. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the zucchini, onion, and garlic. Mix with hands

7. Shape mixture into six patties. Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat.

Cook burgers for five minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Alternately, you can bake them at an oven set to 375 degrees for twenty-five minutes, flipping once halfway through.