1In a small bowl, combine ground chia seeds and water and let set for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl place the cooked quinoa, mashed beans, almond meal, breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon juice, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork to combine the ingredients and then mix in the chia seeds, which by now will have absorbed the water. Form the quinoa mixture into even-sized patties. I use a 4-oz. ice cream scoop for this, firmly packed, and I get exactly 6 burgers.
2Place patties on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. At this point, the patties can be frozen to be eaten on another day. Assemble your condiments and toppings.
3Heat a ceramic lined non-stick frying pan to medium. You want the pan hot, but not too hot – the burgers will burn on the outside before they are heated through if the heat is too high. Add patties and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. They should be nicely browned and heated all the way through – that’s all they need since the quinoa and beans are already cooked. (Alternatively, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and bake the patties for about 15-20 minutes each side, or until lightly browned and heated through).
4To assemble the burgers, place a couple of overlapping lettuce leaves on a plate a little larger than the size of your burger. Place your cooked, hot, quinoa patty in the centre, then pile on the toppings, sauces and condiments you like. I happened to have some yams and baby beets, homemade vegan garlic-herb cheese, and some freshly made pickled onions on hand so I threw them all on top! I also added some thinly sliced cucumbers, and a big dollop of chipotle dressing before I was done! (The yams and beets were divine with this burger!)
5Finish with a lettuce leaf or two on top.
Parchment Burger Bags
1OK, as enticing as this looks, you just know the toppings and sauces are going to ooze out the sides and end up in your lap after just one bite! You could wrap it in waxed paper or towelling but I make a small sack out of parchment paper to hold the burger and all of its toppings, together. To make your own, tear a sheet of parchment paper from the roll, about 12-inches long. It doesn’t have to be exactly 12-inches but that length works well for these burgers. Fold the cut sheet in half, as in the photo, and cut or tear in two pieces. Fold each half in half – lengthwise. You want the bags to be wide and shallow rather than deep and narrow.
2Then, starting at one of the short ends, fold the edges over 3 times to secure – again, it doesn’t have to be exactly 3 folds, but you want the sides of the bags to remain closed once they’re filled with a burger and all of its accompaniments. Three times is sufficient for this.
3Open the bag wide, and place the lettuce wrapped burger inside. There will be extra space around the burger so just tuck any extra parchment underneath the bottom of the burger to hold the burger securely.