We often tell stories about how strong the food we eat makes us. Take these burgers, for instance. They’re packed with spinach and quinoa and we all know that Popeye loves spinach and he’s the strongest person ever! It’s also obvious that dinosaurs devoured quinoa. You can tell just by looking at their skin – it looks like the texture of quinoa, doesn’t it? Need more proof? Just try these delicious burgers and you’ll see for yourself. You’ll be as strong as a sailor and as tall as a dinosaur. Who knows, you might even be able to breathe fire like a dragon. That’s what good food does to you.


Spinach and pea patties

  • 100g black quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 250ml water
  • 3 handfuls of fresh spinach stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 300g frozen peas thawed
  • 2 sprigs of basil stems removed
  • 2 Eggs preferably free-range and organic
  • 75g (gluten-free) rolled oats
  • 50g grated pecorino or Parmesan
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • olive oil for frying

Burger dressing

  • 5tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2tbsp capers (baby capers) rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1tbsp good-quality ketchup

To assemble

  • mini sourdough or gluten-free buns
  • good-quality ketchup
  • sliced tomatoes
  • crispy lettuce leaves


  • STEP 1

    To make the spinach and pea patties, bring the quinoa and water to the boil in a small lidded saucepan, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes, or until small tails appear and the water has been absorbed.

  • STEP 2

    While the quinoa is cooking, put the spinach in a food processor with the peas and basil and blend until almost smooth.

  • STEP 3

    Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Add the pea mixture to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients, except the oil.

  • STEP 4

    When the quinoa is cooked, fluff up with a fork and set aside to cool. Add the quinoa to the bowl and mix together. Form into a ball in the bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes for the mixture to ‘glue’ together.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, prepare the burger dressing. Put all of the ingredients into a small bowl, stir until combined and set aside.

  • STEP 6

    Form the spinach and pea mixture into 8 patties, about 100 g (3. oz) each, and fry in a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat for a few minutes, or until golden underneath. Carefully flip each patty with a spatula and fry on the other side for a further few minutes, or until golden.

Adult upgrade: Add mashed avocado and more veggie toppings to the burgers. Or serve the patties over salad and grains in a bowl instead.

A helping hand: Get the kids to help out with forming the patties. Preparing and slicing the ‘assembly’ ingredients and arranging them on a large platter will also be a fun job for them.


LITTLE GREEN KITCHEN: Simple vegetarian family recipes by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, £22.00)