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Wyoming Not-a-Beef Huckleberry Quinoa Burger with Potato Roll Bun

Wyoming is traditionally a very pro-beef state. Ranching is an important part of our economy and lifestyle. But there are many of us non-beef eaters, especially in my corner of the state near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks so I thought I would come up with a local not-a-beef burger for us!
Huckleberries are also a mountain favorite, especially for bears. Because of the competition for the berries (and my deep fear of grizzlies), I used huckleberry fruit spread that is easy (and safe!) to find in grocery stores. In this recipe I also used vegetables I regularly grow in my yard.
The combination of the nuttiness of the quinoa, fruitiness of the huckleberries and a little spice from the crushed red pepper makes this a great local American burger!

Ingredients 

3 C cooked Red Quinoa (I use Inca Red; follow the directions on the box.)
2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 C chopped sweet onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsps crushed red pepper (more to taste)
1/2 C diced yellow bell pepper
3 TBSP Huckleberry fruit spread
1 C chopped fresh spinach
1/4 C chopped fresh curly-leaf parsley
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
2 eggs
1 C brown rice bread crumbs divided
3/4 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 thin slices cheddar cheese
6 potato bread buns split
1/4 C honey mustard
2 avocados sliced
12 freshly washed iceberg lettuce leaves

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl with lid and set aside.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a grill safe skillet. Add onions, cook until soft, stir in garlic, crushed red pepper, and yellow bell pepper cook 1-2 minutes. Add huckleberry fruit spread and cook 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, parsley and basil and cook until the mixture is thick and the huckleberry fruit spread is syrupy. Remove from heat and pour mixture onto the cooked quinoa. Stirring well, add eggs, 3/4 C brown rice bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Cover and let the mixture rest in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Form 6 equal bun sized patties. Roll the patties in the extra1/4 C bread crumbs.
Using the same grill safe skillet heat olive oil. When oil is hot place patties into skillet and cook 3-4 minutes each side over medium heat. After flipping the patties once place 2 slices of cheddar cheese on each patty. Remove patties from pan when browned, crispy and cooked through. In the last 1-2 minutes of grilling, place buns cut side down on grill to lightly toast, remove buns and spread a thin layer of mustard on top half buns. To assemble the burgers, place patties on bottom buns top with 3 slices avocados, 2 lettuce leaves and top bun spread with mustard. Enjoy immediately. Serves 6.

Comments 

If you can not find Huckleberry fruit spread you can substitute blueberry.