I believe that good food and good nutrition should be easy and that few simple smart substitutions and additions can make everyday foods into nutritional powerhouses. More of the good stuff means less room for the bad stuff surely?
Two of these chicken and quinoa burgers is enough for a very satisfying meal, but only uses one cooked chicken thigh (about 60g) per person. Using less meat means you can afford to buy better quality, which is good news for you and the chicken, and you still save money. It really is a win win situation!
I’ve also added two superfoods to this dish, to show how easy it is to add these nutritionally dense supplements to everyday food. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, fibre and calcium, I use them almost daily in smoothies on on cereal. Cacao nibs are cocoa beans cracked into small pieces and have a rich, deep, complex chocolate flavour as well as being rich in high antioxidants.
I infused the cacao nibs in balsamic vinegar to make a richly flavoured vinegar, which makes a delicious salad dressing, that tastes of rich chocolate without being chocolatey, think how well a square or two of chocolate enhances a chilli or Mexican mole sauce and you get the idea.
To make the cacao balsamic vinegar simply fill an empty bottle or jar half full of cacao nibs and top up with an inexpensive, but not the cheapest, balsamic vinegar, shake and leave to infuse for at least a week. The longer you can leave it the richer the flavour gets, as soon as I get half way down a bottle I start another one. Use in place of ordinary balsamic vinegar in your usual salad dressing recipe.
Recipe: Mediterranean chicken, quinoa & chia burgers
- 4 cooked chicken thighs or leftover roast chicken – skinned and boned (about 240g)
- 100 g quinoa -cooked as per packet instructions and well drained (250g cooked weight)
- 1 large egg – beaten
- 2 tbs chia seed
- 1 tbs fresh basil – chopped
- 1 tbs sun dried tomatoes – chopped
- 1 tbs plain flour
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tbs light olive oil
- Put the chicken into a food processor or chopper and whizz until shredded. Place in a bowl and add all the other ingredients apart from the flour and mix well. Add enough flour so the mixture will stick together and season to taste.
- Divide the mixture into 8, and shape into round patties, each about 2cm thick, place on a plate cover with cling film and pop into the fridge for a few hours to firm up.
- Fry over a medium in the olive oil for about five minutes each side until golden brown and hot all the way through.
- Serve with salad, or in a burger bun.