This week’s recipe and yoga thought from my upcoming book, The Lotus Kitchen, is a delicious Quinoa Burger and for yoga practice we’ll explore to know thyself taking an adventure within. Each week I’ll showcase new recipes that explore and engage the meaningful pathway to empowerment through food and yoga. Stay tune next week for another recipe and more.

Quinoa’s superfood status is solid and researchers have recently taken a close look at certain antioxidants.  Compared to cereal grasses like wheat, quinoa is higher in fat content and can provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat (in the form of oleic acid). Quinoa can also provide small amounts of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) too! Enough of the science talk, let’s make it.

Quinoa Burger

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 burger buns
  • Mixed greens to dress burger
  • Avjar Sauce

Blend all ingredients in a bowl or food processor. Divide burger mix into 6 equal portions and form into 4-inch patties. Grill on medium heat 5 minutes each side, until browned and firm. Place patties on buns and top with avjar and mix greens. Serves 6

Homemade Avjar

  • 8-12 fresh red paprika (mild or medium-hot, to taste)
  • 4 medium-size eggplants
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the paprika and eggplants in a preheated 475 F oven until the skin is blistered and darkened, approximately thirty minutes. Remove from oven and place the now roasted vegetables in a paper bag and let them steam in their own heat for 10 minutes. Peel off and discard the burnt skin along with the stems and seeds. Mash the peppers and eggplant pulp together to form a slightly chunky mass. You can do this with a fork or in a food processor. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion until very soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper-eggplant pulp, mixing well. Slowly drizzle the remaining oil into the mixture, stirring constantly to incorporate all of the oil. Add the lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

The Practice

This quinoa burger is a real treat. We often associate burgers with gatherings of family and friends and the informal joy of eating something a little messy with our hands. It is so important to enjoy life and indulge in the delights the Universe has in store for us. We must be willing to take the time to experience what we love when it come to food and when it comes to yoga. What’s your favorite pose? What your favorite type of yoga? Who is your favorite yoga instructor? The practice is simple; approach your practice as if it was an expression of joy. Do what you love. To know what practice activates happiness, you must be willing to get out there and explore. Exploration is a practice. To know thyself you must be willing to take an adventure within.