One of the best things about living in Switzerland is the proximity to all sorts of incredible destinations — from big cities like Paris and Milan to mountain resorts and lakes. Being so close to the Swiss Alps gives us the opportunity to spend several weekends a year in the mountains in Crans Montana, where we get to enjoy the fresh air and sunny weather while skiing down the slopes. We didn’t have much snow the first time we went up this season. The second time we got snowed in and couldn’t do a thing. The third, well…we haven’t been up yet.
Despite the not-so-skiable weather, we did get to enjoy great food both times. One of our favorite spots is Zero Dix, an after-ski restaurant just on the footsteps of the slopes. They have a wide range of dishes on the menu, including healthy options like wraps, salads and soups. One of my favorite dishes there is their pumpkin and quinoa burger, served in a bun with melted goat cheese and grilled vegetables. It’s so full of flavor and keeps you full all afternoon long, making it the perfect option for those going back up to ski after lunch.
I’ve been working on recreating the burger ever since I tried it for the first time back in December. My version is as low-cal as it can be; you can eat them as is or serve them in buns topped with melted goat cheese just like at Zero Dix. They’re relatively easy to put together, but call for a bit of preparation. You’ll first have to cook the quinoa and boil the pumpkin cubes in a separate pot. The cooked pumpkin is then mashed and added to the quinoa with some onion, garlic, parsley, cashews and spices. A beaten egg is then added in to bind all the ingredients together. The burgers are finally baked in the oven until golden and crispy on top.
With pumpkin still in full season, these veggie burgers are the perfect meal to whip up, whether you’re on your way up the mountain to ski or just packing lunch for work.
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- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 450g pumpkin, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup cashews, chopped
- 1 egg
- In a small pot, combine quinoa and water with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, covered, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through. Set aside in a big mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, combine the chopped pumpkin with lots of water in another pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked through and soft. Drain and mash with a fork. Add to the same bowl with the quinoa and let cool slightly. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add the onion, garlic, parsley, paprika, cumin, cashews and egg to the mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
- Wet hands and form 4 burgers. Place the burgers on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 minutes on one side and carefully flip to cook the other side for another 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
TO MAKE AS AN APPETIZER OR FOR A COCKTAIL PARTY: Make smaller burgers and decrease baking time significantly.