What are Dino Burgers you ask? They are insanely delicious vegetarian burgers made from spinach, peas, basil, and parmesan, and your kids will love them. Heck, you'll love them! This tasty creation is the brainchild of husband and wife team David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, authors of the new Little Green Kitchen cookbook. They're also the faces behind the wildly successful blog Green Kitchen Stories, winner of Saveur's Best Special Diets Blog. Their newest cookbook features fun and straightforward vegetarian family recipes inspired by flavors from around the world.
Any parent can agree that feeding children can have its challenges. With three young children, David and Luise have experienced their fair share of untouched food. In Little Green Kitchen their passion for fun and wholesome food with a kid's palate in mind shines through. Plus, each recipe comes with an "Adult Upgrade" option, such as the addition of hot sauce or extra herbs, and ways to get the kids involved in the preparation and cooking of the meal.
Chapters include Everyday Meals, Party Food, Lunchbox Favorites, Snack & Drink, Condiments & Upgrades, Baking & Sweets. All the kid-friendly recipes are colorfully packed with vegetables, and most take under 30 minutes to prepare.
Little Green Kitchen is beautifully photographed and chock-full of inspiring irresistible dishes. My own 8-year-old daughter has dog-eared several pages she wants to help make! It's already found a permanent place on our kitchen bookshelf, and I'm sure it will yours, too. Noteworthy recipes include:
Spinach and Cottage Cheese Waffles
Topped with a bevy of sweet options like Raspberry and Chia jam, crunchy peanut butter, sliced banana, and shredded coconut, and savory ones such as plain yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, and za'atar
Baked Coconut Tempura Veggies with Sticky Rice Balls
Omelette Rolls with Broccoli Pesto
Other lunchbox items included are scored avocado halves with a squeeze of lemon juice, cream cheese-stuffed red peppers, carrot sticks, pickled cauliflower (aka Fizzy Veg), canned corn kernels, pitted soft dates
Snacks and Drinks
Banana Split Chia Bowls
Condiments and Upgrades
Chocolate Chickpea Spread
Baking and Sweets
Salted Caramel Freak Shake
(the name says it all)
Below is the recipe for Little Green Kitchen's tasty Dino Burgers, vegetarian spinach, pea, and quinoa patties that everyone will love. I hope you enjoy as much as we do in our home.
"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." David and Luise
Makes 6–8 mini burgers / Active preparation: 40 minutes / Start to finish: 1 hour
Spinach and pea patties
100 g (3 ½ oz/ ½ cup) black quinoa, rinsed and drained
250 ml (8 ½ fl oz/1 cup) water
3 handfuls (75 g/2 ½ oz) of fresh spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
300 g (10 ½ oz/2 cups) frozen peas, thawed
2 sprigs of basil, stems removed
2 eggs, preferably free-range and organic
75 g (2 ½ oz/ ¾ cup) (gluten-free) rolled oats
50 g (2 oz/ ½ cup) grated pecorino or Parmesan
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
olive oil, for frying
5 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp capers (baby capers), rinsed, drained and chopped
1 tbsp good-quality ketchup
mini sourdough or gluten-free buns
crispy lettuce leaves
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.
While the quinoa is cooking, put the spinach in a food processor with the peas and basil and blend until almost smooth. 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. 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.
Meanwhile, prepare the burger dressing. Put all of the ingredients into a small bowl, stir until combined and set aside.
Form the spinach and pea mixture into 8 patties, about 100 g (3 ½ 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.
To assemble, cut the buns in half, spread the bottom half with the burger dressing and the top half with ketchup. Put a patty on top of each bottom bun, top with tomato slices, lettuce and the top bun and serve hot.
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.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Little Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, published by Hardie Grant Books May 2019