CRUNCH into Quinoa!

2013 is the year of the Water Snake . . .

and the year of Quinoa?


Yes, you read that right. The United Nations, realizing that quinoa is a natural food with high nutritional value, declared that 2013 is the International Year of Quinoa.  If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on a tasty, versatile grain.  A quick search will result in numerous recipes where quinoa is either the star of the show, or is used to enhance a dish, making it healthier and more filling.

But if you don’t have a lot of free time to prep raw quinoa, or cook a healthy dish from scratch, don’t despair. Now you can find QRUNCH (say Crunch!) burgers in many grocery and health food store freezers. And if you can’t? Ask for them by name!

Although they’re not yet in my small town, I’ve been able to pick up a box or two when visiting my parents a few hours north of me. The first time we got a box, I sampled two flavors (Original and Spicy Italian) with my fiancé (T), my younger brother (P, who is vegan) and my Mom. This is what we thought of them.


I found that the burger had a smooth, pleasant taste. I thought it would be excellent with Kinnikinnick’s new hamburger buns, with lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, cheese, and condiments of choice. I ended up trying it with ketchup and mayonnaise. The texture is similar to polenta, but a little crunchier. It held together well; didn’t fall apart like so many veggie burgers do.

T agrees that it is excellent with ketchup and mayo.

Mom thought it was awesome!! Way better than a hamburger or a regular veggie burger. Good flavor, no weird aftertaste.

Spicy Italian:

In my opinion, this has more of a kick than jalapeno cheese! Same nice texture as the original, and it would also make a good sandwich. It would actually be better as a sandwich because the other ingredients would take away some of the heat this flavor gives off! It’s potent! VERY spicy! But I couldn’t stop eating it, even though I had to “chase” it with iced coffee, cream cheese, and walnuts to tamp the burn down. (Not all at the same time, mind you!)

T liked the bit she tried. Said it had good flavor. Spicy Italian is now her preferred flavor.

Mom said it was Yummy! Really good, awesome! The heat sure hits the back of your mouth, though! She’s since bought several more boxes of the Spicy Italian.

P liked it (he only tried this flavor). He thought it was a little heavy, likely because we prepared them in a skillet with a little oil, but figured that if he toasted one (in a toaster oven), it would lose that heaviness. He liked how well formed it was and how well it stayed together, and that it was not a “hockey puck” like many veggie burgers. He said so often, veggie burgers either crumble or are too hard.  He enjoyed the flavor and the crunch, and would definitely try the original flavor based on this.


Before I wrote this review, T made me a Qrunch burger sandwich, so I would have all the flavors fresh in mind (and mouth!). We did not have any buns from Kinnikinnick, so the sandwich pictured above is using a plain bagel thin, cut in half, from O’Dough’s. It was fabulous!

So, what is a QRUNCH burger? They are the new vegetarian patties made with quinoa (from whence comes the Q in QRUNCH), millet, and other whole and organic and non-GMO ingredients. QRUNCH burgers also are free of soy, dairy, egg, wheat, sugar, nuts and corn and low in salt.

“Denver-based QRUNCH foods, the makers of QRUNCH burgers, was founded with the goal of making great-tasting gluten-free foods.  Founders Jim Adams, a food-marketing veteran, and Chef Brad Holley both had gluten-intolerant family members, a wife and daughter respectively, and have experienced the dearth of palatable products in the marketplace. So, Brad began experimenting with a variety of grains and produce to make vegetarian burgers that would satisfy his daughter’s palate as well as her omnivorous friends’. He and Jim joined forces, deciding that they might fill a void.”

Ask for QRUNCH at Kroger, Wegmans, Whole Foods Markets, King Sooper, Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage) and independent natural foods stores (such as Nature’s Outlet for those of you in the Roanoke, VA, area) nationwide.

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