Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, well drained
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground toasted cumin seeds
3 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbl cornmeal, plus 1/3 cup for coating burgers
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
6 lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices


1 ripe avocado
2 Tbl finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, paprika and ground cumin and mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the quinoa, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; stir to combine.

Form the bean mash into 6 patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup cornmeal and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

To prepare guacamole: Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons onion, garlic, cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 200°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 burgers until heated through and brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining 3 burgers with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and the guacamole.