In the world of whole-grains, quinoa is known to be the Big Cheese. A gluten-free super-food that is packed with protein! How many whole-grains can claim to have so many adjectives backing them?
And like most super-foods tend to be, it has an acquired taste that may not appeal to many. I wasn't exactly smitten when I first tried quinoa some years ago. Sure, it tasted great when had as a side of salad served with a deliciously rich meat main. But quinoa and me, we were like the neighbor you don't really care about, you toss a polite "Gruezi" (hello) at them occasionally and then go on with your life.
But then, motherhood happened, and the toddler years followed and I saw myself seeking quinoa recipes more often than before. Google wisely advised me how nutritionally-dense quinoa was and how fantastic it was for my toddler, and I nodded solemnly in agreement. So what followed was quite a few attempts at introducing quinoa at meal times.
Now, after a fair amount of trial and experimentation, quinoa and I have moved into the friend-zone. We aren't quite buddies yet, but we do get along quite well. Some of my experiments, such as this one, have actually been a hit with the toddler. A while ago, I made these patties, and my family had these for dinner, not as a side, but as the main. Quinoa for the win! We'll be seeing more of these patties in our household for sure.
- 1&1/2 cups quinoa (I used organic red quinoa, you can use any variety)
- 1&1/2 cup peeled and cubed potato, boiled and cooled
- 2 carrots (I used organic yellow carrots), grated
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup spinach (I used frozen spinach cubes, thawed, and water squeezed out)
- 1/2 tsp each of - ginger-garlic paste, paprika powder (mild), white pepper powder, salt
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup peas
- Prepare the quinoa - I pressure cooked the quinoa for 1 minute in 1.5 times the amount of water. Optionally, cook it on the stove-top for 15 mins or until the grains have cooked, but have a little bite to them. Full the grains with a fork. Leave aside to cool
- Saute the onions in a little oil and the ginger garlic paste. Leave aside to cool
- Mash the potatoes, and add the remaining ingredients. Add in the quinoa and onions and mix this all together until well combined. The mixture holds quite well, and is easy to shape.
- Shape patties from the mixture
- Shallow fry in vegetable oil or bake them at 350 F for 8-10 mins
- Serve with a side of your choice (I served these with honey-glazed pan roasted chicken and a roasted garlic-yogurt dip)
- Cooking the quinoa with a water ratio of 1:1.5 is preferable if you want a bite to your quinoa. If you'd rather have softer quinoa, increase your water content
- Omit the bread crumbs and feta cheese for a vegan and gluten-free option
- Both baking and pan-frying gave me good results. The picture below shows the baked version, while the picture above (stacked patties) shows the pan-fried version. Quinoa crisps up really well in the oven with a light smear of oil on the surface of the patty, so avoid the pan-frying method if you can.
- If serving as a snack, serve with a dip, my dip of choice being a simple roasted garlic yogurt dip. Simply roast a whole head of garlic (chop off a little of the head) in the oven for 30 mins at 350 F. The resulting garlic is soft and can be mashed up with a fork. Add to your yogurt and mix!
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