Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quinoa you can sink your teeth into

My version of Heidi Swanson's Quinoa Patties

Who can help not being a Heidi Swanson fan? Such a cool person who makes cool food and takes cool pictures of them. And the food is vegetarian!

Along with her other drooling fans I bought her latest book, Super Natural Every Day. There are many things in there that I tagged for later consumption, but the thing that really caught my eye were these quinoa patties.

As an educated nutrition person I know the value of those power packed quinoa grains, but I've never been really able to get my mouth around them. When making a salad akin to cous cous, it always seems too dry, to fluffy, too difficult to get a hearty bite. Do you know what I mean? I just... can't... get to them.

So naturally I have several bags of them in my cupboard. I look at them from time to time and their mere presence allows me attitude of self righteous healthiness, but actually cook with them? hmm... not so much. Needless to say they remained smooshed into the corner wall.

But these are a completely different story. In fact, they are even better than I imagined!

While making dinner the night before I cooked off the quinoa and then stored it in the fridge over night. The next morning for breakfast I made these. Yep, breakfast. I adapted the recipe a bit to accommodate some odds and ends in my fridge and they are deeeeeelish! Even better is the fact that the batch made 12 of these babies. Two I ate right away- the crusted grains all crunchy, a bit nutty, yielded to softer aromatic flavorful centers. (Now this I could sink my teeth into). Then 4 went into the fridge for near future consumption and the rest into the freezer.

I can see breaking these up and tossing into a salad or just reaching in and grabbing one for a snack.

Lots of protein, lots of fiber and tons of deliciousness.

Below is my version- For the original it's best to buy the book. It's worth having it on your shelf.

Quinoa, feta and red scallion patties

2 1/2 c cooked and cooled quinoa (1:2 grain to water-rinse before adding water and simmer until tender ~ 10 mins- the gains fluff and release white curlicues)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 small yellow onion minced
3 stalks of red scallions minced with greens
a generous handful of crumbled feta (about 2 oz)
1 c bread crumbs
4 whole eggs, beaten
oil to saute them in (about 2T)

Heidi talks about managing the moisture content by adding/subtracting bread crumbs or water, but I didn't have an issue with this at all.

Place all ingredients into a good size bowl and stir thoroughly to combine. With hands grab a small handful and press into a tight ball. Then pat and coerce into a patty shape.

In frying pan add just a small amount of oil, no need to drown them in oil- On medium heat fry one side until they are crisp and golden and then flip. It's important to heat them thoroughly to cook all that egg, so keep that flame reasonable.

An then try and keep your hands off of them.

You can that see I didn't add any salt, but that was due to the feta. Heidi's recipe calls for grated Parmesan, which is also salty- so take a taste and season accordingly. BTW, I didn't use salt in my quinoa preparation either.

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