I was inspired by pinterest to get more creative with my usage of Quinoa. I've been interest in quinoa because of the fact that it is a fulfilling grain with such a light and fun texture. It is a blank canvas, forming easily into any flavor you prefer. I kept finding recipes for patties, burger and cakes using the grain with or in total replacement of meat. I had never seen quinoa used as the protein replacer I have a recipe with the same general concept for meatless meatloaf but it uses lentils vs quinoa. After reading raving reviews about its placement at the center stage of the meal, I had to give it a go!
(I mean come on, you can't tell me that does not look delicious!)
These may sound and look strange but they are sure to fill you up with their satisfying unique taste. This is truly more of an outline than a recipe (as most of my "recipes" are), so have fun and mix it up!
If you still feel apprehensive about make patties from a grain just think of it as making crab cakes---minus the crab!
2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese (or really any variety, whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated
3 tablespoons flour (Whole wheat or all purpose)
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (really any color will do)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 Tablespoon of oil (EVOO, grape seed or coconut)
Oil for frying (olive, vegetable, grape seed or coconut)
To cook quinoa for the above recipe:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
It will look something like this...
Making the Quinoa Cakes
In a large bowl combine all of the ingriedients. (Make sure to allow time for the quinoa to cool down before mixing in all of the other ingredients-You don't want the eggs to scrabble in the bowl with the hot quinoa!)
(To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning. Makes them easier to flip, too. Also you can stick them in the fridge for a while so the mixture has time to set up before cooking them.) Heat a frying pan and few tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or my favorite-a cookie scoop), drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel. Makes approx. 12 burgers.
My personal preference for this delicious meal is serving it with a quick yogurt sauce. Just combine a small container (5 oz) of Greek yogurt with 1-2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro and 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and serve along side of the cakes.
Also I enjoy eating these patties and sauce with a quick little "salsa" by combining equal parts of diced seeded and peeled cucumber and of seeded and peeled diced tomato with a quick squeeze of lemon juice, splash of olive oil and salt and pepper.
This whole concoction is great on its own but also could be served hamburger style of a bun with lettuce with the yogurt in place of mayo and the "salsa" serving as the tomato. Along side a simple salad this dish would also shine just as brightly!