Don’t disregard this post. Really, don’t! For all that is good and righteous about food, I promise you that I will not lead you astray with what you might consider crazy-people food (quinoa gets a bad rap in many conservative kitchens!). If it makes you feel better about sticking around, I assure you I’m not crazy (well…that’s probably debatable overall but when it comes to food, I’m not crazy, pinkie swear!). These adorable little quinoa patties are so remarkably delicious, even the worst skeptic can be convinced to try them (and most likely love them). Promise.
A beautiful, smart, witty reader, Melanie D., forwarded me the recipe and I was intrigued enough to try them almost immediately (ok, so I’ve never actually met Melanie in person but with a name like that, she’s gotta be pretty cool!). I made them for my four rowdy little boys, my sister and her two little boys, and my mom. With that many kids to please, I was expecting major groans and quite possibly gagging. But these little patties were gobbled up (smothered in ketchup and gobbled up but gobbled up nonetheless) without a shout of complaint. In between shoving bites of them into my mouth in order to even get a taste before they were all snatched, I managed to be completely amazed, especially when my 8-year old loudly exclaimed, “I definitely want these for my birthday dinner!” Huh, what? Who is this kid and how did he get here?
In the interest of full disclosure, I set out to try these simply in an effort to incorporate more quinoa (a super healthy food we love in this and this already) into our diet. The salads are great but I wanted something a bit heartier and more savory. I really didn’t even know if I would post these babies, but let me tell you, not only are these post-able but they are going into my “favorite file.” I’m never going to go exclusively meatless, but I could totally see myself setting one of these patties on a bun in the place of a burger and being totally satisfied (dude, who am I and how did I get here?). In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy them dipped in ketchup with lots of fresh fruits and veggies on the side!
Tender Grilled Salmon or Maple Pecan Crusted Salmon
Vegetable Saute with Simple Cream Sauce or fresh, cut up veggies
Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip or Hot Chorizo and Cheese Dip with crackers or chips
Note: I like to cook my quinoa in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. It adds more flavor. If you choose to cook the quinoa in water, you might need to add a bit more salt to compensate. Also, don't forget to rinse the quinoa before cooking - it makes a huge difference! Also, you can probably tell that this recipe is extremely adaptable. Quinoa works well with nearly any flavor, so feel free to change things around, up the spices, add onions, peppers, different kind(s) of cheese. Really, the sky's the limit here.
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup finely crushed saltine or Ritz crackers or bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley, cheese and garlic. Add the cracker or bread crumbs. Stir the mixture until combined. If the mixture seems overly wet, add a tablespoon or two more of cracker or bread crumbs. If it seems too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth. Let it stand for about five minutes so the liquid can be somewhat absorbed. Take small handfuls of the mixture and form into little patties, about 1-inch thick, yielding about 11 or 12 patties.
- In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it is hot. Add a single layer of patties (about half of them if you are using a 12-inch skillet) and cook until the bottoms are well-browned, about 5-7 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning (or increase heat if the patties aren't browning well). Flip the patties and cook about 5 minutes more until the second side is golden brown. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining patties (adding a bit more olive oil, if needed). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe a reader, Melanie D. sent me, originally from Whole Living