Friday, March 2, 2012

Quinoa Cakes

Have you discovered Quinoa yet, people? No? Get in your car. Right now. Go buy some. Actually, maybe you should wait till this weekend when you have time to go to Costco to get the 5lb bag. It's THAT GOOD.

Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free seed that originates from South America and in my opinion, is a gift from the culinary GODS. It's incredibly healthy (LOADS of protein, dietary fiber, iron & B vitamins) and incredibly versatile, and is most often used as a substitute for rice or pasta. You know the joke I made about the 5lb bag? Yeah, I actually have one. And I plan to use every last seed in that bag.

If you're a vegetarian & looking for some extra protein, quinoa is for you.
If you're not a vegetarian and you just don't eat a ton of meat, quinoa is for you.
If you love meat and you hate vegetables, quinoa is for you.
If you're cutting carbs, but can't give up that starchy must-have at dinner, quinoa is for you.

Essentially, if you like food, quinoa is for you.

I'm not kidding.

In my quest to use this huge bag of quinoa I've tried a few recipes.. here's my first success.

Makes about 8 big burgers
(Adapted from EatingWellLivingThin)

2 cups cooked quinoa (buy the pre-soaked quinoa if you can -- it speeds up the process)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 large carrot, finely grated with a cheese grater or microplane
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, including white parts
1 /2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Olive oil for frying

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and make sure the spices are incorporated evenly. The mixture will be quite sticky and you'll probably wonder how the cakes will stay together when you fry them. Don't worry, they will.

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your frying pan and heat it on medium-low heat.

When the pan is hot, use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion our your cakes and add them to your pan. Flatten the cakes to about 1/2 inch thick and do your best to round the edges (if you're anal like me and care about that kind of stuff).

Fry on low heat for 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. A big frying pan will probably be able to fit 4-5 cakes at a time. Be careful not to break the cakes when you flip them.


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