Quinoa Adventures, by j

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As I’m starting to get into my vacation I am doing what I usually do- keeping busy.  Over the weekend I went on a cleaning rampage and organized our family’s kitchen and pantry.  It was totes awesome because I got to organize everything how I like it, and I got to see all the yummy stuff we have in our cupboards that has been hiding under half used bags of risotto rice and cans of tomato paste.

One of the treasures I found was quinoa.  When dry it looks like any other grain, like this:

Dry Quinoa

But when it’s cooked it looks different.  It also smells like vomit.

The first person to cook this and eat it must have been very hungry.

And then I learned a tip.  Rinsing your quinoa will take away the bitter taste that un-rinsed quinoa can give off.  OMG.

So, when I found a jar of quinoa that had been sitting in the back of the cupboard for a while, I thought I would give it a go.

Quinoa is loads good for you.  Quinoa has a crap load of protein in its little itty bitty grains.  In fact, not only does it have lots of protein, it is also a complete protein…you can get all you need from just eating quinoa!  Woot!  It’s also gluten free and has some of those kick ass amino fatty acids that people get so excited about.  Quinoa is such a super human food that NASA has it on the list for “Controlled Ecological Life Support System”.  As in, scientist will grow it when the world blows up and we refer to this planet as “Earth That Was”. (And you can support the Peruvian economy by chowing down, as they are the largest suppliers…let’s cross our fingers that cutting down the rainforest/violating indigenous rights/free trade agreement doesn’t fuck those farmers over!).

Tonight I made quinoa cakes and I think that it’s safe to say it was a hit.  As with anything I do there is a bit of a learning curve.

Here’s what I did:

Cook 1 cup of quinoa…but remember to rinse those little grains for 30 seconds under cold water!  Let the quinoa cool.

In a bowl combine:

2 cups (rounded) cooked quinoa

3 eggs

3/4 cup shredded cheddar

2 green onions (I used 2 shallots, worked like a charm)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

3 tablespoons of flour

1/2 teaspoon of Splenda

1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used a little chili powder…as I threw out most of our spices in my cleaning frenzy)

1 medium carrot, grated finely

Salt and Pepper

Mix it all up!

(Tip: Mix this up and let it rest for a while…according to my mama you gotta let the ingredients sit together…makes for a better batter 😉

Mixin' it up!

Once you get it all mixed up, turn on the frying pan.  The original recipe called for olive oil for frying, but I just used a few squirts of Pam.

Get that pan super hot, and put a 1/4 cup scoop of the deliciousness into the pan.  Using the bottom of your spatula, flatten until it’s about 1/4 inch think.

Frying Time!

Tip: Don’t touch the damn things for a few (maybe 3 or 4) minutes.  I made this mistake and the first couple of attempts looked like quinoa hash.

Flip after 4 minutes a side, you’ll know when they’re finished.  Or just find my mom, she’ll tell you.

And then…ta da!

Quinoa Burgers!

I made an aioli to go with the cakes…it sounds fancy but it was super easy:

1/2 cup light mayo

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt and Pepper

Mix that good.

These were awesome.  The recipe ended up making about 13 or 14 cakes, so my lunch is made for tomorrow.

They will definitely be repeated!  Even dad ate one.  Although he suggested that I add “sausage” next time.

Per burger:  Calories 132; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; NET Carbs 12 g; (Fiber 2 g); Sugar 0 g; Sodium 200 mg

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4 responses »

  1. I will email you another quinoa recipe. We learned it at our cooking course at the Agrarian Kitchen. Another tip is steaming the quinoa.

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