Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quinoa Cakes

One of my favorite pasttimes is perusing cookbooks and scouring the internet for new recipes. Often I find recipes that with just a little tweaking make it into my regular rotation. I first encountered quinoa (KEEN-wah or KIN-wah) when researching recipes for my diabetic father-in-law. Quinoa is a type of grain, though more a seed, that is packed with nutrition: it's high in protein, lysine, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, and iron. It's also gluten-free. One serving contains 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. It's prepared much the same way as rice - one cup of quinoa to two cups of water - and the texture is similar to brown rice.

I found two quinoa recipes I wanted to try that are pretty similar and sounded delicious! In planning to prepare them, I combined elements from both to come up with my own creation. Served with a salad, they'd make a healthful, filling lunch. I usually use a combination of finely diced broccoli, spinach, peppers, shredded zucchini or whatever I'm in the mood for to equal about a cup. I stir that into the mixture to boost the nutrition level.

Quinoa Cakes

2 cups prepared quinoa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons diced green onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (adjust to suit taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the quinoa mixture into the hot skillet, pressing down to form patties. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.

Dipping Sauce - I use this whenever I need a savory dip!

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