Quinoa has become the queen (or king) of the grain world recently, and everyone is raving about its high protein and fiber content, chewy-soft texture and amazing ability to end your decades-old boredom with rice. But the question is: How is it used? In this recipe, cooked quinoa is uniquely crafted into patties with chopped veggies and fresh herbs, then lightly pan fried for a healthy burger alternative. Serve them on buns or make mini-versions and pile them on a gourmet mesclun and goat cheese salad.
Mediterranean Quinoa Cakes with Mesclun & Goat Cheese Salad
1 cup quinoa
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 Tbsp. red onion, minced
2 Tbsp. scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¾ Tbsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions; transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool.
2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and red onion. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften garlic and tame onion flavor.
3. Add chickpeas, red bell pepper, scallions, and onion mixture to the quinoa. Mix well and season with fresh ground pepper to taste.
4. Mold the quinoa mixture into patties. Place patties on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
5. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and cook patties until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side.
6. For salad, place mesclun in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix all remaining ingredients (ecept goat cheese). Pour vinaigrette over the greens and toss. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
Recipe courtesy of Serena Wolf, a private chef, food writer and blogger for Domesticate-Me.com.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.