If you have yet to discover the wonderful world of quinoa, then it’s about time you gave it a shot. Quinoa, a substantial gluten-free “seed”, is a great substitute for starches in many dishes (such as rice, for example), and provides protein, fiber, and magnesium, among other health benefits.
I discovered Quinoa Croquettes from Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic, available at Chronicle Books. These “croquettes”, a traditional Spanish tapas recipe, take on a healthier form with vibrant veggies and little fat. The recipe takes no longer than 30 minutes to prepare and cook all together, so it’s a great weeknight meal. The ingredients are also very versatile, so creative substitutions are highly encouraged.
1 cup quinoa, washed thoroughly, and prepared
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on medium holes
1 small zucchini, grated on medium holes
1 scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 sprigs fresh parsley, stemmed and minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Grapeseed oil for cooking (or extra virgin olive oil)
1. Combine cooled, prepared quinoa with the carrot, zucchini, scallion, garlic powder, salt, parsley, egg, and flour. Mix well. Using your hands, form the mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
2. Put just enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches, lay the quinoa cakes in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. (You can probably cook 5 to 6 patties at once.) When the cakes are golden, turn them over and cook until the second side is golden.
Remove cakes from pan, and serve hot along side your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!