Quinoa. I always feel a bit embarrassed saying it (I say "keenwah" by the way - what do you say?), let alone blogging about it. And the fact that my kids love it - genuinely - kind of makes my embarrassment even worse! It's become such a smug middle class ingredient, so symbolic of things that most normal mums find oh so annoying about perfect bloggers and their organically clothed children who feed their kids in Pinterest-worthy kitchens...
Please be very, very aware that I am not one of those people; my life is as far from perfect as it's possible to get! And yet... Quinoa.
I have battled with Quinoa. I want to eat it, despite its irritating connotations. This is because it is UBER healthy - and once you have a batch cooked, it's very handy to have in the house. Eat it cold in salads (like you would cous cous); add milk and maple syrup and warm in a pan for a 'porridge'; or, as here, fried up to make patties. I have tried it a few times before and never been that keen (wah - ha ha!). But I have finally cracked what I was doing wrong, and now I can honestly say the following: I LOVE QUINOA!
Cook it the right way first off: I boiled it with stock, the juice of a lemon and a good pinch of salt until all the water was soaked up (about 30 mins). 390g quinoa / 900ml stock makes a good amount to stash in the fridge.
This amount will yield enough for 2 meals at least. (I used the first lot to make griddled courgettes with quinoa and feta - we had this with roast chicken and maple glazed roots - a great Sunday meal). The second lot sat in the fridge for a week, until I made these. I served them with crispy kale (a total revelation by the way - you actually have to try this for a great healthy snack) and a smooth guacamole type dip. We had this for brunch on Saturday - and the kids really enjoyed it. I called them veggie burgers! Even Bea a who purports to hate avocado ate the dip, which I called "green mayo". She fell for it! Mwah ha haaaa!!
You could adapt the pattie recipe any way you see fit. Next time I might swap the feta for parmesan I think, maybe instead of chives I could go for parsley. Any leftover vegetables, chopped small would be good in there too. Pine nuts would add a lovely crunch.
This would make a great lunch or tea for a bunch of kids - especially if mums are there too. Be brave, do it - they will love it, I promise. And you will be henceforth known as the Quinoa Queen (which is what I now call myself).
Makes: about 12 patties (slider size)
Prop time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
About 340g leftover cooked quinoa (see above)
100g breadcrumbs - about 2/3 slices (I used gluten free wholegrain bread)
100g feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Plus more oil for frying
For the crispy kale:
1 large bag of kale
Extra virgin olive oil
Generous pinch of salt
For the avocado dip (smooth guacamole):
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Handful of chopped coriander
Juice of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven for the crispy kale. About 180 will do.
- Mix all the ingredients for the patties in a bowl with your hands. Mould into pattie shapes and set aside.
- Heat some oil in a pan and when hot, add the patties. Flatten them as they fry. They need about 7 minutes each side.
- Whilst they are frying, make the dip by whizzing all the ingredients.
- Toss the kale in oil and salt and scatter evenly on a large roasting tray or tin (you may need two trays). Roast for about 5-10 minutes, watching it closely as it can burn quickly. Turn the kale once during cooking.
- Serve all together. Be amazed as your kids tuck happily into this healthy feast!