A few years back when the wee one was just a wee babe, we discovered that he had a very upset tummy. The upset tummy turned out to be an allergy(s). I went off of milk, eggs and soy in hopes of settling the nursling boy's tummy. I added soy back, but no such luck with eggs and milk until he was about 2. Now he does well with both, but we had our time of some very creative cooking and some creative ways to get some protein back then. We checked out vegan books from the library for basics and stumbled upon quinoa (keen-wa). It's a lovely little nutty seed that we've grown to like quite a lot. This is my favorite recipe to make with quinoa. It's based on a recipe I read and wrote down in my cookbook forever ago….. and I do not remember where it came from. Also, it is supposed to be eaten as a burger, which would be lovely, but we've always eaten them without the bread dunked in greek yogurt sauce. All of my kids love them, yum!
The Wee Gypsy's Quinoa Patties::
Feeds 4 (we always make a double batch and have just enough for lunch the next day)
1/2 cup quinoa (many people soak it for 15-30 minutes, I always forget)
3/4 cup water
1 medium carrot grated (or put in the food processor)
2-4 scallions diced
1 can or about 2 cups of cooked white beans, rinsed
1/4 cup plain bread or cracker crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
Bring the water to a boil and cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and it's fluffy. Let it cool while you do the following. Grate the carrot or pulse it in a food processor. Add the beans and process/blend until smooth. Add 2 diced scallions, unless your kids aren't fond of them…. like one of mine…. then leave them out! Add the cracker/bread crumbs, egg, spices, lemon juice, salt & pepper and mix well. Add the quinoa & mix well again. Now comes the messy part. I think it helps to have a little water or oil on your hands for this. Make the mixture into your desired patty shape and layer them between wax paper on a plate. We make ours small, but big ones would also be good. Put them in the fridge to chill for about 1/2 an hour to firm them up.
1/2 cup greek yogurt (you can make your own by straining plain yogurt until is slightly thickened, like sour cream consistency)
2 scallions diced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cucumber sliced, seeded and diced smallish
a bit of salt
Mix the above together and let it sit out while you cook the patties. It tastes better that way.
Heat a frying pan with about 1/4 inch of olive oil in it. It should be medium to medium high heat. Fry the quinoa patties in the olive oil until golden on both sides. I do mine is small batches to avoid crowding and keep them warm in the oven as I finish them up. Don't freak about the oil…. if the pan is hot you don't use much and olive oil is good for anyway.
Serve with roasted potato wedges and a good green salad. Oh yes, and the yummy yogurt dip. For lunch the next day you can warm them up in the toaster oven and eat them with lettuce & tomatoes in a pita pocket. I am sure they would also make a darn good veggie burger!
(PS – There's a very gnomey giveaway at Garden Mama! Go take a peek.)