Monday, February 6, 2012

Playing in Quinoa

My view on the Friday drive home from work.

Weekend Update: It was such a nice weekend in the city. 60 degrees in January. Man I love the south. 

We watched the last 3 episodes of “The Kennedy’s” this weekend, and they were the best ones in my opinion. We’re more fascinated than ever, but wish there were more! Not sure what we’re going to do with ourselves this week. If you have Netflix, WATCH IT.

When I wasn’t mourning with the Kennedy’s, I was stepping away from last week's chili leftovers and eating out! I had some great GF food in Atlanta this weekend. I always get excited when a restaurant has a gluten-free menu, but the one at Pozole was all pretty and nicely bound as opposed to the usual sheet of paper GF menu (not that I’m against paper menus… any GF menu is better than none). We also had a great lady group brunch at The Shed at Glenwood with a plethora of options for this girl. No special menu needed. Oh, and bottomless Mimosas were pretty exciting too.

So if you remember from our meal plan from last week, there was mention of Quinoa Burgers. First of all, Chris introduced me to quinoa last fall, and it’s been a staple in our house ever since. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the word, but don’t know how to pronounce it. It’s ok, I didn’t either (which is probably why I never tried it). One day, I heard someone say it on the Today show, thank goodness. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s pronounced KEEN-WAH. It’s great because it is high in protein, so it keeps you full, and it also has amino acids, which rice lacks. So basically, it’s a yummy, healthy, rice alternative. Best part: you can get a big box of it at Trader Joe’s for super cheap. Around $2 I think.

Sometimes we get a wild hair or two and decide to experiment with a new recipe. We usually find them on Pinterest (I have a gluten-free board,duh), and it’s usually when I’m hungry. Good food photography is what initially entices me (something we’re working on for my blog), but the deciding factors are the ingredients and the directions. If we don’t already have ¾ of the ingredients, we probably won’t make it unless what we need to buy is on sale/cheap. If the directions are long, require a mixer, use words we don’t know, or involve an insane amount of prep time (WHY don’t we have a live-in sous chef?), I run screaming.

I’ve seen TONS of quinoa recipes on Pinterest and Kind of like Forrest Gump’s (my all-time favorite movie) shrimp, quinoa can be turned in to endless varieties of dishes from soups to patties to salads. For our first quinoa experiment, we went with a “burger”or “patty” recipe we came across on Pinterest. We modified it a little, but I liked this recipe because it was one of those dump, mix, and go recipes that was hard to mess up. I had way too much fun mixing everything together as you’ll see in the pictures.

·      2 cups cooked quinoa
·      3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used a Mexican blend)
·      1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
·      1 medium carrot, finely grated
·      3 eggs
·      3 tablespoons all purpose flour (We used Red Mill GF flour that was donated from my good buddy, Kristin)
·      2 green onions, including white parts (I’d use just 1 next time)
·      1 /2 teaspoon sugar
·      1/4 teaspoon black pepper
·      1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
·      1/8 teaspoon salt
·      1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
·      Olive oil for frying


In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
We loved all the colors.

So. much. fun.

Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. 

Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Some took longer than 4 minutes because we preferred them to be crispy. Makes approx. 10 burgers.

They turned out pretty good, and maybe better the 2nd day. They remind me of potato pancakes. We paired them with some green peas and fries. And of course 2 buck chuck. 

Overall, our quinoa experiment was a success. I don’t know if this will be a regular menu item at our house, but it was a fun switch-up. Shout-out to my girl Chris, for being my right-hand lady and flipping some mean patties. I’m sure we’ll have some more quinoa fun soon.

I'll leave you with an article about 11 mood-boosting foods that'll kick your case of the Mondays. 

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