Today, I’m blogging from my hometown, which after weeks of final projects and exams, is an incredible comfort. The sun is shining and I can smell the grass, trees, and first spring flowers in the soft breeze. As someone who is always looking for new ways to enjoy healthy foods, I get increasingly excited as spring gives life to the growing season. As a new collection of produce starts hitting the market tables, I find myself more inspired by the colors and fragrances. I hope that means great things for my recipes that I get to share with you.
I thought of my recipe today after staring into my parents’ pantry for several minutes looking for ideas. I settled on a bag of red quinoa that had been waiting to be reopened after a Thanksgiving side dish experiment. Quinoa is a seed indigenous to the Andes that we utilize in our diets as a grain. Its growing popularity is no surprise in light of its stellar nutritional properties. It is a wonderful plant-source of protein and iron, two nutrients that can be low in vegetarian and low-meat diets. Because of the phytochemicals that give it its scarlet color, red quinoa has even more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than the white quinoa we typically use. It also has a chewy texture that makes it a perfect base for a salad or, in this recipe, a quinoa cake.
It can be a little harder to find red quinoa (it is also a bit more expensive), but traditional or black quinoa can easily be substituted into this recipe if that is what you have on hand. This dish is a great way to incorporate more veggies into your meals – it is packed with filling fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Makes 6 servings
2 carrots, shredded or finely chopped
1 large zucchini, shredded or finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked red quinoa
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
4 egg whites
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetables, quinoa, and 1 T olive oil. Stir to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs and egg whites, stirring until well-incorporated. Heat remaining olive oil in a shallow fry pan or skillet to medium high. Using approximately ½ cup of mixture for each patty, tightly pack with hands and cook in oil.
Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden brown crust develops. Place patties on paper towels to absorb excess oil. These are great on a salad, in a pita with hummus and veggies, or on their own!
So, that’s it for this week! Have a delicious weekend!
Until next time, remember that… there are no excuses when it comes to your health!