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January 23, 2013

quinoa patties.

These are just the most delicious little things. I'm growing an affinity for quinoa. It's so versatile, and if made in big batches, it can be incorporated into a ton of things. You could make pilaf with quinoa, rice and lentils. You could toss them into soup for texture and protein. Or you could make quinoa cakes, or patties, like I did here.

I didn't follow a recipe, and I don't think you should either. I wanted something really healthy for lunch and figured these would work. They did.

These quinoa patties are like little protein monsters. Edible monsters. You can add whatever you like to yours, but I added quinoa, a little shredded poached chicken, egg white, and vegetables.

Did you know eggs are "complete proteins" ? They contain all the essential amino acids. So eggs + meat (protein, duh) + quinoa (chisaya maya, or Mother Grain of the Incas) = pretty damn healthy.

They're also best eaten hot, which would make them perfect for right now. I was driving around today, and I could see my own breath .. in my car .. while driving. WHY. With the wind chill, apparently it feels like 7 degrees.

I add the veggies raw so as to prevent cooking losses of nutrients, which has been a concern of mine lately. If vegetables lose nutrients upon exposure to high heat (such as during cooking and baking) ... do we get any nutrients when we eat them?! The eggplant in eggplant parm is totally irrelevant! The vegetables in stir fry are useless nutrient-wise, and oftentimes, the fiber goes too!

I've been on a raw kick lately .. which includes a lot of whole wheat wraps with chicken and raw sliced veggies.

Like I said, I don't encourage following a recipe for these. I literally made them up as I went, but I'll tell you what I added, so you can have some sort of idea.

1. Cook quinoa. My mom roasted quinoa with a little ghee and spices in a pressure cooker before adding water and completely steaming it.

2. Chop whatever veggies you would like to add. I added corn, bell peppers (orange + red), onion, and zucchini. I suggest not cooking them and just chopping them very finely, to preserve nutrients.

3. Add whatever else you may want to add. Like a little ground flaxseed, poached chicken, chickpeas, etc.

4. Mix everything together. Season with salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of a lime/lemon half. Add fennel seed, ground cumin, or ground red pepper for flavor.

5. Add an egg white (I always add a little yolk for biotin, too). Stir everything together. If there's too much quinoa, veggies, etc., then just add another egg white to bind it all together. If it's a little too gloopy, add some breadcrumbs. It will be pretty gloopy though, and may not totally stick together. That's fine.

6. Heat a pan. Add a little oil, then spoon some of the mixture onto the pan. Keep it in fairly flat, cohesive piles.

7. Cook. As the egg sets, flip them over. They will be pretty golden brown.

8. Once totally cooked ... eat them! You can eat them plain (they're very filling), over a salad as the main protein, in wraps, however you like. 

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