The Change Up ~ Baked Quinoa Patties

Do you ever have a day where you just sit with your computer and bounce around from blog to blog? Of course you do. I know...it's ok. I do it all the time more often than I should but I get kinda excited when i find something really cool that I want to try.

Today, it's been all about food and, actually, there was a purpose behind my trolling because last night I was told that one of my boys would benefit from some changes to his diet (as would my whole family, I dare say) so I was specifically looking for recipes to change up some of the things I normally make and that contain more whole grains, less sugar, more protein, less processed foods, etc, and I kept coming back to a blog I've loved for some time... 101 Cookbooks, authored by Heidi Swanson.

Do you know of it? Great stuff and even if you're not vegetarian, you're bound to find something to tempt your appetite there. The first thing I made was her Roasted Lemon Chutney. Oh my goodness! Tart, tangy, slightly sweet with just the tiniest bit of heat. A perfect condiment to keep on hand.

BUT ~ the pièce de résistance today has been Heidi's baked quinoa patties. Let me tell you, these little beauties are delicious, satisfying and healthy. They kind of remind me of falafel and are great to eat right out of the oven or at room temperature. They'll travel well for lunches too and can be eaten by themselves or as a burger. They'd be great topped with a poached egg or, like you see here, with some of the chutney and slices of avocado. Oooo....or some roasted red peppers or tzatziki.

Baked Quinoa and Black Bean Patties (adapted from Heidi Swanson's recipe)

note: if you look at Heidi's recipe first, you'll notice that mine is pretty different. clearly, i didn't have all the ingredients but, necessity being the mother of invention and all, and given that i really wanted to try these, i went with what i had on hand and my version didn't disappoint. also, i pretty much halved her recipe given that i only had 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa in the pantry. one does what one must. and still made 9 patties.

1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup uncooked) at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used himalayan pink salt from traders)

1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1 quater yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed

1/3 cup grated pecorino and romano parmesan blend (also from traders)

1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. You should have a mixture that holds together well and that you can easily form into 1-inch thick patties. Err on the moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if necessary. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture. If you're still having trouble getting the mixture to hold - mix in flour, a couple tablespoons at a time.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush it with the olive oil. Arrange the patties with a bit of space between each. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown. Carefully flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy hot, or allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

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