This recipe is for you
vegetarians meat eaters. Surprise! Okay, so there’s not actually any flesh involved, but your taste buds may report otherwise. After his first bite, my boyfriend was convinced he was chewing some sort of meatball. “Are you sure these are vegetarian?” Yep! Success! While I didn’t set out to produce a “mock meatball,” I’m always thrilled to discover vegetarian recipes that please meat eaters and my kind alike–especially when they’re a healthy alternative to the real thang (quinoa health benefits!). My trusty food critic scarfed down three patties and requested the leftovers. Despite his earnest critique, I must admit I wasn’t head over heels for these little patties. I could eat quinoa for days on end, but their affinity to meat messed with my head. By the third bite, I was pretty convinced I was chewing flesh. You see, I belong to a rare breed of vegetarians. I didn’t choose this lifestyle for ethical reasons. Sure, I struggle with the idea of consuming an animal, but that’s a personal qualm which is entirely unrelated to ethics. I also didn’t give up meat for reasons pertaining to health. Fifteen years ago, I parted ways with animal protein based solely on my disdain for its taste and texture. It makes sense, then, that I wasn’t running in circles for mock meatballs. I’m a minority, though, so I’m pretty convinced this dish will hit a home run for the masses. And who knows–maybe if the comparison to meat hadn’t been established, I would have been fighting for the leftovers. Knowing me, that’s deffffinitely a possibility. They’re incredibly versatile. Enjoy them warm with a dipping sauce or over spaghetti, or crumble them cold over a hearty salad to add a punch of protein!
1 1/4 c. quinoa, cooked
2 large eggs
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. chives
1/4 c. grated or shredded parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. bread crumbs (I use whole wheat)
dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1-2 T. olive oil
*Mix together the quinoa and eggs in a medium-sized bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine the onion, chives, cheese, garlic, breadcrumbs, and cayenne pepper. Add enough salt to accommodate your taste. Add to quinoa mixture and combine. Allow the breadcrumbs to absorb some of the moisture for a few minutes.
Form 6 1” thick patties. If mixture is falling apart, add a little water. If mixture won’t maintain its form, add more breadcrumbs to firm it up.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and allow each side to cook for 7-10 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow to cool and enjoy!
*To cook quinoa:
Soak 1 cup of dry quinoa in cold water for 5 minutes. This ensures even cooking and loosens up any saponin residue, which can be bitter.
Drain quinoa using a fine mesh strainer and transfer to a pot filled with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt.
Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to simmer.
Cook for 15 minutes.
Remove quinoa from heat, allow to sit for five minutes with the lid on, and fluff with a fork.