Friday, May 10, 2013

Quinoa and chickpea patty, with cilantro yogurt

Presenting an argument for quinoa ( keen-wa) would not have worked so well, some many years back, especially considering that life when reading glasses weren't a must and Tums was nonexistent pantry staple.Yes, those days, when I flashthink to younger/ much lighter self. Healthy food and all the fiendishness it fadded with, was totally and tastelessly not for me. Years later happened, perspectives (force) changed and I tried this. The not -grain-but-edible-seed of superfood famedom certainly worked it's way into my tastebud's higher expectations. Much so, that ever since I have not been out of my 2 pound container of quinoa, placed right next to my ten kinds of rice, two shelves away from pulse and lentils. These are the days of its glory too, something that prompted me to showcase grain-seed of 2013 and bring it to all new heights, one that would suit palates, mine as well as yours.

Mightyseed is a major protein source and has a nutrient profile that can put any multivitamin to shame. Among its key beneficials? Not only does it improve your digestive health, and overall wellbeing, but it could even add a few years to your life. Imagine, being  here one day (yippee!).

Even though I still consider puddings and chocolate among best foodgroups on earth, I've reassessed my cooking personality and consumption persona from time to time. "What haven't I tried?" and "what kills my tummy?" are an oft head- to gastro dialogue, resulting in a health trek that is lasting longer than I thought it would. I've tried-tested my way into many kitchen blunders experiments starring hero wonderfood.  Epic failing and to everyone's dismay, it was worst when trying to submerge it in basic Indian curries. However, quinoa did exceptionally well in bowls of salad, steamy soups and, even bulking up a new love, the green smoothie (no ewwws, it really works!).  Though I kept at aiming for an above and beyond, a route, maybe of ground patties, with an ever so slight touch of certain Indian notes, more to the cutlet tune here, maybe here. My discovery was also fuelled by the desperateness for an addition to (ahem) BFMK's virtually nonexistent "healthy recipe" archive too. Between you and me, please.

With plumped quinoa globules acting as key ingredient, I chose element number two, which of course had to be of equally salubrious nature, though more familiar. Coming from the house of legume, are the delightful chickpeas, mentioned otherwise as garbanzo beans. They help in bringing fantastic nut-buttery taste to my cutlet patties. Super charged with fiber, these hefties add an almost meaty appeal, and phenomenal fill potential. I season and sautee them for more pronounced flavor, a must before they  pulp into a hummus-like existence.

And it does not stop here, a good handful of green spinach contributes to the third part of this powerfood chronicled saga; a veritable three in one and converging trio of superpowers, kind of like a scene from the Avengers, donchathink?  Powerful mission to carry out a patty all for your good. Can it be more noble than that?

The simpleness of zipping all but the quinoa goes tremendously well, after which then your hands take over in free forming the cutlet-y rounds. It's those chickpeas that provide silken  glue holding much of the body together. Grained breadcrumbs further in the bulk and bind, whipping up any excess moisture to create splendidly textured, firmed up forms.

The greater- than- garden- variety- of -good then takes you on an insane firstbiteexperience. Reflecting on my own tastings, this is one of the best possibilities for quinoa ambitiousness I've truly experienced. Shallow fried to crunch makes this pseudocereal come another level, taking high fritterlike experience to a very fine package.

Young humans of this house were in full-blown awe of their new favorited snack, where every two bites elicited "yum!" and "wow!" from their cutlet brimming mouths. Did I fail to mention that these people weren't enlightened on the quinoa part, were even spared the typical good- for- you- so-eat (!) rendition? Coming from their childlike and fussy points of view, you know, healthful = torture (weren't we all there once?), had me seriously rethink the repercussions of hitting up recipe technicalities to their blank, but happy minds. Especially on watching them earnestly fill afterschool gullets, begging too for next day lunchstash, who was I to spoil a good thing? (Shhh!)

The cilantro-ed up yogurt, or raitha, makes it complete, lending soft tang and a beautifully perked up finish. I highly suggest you mix the yogurt first before you encroach on patty making.

There you have it, a wholesome patty affair, as simple or as brilliant as you wish. With cut up cucumbers, red peppers and the like, this transcends impressively as dinner, enough for four, maybe six, upto eight. And if you heard me earlier, going leftover lunchbox route is a very good thing. Just like now, as I wait expectantly for precious final bites on quinoachickpeapatty, after I finally type in. This. Very. Last. Word.
Happy lunching!

  • ¾ c water
  • ½ c quinoa (rinse if needed)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c chopped spinach, uncooked
  • ¼ c+ 2 tbsp c  finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ c feta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 c whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp salt/enough to flavor
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 c nonfat plain yogurt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil; add quinoa, cover, and allow to simmer on low heat. Cook until all moisture is absorbed and quinoa plumps up in volume, 12 -15 minutes; set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium flame, heat oil, and onions and garlic, cook until soft, but not browned. Stir in parsley, pepper flakes and chickpeas. Take off heat and let cool.
  • In a food processor, pulse spinach until finely chopped. Add 1/4 c cilantro, lemon juice, chickpea mixture, feta egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper; pulse until combined, yet slightly chunky. 
  • Stir in quinoa to the processed mixture. Blend well.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes for breadcrumbs to absorb excess moisture.
  • Form mixture (add additional breadcrumbs by tablespoons if mixture is still too wet )into 3/4-inch-thick patties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm. 
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; fry patties until browned and cooked through, app. 7-10 minutes per side.
  • Meanwhile, in serving bowl, combine yogurt, salt, pepper, and the remaining 2 tbsp chopped cilantro; season with salt and pepper. 
  • Serve patties with the yogurt.
Notes~ Store leftover, uncooked patties in freezer, wrapped with plastic film, in airtight container.

See how I brown?

This day, last year : Pork Vindaloo.
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

 Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock— not one! Isaiah 44:8 (NLT)
~  On days when I feel heavily burdened, I find rest in the open arms of my Creator; His unconditional love is one we all yearn for, it satisfies deepest longings and often quells tired, worrisome hearts. I fall back and reach for His promises, remembering to give the things I have no control over to Christ. In this I gain the confidence and peace that surpasses. Fear no longer has its hold, and is not the consuming predator of my heart and head. Daily, I do experience and see the great things God can do in and through me. He is an everloving, everlasting, Father and He will never fail you!


  1. This looks delicious. I haven't tasted quinoa yet. Want to try at soon. Thank you for sharing & happy weekend Tisa :-)

  2. Ooo Tisa u tempt with something new every time.

    1. Tempted enough to give it a try ;-) Thanks Meena.

  3. This is sooo good... I'm drooling here....

  4. Very healthy patties... looks so easy and good

    1. Yes, they are, healthy, easy and good, thank you Vimitha.

  5. thats a unique Pattie..Tisa.. gu done and neatly presented.

  6. very tempting.. snack time here.. and I'm going to try something.. ur snaps have made me hungry

  7. I love quinoa, but I love the verse you shared more! "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed..." I needed to see that tonight. I had bookmarked your delightful blog to come look at when I had time, and I am glad I did! I have 2 bags of quinoa and a new recipe to try AND some spiritual encouragement. Thank you.

    Anna Marie Tang

    1. Thank you Anna Marie for those words. I needed to hear them. So grateful that you found encouragement in the verse. God bless you!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!