Tuesday, 10 June 2014


This week my diet is "healthy", "everything in moderation", "no eating in-between meals" - yep, that old chestnut. It is not something that usually works for me as I have a tendency to be really really good or really really bad but I am going to give it a try.

I thought that this week should also be the week I finally cook the quinoa that I bought last month. Quinoa is something that I am sure I am going to be obsessed with - I have about 100 quinoa recipes already saved on Pinterest so it is about time I actually try it….and I was extremely happy I did.

Quinoa Fritters for 4 people:

200g quinoa
2 eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk
2 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp roughly chopped mint
2 spring onions, finely chopped
100g feta, crumbled/finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin 
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp oil

To serve:
Hummus, flat breads, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado (whatever you prefer)!

This recipe was super easy although it would have been a lot quicker if I had my sous chef Pascal with me to help chop. One thing that is important to remember is that the patties need to chill in the fridge for one hour after you have made them. I think the ideal thing would be to make them in the morning for that lunchtime or evening if you have time - I only chilled for an hour and that was still perfectly long enough.

Firstly place the quinoa and 375ml water in a small saucepan over a high heat. Cover and bring to the boil. Once it has started boiling, reduce the heat to a medium low heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Next place in another bowl to cool.

While it is cooling (about 20 minutes at least), prepare the other ingredients. Beat the eggs and the extra egg yolk together.

Chop the mint, parsley, garlic, spring onion and feta.

Once the quinoa is called, stir it in a bowl with the eggs, herbs, spring onion, feta, garlic, cumin, lemon zest, flour and season.

Next form the mixture into 12 patties. Mine were a little too big so I only ended up making 11, not that it mattered. One thing to know, this is an extremely messy process so have a napkin / wet wipe on hand! 

Chill for at least an hour in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Cook the patties in batches for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Keep warm while you cook the remaining patties and then season with some salt.

Arabella had her two patties in a wrap with hummus and cucumber and she absolutely loved it!! I was dubious as she always complains about couscous and quinoa is slightly similar, but she adored the patties.

I had mine with some hummus, tomato, cucumber and red onion. I enjoyed it immensely - in fact I have had the left over patties for lunch and supper again today (I also had some avocado this evening too which was a fab addition).

Quinoa has so many health benefits….it's protein rich, full of iron, magnesium, has loads of fibre, it promotes a healthy blood sugar level, it's low in fat and calories, and it lessens the risk of heart disease and stroke. Plus the Incas called quinoa "the gold of the Incas" as they found it increased stamina, energy, strength and speedy muscle recovery. I think that explains how they built Machu Picchu!!

Now I am not saying I am giving up burgers but I think they are going to take a side line and I am going to experiment more with quinoa - it tastes absolutely delicious, it is filled with health benefits and there are so many ways to cook it….I even just found a recipe for quinoa mac and cheese!! That has my name written all over it!!

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