Monday, April 11, 2016

Chicken and Quinoa Patties with Carrots and Zucchini



After Cocoawind decided the Ingredient of the Month for April, I was at my wits end. The month of April is dedicated to 'Kick-ass' Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah).
Now, we consume about 2 pounds of Quinoa a month and you will always find a tub of cooked Quinoa in my fridge. But that is mostly as a pilaf or as a binding agent for burgers. I never thought or experimented with Quinoa in any other form.

I am a very optimistic person and try to find the silver lining in every dark cloud. A shocking twist of weather gave me the perfect opportunity to try an experiment with Quinoa and I am super happy with the result.





Last weekend Cincinnati got quite a bit of snow. Snow in April in Cincinnati is little unexpected, given that, we had a relatively mild winter. We had already transitioned to a spring-summer- both mentally and wardrobe wise. The chill hit us really hard. As we cranked up the heat and stayed indoors on a rather cold and gloomy Saturday, Sam craved for something fried with our evening cuppa. I had a pack of ground chicken already thawing and I always have a tub of cooked Quinoa on hand. Always!




The rest of the recipe came together depending what I had on hand. I was out of fresh herbs and thoroughly missed them. Please feel free to add any herb of choice. The carrots and zucchini, that I have used, can be substituted for any other vegetable of choice. The recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. You just mix everything in a big bowl; form patties; shallow fry and done. Ready to be dunked in your favorite dipping sauce.

The carrots and zucchini provides moisture, making sure the cooked patties are moist and melt in mouth while the garlic and onion provides a well rounded flavor. I didn't add any other spice, but feel free to add smoked paprika, cumin, coriander powder, or even the Moroccan Zaatar for a unique flavor.

Quinoa acts as an excellent binder, while cranking up the protein quotient. Also, it is rich is fiber and complex carbohydrates, making these patties, very wholesome and filling.



These patties are not only yummy, but pretty filling too. We had it as an appetizer with our evening tea but were not hungry till dinner time. I made a bigger patty for Sid and he loved his 'burger' dinner, along with roasted cauliflowers.

These patties are complete meal in itself. There's a perfect balance between protein, fiber and slow absorbing carbohydrates. The meat-and quinoa a mix stays good in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can freeze the cooked patties too. Just heat in the microwave for about a minute. They might not crispy like the freshly made ones, but they'll be just as delicious.

And for my friends in India, where Quinoa is not readily available, and crazy expensive when you find it, Amaranth (also known as Rajgira) is a great alternative.

Amaranth and Quinoa are both very similar grains. Both of the grains are small and bead-like, and the only really discernible differences between the two is the size of each kernel. Quinoa grains tend to be slightly larger than Amaranth. Nutritionally too, these two grains are extremely similar. Read more about these 2 super-grains here.

Hope you give this recipe a try!

Recipe Snapshot: Chicken and Quinoa Patties with Carrots and Zucchini



Serves: 5 serving
(1 serving = 4 patties)

What I used:
Ground Chicken - 1 lb

Quinoa - 2 cup, cooked
(1 cup raw quinoa)

Carrots (Grated or shredded) - 1/2 cup, about 3 medium sized ones

Zucchini (Grated or shredded) - 1/2 cup, about 2 medium sized ones

Garlic - 6-8 fat cloves, finely minced or grated

Onion - 1 medium sized, finely chopped or thinly sliced

Egg - 1

Salt to taste

Canola or Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon per batch of patties


What I did:
1. To cook the quinoa, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook till soft. 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

2. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, cooled quinoa, egg, grated or shredded carrots and zucchini, chopped or sliced onions, grated or minced garlic and salt and mix well. The mixture will be wet but you'll be able to form patties. In case its too wet and the patties are falling apart, add some breadcrumbs or chickpea flour, a tablespoon at a time, till the patties are able to hold their shape.

3. Heat a wide skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and sear the patties for about 1 minute on each side, till it has a nice crust. Transfer the patties to a greased Baking Sheet and finish off the cooking, in a preheated oven at 400 F for 5 to 6 minutes or till cooked through.
Alternatively, you can shallow fry or even deep fry these patties.

4. Serve warm with a dipping sauce of choice and roasted veggies. Sriracha is particularly good with these patties.

Notes/Tip: I would have loved some fresh herbs in them. So feel free to add chopped parsley or cilantro to the meat and quinoa mixture.

Carrots and zucchini can be swapped for any other veggies like sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage.

Diabetic Platter:
Here are seven health benefits of quinoa:
Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat.
Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains.
Quinoa contains Iron.
Quinoa contains lysine.
Quinoa is rich in magnesium.
Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2).
Quinoa has a high content of manganese.

Read More: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html

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