So by now you probably know about quinoa (keen-wa). You may not know that it’s close relative of spinach, kale and Swiss chard, which is kind of mind blowing because it looks and tastes like a grain. Three to four thousand years ago, the Incas made it a part of their diet. Today, we see it on menus around the world. Quinoa is a versatile food. Our family eats a lot of it. In soups (of course!), in salads, in place of rice or other grains, formed into herb vegetable fritters (see our Zucchini Quinoa Fritter recipe below), even for breakfast with a poached egg and salsa. That’s my favorite. If your doctor has recommended you lose a little weight, quinoa might be the go-to-food to help you accomplish this. It actually boosts energy and contributes to shedding pounds.
- Quinoa is relatively low in calories. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 172 calories. Even if you ate two or three servings of quinoa, you would get a much larger quantity of food for fewer calories than you would eating a plate of pasta or rice.
- Quinoa is very high in protein and fiber. The protein and fiber found in quinoa will make you feel fuller, which will make you eat less and divert you from binging on unhealthy foods people often turn to to fill up.
- Quinoa contains approximately seven grams of protein per serving and six grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber binds to fat and cholesterol, which causes your body to absorb less fat and less cholesterol. This is one BIG way that quinoa can help you lose weight.
Soup and quinoa are a dynamic duo. Soups can help flush toxins and quinoa adds to energy levels. If you want to get a huge bang for your buck, we would love for you to try our Peruvian Quinoa, Corn & Roasted Red Pepper Soup or our Curried Carrot with Quinoa Soup or our Roasted Butternut Soup with tricolored quinoa. All of these are customer favorites and have been on our fall menu rotation for years! Both vegan and vegetarian, as well as gluten free and freezer friendly! So, maybe consider adding this groovy grain to your diet this fall. And maybe try out the recipe below. This is a good one and great way to utilize that truck load of zucchini coming from your garden!
ZUCCHINI QUINOA FRITTERS with CURRY HONEY YOGURT SAUCE
These are fantastic as an accompaniment to salad entrees, grilled veggies or proteins, topped with an egg, crumbled into a wrap – you name it! We have a couple of versions you can try – And the toppings are outstanding!!
Make approximately 12-14 patties.
- 2 C organic zucchini, shredded with skin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 C cooked quinoa
- 1/2 C flour
- 1/4 C corn meal
- 1/3 C parmesan cheese or pecorino, shredded (feta is a good option too!)
- 2 large organic eggs
- 1/2 C onion, diced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T yellow curry, plus more for sauce
- 1/4 C fresh organic dill, chopped
- 1/4 C organic cilantro, chopped (or parsley)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 C Greek yogurt
- 2-3 T hot honey (or regular honey)
- 1-1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-1/2 tsp curry
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 T lime juice
- salt & fresh ground black pepper
Shred zucchini, place in strainer and toss with salt. Let sit for 15 min. Rinse. With cheese cloth or kitchen towel, squeeze all the liquid from zucchini. Set aside. Mix quinoa, flour, corn meal, parmesan, eggs, onion, garlic, curry, dill and cilantro until well incorporated. This is a loose mixture but comes together when you form patties. Make rounds about 2-1/2 ” in diameter. In a pan on medium heat, use about 2 T olive oil per six patties. Brown on each side until golden (about 5 minutes per side) then place on platter. Salt & pepper. Repeat until done. While patties are cooking mix yogurt, honey, cumin, curry, lime zest and juice until well incorporated. Serve patties warm OR cold with sauce.
GOOD ALTERNATIVES TO CURRY: If you’re not into curry, try this version: Replace curry with a 1/3 cup mixed fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme) and replace the lime zest and juice for lemon zest and juice. For the sauce, replace curry with Italian seasoning and lemon instead of lime. You can also serve this version of Italian seasoned patties with a marinara sauce. Delicious anyway you go!