Sometimes your body needs protein, but you just aren’t in the mood for meat. Quinoa, it turns out, is an excellent source of protein, with over 8 grams in each serving. These little patties also have egg and cheese for an extra boost of protein. Add a small salad on the side and you’ve got a terrifically healthy lunch.
There are about 120 varieties of quinoa in the world. Alter Eco offers several fair trade and organic varieties. We used their Pearl Heirloom Quinoa for this recipe, but the Rainbow variety would be fun too! Quinoa grows high in the Andes Mountains and has been cultivated by the Incas for over 4,000 years. The Incas revered the seeds so much that they called it “chisaya mama” or “mother grain.” It is a nearly perfect nutrition source containing all 8 of the essential amino acids that the human body needs so it’s a complete protein. Check out Cooking Detective’s 27 Surprising Health Benefits of Quinoa for an extremely in-depth look at what makes quinoa such a super-food!
Quinoa is widely considered a super-food, but Alter Eco truly is super. They go above and beyond to make sure their products are super sustainable, transparent, and good for people and the planet. Alter Eco works with 9 co-ops employing over 24,000 farmers. They work to preserve heirloom varieties and plant trees to mitigate carbon dioxide levels. Be sure to keep a lookout for their products next time you’re at the grocery store!
Little Quinoa Patties
(from Martha Stewart)
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature (we used AlterEco brand)
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (We used Serrv brand)
- Rinse the quinoa before cooking then cook according to directions on the package. You know your quinoa is ready when the germ of the seeds separate – they look like cute little curly tails!
- Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let stand for a few minutes.
- Form mixture into twelve 1-inch thick patties. They’ll be about 2.5 inches in diameter. (Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet; add water if too dry. You want the patties to be moist enough so they don’t fall apart in your hand.) You can make the mixture ahead of time and cook later in the day.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add a few patties to fill the skillet. Cover patties and cook until bottoms are browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Increase heat if patties don’t get brown after 10 minutes. Flip patties over and cook the other sides until golden, about 7 minutes.
- Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining patties.