Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quinoa Patties & Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

In an effort to reduce the amount of meat we consume but still meet our protein goals in our post surgery lives, I've been turning to alternatives. Quinoa has been something I introduced the family to with much success. I've made it plain as just a side dish in place of rice but recently I've used it in two recipes that I found on Pinterest. The second recipe was not meatless I should note. Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

The first recipe was for Quinoa Patties - the recipe can be found HERE on the Frugal Living NW blog! 

Little Quinoa Patties

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen (Amazon)
Feel free to play around with this basic recipe; the cheese and vegetables can be changed to fit your preferences.

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. cooked quinoa at room temperature
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. finely chopped chives or green onions
1/3 c. finely chopped yellow or white onion
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (goat or feta cheese is good, too)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 c. bread crumbs
1 T. olive oil, for cooking
  1. To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups of water and 1/2 t. of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.
  2. To make quinoa patties: Combine 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, shape 12 1″-thick quinoa patties. They don’t have to be perfect. I’ve found the easiest way is to scoop 1/4 cup (use a measuring cup) of the mixture into wet hands, quickly press it into small patties, and slide it into the hot oil with a spatula.
  4. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until the underside is golden brown, flip, and repeat until the other side is also a golden brown and the quinoa patty is firm (cooked in the middle). Serve hot or cold with your choice of toppings, if any.
I served these with Parmesan roasted cauliflower and some of my homemade spaghetti sauce - huge hit with hubby and the kids! The kids actually thought they were some sort of meat patty at first and I had to explain to them what it was. This recipe made quite a few and I was able to take the left overs and layer them in a freezer container separated by wax paper so we have them for a second meal. I figure a quick heat up in a nonstick skillet and we'll be good to go some night when we need a quick supper. 

I've got to stay that honestly with things like this I don't miss meat. These really were delicious! 

And the other recipe using quiona recently was for Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps - the recipe can be found HERE on the sugardish blog. 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy buffaloed oven fried chicken bites wrapped in buttery lettuce leaves with tomatoes, quinoa, avocado, and blue cheese dressing. Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a healthy and filling lunch or dinner your whole family will love. Note that prep time includes 30 minutes for the chicken to marinate.
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 cups plain panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ - ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 4-6 large soft leaves of lettuce (I used Boston Bibb Lettuce)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced avocado
  • blue cheese (or ranch) dressing & scallions to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease (I used cooking spray) a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the chicken in the ½ cup buffalo sauce, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. Coat each chicken piece evenly and place them on the prepared baking sheet. The baking sheet will get pretty crowded -- it's okay.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. To assemble the wraps, fill each leaf of lettuce with quinoa, tomatoes, and avocado. Top with the crispy baked buffalo chicken, drizzle with the blue cheese, and sprinkle with the green onions.
  6. These are also a delicious cold lunch if you prepare the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it before serving.


Since Trevor isn't fond of hot foods, I kept some of the chicken separate so that his wasn't spicy! The rest of us really enjoyed the lil bit of heat. The kids gobbled these down and asked for more! The only thing I didn't use was the avocado because they were not ripe in the store and they are ridiculously expensive. I hope when we get moved out west that we will be able to get more fresh veggies and at better prices. 

I wish I had taken pictures of these foods....I need to start using my camera more to capture these yummy meals! 

Enjoy! 

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