I often get stuck in a rut when it comes to serving up quinoa. More times than not I make a chicken vegetables bowl with, or throw it in a soup. Don’t get me wrong both methods result in some absolutely delicious recipes, but I was happy when I came up with this Fritter Recipes with Quinoa, Chickpeas and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, which is a little different than my norm. Quinoa is just so good for you that I want to cook with it all the time, but again the struggle of moving it around to different recipes can sometimes be a challenge for me. When making this Fritter Recipes with Quinoa, Chickpeas and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce I knew I wanted to do something different so as I poked around for inspiration I went to Pinterest and the first thing I saw on my page was a zucchini fritter… Well heck why can’t I just make a quinoa fritter?? The point is I can, and guess what quinoa can go in a lot more things than soup just as long as you are willing to get a little more creative. You see I’ve boxed quinoa in and haven’t let it come out to all of the wonderful recipes it can be enjoyed in. One of my favorite chefs always told me that I was only limited by my own creativity, and man did that ring true when making this recipe.
I’ve been using Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa for quite some time and I always go back to the pot because I trust them with everything that I put in my body. I know it’s responsibly sourced and and will always be the most packed with nutrients before it hits my body. If you’re unfamiliar with quinoa, it’s one of those powerhouse grains that originated in South America and has been a staple ever since the Incas ruled the land. In other words, it’s been served up for a really long time. I feel that it rings true for all of those ancient grains like farro, mung beans, lentils, etc. that have been eaten and enjoyed for centuries. Only in the past 100 years have we managed to jack up food, but the ingredients that have lasted for this long and are still in style are usually the healthiest and have the most benefits. Since Bob’s carries all of these grains it’s easy to go back to the pot, as I said earlier.
Once the quinoa is cooked, which is as simple as boiling and simmering together water and quinoa, you mix it together with mashed chickpeas, an egg, a tad bit of flour, baby spinach, cumin, salt and pepper, that is it. These fritters are only 6 ingredients and are absolutely delicious. When combining all of the ingredients and forming them into patties I have to note that they are a bit sticky, but don’t let that worry you because they will fry up just fine once it’s time cook. You should have seen my fingers when making these, they literally looked like fritters by the time I got done haha. After the fritters are formed it’s good the chill them quickly in the freezer or refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes just to let them cool and hold shape.
Cooking these fritters are super easy, just add a small amount of oil to a large frying, or sauté, pan and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. From there place them on a baking sheet tray with parchment paper and finish them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. There is plenty of moisture in these fritters so even if you leave them in the oven a bit longer they won’t fry out.
For the cucumber yogurt sauce, it’s as easy as shredding a cucumber and whisking it with some Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Be careful after tasting this because you’re going to want to spoon feed yourself loads of this sauce because it’s just so dang good.
One of the coolest things about this recipe is just how versatile it is. Guess what if you don’t like chickpeas or spinach both can be swapped out. Try using some mashed sweet potato, regular mashed potato, zucchini, squash, tomato, or even mashed cooked navy beans. The quinoa is there to provide a light neutral nutty flavor along with tons of protein and nutrients, everything else you put in your fritters is there to provide some stability for shape and flavor. I hope this has been a little educational, now go cook!!
Fritter Recipe with Quinoa, Chickpeas and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
For the Fritters:
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 2 cans of mashed chickpeas
- 2 cups of packed baby spinach
- ½ tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 egg
- ½ cup of flour
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying
For the Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ finely grated peeled cucumber
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- juice of ½ lemon
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Optional Garnish: olive tapenade
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large bowl mix together the cooked hot quinoa, mashed chickpeas, spinach, cumin, egg, flour, salt and pepper until completely combined and the form 12 fritter patties. Set them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and chill them in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Return them to the sheet tray lined with parchment paper after they are browned.
Cook the fritters in the oven for 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together the shredded cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Chill before using.
To Serve: Pour the yogurt sauce overtop the cooked hot fritter and garnish with optional olive tapenade.