Quinoa Cakes
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Quinoa Cakes
Quinoa, known as the “super grain of the future”, is actually a very old source of complete, high-quality protein that was cultivated by the Incas over 5000 years ago. Quinoa, is not a grain, but rather a seed. As a protein, it contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs, and is also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, zinc and iron.

Quinoa is a alternative option for people following a gluten free diet. It is a great alternative to wheat and barely and can be used to make flour and pasta products. It is also very low on the glycemic index, which means it does not raise blood sugar levels. Quinoa is a rare alkaline food, which is very valuable to help balance the ph levels in the body.

I prefer the red quinoa and love it’s nutty flavor. Quinoa is very easy to make and I encourage you to give it a try, if you haven’t already. I developed this recipe to use up some leftover quinoa, but now I love these little cakes and make quinoa just so that we can have these cakes for lunch or dinner. Quinoa cooks fast, so even if you have limited time, these delicious cakes go together quickly. They can also be made ahead of time and then just reheated. And, if you make them small, they are a nice option for the base of an appetizer – just top with a bit of crème fraiche or Greek yogurt and top with a bit of smoked salmon for an elegant appetizer.

This recipe makes 8 – 3” cakes.
½ cup organic red quinoa
¾ cup chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 large leaves of basil, chiffonade (cut into ribbons)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
¼ cup gluten free flour (you may uses regular flour if you are not gluten free)
coconut or olive oil for frying

1. Place the quinoa and cooking liquid in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and place a lid on the saucepan. Let sit for 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa and the germ ring around the edge of each seed is visible – don’t worry if they don’t all display their ring. I like the quinoa to retain some texture. Let cool.

2. Combine the cooked quinoa with the shallot, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, egg and gluten free flour.

3. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add about 1 Tablespoon of coconut or olive oil and heat until you see ripples across the surface of the oil when you tilt the pan.

4. Add a heaping tablespoon of the “batter” to the pan and flatten the cake with the back of a spoon – they will be about ¼” thick and 3” in diameter.

5. Allow the cakes to brown, about 3 minutes per side, flip, and finish cooking.

If you’d like to learn more about quinoa, here are a couple of informative links:
http://www.quinoa.net/106.html
http://bodyecology.com/articles/quinoa_benefits_guide.php

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