I've walked by the bag of Quinoa a thousand times in the grocery store. Each time I do I think I should grab it and find something to make with it. But I still haven't done it. I was pretty excited then to see that one of the grains for our Tasty and Healthy New Year challenge was Quinoa from Bob's Red Mill. Since I hadn't used it before, some research was in order. Here's some of what I found:
- Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) is a grain common in ancient South America and has gained in popularity in the last few years
- It's full of minerals and nutrients, including: iron, manganese, magnesium and copper
- Quinoa is a complete protein which is great for those looking for a protein source outside of meat
- It has a unique nutty flavor and is very versatile. It can be substituted for many other grains and can go in main and side dishes or even desserts! (I'll share a cookie recipe with it soon)
Pretty cool huh? For my first Quinoa experience, I wanted something that would highlight the flavor as well as versatility if the grain so I decided on a Quinoa cake with a Walnut Blue Cheese Vinaigrette served with a poached egg and greens.
The cake has green onions, shallots, garlic and parmesan all held together with some egg and panko bread crumbs. It's then sauteed in some Arbosana Olive Oil from California Olive Ranch until lightly crisp. The Arbosana, with its nutty flavor is a perfect match for this dish.
It's finished off with a drizzle of a vinaigrette made with walnuts, apple cider vinegar, caramelized shallots and more of the Arbosana.
These cakes are great fresh off the stove or served at room temperature. Adding the poached egg isn't required but it did make it pretty amazing.
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2 cups cooked Bob's Red Mill Quinoa, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup green onions, chopped finely, plus more for garnish
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup whole wheat or whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons California Ranch Arbosana Olive oil
Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, green onions, shallot, parmesan, and garlic and mix until combined.
Add the bread crumbs to the mixture and stir to mix completely.
Form six individual patties with the quinoa mixture, adding more bread crumbs if necessary.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering.
Add the patties, cover, and cook, about 5 minutes or so, until lightly browned on one side.
Uncover the patties, and flip with a spatula, cooking uncovered on the opposite side for another 5 minutes or so, or until each side is browned.
Walnut and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
2 1/2 tablespoons walnuts
3 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Arbosana Olive Oil
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. Apple Cider vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Crush walnuts with rolling pin or the side of a knife; set aside. Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and crushed walnuts; cook, stirring frequently, until shallot softens, about 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Remove vinaigrette from heat; whisk in blue cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.