If you have been reading long at all, you know that I love my foods spicy and with lots of kick. My boys on the other hand aren’t nearly so enthusiastic.
My salads are not-so-affectionately referred to as “stinky salads” and the boys run the other way whenever I’m eating one. I sometimes wonder if Christian (my 5 1/2 year old) has a future in Hollywood with the way he carries on about how bad my homemade balsamic vinegar dressing smells. (Kinda hurts my feelings….)
Speaking of hurt feelings, before they will eat anything I give them it is always eyed suspiciously for pepper, onions, garlic and traces of anything green I might have tried to sneak in. (Where’s the trust?)
Let me tell you, the deceptively delicious movement worked when they were toddlers but now they are food detectives who demand food on their terms.
I know that most people are against preparing one meal for the kids and one for the adults, but I must admit that most everything I eat is pretty spicy for the early grade school set. And I am ever so grateful that their loud complaints are not crys for junk food. (If you want to see something funny listen to me tell my boys we are going to stop at a fast food restaurant for lunch. They respond with a violent no as if I’d just told them I was getting rid of the iPads, Wii and all of their Legos. Other funny moments are near weekly calls with my parents where Alex (aka the commander) gives them lectures on all the things they are eating that are bad for them.)
Given that I’m not interested in eating bland food and they are not (yet) interested in spicy food, I find that more often than not I am making two meals. Sometimes three because the boys don’t agree on much of anything when it comes to food. The exception? These quinoa fritters!
This is a recipe that is made in my house at least once a week – and one I play with often. If I’m feeling a bit indulgent, I will often increase the cheese and flour to one cup and use 5 or 6 eggs instead of three. On the other hand, sometimes I skip the eggs and cheese all together and use flax seed egg replacer. (These days I’m making this with vegan cheese and flax for the egg replacer. And yes, they will still eat them without complaint.)
Now this is actually my favorite quinoa fritter recipe because it is so versatile. I typically make a double batch and then add a few things to it for the grown ups. Good add ins include: sauteed spinach, kale or red pepper, chopped onion, minced garlic, cayenne pepper and curry powder. Honestly, your options are near endless.
Play around with this and see what works for your family. When making quinoa fritters, one thing to keep in mind is that if they are sticking to the pan the reason is typically that you are trying to flip them before they have cooked enough. Cook them a little longer and they will flip easily.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour or gluten free flour blend
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese or Daiya, shredded
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 3 eggs or egg re placer (either organic non-GMO flax/water – chia/water – EnergG)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Heat a large saucepan to medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add quinoa and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add 1 ¼ cup of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for five more minutes. Cool slightly.
- In a large bowl combine cooled quinoa with flour, cheese, onion, salt, pepper and parsley. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add to quinoa mixture.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Form quinoa into balls or ovals and carefully add to hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until a golden crust has formed. Drain on paper towels.