While summer is the time of quick salads and fresh fruit smoothies, there is one dish which I’m always ready to heat up the oven or grill for. I love patties because they are so versatile – you can serve them in a whole wheat burger bun with a delicious sauce, you can hide them in a wrap, or simply have them as a quick meal next to a lush salad. They are very easy to make, you can play with ingredients any way you like, and make and store in batches to fight afternoon hunger the healthy way.
Quinoa is my favorite base for making patties because of its texture and neutral taste. And of course, there’s all that striking nutritional variety hidden in the heart of this tiny seed, from essential and trace minerals (magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper) to antioxidants in higher concentrations than in berries (especially flavonoids), vitamins (tocopherol and folate), anti-inflammatory compounds (essential fatty acid Omega-3), fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fats (oleic acid Omega-9). Quinoa is a great choice for vegans and vegetarians because it contains all the amino acids our body needs for building the protein blocks, including lysine and isoleucine, which all grains lack in, making them inadequate as complete vegetal protein sources. Its health benefits are related to blood sugar regulation and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, lowering bad cholesterol levels, liver detoxification, and reducing chronic inflammation.
These patties are gluten-free and they can be easily turned vegan if you replace the eggs with three teaspoons of ground flax soaked in purified water. I usually cook quinoa in larger amounts and store them in my fridge to use later in salads, gluten-free breakfast porridges, or for enriching my soups. I also bake the patties in batches and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator – they are such a lifesaver when you run out of quick lunch ideas!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (red or white)
- 2 organic eggs (substitute with 2 tbsp soaked ground flax for the vegan option)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 6-7 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup silken tofu
- 10 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coconut oil, for greasing the baking sheet
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/356 F.
- In a large bowl, add quinoa, eggs, and salt, and mix to combine.
- Stir in the breadcrumbs, tofu, olives, and garlic, and let sit for a few minutes.
- Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
- Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil, then use your palms to shape little patties and line them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden, then flip over and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack and let cool.
- Serve along with salad, with avocado, or as a veggie burger with tomatoes, cucumber and onion.