Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Quinoa & four veg cakes

I have only needed to survive 10 days without a Thermomix here in Australia this visit thanks to my gorgeous mother-in-law, who will get to use it soon I promise :)  Fresh out of the box it was put to work to make fruity delight, dip, bread rolls, risotto and custard (for the demo) . .  then I kept the tempo up by making a batch of my raw cacao Anzacs, Quirky Cooking's chicken stock paste & creamy brown rice & chicken soup (which is a family favourite), plus stewed rhubarb, raspberries and apple ready for breakfast in the morning . . . all before the day was out! Wheew!  Since then, I've been using Thermie no.2 several times a day . . . impressing family and friends in the flesh rather than simply via pretty pictures on my blog :) 

Here's a recipe I'd been conjuring up in my mind for a week or so, amongst others . . . until the Thermomix arrived. I created this for a light dinner. If you're into risotto cakes, this recipe is a nutritious take on these utilising quinoa instead of white rice. Great for the lunchbox!  I'll definitely be making these in Hong Kong to take into work. But let's not talk about going back to work just yet!

Quinoa & four veg cakes

30g brown basmati rice
70g parmesan, chunks or fetta cheese (or mixture of both)
handful of fresh basil
100g quinoa, soaked or rinsed
1 medium leek, cut into chunks
1 medium zucchini, quartered
1 large clove garlic
15g olive oil
80g baby spinach leaves
2 large eggs
1 red capsicum, chargrilled, peeled & diced
a good grind of salt and black pepper

  1. Measure 100g uncooked quinoa into the steam basket, remove and rinse well or soak overnight inside the TM bowl and drain. Add 400g of filtered water. Cook for 18 minutes at 100°C on speed 4 until quinoa is plump and slightly crunchy. MC lid on.  
  2. While the quinoa is cooking. Cut the cheeks off the red capsicum and place on a sheet of aluminium foil under a high grill until blackened. This should take about 10 minutes. Then wrap the capsicum in the foil and set aside to cool. Later peel off the skin and dice. Set aside. 
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  4. Rinse and dry the TM bowl and lid and add brown rice, mill for 30 seconds on speed 9. Set aside.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese and fresh basil to the TM bowl and grate for 15 seconds on speed 8. Set aside with the milled rice. If using fetta, crumble and add at step 7.
  6. Add leek, zucchini and garlic to the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5Add oil and sauté for 2 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add baby spinach leaves and sauté a further 1-2 minutes with the MC lid on, until the leaves begin to wilt. 
  7. Return the milled rice, parmesan & basil and cooked quinoa to the TM bowl together with the remaining ingredients (eggs, diced red capsicum). Season well, then combine for 5 seconds on reverse, speed 4
  8. Grease a muffin pan well with coconut oil and scoop the mixture into the muffin holes, fill to the top, press down and level with a spoon. 
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and set slightly before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with tomato chutney & rocket. 

variation ideas
substitute a brown onion for the leek. 
substitute semi-dried tomatoes for red capsicum, stir through at step 9.
substitute cubed roasted sweet potato for the zucchini, stir through at step 9. 

nutrition tid bit
Quinoa pronounced keen-wah could be described as a seed dressed up as a grain, because although it cooks up like a grain, it is actually a seed from a plant which is closely related to spinach and beetroot. Well known in vegan circles because it is a complete protein, which means that it contains all of the 9 'essential amino acids' which must be supplied by the diet (our bodies cannot synthesise them), quinoa is becoming more and more popular for non-vegetarians as a gluten-free alternative to couscous, bulgur or pasta. There are three types of quinoa available commercially; white, red and black, although the most common is the white variety. Each has slightly different taste and texture characteristics. Quinoa is highly nutritious, not just an excellent source of protein but also a good source of minerals such as manganese and magnesium, plus also folate and dietary fibre, as well as a range of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. 

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  1. I took a shortcut when I made these and ground the rice and parmesan first (separately) and decanted then into the same bowl, then continued cooking the quinoa etc. I find it really hard to get the bowl dry enough to grind when I'm part way through a recipe.

    1. Good idea Penny thanks! Thanks for your comments about my blog on the Mixing it up HK Facebook page & I'm glad you liked these :) I will definitely consider an e-book someday.