Super Bowl, vegetarian style: my quinoa, sweetcorn and spinach patties

Up until these past few months, I never actually thought much about the versatility and healthfulness of grains. As a child, my exposure to them in their unprocessed state was minimal. We used to eat a lot of carbs – mostly white, refined bread – but never wheat, oats or other grains per se. Since then, my diet has changed tremendously, and for the better. Still, it was only lately that I have decided to give the much-lauded grains a try, and I couldn’t be happier with my find. We have become “grains aficionados” – and we love it! 🙂

I made these quinoa patties earlier in the week, and I will make them again today, on Super Bowl Sunday. My husband likes to eat them for lunch at work. He says they are light yet satisfying, and they make them feel good about himself and his eating habits. As for me, I really enjoy the crunchy texture of the quinoa, and I think the pairing of the sweetcorn with the mighty red pepper flakes makes these patties stand out and deliver a truly rewarding flavor experience. I like sweetcorn – and I love sweetcorn and red pepper flakes!

To make these patties I used a “super grain” blend I found at my local grocery store, which included buckwheat, millet and red and white quinoa. You can make your own mix or you can only use quinoa. The result will be the same: delicious!

Ingredients

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups water

1 cup canned sweetcorn, drained

2 eggs

4oz fresh spinach + extra for serving

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Breadcrumbs (optional)

1+ cup vegetable oil (for sautéing the onions & garlic and for frying the patties)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

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Bring the water to boil in a pan. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.

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Put 1/2 cup vegetable oil and the red pepper flakes in a pan, and cook until hot under a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Wash the spinach, pat dry and add it to the pan. Cook the spinach for about 5 minutes or until the extra liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Take the sautéed ingredients from the pan and allow them to cool down.

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Place the cooked quinoa and the drained sweetcorn in a bowl. Add the sautéed ingredients and stir with a spoon until the mixture is homogeneous. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add the whole eggs and mix really well. Try to make patties using your hands. No worries if the mixture is too runny: You can use breadcrumbs to thicken it! Add the breadcrumbs in stages, about 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture is thick enough for you to be able to make the patties.

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Put 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a pan and heat it up. Add the patties and cook under a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping the patties once during cooking. Add more vegetable oil if needed. In my experience, the patties will cook relatively fast.

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Gorgeous!

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Serve the patties hot, accompanied by a salad. As you can see from the pics below, I opted for a spinach salad since I had extra spinach left. The ground red peppercorn made a significant contribution to the flavor of this otherwise simple salad.

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As I said before, these patties greatly benefit from the addition of the red pepper flakes, whose spicy heat complements and elevates the other components beautifully. Between the sweetness of the corn and the crunchy earthiness of the quinoa lies an ocean of seductive flavors and textures, which assertively demands to be enjoyed again – and again – and again.

Bon appétit! 🙂


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