First, let us mark this moment in history: I made two healthy, well-rounded recipes for the girls for dinner this week, and they ate both–including spaghetti pie, which they ate for three consecutive nights!
And second, let us dive into the recipe that got several requests for publication–the first recipe on this little ol’ blog since April!
Quinoa is such a healthy and versatile grain. It packs a nutritional punch, for a grain, as it’s high in protein, fiber, and calcium!
Anna and Elise are still (after many, many long months) fairly picky and predictable in terms of food. The things they once ate with zeal they now do not even touch. So we try to “sneak” fruit, vegetables, protein, and fiber into their meals and snacks in subtle ways.
These fritters are a great vehicle for this powerhouse ancient grain because they are laced with familiar cheesy flavors and look like an everyday pancake. And while Anna and Elise aren’t your typical toddlers, in that they don’t go ga-ga for dips and spreads, they loved dipping their fritters in Ranch dressing.
It’s a family-friendly recipe that can be dressed up for adults:
- For a vegetarian meal, top the fritters with burst cherry tomatoes and feta and a drizzle of garlicky yogurt sauce
- For meat eaters, top the fritters with olive oil-and-lemon-dressed arugula and serve them alongside grilled chicken or kielbasa
But it’s also a recipe that can be simplified for kids.
Easy, Cheese Quinoa Fritters
Makes 8 fritters
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth
4 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp finely chopped spinach, parsley or basil (or 1 tsp dried parsley, basil or Italian seasoning)
Sprinkle each salt, pepper and garlic powder
1/4 cup cottage cheese
2 Tbsp milk
2 eggs, beaten
In a fine mesh sieve, rinse the raw quinoa under cold tap water, then in a medium saucepan, combine it with the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer; cook for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground flaxseed, Parmesan cheese, and chopped spinach or herbs (or dried herbs). In a small food processor, process the cottage cheese and milk until smooth, then set aside.
Add the cooled quinoa to the flour mixture, then add the cottage cheese mixture and the beaten eggs. Mix well to combine.
Place the mixture in the refrigerator for just a few minutes to firm up. In the meantime, heat a bit of butter in nonstick skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, drop the fritter mixture onto the skillet or griddle and using the back of a rubber spatula, flatten the lump into a pancake. Cook for a few minutes, then flip and cook a few more minutes. The fritters should be browned and firm.
These fritters are delicately cheesy and so versatile and come together so easily. Add them to your summer menu post-haste!