Today I wanted to share a healthy, simple lunch idea with you guys: baked quinoa and millet patties. They taste so good inside a warmed pita bread alongside a simple salad with lemony vinaigrette.
I had a very virtuous Sunday this weekend. My plans to spend all day at the May Day Parade were scuppered when it got cancelled due to weather (we’re having April showers in May…) and so I was left with not a single plan for the day.
First, I made up a batch of Warm Breakfast Quinoa for the week. Halo shining, I decided while I was at it I’d prepare some healthy lunches too. This never happens – instead everyday I scramble around my kitchen trying to find something that my co-workers won’t judge me for eating as I rush out of the door (side note: bringing a LOT of cookies to work helps avoid the squinty-eyed weird looks from happening too often; being the Bringer of Baked Goods is a good thing).
I made up half of the recipe below, adapting Heidi Swanson’s original to use millet as well as quinoa and parsley instead of dill (which I hate). They taste excellent with a healthy dash of sriracha sauce and a couple of them would go down a treat at breakfast time with a fried egg and some wilted greens.
Baked Quinoa and Millet Patties
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 1/4 cups / 6 oz /170 g cooked quinoa, at room temperature*
- 1 1/4 cups / 6 oz/ 170 g cooked millet at room temperature*
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup/ .5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/3 cup /.5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup / 1.5 oz /45 g finely chopped kale
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup / 3.5 oz /100 g bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- water or a bit of flour, if needed
- 1/3 cup / .5 oz / 15 g crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F / 200C.
- Combine the quinoa, millet, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, parsley, kale, onion, garlic, and cumin. Stir well.
- Add the baking powder and bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.
- Gently stir in the feta.
- Form mixture into twelve 1-inch / 2.5cm thick patties with your hands. It seems best to err on the very moist side to avoid a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if you need to. If the mixture is too dry then add a bit more beaten egg or water to moisten it.
- Arrange the patties with a bit of space between each on a Silpat-lined (or greased) baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown. Flip and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Enjoy hot, or allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Makes about a dozen patties.
*To cook a batch of quinoa and millet: Combine 1 cups/ 6 oz/1700 g each of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa and millet with 3 cups / 700 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa and millet mixture is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.
This is the second recipe this week that I’ve adapted from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours. I am completely and utterly inspired and smitten. The list on my phone of ‘to-make’s is growing worryingly large.
I bought this book for myself a couple of weeks ago, in need of some baking inspiration. I knew that it wasn’t just new recipes that I was looking for but different approaches.
This book is a series of adventures in baking with different whole grains – grains that are unfamiliar and exciting to me – yes whole wheat, rye, and buckwheat but also kamut, spelt, and teff. These are flavour profiles for a grown up palette and they offer complex, deep, satisfying flavours.
Boyce has put so much work into creating recipes that often combine more commonly used grains (all purpose/plain flour, for example) with something less familiar and unique to create absolute gems of recipes that never compromise on flavour or texture.
This lovely loaf (which I adapted from her muffin recipe) is rich and cheesy with a perfect crunch from it’s cheesy, bubbly crust. It’s both tangy and buttery-creamy from the Gruyère and sour cream. The combination of green onions sauteed in butter and toasted cumin seeds takes it to another level of deliciousness. It made an excellent accompaniment to a bowl of spicy turkey chili but I managed to nibble on several slices with nary a bowl of chili in sight…it’s more than good enough to enjoy alone.
Corn and Gruyère Bread
adapted from Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours
- 1-2 bunch green onions, trimmed and rinsed
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and pepper
- 5.3oz/ 2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
For the dry mix:
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the wet mix:
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf tin with butter and set aside.
- Thinly slice the green onions, using the entire onion from greenest to whitest ends. Toast the cumin seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until they start to pop, smell fragrant and turn golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tbsp of butter to the same pan and melt it into the cumin seeds. It’s going to smell amazing. Add the green onions, season with salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until soft and tender, another 2 minutes. Scrape onions onto a plate to cool.
- Sift the corn flour, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Tip any coarse bits of flour that get stuck in the sieve into the mixing bowl too. Add the grated Gruyère and the cooled onion-cumin-butter mixture, stirring to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, and melted butter until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine.
- Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the centre comes out clean. The top of the loaf will be golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave in the loaf pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Up-end the loaf pan to remove the bread and let it continuing cooling slightly on the rack. Serve warm with a bowl of spicy turkey chili. It will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container (perfect if you make a big batch of chili and want extra bread for lunch leftovers).