As most of you know, I’m heading down south to lovely Santa Monica this weekend for my second International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC). If it’s even just half as awesome as last year’s event in Seattle, this weekend is going to rock big time.
One thing that makes this year a bit different is that I’ll be attending as a speaker for the very first time. And I have to admit that I’m a wee bit nervous! I’m not sure why, since I used to hold workshops & seminars for large groups many years ago, and I’ve been on plenty of blogging panels since I started writing PGEW. Maybe it’s because I’ll be speaking in front of my peers for the very first time, and potentially some bigwigs of the food writing world, like Dianne Jacob and Kathleen Flinn.
Tonight is Last Minute Details Before Trip night, so I’m running around doing some last minute packing, getting kitty provisions for the friend who’s taking care of them, and generally running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Part of this evening of glee includes making snacks for my trip to SoCal. Granted, it’s not some 14-hour transatlantic flight; but I just paid my rent and can’t really pay airport food prices that cost almost as much as said rent.
I have a tendency to pack only sweet nibblies when I fly, only to find myself craving something savory instead. Fortunately, my favorite food blogger, Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, had recently posted a recipe for some baked quinoa patties she’d made for a trip she’d just taken, so I quickly bookmarked in my mind to make for this weekend’s trip. They’re easy to prepare, easy to pack, and make for a deliciously nutritious snack, which is way better than indulging in a giant Cinnabon or something (though I will admit, that scent is straight from heaven at 6am!).
Like a lot of cooks, I couldn’t help but experiment a bit with the given recipe, especially since I was missing some of the listed ingredients. Rather than herbs, I pumped up the flavor of these little protein patties with plenty of fresh garlic and some grated cheese. Along with the zip of the scallions and the smokiness of the cumin, these are incredibly flavorful for such a healthy little treat.
Because I made these early this morning so I could take some to work for lunch, I didn’t have time to bake them. Instead, I ended up pan-frying them, which was something Heidi suggests as an option in her recipe. They taste fantastic this way, but I’m sure they’re even better baked. Feel free to experiment with whatever ingredients you have in your pantry when it comes to making these little guys. I used low-fat monterey jack because that’s all I had, but I’m sure this would be wonderful with other cheeses too.
Did I mention how affordable these are? When you round up the cost of all the ingredients, the entire recipe is less than $5 – a wee little price to pay for a nutritious, filling snack. Take that, airport food!
2 c cooked quinoa
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 c chopped scallions
1/3 c chopped red onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1 c panko crumbs
1/2 c shredded monterey jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)
2 T olive oil (for pan-fried method)Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and eggs. Add the scallions, red onion, garlic and spices and stir until well combined. Next, add the panko crumbs, followed by the cheese, and mix well.2. Take a small ball of the mixture and gently form it into a 1″ ball, then flatten into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have about a dozen patties. If the mixture is too moist, add a bit more bread crumbs or a small amount of flour. If it’s too dry, add a little water, one teaspoonful at a time.3. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, carefully place patties into the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until a deep golden brown. Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack over a plate lined with paper towels to allow the remaining oil to drain. Repeat with the rest of the patties.4. Serve warm or cool with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves. Enjoy!* If using the baking method, bake the patties for about 20 minutes at 400°. Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then serve.