Quinoa patties made with spinach and chickpeas are perfect as healthy snacks. These crispy quinoa cakes or burgers are completely vegan, gluten free and nut free and made with very little oil!
It’s getting cold outside and has been drizzling too and all that this heart wants in this cold weather and the drizzle outside are hot piping Cutlets and Tikkis! But quickly the health conscious mind takes over and the mind and heart agree on a middle path – ‘Spinach Quinoa patties’.
So if you have been looking for vegan and gluten free appetisers or healthy snacks for a get-together with friends or for that matter healthy appetisers for your ‘Thanksgiving’ menu, you have come to the right place! These quinoa cutlets can also act as fun quinoa burger patties to give a healthy twist to burgers in your kids lunchbox. These are so ridiculously easy to make just put in all the ingredients and shape them into cakes, bake it or fry it with very little oil on a skillet and you are done! Yes! It’s that easy! While you can simply bake them in an oven or grill it over a skillet with a teaspoon oil, In this post I have shown you how both can be done.
These Vegan and gluten free quinoa patties are made with simple healthy ingredients like spinach and chickpeas which make these quinoa cutlets really nutritious and wholesome. Apart from being packed with protein that comes from chickpeas these cutlets are high on dietary fibre and minerals attributed to the Spinach that goes into it. But before we get started with the recipe let’s learn a little more about Super-food Quinoa. Odds are that if you are human connected socially with the world through magazines, newspapers, social media or just simply someone who visits a super store you would have surely heard about this super food that the world is obsessing over!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-waah) is part of the Amaranth family, although considered a whole grain it is technically a seed cooked as a grain and a nutritional powerhouse. It is naturally gluten-free and hence popular in gluten free diets and extremely healthy.
How is Quinoa good for you?
Quinoa is nutritional powerhouse and apart from being high in protein and fibre and naturally gluten-free it is filled with all essential amino acids. It is also high in essential minerals like Iron and magnesium. Want to know more about the health benefits of Quinoa, check them out here.
How does Quinoa taste like?
It’s difficult to exactly explain the taste of quinoa but it is fibrous, fluffy and not having a very strong taste of it’s own. It tastes a lot like brown rice but with a texture of couscous I would say.
How to sprout Quinoa?
Like all seeds you can sprout Quinoa too, just like you sprout any other seed :
a) Wash Quinoa seeds thoroughly under water
b) In a large bowl with Quinoa seeds in it, fill the bowl completely with water and let it stay for 3 hours.
c) Strain all the water with the help of a colander and transfer the seeds into a clean sprouting jar
d) Keep washing the quinoa seeds every 6 hours and drain off all water and let it be in the sprouting jar.
e) After a day you will see small sprouts, white tail like strings coming out of Quinoa. You can let it sprout for another day.
f) Transfer the sprouts to an airtight container and you can easily store it for 4-5 days.
How to cook Quinoa?
a) Rinse Quinoa seeds well under running water for a minute to let go off any dirt or bitterness that naturally comes along with these seeds.
b) In a saucepan, boil 2 cups of water and add 1 cup of rinsed quinoa. Add 1/2 tsp of salt as well and let it cook on medium- high heat for 10 minutes. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the quinoa cook on simmer for another 10-15 minutes till all the water has been absorbed.
c) Switch of the flame and let the lid remain closed for 5 more minutes to absorb all water. At this step you would see very small curly white tail like structure out of the quinoa seeds.
d) Drain excess water if any using a colander or mesh and proceed to use this cooked Quinoa in choice of your recipe.
Step by step recipe to make Quinoa patties:
So without much a do, let’s get started with the Spinach Chickpeas Quinoa patties! For this you will first need to soak chickpeas overnight and then boil them. You could alternatively also used store bought cooked or canned chickpeas. Grind the boiled chickpeas into a fine paste, with green chillies, garlic and ginger and without any water into a course paste.
In a saucepan, cook quinoa well following the instructions mentioned in the post earlier and keep it aside.
Rinse the spinach leaves well under running water to get rid of sediments and cut and remove the hard stems from the spinach leaves. In a pan, heat water and add the spinach leaves and blanch them in hot water for 5 minutes. Do not over boil them so that they lose the natural green colour. Put them in cold water and then chop them into pieces.
In a bowl combine the cooked quinoa, grind chickpeas mixture and spinach along with other spices and oats flour and make it into a thick mixture. If you have not properly drained water after cooking quinoa or while grinding the chickpeas or after blanching the spinach, your mixture could be a little sticky. Increase the quantities of oats flour or quinoa a little more in such a situation.
Take the quinoa mixture between yours palms and roll it to make perfect round cakes/cutlets or patties. You can make them a little more thick to give them the shape of quinoa burger patties.
In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat and place the quinoa cutlets on the skillet, slightly pressing them on to the skillet. Let the quinoa patties cook on one side for 7-8 minutes and then turn the other side down and let it grill for another 7-8 minutes or till it has turned golden brown in colour. Add a drop or two of oil if required. Remove the quinoa patties from the flame and drain them on a kitchen towel so that any excess oil is completely removed.
You could alternatively bake the quinoa cutlets too. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking tray with very little oil and place the quinoa cakes in it. Bake them for 10 minutes on both the sides till both the sides turn brown.
Serve them hot with your favourite dip /hummus/ tzatziki sauce.
Looking for more vegan and gluten free recipes? How about trying coconut date balls (raw, vegan,refined-sugar-free dessert)
- 1.5 cup quinoa cooked
- 1.5 cup chickpeas boiled
- 1 cup spinach
- 5 small green onions finely chopped
- 2 green chillies
- 1/3 cup gluten-free oats ground into flour
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil for light frying
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- salt to taste
Soak chickpeas overnight, boil them (you can alternatively also used canned chickpeas). In a grinder, grind it with green chillies and garlic into a thick paste without adding any water.
In a pan, heat water and add the spinach leaves with stems going into the water first. Blanch it for 3-4 minutes till the stems are soft. Switch off the heat and drain the spinach and dump the spinach in cold water so that green colour is retained. Finely chop the Spinach.
In a bowl mix all ingredients - cooked quinoa, ground chickpeas paste, chopped spinach, finely chopped green onions, oats flour, paprika powder, tabasco sauce, salt. Mix them well.
The mixture should be of very thick consistency which can be shaped into balls easily. Take a little portion of the mixture in between your palms and roll them into circular balls gently pressing them on all sides to give it a structure of a patty or round cake. (If the mixture is sticky add a drop of oil in between your palms)
Repeat the process of making patties, cakes for the entire mixture.
Heat very little oil on medium high heat in a skillet and in small batches cook the patties for 8-10 minutes till one side is done and then flip it over to cook the other side for another 8-10 minutes till both the sides have turned crispy and golden brown. If required add few more drops of oil.
Alternatively you can also bake the patties instead of frying them on skillet, preheat oven at 360 F or 180 degrees Celsius, grease a baking tray and line the patties and let it bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the patties to the other side and let it bake for another 10 minutes till the sides have turned golden brown and crisp.
Serve the Spinach quinoa patties piping hot with a choice of dip/ sauce.
- Soaking peas overnight makes them soft and easier to grind. You can skip this part and use store bought/canned chickpeas which work equally well.
- Make sure to drain water from cooked quinoa, blanched spinach well other wise your patties mixture can be of thin consistency.
- Just in case the consistency of the mixture at the end is not thick enough to be easily moulded into balls/cakes or is very sticky. Adjust the consistency by adding a little more oats flour and chickpeas paste.
- If you don't want the patties to be spicy, you can reduce the quantities of chillies or Tabasco sauce in the recipe or skip one of them.
- Cook the patties in small batches on the skillet to avoid them sticking to each other or breaking while flipping due to lack of space in the skillet.
- Make sure you are frying/cooking/ baking the quinoa patties on medium heat very well till it's turned golden brown on both sides, instead of high heat to avoid it being quickly crisp from outside but left uncooked from side.