First I want to say thank you for all the love and support we've received regarding our move to Chicago. Seriously, thank you. We are so excited. Other than that, we've had a pretty low-key week. Pumpkin and Nate ordered coats that arrived in the mail yesterday, pretty cute.
Over the past couple of weeks I've attempted meal planning, where Nate and I tag-team meal prep and we buy all the ingredients sunday afternoon. You know, plan ahead so we don't end up saying "screw it, lets go to Sharky's". Dinner gets complicated when you work 3 nights a week. Is it weird that I gauge success based on how many meals we've cooked at home that week? Thank you, Pinterest.
I tested these fritters several weeks ago but perfected them last night. I'm a big fan of fritters. They are an especially tasty way to eat vegetables and whole grains. They make a tasty little appetizer for a crowd, or a perfect meat-free main for a week night. I'd imagine they'd also be a pretty easy way to sneak a pound of broccoli into a kid (shhh, I won't tell!). They also feel very springy, if artichokes don't qualify as a meal, I assure you artichokes with a side of fritters definitely do!
So these guys are about 80% broccoli and quinoa which means they are loaded with health benefits. Hello fiber. Hello protein. They have chopped green onions for zest and lightness and crumbled feta for salty creamy flavor. Serve them with a few generous slices of avocado, a dollop of greek yogurt, and a sprig of fresh cilantro and you've got dinner.
New to cooking with quinoa? Check out this great article to learn more about the science behind this super food.
Broccoli, Quinoa + Feta Fritters
Makes about 12; serves 4-6 as a main
For the fritters:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 2/3 cup water
1 pound broccoli
4 spring onions, diced
6 oz (~1 heaping cup) crumbled feta
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or flour of your choice)
3 large eggs
coconut oil for frying
Warm water in a small saucepan, meanwhile using a fine mesh strainer rinse your quinoa. Place quinoa in water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking prepare the other ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Chop broccoli into 1/2 inch florets. Cook broccoli in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes until bright green and a fork easily pierces through the pieces. Remove from water immediately as not to over-cook and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Toss cooked quinoa, spring onions, feta, parmesan, and salt with the broccoli. Add eggs and flour and stir until completely combined.
Pour just enough coconut oil to very thinly coat the bottom of the cast iron skillet. We're talking 1-2 tablespoons max. By now your skillet should be very warm. You can test it but splashing a little drop of water in the hot oil - it should sizzle. Scoop a heaping 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and using a spatula, shape the batter into patties, then press down to compact the batter as it cooks. Repeat with remaining fritters.
Only when the bottom of the fritter is very dark brown, almost burnt, flip it over and cook the other side; cooking about 4 minutes on each side. If you flip it before this it will probably fall apart and the inside will be soggy. You want to get that nice crispy dark sear. Once both sides are cooked, remove from skillet and place over a paper-towel to absorb any excess oil (if your pan is hot enough, there really shouldn't be much).
Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil as needed. Serve fritters with a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced avocado, and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Gluten-free option? I see no reason why you couldn't use gluten free flour instead of all-purpose. Whole wheat could even work, though it may affect the taste. As you probably know, in addition to its many qualities, quinoa is naturally gluten-free!
These are definitely best on day 1. If you are going reheat them, avoid the microwave and either warm them in a frying pan or wrap them in foil and throw them in the toaster.