Keen-Wah. Get on it.

I’ve been residing in my current abode for about 18 months now, having moved in with my friend Wade.
Over this time, we’ve had no less than 4 housemates taking up the third room, providing me with a wonder of food experiances.
There was The French Girl, who taught me the wonders of croque monsiour sammiches and macarons, Then, The Muso, who had a borderline obsession with putting pine nuts in things. After him was The Law Student, who, being Chinese Malay, knew all the best places to get an authentic Asian feed and made an amazing laksa.
Now we have Josh, who being a tradesman and highly active, cooks solely to fuel his body, so he can run triathlons. Seriously. Triathlons. Who does that? All that running, and swimming, and riding… Just thinking about it is making me feel dizzy. Quick, someone bring me ice cream.

But no matter who was in the house with us, or their philosophy on food, Wade and I reserve the start of the week for Meat-Free Monday. We kind of figure that no matter what we have for the rest of the week, at least we can tell our mums we had vegetables on one occasion.
I relish in the challenge of finding great recipes for Meat-Free Monday, because I, like many people, couldn’t imagine a dish being complete without meat in it somewhere. There’s something really satisfying about it. I am now the first person to raise my hand and admit that I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I hate to admit this, so please, take the win, please don’t gloat.

Having been converted to the wonders of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) some 6 months ago, it’s become a bit of a staple in my pantry. I personally find rice a little on the heavy side (and I’m prone to getting it stuck to the pan, and can never be bothered scraping it off), where as quinoa provides that lovely full feeling, without the heavy belly later. Quinoa has a slightly nutty texture, but is really subtle, so substituting it in place of couscous, rice ect. is really easy. You can find it in health food shops, and Woolworths.
And, in case it helps, it’s super good for you. Win.

So Monday comes, the boys decide to go rock climbing, and leave me in charge of their dinner.
Luckily, I’d happened across this little gem, and was really keen to test it out. It’s a really simple, fast dinner. Pretty much perfect for a Monday if you can’t be arsed making a lot of effort.

Quinoa Burgers
Adapted from Eatingwellliveingthin

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

To cook quinoa:
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 green onions, including white parts
black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of Moroccan seasoning
Olive oil for frying

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, pepper, salt and Moroccan seasoning.

Mixed. Easy

Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Measure 1/4 cup and form into patties about 1/2 inch thick  – mixture will be slightly sticky.

Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. I got around 8 patties.

Assemble like a burger, however you like.
Me, I’m a lettuce, tomato and mayo kind of girl. Josh loves that horrible plastic cheese, and Wade was down for chilli jam.  I also think they would be amazing with salsa, tzatziki, avocado… You get the drift.
I also served them up with some sweet potato chips (the frozen kind, I was feeling lazy). All in all, a pretty sweet dish.

So what have we learnt today?
Quinoa is our tasty, tasty friend.


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