February 11, 2010

Quinoa Croquettes and Beet and Green Lentil Salad

Being in Belgium, I am tempted to recreate my version of Belgian croquettes. We have had salmon, shrimp, and Trappist cheese ones. They have all been delicious.

We recently ate at a very bland and boring vegetarian restaurant, and while I feel inclined to support places that do vegetarian foods, I am less inspired when the food is only attempting to replace commonly consumed meat foods. I got a "seitan" version of beef stew, and my meal consisted of seitan pieces in a hot broth served with a side of potato coins and a salad. Ew. Boring. We also got a Thai dish, which tasted like jar-curry with Quorn pieces used to replace chicken.

The lentils, beets and quinoa can all be cooked within 30 minutes. Use the time while they are cooking to prep the rest of the ingredients. It should go fast.

Beet and Green Lentil Salad

2 large (2" in diameter) beets, roasted or boiled. If you are roasting the beets, they will take on a sweeter flavor. You can scrub them well, then peel, then dice into 1/2" cubes. If boiling instead, just scrub well and simmer in about 2" of water until soft (about 20 minutes). Once cooled, you can peel off skin and cut up. If you peel before boiling, the beets really lose a lot of color and probably a lot of nutrients.
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/2 of a carrot, diced finely
1/2 of a red onion, reserve 2 T for the lentils, and set aside the rest (they will go in the dressing and the croquettes)
1 sprig parsley
1 bay leaf
1 - 1 and 1/2 cups water
1/4 of a lemon
1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  1. Cook the beets. 
  2. To prepare lentils, simmer the lentils with the onion, carrot and aromatics. They can be cooked over medium heat for about 25 minutes. 
  3. While the beets and lentils are cooking make the salad dressing.  Combine the juice of 1/4 of a lemon, the mustard, olive oil and about 1 T of the chopped red onion together. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Once the lentils are cooked and cooled, combine them with the beets and toss with the salad dressing. Garnish with parsley and set aside. Next, assemble the croquettes.
Quinoa Croquettes:
1/2 cup quinoa, dry
1 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 T parsley, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
2 T red onion, chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 large egg, beaten ( or 2 medium eggs)
5" segment of 2 days old french bread, toasted and crushed
enough oil to pan-fry the croquettes

Toast the quinoa in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Shake often. Add the chopped garlic and water and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes.
  1. Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, combine it with parsley, green onions, and parmesan, and salt. 
  2. Add in the eggs, and combine. Next add in crushed breadcrumbs, until the mixture is slightly dry and doesn't fall apart
  3. Heat up a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to pan fry (usually about 1/2" of oil) the croquettes. Form 3" flattened balls and pan-fry for 10-15 minutes each side, or until golden brown.

    1 comment:

    1. Mmm.. looks yummy. Send some croquettes state side..

      Kavita sent me this way.. Good job with the blog. Keep posting..