Friday 23 July 2010

Lentil quinoa balls and fun links

This week I had bought quinoa and I wanted to make sausages. I could only find burger recipes so decided to go with this Smoky’n’Spicy Lentil Potato Quinoa Burgers recipe. Except I didn’t have enough potatoes. Then the burgers were going to be rissoles with gravy. Finally I fried them and cooked in a pasta bake. I hate even shallow frying so after doing half the recipe I baked the rest as a loaf. The mixture was ok but the bake was great.

I have recorded what I did as a work in progress because this blog is really about what I do rather than recipes that are triple tried and tested. The blog is about my journey rather than my results. The pasta dish was excellent comfort food. The next night I didn't bother with pasta and just served the mixture mixed with tomato sauce topped by steamed vegetables (including Sylvia's leftovers). I liked that the mixture was full of protein, vegan and gluten free but it needed some more vegetable for a bit of added moisture.

It has been one of those weeks where work has been draining due to small tasks blowing out into herculean labours. I have cooked with Sylvia emptying the tea towel drawer at my feet. She has put away tins of chickpeas in the right place in the pantry and then taken them out again. At least I can come home and have her remove my shoes and fetch my slippers. Yes, there are some benefits to a daughter with a shoe obsession.

It is also a week in which the country has shown it is more interested in food than politics. We have the debate between contenders for leadership of our country on Sunday but it is televised early so it doesn’t clash with the Masterchef finale.

Speaking of Masterchef, I have promised E to throw bricks at the television if Callum wins. He is a sweet kid and a good cook but if he won it would be like the apprentice running the restaurant while the chef peels piles of potatoes. He lacks Marion's inspiration, Jonathan's technique and Aaron's attitude. This year, with serious contenders being eliminated far too early, it seems that luck is as important as skill in the contest. However, I have grown to appreciate Adam’s skills and attitude, so if he wins I will be somehow content.

Lastly I have some links to share that have amused and interested me lately:

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Morning Rush Muffins
This time two years ago:
Chickpea cutlets and gluten strings
This time three years ago:
Mulled Apple Juice for a Midwinter Birthday

Lentil quinoa balls – work in progress
inspired by HappyVeganFace
serves 2-3

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • ½ cup crispy corn crumbs (or breadcrumbs)
  • cup mashed potato
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp creole seasoning
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • oil for frying (I used canola)

Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 1½ cups of water and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave lid on another 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a small saucepan and fry onion til golden brown. Stir in garlic for a minute. Add lentils, salt and 1½ cups water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or til lentils are cooked. My lentils were starting to stick to the bottom after 10 minutes so I left it sit off the heat with the lid on for another 5 minutes.

Mix lentils and quinoa with remaining ingredients (except oil) and roll into small balls the size of walnuts. Fry in about ½ cm of oil for 15-20 minutes til crispy and drain. Or cook as burgers or in a loaf tin.

I served the balls (using half the mixture) by baking with pasta, tomato sauce, pumpkin, zucchini and mozzarella.

I crumbled the loaf I made with the other half of the mixture, mixed it with some tomato sauce and served it with steamed vegetables.

On the stereo:

Glass Top Coffin:


  1. I actually think Adam is very deserving - he's always been good-to-great, and I can't remember him ever having a big catastrophe. Also, he's always come across as incredibly nice and gracious, which make me like him. I do like Callum but I think you're right - he's a bit too green.

    And here's my contribution to your "fun" ending to this post:

    There once was a girl who loved shoes,
    Even when her mum had a case of work blues,
    If they have soles and laces,
    she'll pull happy faces,
    and any suffocating stress does diffuse!

    (Royalties can be sent my way)

  2. Love the look of those lentil quinoa balls! Yum.

  3. I love quinoa and those balls look delicious! Isn't it hilarious about televising the debate about MC :P And thankyou for the shoutout. Those pancakes are amazing aren't they?

  4. You are so inventive and have the most wonderful ideas. Great links too!

  5. I can always go for lentils and your lentil balls look terrific. Fry is such a pain: so messy and mostly not so healthy for us, so why does it have to be so wonderful to eat?

  6. Thanks Hannah - great limerick - I was so impressed I read it to E and we both loved it - Adam is now masterchef and deserving of the crown. Callum has great potential and I am sure will be impressive once had has some experience.

    Thanks Lisa - I think they just looked great because they were crispy fried

    Thanks Lorraine - I hope to try one of Jim's pancakes one day because they are so amazing but not sure if I will ever get to ferris wheel level!

    Thanks Nic - feel like these balls need a little more invention but you are very kind

    Thanks Tanna - lentils and frying seem a certain winner don't they? I am sure given some tweaking these would be

  7. Check you out! Wish I was so inventive.
    And how cool are Jim's pancakes? Great link to the Form V Artisan too, right up my alley, thanks!

  8. I love everything you did with these lentil balls! Frying them up, yum. Putting them in a pasta bake, yum!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)