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Quinoa makes going gluten-free taste good

Being a café and catering business, we must be prepared and aware of common dietary restrictions. In the café, we always have a way to accommodate the restrictions whether it is an allergy (like wheat), sensitivity (like gluten) or a choice (like vegan). With our caterings we are even more flexible since we have time ahead to plan and create a menu according to your dietary needs. In fact, we are catering a gluten-free and dairy-free wedding this weekend.

Being celiac certainly has its drawbacks, but in recent years it’s becoming more common. Today’s chefs have to become more creative with gluten free ingredients while incorporating them into menu items that will be appealing to the masses. One ingredient we love using at the café is quinoa.

According to website www.celiac.com, quinoa is gluten-free, high in fiber and a complete protein, meaning it has all nine amino acids. We like to think of it as a power grain, and it’s mighty tasty too. This stuff can be served hot or cold and unused portions can be frozen for later use. We encourage you to try this wonderful grain if you haven’t already and experiment with different recipes like the salad and fritter recipes below.

 

Quinoa Salad

(yields 4-6 servings)

 

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup of red peppers, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

3 tsp olive oil

Juice from half of a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Prepare quinoa according to recipe on package. Add remaining ingredients to quinoa and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for one hour prior to serving. Note: leftovers can be used for making the fritter recipe below.

 

Quinoa Fritters

 

2 cups leftover salad

1 egg, whisked

Parchment paper

1-1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we like using chickpea flour) or regular flour (not gluten-free)

Water (as needed)

1 cup canola oil for frying

Your favorite dip (roasted red pepper, hummus, tzatziki, etc.)

 

Freezing: Take leftover quinoa salad and mix in whisked egg, only using enough egg to bind your salad and form small 1” diameter cakes;

Put the cakes on parchment paper and freeze on baking sheet. Transfer into Ziploc bag once cakes are frozen and store for up to three months.

 

Frying: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C);

Prepare dredging station: 1/2 cup of flour in one bowl, one cup of flour in second bowl. Add water to second bowl to create a batter with consistency that will coat the back of spoon;

Take quinoa cakes from freezer, then add oil to large pan at medium heat;

Coat each cake with dry flour, then with batter and fry. Transfer fried cakes to baking sheet until you have fried all of the cakes you want to make;

Bake for 6-8 minutes in the preheated oven and serve with favorite dip.

 

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