Swiss chard and quinoa are each super foods that are readily available in Baja. Combine them with egg for a complete vegetarian meal, loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein. Drizzle with cilantro, yogurt and garlic sauce for a pop of bright flavor. Make extra sauce because you will want to pour it on everything: fish, chicken, salads, roasted and raw vegetables.
Batch Cook, a Healthy Time Saver
I batch cook grains and beans early in the week for fast vegetarian lunches or dinners. Quinoa is technically a seed but is cooked and served like a grain. These Swiss chard and Quinoa Patties are a snap to make with pre-cooked quinoa.
I wash and wash and wash my vegetables just before I use them. Greens can be refreshed by standing them in clean cold water for an hour before using unless you’re cooking them and then it doesn’t matter.
A Word About Food Safety
You do need to be aware that eating raw vegetables can expose you to bacteria and parasites in any country. Wash and wash and wash again with safe water. We add vinegar to our filtered water as a final soak for raw fruits and vegetables. The science behind using vinegar as a mild disinfectant isn’t clear but it has worked for us and it’s non-toxic. My best defense against contamination is to grow my own greens with organic soil and natural pesticides.
I’m glad I found inspiration for Quinoa Patties, at Occasionally Eggs, an interesting vegetarian blog with gorgeous food photography. I’m imagining these with shredded zucchini, butternut squash, spinach and kale. I used Thai red curry spice but really any spice/herb combination could be used. Italian spices, Indian spices, Mexican chilies and Greek spices, to mention a few, would give you an endless array of possibilities.
Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties with Yogurt Cilantro Sauce
Vegetarian patties with Swiss chard, quinoa and eggs, drizzled with yogurt, cilantro and garlic sauce. Perfect for a complete vegetarian lunch or dinner.
- 4 Cups Swiss chard, chopped
- 2 Cups Quinoa, cooked
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
- 2 Teaspoons Curry powder, I used Thai red curry
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper
Yogurt Cilantro Sauce
- 1 Cup Plain yogurt
- 1/2 Cup Chopped cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise Optional
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Olive oil for frying, 1-4 tablespoons. A non-stick pan without oil would work as well.
Make yogurt sauce. Combine all ingredients and whirl in a food processor until smooth.
Rinse quinoa and cook in vegetable broth for 20 minutes. Let cool. Lightly beat eggs, add flour and seasonings of choice. Combine Swiss chard and drained quinoa with egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Drop 1/4 cup of batter into oil and fry until browned in small uncrowned batches.
Serve warm with sauce on the side.
These can be made with a variety of greens or squashes. Try any combination of herbs and spices. Suggestions: Jalapeño minced and cumin, Italian spices and fresh parsley, Greek seasonings and fresh mint. Vegans, I haven’t tried these with a flax egg but it should work well.