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Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Soon-to-be debut mystery author Debra Sennefelder has two constant writing companions: her Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy. She's been an avid reader since childhood and found writing came naturally for her. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, exercise (yes, really) and read. Learn more about Debra at her website

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday and are looking forward to a great 2017. This is the time of year we make resolutions for change in our lives. From what my Facebook news feed looks like I'm pretty sure getting into shape is the number one resolution. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt. From my news feed (this is all very scientific, isn't it?) I also noticed that eating healthy is right up there with getting into shape. The two do go hand-in-hand but they can be overwhelming. In our over-scheduled lives with demands that pull us in multiple directions, how on earth can we magically make extra time each day to workout and cook healthy? I can feel those resolutions slipping away. But, wait! Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard or time intensive. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite recipes that doesn't take long to prepare.

Eating healthy is very important to me because I bake a lot of indulgent sweets because the sleuth of my soon-to-be published mystery series is a foodie and she's always in the kitchen whipping up something with way too many calories in it. Of course, as part of my research, I must bake what she's baking and I must taste it.

Quinoa-Spinach Patties is a healthy, easy recipe that is incredibly filling, so you won't be tempted to over-indulge. Quinoa is a potent grain that is packed with a long list of benefits including being very high in fiber and gluten-free, and spinach contains vitamins and is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. I've paired the patties with green beans and roasted sweet potatoes, and I have dinner ready to serve after a long day of recipe testing for my mystery series or of writing.

These patties are perfect year round, but I'm finding I'm enjoying them right now more so because after a few weeks of baked goods and heavy holiday meals, the patties are refreshing, and while they are filling they are not heavy. 

Quinoa-Spinach Patties
1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
dash of kosher salt
dash of pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender, stirring frequently. Add in quinoa and cook for 4 minutes or until toasted and lightly browned. Stir occasionally. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook until liquid is fully absorbed (15-18 minutes).

Combine eggs, panko, salt and pepper into a bowl and set aside.

Stir in spinach, then spread out mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet and let cool, about 10 minutes. When quinoa mixture is cooled, spoon mixture into a large bowl and add goat cheese. Stir until combined, then add in eggs and panko mixture. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Shape mixture into 4 (4 inch) patties.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place patties on the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Gently flip patties over and bake for another 10 minutes until lightly browned and thoroughly heated.

I serve the patties with roasted sweet potatoes which I simply cube and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with a little olive oil and roast until fork tender. I do drizzle a little balsamic vinaigrette on the patties.


Angela Adams said...

That dinner plate looks like something out of "Better Homes & Garden." Love it! Thanks for the recipe, too!!

Debra said...

Hi Angela, Thank you for the compliment. I love this recipe. It's so easy and I love them for either dinner or lunch. Enjoy!