You know what I love more than overpriced chocolate and flowers? These Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes of course!
Seriously, I truly adore quinoa, chickpea and latkes. Coming together as one, in perfect harmony.
I’ve always been more of a savoury kind of gal.
Here’s the deal with Valentine’s Day. I love the story of Saint Valentine, a priest who was imprisoned for ministering Christians who were being persecuted by the Roman Empire. He performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While imprisoned, he healed the daughter of his jailer, and on the day of his execution he left her a letter signed “Your Valentine”.
I’m all about celebrating a day of love, but c’mon do we have to ruin another holiday with excessive consumerism? (But of course we do!). Somewhere deep within my dark soul lies a cheesy romantic, but it’s going to take more than shitty chocolate and expensive flowers to make me swoon.
What’s that you say? Would I like some brie and baguette? Oh well, you shouldn’t have…<<blush>> <<eyelash flutter>>
I know we all say “but you should be celebrating your love all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day”. Every day kinda does feel like Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, because I always feel loved, and hope I make him feel the same. I like the spontaneity of nice gestures or when we give each other little gifts throughout the year. Like when he bought me this cute skull egg mold:
I know, so sweet right? Skulls are always better than hearts, in my opinion.
However if you read my blog, you know I love any excuse to create thematic food. I’ve had this heart shaped mold sitting in my drawer for ages, so for my Valentine’s Day post I decided to make my Quinoa Chickpea Latkes and give them some extra love!
This was a recipe I developed during the first year of my blog, and I actually won third place in a local newspaper contest. My recipe was featured in the Toronto Star and I won a free ticket to this awesome local food event called Feast of Fields. The inspiration behind the recipe was to create a gluten free pancake-latke hybrid for my friend who suffers from many food allergies.
The Quinoa Chickpea Latke was born.
Originally I named my creation a “latcake”, a potato-like pancake, but now I feel it leans more towards a latke. But my latke is made with all kinds of tasty and nutritious ingredients. Quinoa is the base and the egg mashed with the chickpea binds the whole patty together. Packed full of protein from the quinoa and chickpeas, these latkes are also high in fibre with the addition of flax seed and spinach.
Super food latke? I think so!
I love these patties because they can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a vegatarian burger for lunch or dinner. They’re so versatile and go with any number of sweet or savory toppings. My favourites are tofu mayonnaise with pickles, salsa or apple butter. My boyfriend loves them with red chili jelly!
Quinoa Chickpea Latkes
- 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
- 19- oz (540-mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cups flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 cups organic baby spinach
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- oil for frying (I prefer avocado oil)
- tofu mayonaise
- red chili jelly
- mango chutney
- apple butter
- broccoli sprouts
- cottage cheese
Cook the quinoa as per directions or in a rice cooker.
Drain and rinse chick peas.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs and chick peas and mash well with a potato masher.
Add flax seeds, pesto, curry, salt and pepper.
When the quinoa is cooked, add to the large bowl along with the spinach.
Mix well until the spinach wilts from the hot quinoa. Shape into six to eight 2.5"-3" round latkes.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 3-4 latkes in the skillet and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown.
Carefully flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove and cover with foil to keep warm.
Repeat for remaining latkes. Top as desired.
I like to look at Valentine’s Day as a day of love for anyone in your life, and <<cliché>> the best way to say “I love you” is with a homemade gift. I remember as a kid we would make a valentine for every kid in class so that no one was left out. Maybe we can still turn this holiday around folks! Cook up a batch of these latkes, and bring them to the office, or give some to your neighbours. Spread the love!