Quinoa Patties with Eggplant, Feta & Balsamic Reduction

With mid-terms this due week, school has been (appropriately) on my mind. My classes tend to distribute cases and articles full of loaded words, including: strategy, efficiency, optimization, and innovation. This recipe combines several of these words, but it in no way has helped my finish up my exams. When I make quinoa, I make a large enough batch for the entire week (efficiency) so I can scoop out what I need for each meal. I also (strategically) grill enough vegetables to have some left over for a few extra days, because Arkansas spring can invite tornado watches, blizzards, and t-shirt weather within the span of 48 hours. Volatility (another MBA word, most definitely) in the weather means that a wimpy girl like me has to make plans to avoid going outside much. Luckily (defined loosely) this is easy during test weeks. 

The most important and relevant words for this recipe are optimization and innovation. The leftovers were definitely put to their best-and-highest-use in this recipe: it’s delicious, unique, and unexpected, with so much flavor. I served mine on mixed greens with balsamic reduction like a salad. You could also have as a side dish or as a veggie burger. 

Quinoa Patties with Eggplant, Feta, & Balsamic Reduction

You will need:
  • 1 2/3 cups prepared quinoa
  • 3/4 cup cooked eggplant (I suggest grilled, but oven-roasted would be fine too)
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (softened any way you like – baked, microwaved, steamed)
  • 3/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions
  • 1/3 cup yellow corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. prepared Pesto
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic 
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning blend (I used The Spice and Tea Exchange’s Tuscany Blend spice mix)
  • 1/2 tsp. teach sea salt, pepper, oregano, and dried parsley
  • Your choice of coconut oil, olive oil, or non-stick spray, for cooking. 
Optional, to serve: 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic reduction
  • 2-3 cups mixed greens 
  • Extra feta cheese

  • Scoop cooked eggplant flesh out of skin. Mine was grilled, which increases the flavor, I think:  
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine quinoa with feta cheese, vegetables (stirring in the eggplant flesh, sweet potato, green onions and corn) and seasonings (pesto, balsamic, garlic, and spices).   

  • Form into patties, approximately 2-3 inches in diameter, roughly palm-sized (well, my palm sized). 
  • Place patties in skillet, sprayed with non-stick spray or with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil, on medium-high heat: 
  • Let cook until brown (or slightly blackened) on each side prior to flipping. Remember that everything in this dish has already been cooked, so the cooking phase is about achieving desired consistency: 

  • Serve on a bed of mixed greens, with extra feta, sliced tomatoes and loads of balsamic reduction. 

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