Quinoa “Falafel Balls”

9 Dec

I was at a meeting for the Food Sustainability Project last week and the folks in the group kept talking about making and eating quinoa burgers so I had to give it a try myself.  My husband wasn’t super keen on the idea of a quinoa burger so when I purposed we make them more like Falafel balls and serve them with pita and tzatziki he was suddenly converted.

I started with a simple recipe I found at this website: http://www.wholeliving.com/130334/greek-style-quinoa-burgers

From there I just kept tweaking and making a nice melodic mix of all the things in my fridge that I needed to use up that might be tasty as a friend bean/quinoa ball.  This is what I came up with…

English: cooked red quinoa


  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa (I used red since it still have the ‘husk’ on and hasn’t been as stripped of it’s nutrients, much like brown rice vs. white rice)
  • 1/2 an onion of any variety, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup tomato past
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • 1.5 cup cooked kidney beans and chickpeas (this is because I had about 1/4 chickpeas in the fridge that needed eating)
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (I toasted a slice of bread and then blended it with my immersion blender…it’s all I had and worked great!
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt dip)

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek (thick) yogurt (or strain non-Greek yogurt of excess liquid with cheese-cloth)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 pitas (each 6 inches)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, partially pealed and grated (leave some of the skin on)

The bean/quinoa mix


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix the tomato paste and wine until smooth and creamy.  Add garlic, onion, cooked beans, bread crumbs and pulse with immersion blender until fairly smooth.  You can leave some partial chunks of beans unblended for texture.
  3. Then mix in spices, seasonings, egg and cooked quinoa.
  4. Form mixture into little balls about the size of a ping-pong ball, flattened. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook balls until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Optional: before frying lightly coat ball in flour to keep from sticking to pan and help to form a nice crispy outside.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and two cloves minced garlic; season with salt, pepper, dill, and olive oil for your tzatziki dipping sauce. Serve quinoa balls in pita topped with tzatziki.  Add lettuce, avocado, fresh onions, avocado or anything you might like into your pita!


One Response to “Quinoa “Falafel Balls””

  1. Emily Lansdale December 10, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    So were they good?! I’m sure they were, BUT you never finished the story..was Haggai convinced? I can’t wait to try this recipe for myself:)

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