Combining cauliflower and quinoa might not be something that ever even thought of, but they make for quite the pair! These Cauliflower-Quinoa Fingers have a garlicky kick to them that is irresistible. That’s not all, though, because they’re also good for you, and gluten-free!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: about 14 pieces
- 1 head / 420 g / 5 cups cauliflower, washed, dried, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) florets
- 42 g / 3 tbsp Crystal margarine, melted and divided
- 1 small / 2/3 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves/ 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 85 g /1/2 cup quinoa (preferably white), rinsed and drained
- 180 ml / 3/4 cup water, divided
- 6 g / 1 tsp fine sea salt, divided
- 2 g / 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 10 g / 6 tsp ground flax seeds
- 2 g / 1 tsp dried basil, divided
- 1 g / 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 30 g / 1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 7 g / 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400℉ (200℃). Grease and line an 8 x 8 x 2 inches” (20 x 20 x 5 centimeters) square pan with parchment paper.
- Place cauliflower florets into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse the cauliflower until pieces resemble rice. Do not over-process, as this will result in a puree.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, over medium-high heat, fry 2 tablespoons (28 grams) Crystal margarine until hot and melted. Add cauliflower pieces and cook for about 5 minutes. Add onions, cook until onions begin to soften and cauliflower begins to brown; 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute; do not burn garlic.
- Transfer cauliflower mixture into a dish lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture, and place several sheets of paper towel on top of the mixture and press down. Set aside.
- In a small pot, over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of Crystal margarine. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa, and stir until lightly toasted; about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water and 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt and the garlic powder. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid and simmer; about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Take off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is resting, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water with the ground flax seed. Set aside to thicken.
- Place cooked quinoa and any leftover liquid that may or may not be left in the pot into a blender or food processor. Add the flax mixture, 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) dried basil, dried oregano, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) of salt, and maple syrup to the quinoa. Blend on high until mixture resembles a thick batter. Transfer batter into a bowl, and stir in the cooked cauliflower mixture.
- Pour into prepared baking pan. Spread and press evenly into the pan with a rubber spatula (or use your hands).
- In a small bowl, mix together the gluten-free bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) of dried basil.
- Sprinkle the top with gluten-free bread crumb mixture. Press into the surface of the cauliflower-quinoa batter. Place pan into the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden and crispy. Take out of the oven and cool completely; 30 minutes.
- Cut the cauliflower-quinoa square in half, then into 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) “fingers”. If desired, place back into the oven to reheat. Serve as an alternative to fries, as a side, or as an appetizer.
- Replace the 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of water used to cook the quinoa with 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of sodium-free or homemade vegetable stock.
- If crispier fingers are desired, once the batter has finished baking and cooled, cut into fingers then space those fingers out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place baking sheet back into the oven to crisp up; about 8 to 10 minutes.