A Frenzied Fortnight | Mushroom & Basil Quinoa Patties
The past two weeks have been exhausting. I hosted a dinner party and a birthday party. I collected two bunches each of kale, collards, chard, radishes, and lettuce, along with strawberries, sweet potatoes, arugula, mustard greens, and broccoli from my CSA and attempted not to waste them, despite eating out a lot. I (mostly) kept up with my weekly bread baking and made all of Mike’s requested birthday treats: oolong ice cream, strawberry rhubarb pie, and chocolate chip cookie cake. I tasted beer, sat through a super-hero movie, saw a double-feature rock opera, and held Colin Meloy’s crowd-surfing hand. I got a sinus infection and did lots of yoga. Tomorrow, I take Inka to the vet for dental surgery. Tomorrow night, hopefully, I exhale.
I like being busy. The more energy I use, the more I tend to have. But while many fun times have been had so far this month, I’m looking forward to re-upping my energy stores for the rest of it. After much of what felt like “vacation eating,” wherein seemingly every meal featured bread and cocktails, for Mike’s 30th birthday party, I wanted to avoid party food that relied too heavily on carbs—a problem I often encounter when making vegetarian party menus. It was tempting to try to pawn off my glut of greens onto party guests, but I know better. Instead, I turned to a better-loved superfood: quinoa.
I had made a version of these quinoa patties a few weeks ago and wasn’t wowed by them but felt they had promise. This appetizer-sized version really benefits from the meatiness of the mushrooms, and the smaller bites improved the texture. Mike and I both agreed that the first version I tried would have benefited from some kind of sauce, so I topped the party patties with a bit of muhammara, but you might also try a pesto. A major selling point for me is that they keep well in the refrigerator (either before cooking or after) and are just as delicious reheated or even at room temperature. Grab a few for a little superfood boost if you find yourself in the midst of your own busy two weeks—or recovering from them.