One of my favorite restaurants in Thunder Bay makes these quinoa bites that are to die for. I had two batches of them just last week there! I wanted to be able to make them at home, so I came up with these. The chef shared with me a few secrets to help get me started. They are perfect for when guests come over and non-vegans will be impressed too! I must let you know that they aren’t the healthiest item since they are fried, sorry!
MAKES 16 BITES
– 1 cup quinoa macaroni pasta(or any other kind if you aren’t worried about GF)
– 1 cup russet potatoes, chopped into small pieces
– 1/4 cup onion, chopped into small pieces
– 1/2 cup carrot, chopped into small pieces
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon coconut vinegar (or more lemon juice)
– 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
– 1/4 cup cornstarch, or another starch of your choice. If you are not worried about gluten-free, then just use regular flour.
– 3/4 cup gluten-free panko crumbs
– 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper
– 2 teaspoons oregano
– 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
– canola oil for frying
1. Cover your cashews in warm water, set aside.
2. Combine your potatoes, onion, carrot and garlic into a large pot covered with water. Boil until tender (approximately 15 minutes).
3. Cook your pasta according to packages directions. Drain, set aside.
4. Once your vegetables are cooked, add it to a high-powered blender (e.g., Vitamix) along with the cashews. Add in 1/4 cup water, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper lemon juice, onion powder, and mustard powder. Blend until very smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5. Add the sauce to the pot of macaroni and adjust seasoning to taste.
6. Put the pot into the freezer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally
7. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the macaroni into 16 balls and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in freezer until full frozen.
8. In a large pot, fill with enough oil for frying. Bring to 350F. Or, use a deep fryer if you have one.
9. Combine all of the dry breading ingredients into a shallow bowl. Mix.
10. In another bowl, put the milk.
11. Dip each macaroni ball into the milk, the breading, back into the milk, and then back into the breading. Do this in batches of 2.
12. Fry the balls in batches of two so that you don’t overcrowd the pot. Cook until a deep golden brown, around 5 minutes.
13. Repeat process until all of the balls are fried.
14. Serve with a creamy dipping sauce. I mixed sriracha with vegan mayo for mine.
NOTE: You can fry 1/2 of the macaroni if you want a smaller batch and eat the other half of the macaroni just as mac and cheese. My youngest daughter loved it that way.