Quinoa Falafel Patties…Quinlafel?



In a GOOD WAY of course!

FIRST on the agenda:

I need to THANK some fellow bloggers for the newly received BLOG AWARDS! Last month I received a Stylish blog award (CLICK here in case you missed the FUN read) and I won’t re-do a post like that, but I want to THANK:

Sandra at Sandra’s Easy Cooking and Marjorie at cowgirlgoods for thinking of ME to share some blog lovin with and two more awards! Make sure to check out their blogs.

SECOND on the agenda:

Why does the kitchen stink? Let me elaborate, and by the way it’s not broccoli (which never really smells good) or brussel sprouts..oh those never smell good either but I still love em!

Anyway, I’m referring to the aroma of SPICES here. Certain spices have a tendency to LINGER to say the least and I had to keep the windows ajar and doors wide open while cooking. Some don’t mind this, but I do. Note to self, if you don’t like a stinky home leave the windows open as you’re cooking and wash dishes immediately!

I had intentions of making a mexican bean burger but somehow this ended up more like a falafel meets Quinoa patty: Quinlafel?


I thought focusing on a SPICE might be FUN for a change!

C is for CUMIN:

FOOD is MEDICINE. At least that’s my take on food. And NO! cheetos, doritos, anything ending in itos is not medicine. SPICES however, Well that’s a different story.

Cumin is a member of the parsley family and is an herb that is popular in India and the Near East. The medicinal benefits of cumin are many including treatment for headaches, indigestion and liver problems. For those of you who have used Cumin before, you have likely experienced its pungent and bitter taste, which I love!

Use: If you are willing and able to freshly ground whole cumin seeds, definitely do so. Otherwise be aware that ground cumin can become bitter over time(I used already ground cumin cause that’s what I had in the pantry).

Storage: Store in an airtight container (I like stainless steel or glass mini mason jars like these from Crate & Barrell). Oddly enough I’ve heard a few things about spice storage such as

  1. Toss after 6 months if ground.
  2. Spices will last several years but it’s up to you to determine their LOSS of flavor.
  3. Whole Seeds are BEST and will last for years, grind as needed. (Source: The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia).

To Heighten flavor: Toast the spice before use if you’d like a stronger taste! Toast as in use the whole seed in a pan for a few minutes, then grind.


From the TOP



Makes: 10 small patties (think english muffin or hockey puck maybe a ring ding size…everyone needs their own reference on portions,Ha!)


  • Helps to have a potato masher (love my OXO masher), but you can use your muscles and burn some calories with a fork.
  • Small food processor if you don’t like chopping.
  • Ice cream scoop for evenly formed patties.

I think I use the masher for everything BUT potatoes...pretty HANDY!


  • 20 mins or so for quinoa
  • 10 mins for prep and about 6-8 minutes for patties (you can squeeze em together and cook 4 at a time)


  • 1-15 ounce can black beans (drained, rinsed-I prefer EDEN organics brand-BPA free)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped (feel free to use more onion)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, red heirloom varietyThe brand I use is Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • For the Topping: Creamy Lime Avocado Sauce
  • 1 avocado, de-pitted, scooped out from the skin
  • 1 container plain greek yogurt (such as Chobani Plain)
  • lime juice

Red Heirloom Quinoa


1. Cook the quinoa by following the direction on the package. (I used 1 cup uncooked to 2 parts water and saved the leftover quinoa for something else-*See below).

Cooked and unfurled!

2. While quinoa is busy unfurling in the saucepan, chop the onion, garlic clove, and cilantro. Set aside in a small bowl.

3. Take beans and place in a large bowl, mash with potato masher or fork (whatever is handy) but don’t make it too pasty, I prefer leaving some of the beans a little chunky for texture.

4. Now you’re going to add EVERYTHING ELSE to this bowl quinoa, egg, spices, chopped onion, garlic and cilantro. Mix with a spoon or make a sticky mess with your hands.

5. Next, make small patties! I used an ice cream scoop, cause why not? Smash the scooped cookie dough looking masses into patties with the back of a spoon, just a little, don’t flatten them, they’re NOT pancakes.

perfect size!

6. Heat a medium size non-stick skillet on medium heat and add a little bit of olive oil (drizzle doesn’t mean POUR). May I suggest an olive oil mister if your hands are not steady?

7. Place patties in skillet (I’m sure you can nestle 4 in there) and cook on each side for about 4-6 minutes. Do not burn! We know burned ones go to FIDO!?

Nestled in and Cookin!

8. Remove from skillet and set aside while cooking the second batch.

For the Topping:

  • Squeeze the juice of one lime into a small bowl. Add yogurt and avocado, mash all to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste (optional).

I could really just eat the avocado....

SERVE the Lafel’s with a dollop of avocado sauce and a tomato….ENJOY!


Chefs Tips:

  • Try other beans! Garbanzo, navy anything goes.
  • Top with more veggies Salsa or go Falafel style with a Tahini Yogurt dressing.
  • Can’t find red quinoa? Use any kind or try another grain!
  • Make a sandwich by using a whole wheat pita pocket and toss in some cucumber slices.
  • *Don’t know what to do with leftover quinoa? HERE’s a breakfast recipe! OR just add some milk the next day and reheat, add spices like cinnamon and ginger, dried or fresh fruit like a banana mashed up and you have breakfast porridge! YUM!

SO what’s your go to Meatless recipe?

Have you used quinoa in a unique way?



50 thoughts on “Quinoa Falafel Patties…Quinlafel?

  1. Pingback: It’s all Greek to me. Quintastic Spring Salad. « A Girl and Her Carrot

  2. I think my comment was erased or I didn’t click. Anyway love quinoa, love beans adore the term quinlafel. For “aroma” white vinegar in a jar near the stove, will evaporate and stink (aroma I mean) is gone.

  3. I love quinoa and beans but most of all I love the name quinlafel, total keeper. For “aromas” try white vinegar in a jar near the stove, leave it uncovered and voila (or boil cinnamon sticks but thats covering one aroma with another).

    • Hey Lauren!
      So nice to see you here! Thanks for commenting. I must say, I was sort of giggling at Quinlafel. I am just such a dork. OHHH, thanks for the “aroma” tips! I will definitely try those out! SO helpful!

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE quinoa! It is so versatile! I recently purchased quinoa flakes and I have been eat it in my oatmeal in the AM! I do 50/50 quinoa flakes and oatmeal. Back to the versatility….it can be sweet, salty, or a mixture of the two! Cool post 🙂

    • Hey Lee!
      I think quinoa is becoming the popular kid. I have the quinoa flakes as well, I’ve tossed some in soups to thicken them and had it for breakfast but I LOVE your idea to combine it with your oats! “Sweet, salty or a combo” is absolutely right! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. i wrote a sticky note on my planner “make Jen’s quinoa falafel burger patties/ quinlafels!”

    i few weeks ago i bought red quinoa and i still have the bag sitting in the pantry untouched with no idea what to make with it. ummm duh! THIS!! ❤

    • Hi Kelsey! I love the stickie note idea! Excited for you to try them. Let me know how they turn out. I’ve got a few ingredients waiting for me to create something with them too…all lonesome in the pantry.

  6. Yum recipe. Glad I found your site. I didn’t know there was “heirloom” quinoa.. fancy. 🙂 And beautiful photos. I like using leftovers for dessert.. add a little almond milk and dried mango or super ripe peaches in the summer. Delish.

  7. I so know what you mean about lingering spice smells in the kitchen. It lasts for days, doesn’t it? At least it means you enjoyed something delish, though. 🙂

    I’m the same way with my potato masher–I can’t even remember the last time I actually used it on potatoes!

  8. These look very tasty! I like your title “Quinlaffel” and can honestly say I had never heard the term “unfurling’ before 🙂 I tend to make my same Quinoa salad time after time: Quinoa, chopped spinach, chopped red onion, peas, pine nuts, feta cheese, EVOO, and golden balsamic vinegar. It’s my “Go to” party salad.

    • Is it only a fellow dietitian that appreciates my “quinlaffel?” LOL! I think I have my own food language! Your salad sounds great, time to try something new! Glad I’ve assisted with that! I have a “go to” party salad too, It’s a Greek Quinoa salad. I”ll share that one eventually!

    • Hey James!
      That’s kind of funny that you think it looks like beef! I was laughing about that one. I know they aren’t too pretty, I had to add some props! I hope you give them a try! I will check out that link! Thanks for sharing and commenting as always!

    • Did you know I was using Aperture mode? I am itching for a 70-200 mm lens! I primarily use my 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens and sometimes the kit lens. Great article, didn’t know what Bokeh was!

    • You are right about that Anthony, Falafel is typically made with chicpeas, I like playing around with traditional recipes to put my own “spin” on it per se. Can’t go wrong with avocado in anything! Thanks for stopping by I”ll be sure to check out the link.

  9. hahaha…when I read “some SPICES tend to linger,” I immediately thought “CUMIN!!” haha. While I do love me some cumin (esp. in bean burgers!) it certainly does smell like dirty old man feet, doesn’t it? 😛 And I have definitely gotten the “Pew, what smells?!” question before when roasting broccoli. I don’t even notice it anymore!
    Anyways – these burgers look awesome! Love that they have quinoa in them.

    • Hey Jess!
      Hysterical! That lingering stench just doesn’t want to go anywhere! I wonder if someone out there has some trick we don’t know about. I think when I roast broccoli it tends to have less of a “lingering” effect. Ha! How much do we love quinoa?! Thanks for the kind comment!

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