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Cheesy Black Bean Chipotle Quinoa Fritters

Crunchy, panko coated Cheesy Black Bean Chipotle Quinoa Fritters show no compromise. They're delicious, enticing addition to any party. No one will ever guess how loaded with protein and fiber they are! Adapted from -and with thanks to- Lauren Keating, Healthy. Delicious.
Author Rebecca Lindamood

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup finely chopped cauliflower *See Notes
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed through a garlic press
  • 4 green onions trimmed of the root ends and minced
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 chipotles in adobo finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups cooked black beans 15-ounce, drained and rinsed, or 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
  • 2-3 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • peanut canola, or vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional for serving: Smoked Paprika and Chipotle Sauce

Instructions

  • Combine the quinoa and water in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower to medium low heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cauliflower, garlic, and green onions, and simmer another 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the liquid is absorbed. You may need to add another tablespoon or two of water if the all of the liquid evaporates before the cauliflower is softened. When the cauliflower is quite soft, turn the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the Cheddar cheese, minced chipotles, and salt. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and everything is evenly combined. Add in the black beans and egg and use a potato masher to squash the mixture together until the beans are mostly broken up but a few whole beans are still peaking out at you. Stir in the cilantro or parsley, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or until cool and thickened.
  • Spread the Panko crumbs in a pie plate. Set next to a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  • Use a medium cookie disher to measure out roughly 2 tablespoons of filling into your hand. Roll it into a ball, then roll it in the panko crumbs, pressing lightly to help crumbs adhere. Place the breaded ball onto the parchment lined pan, and repeat until all the filling has bee rolled. Place the pan in the freezer until the balls are frozen through, then transfer to a resealable zipper top freezer bag. These can be stored thusly for up to 3 months before frying.

To Fry:

  • Preheat 2 inches of oil to 350°F in a high-sided pan or a deep-fryer. When the oil is ready, carefully add several of the frozen balls, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them for 9 minutes, turning over halfway through the cooking time if they are not fully submerged. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with the Smoked Paprika and Chipotle Sauce.