I don’t think I can do justice to a write-up about this book. I have always adored Heidi Swanson’s blog – 101 Coobooks and loved her recipes. When her book, Super Natural Every Day, showed up  last month, I had to resist with all my might not to open it. I knew once I did, I would not get anything else done. And I was right. The book is all Heidi all the way and what a terrific thing that is. It has soulful recipes that jump right out at you and beg to be made. I read the book as I would a story book, nodding, smiling, laughing, and feeling famished! Her recipes are simple and very unpretentious and guess what? They ALWAYS work. I can vouch 100% for that as can her million (gazillion) other fans.

The recipes I have tired are the weeknight curry (which I loved) and the simple green lentil soup: delicious, soothing, and now a regular part of my weekly cooking repertoire.

My opinion on this book: Buy it now or be the only one on the block without access to amazing recipes. (PS- the book is all vegetarian recipes but she does include recipes with eggs).

Quinoa Patties
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Makes 12 patties

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let stand for a few minutes. Form mixture into twelve 1-inch thick patties. (Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet; add water if too dry.) Mixture can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches, add patties, cover, and cook until bottoms are deeply browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until patties are browned. Flip patties with a spatula and cook the second sides until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining patties.

To cook quinoa:
Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

AND AND AND –– We are giving away a copy of Heidi’s book to one lucky LIFE OF SPICE reader. Enter your comment here as to why you want to win and the winner will be announced on May 9th when I bring you my interview with Heidi in my “Conversation with Exceptional Women” Series.

patties photo by my very talented friend Sala Kannan.

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