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Old 11-03-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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A friend e-mailed me, saying that she wants to use cooked quinoa as a replacement for bread crumbs in a recipe, and wanted to know if she could simply cook it and substitute it on a one-to-one basis (one cup quinoa = one cup breadcrumbs).

I've only eaten quinoa as a side dish so couldn't give her an answer.

Does anyone here know whether this would work and, if not, have a better suggestion for her?

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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Interesting idea.

My gut instinct says she should toast the quinoa instead.

Breadcrumbs are dry and crunchy and toasted, and, well, cooked quinoa is not.

Here's a recipe where the cook uses toasted quinoa in a recipe for shortbread:

Toasted Quinoa Shortbread Cookies

I would try to follow the advice and rinse, dry,then toast. I still think the quinoa might be too dense? Is your friend gluten-intolerant? It might be interesting to mix the quinoa meal with some rice flour (or other non-wheat flour) if that is the case. It would lighten it up a bit.

Now I'm curious. If she's the type to experiment in the kitchen, let us know how it turns out!
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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Apparently she's just been diagnosed (at age 60-ish) as having celiac disease so, yeah, she'd need to use a non-wheat flour.

I agree that toasting the quinoa sounds more appropriate than cooking it. I'll pass both those ideas along -- thanks!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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While washing dinner dishes and pacing about my kitchen, I realized that it depends upon how the "breadcrumbs" would be used. I was thinking of "breadcrumbs" as a topping or coating; something added for flavor and crunch. As one would perhaps use Panko.

For a recipe where the breadcrumbs are integral to the recipe (e.g. some sort of stuffing*?) then cooked may be the way to go. I'd still worry about the moisture content though. "Breadcrumbs" = bread that is usually a)stale b) toasted.

The first thing to try would be to reduce, slightly, the liquid ingredients of the recipe.

I'd also consider treating the cooked quinoa as "bread"; a) let it get "stale" in the fridge for a day or two b)spread it on a cookie sheet/silpat and toast it in the oven for a bit. Kind of like baking polenta?

I'm probably over-thinking this, but I'm intrigued. And I love solving "problems" in the kitchen. It's part of the joy of cooking for me.

Too bad I've already cleaned the kitchen for the night. If your friend doesn't beat me to it, I may have to play around with this idea over the weekend.

(* I have used cooked quinoa as stuffing in baked zucchini for example)
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:03 AM
 
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You're quite right about wondering the use of the quinoa. What she told me was that she planned to use it in meatballs -- so I kinda didn't mention that here .....

I'm not sure there's any real vegetarian equivalent, and I think your idea of toasting the quinoa still makes the most sense. She said she'd try it, so if I hear back I'll let you know how it goes.

If you have any other ideas in the meantime, pass 'em along!
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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Update:

I heard from my friend, and what she ended up doing is cooking the quinoa and THEN roasting it in the oven. She said it "lightened up" the meatballs somewhat and that they were "OK." Since she was making these to take to a dinner party, she probably won't try the recipe again anytime soon. If she does, however, I suggested that she simply toast the uncooked grain.

Again, plaidmom, thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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I made some roasted veggie meatballs for a party. Basically it was roasted squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions and garlic. Pulsed them in a food processor, mixed them with flax seed and bread crumbs to bind and then formed them into balls and put them back in the oven at about 450 degrees to crisp them up. I think the addition of quinoa would have been great.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
A friend e-mailed me, saying that she wants to use cooked quinoa as a replacement for bread crumbs in a recipe, and wanted to know if she could simply cook it and substitute it on a one-to-one basis (one cup quinoa = one cup breadcrumbs).

I've only eaten quinoa as a side dish so couldn't give her an answer.

Does anyone here know whether this would work and, if not, have a better suggestion for her?

Thanks!
If the recipe calls for cooking or baking the bread crumbs, I think she could use cooked quinoa tamped down in the measuring cup (not in the natural dry grain state) one for one with bread crumbs.

She might want to check out recipes for savory muffins and see how ingredients like cooked rice are used in those and use that as a guide.
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