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Quinoa, Leek & Cheese Sausages

food for kids gluten free quick meal quinoa vegetarian

A few years ago we celebrated my Fathers 60th birthday. It was a night filled with incredible people, lots of laughter, a few tears and ridiculous amounts of divine food. With any family gathering food is always high (ahem) on the list of priorities! My Mother, who has been a vegetarian for many years had decided we'd have 'little things' - endless plates of delicious served throughout the night. She'd eaten these Welsh glamorgan sausages and wanted to recreate them, packed with plenty of cheese and herbs. I've since played with the recipe, which originally only calls for breadcrumbs - and given them a nutritional boost, by adding one of my favourite ingredients, quinoa.
These are the perfect sharing food, wonderful served at a party with a range of dipping sauces, or paired with a few delicious salads and a tangy relish at a Summer BBQ - and best of all they are the perfect midweek finger-meal for little ones - who simply love them. 
While the base ingredients, quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese and eggs are important to stick too, so you get that wonderful dense sausage texture (that doesn't crumble!) you could use any number of flavour combinations - trade the leeks for onion and spike with cumin and a little chilli along with a great big handful of fresh coriander for an Indian style, served with a yogurt and cucumber dipping sauce - delicious!


Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa 
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
white of 1 large leek, finely sliced, roughly 150grams
generous handful of flat leaf parsley 
small handful of sage 
1 cup packed grated cheese, roughly 150grams 
100g + 50g gluten free breadcrumbs, I love Bakeworks 
2 free range eggs 
1 tsp good quality dijon mustard 
sea salt & black pepper 

Method

Cook quinoa in salted water and set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool.
Heat olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and sauté leeks until fragrant and tender. Add to the quinoa to cool.  
Finely chop the herbs, grate cheese and add to the quinoa mixture along with 100g of breadcrumbs.
In a small bowl whisk eggs and mustard together. 
Combine all ingredients in the larger bowl, season with a little sea salt and lots of black pepper. Mix to combine well. 
Cover the mixture and place into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You could leave it in the fridge overnight at this stage, in an airtight container.
Line a board or bench with a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Take handfuls of the mixture and tightly roll into a ball before placing onto the paper and shaping into a sausage with the palm of your hand. You may need to press the ends with your fingers. Regular sausage meat is put into a casing, so they hold their form - so it is important to firmly roll these, so they don't crumble while cooking. 
Line the sausages on paper and gently sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs, gently roll through the crumbs, to lightly coat.
The sausages take 6-8 minutes over a medium to high heat to cook, either in a frying pan with a little olive oil, or on the BBQ. Frequently (and gently) turn them often until they are golden brown on all sides. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice. 

Makes approx. 12 sausages 

Enjoy. x Zoe 


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