Dani Valent makes cooking in the Thermomix Easy and Delicious

I had so much fun hanging in the kitchen with Alice Zaslavsky. She’s a wealth of information and she cooks with enthusiasm, enjoyment and a big dollop of fun. Alice’s passion is instilling healthy eating habits in kids and one of her big messages is that children should be encouraged to help in the kitchen from a young age. As you watch this video, you’ll glean quite a few tips about where and when young cooks can be roped in to assist.

How much do you know about quinoa? This South American seed originated in Peru and Bolivia but is now farmed around the world. It has grown massively in popularity in the western world in the past decade, largely because of its reputation as a high-protein, high-fibre, gluten-free grain substitute. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations even designated 2013 international year of quinoa. It’s a beautiful flowering plant, as you can see here. You might even consider growing it at home! See more tips here.

Makes: about 20
Time: 45 minutes, plus overnight quinoa soaking

Ingredients

  • 100 grams quinoa, soaked in cold water overnight, rinsed and drained
  • 150 grams pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 800 grams water
  • 100 grams mozzarella, shredded
  • kernels from 1 corn cob, or 1/3 cup frozen corn
  • 15-20 chives, chopped
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • good pinch of salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 100 grams chickpea flour, or other flour of choice
  • 1 egg

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC, if baking.

2. Weigh water into mixing bowl and preheat 5 min/Varoma/speed 2.

3. Place quinoa into steamer basket and insert into mixing bowl.

4. Place pumpkin onto Varoma tray, set Varoma into position and steam 15 mins/Varoma/speed 2. Set Varoma aside, remove steamer basket and set aside. Discard steaming water.

5. Place corn, chives, parsley, salt, pepper and most of the cheese into mixing bowl and blitz 5 sec/speed 5.

6. Return cooked quinoa to mixing bowl. Add flour and egg to mixing bowl and mix 10 sec/Reverse/speed 4.

7. Spoon mixture into patty pans (cupcake liners) or muffin tins and top with pumpkin and slices of mozzarella. If baking, place patty pans or muffin tins onto an oven tray and bake for 15 mins (200ºC) or until lightly golden. If steaming place onto Varoma tray (and dish, if required). Insert Varoma and steam 15 mins/Varoma/speed 1. Steam in batches if necessary.

Serve warm or cold.

Tips

  • If you don’t have time to soak the quinoa overnight, soak it for at least 15 minutes before rinsing in cold water.
  • Freeze cooked bites in an airtight container and pop into lunchboxes to defrost during the morning.
  • Silicone patty pans like this are very handy, especially for steaming.

Variations

  • This recipe is so flexible and you can really put in whatever vegetables you like. Cherry tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato and peas all spring to mind. Use basil and mint instead of parsley and chives, if desired. Dill is great too!
  • Feta cheese can be added but it’s good to use some melty cheese so that the Bites hold together.
  • Add chopped chilli or chilli flakes if desired.
  • Make a large Bite in a flan tin and cut into portions.