This post is part of the Virtual Potluck! We are teaming up with Bob’s Red Mill and California Olive Ranch to bring you four weeks of healthy eating–A Healthy New Year. You can read more about the project here. This week I’m focusing on a main dish (but this could also be a side dish). Each week will include a giveaway so you can create healthy dishes with these great products as well. Also, CA Olive Ranch would like to offer a 10% discount to you. Just enter the coupon code ‘BLOGFRIENDS’ when you buy from their online store.

Our grain for this week is quinoa. I love, love, love quinoa. I love its versatility, its flavor, and the nutritional values of it. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I did a mini-lesson about it my post for Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. One of my favorite uses for quinoa is these pancakes. I love to make a whole bunch of them, pop them in the freezer, and then reheat them in the toaster. Perfection. This recipe is a spin-off of those pancakes. The olive oil pairing that California Olive Ranch suggested was for Arbosana Olive Oil. They describe it as “a complex oil with flavors of fresh tomato and almonds.”

Asian Quinoa Pancakes

1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 small carrot, grated (~1/4 cup)
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Arbosana olive oil (+ extra for pan)
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

1. In large bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cilantro, carrot, and red pepper.
2. In separate small bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, milk, and sesame oil. Pour this mixture into large bowl with quinoa mixture and whisk just until combined. Do not over-mix.
3. Heat a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Brush skillet with olive oil. Even if it is non-stick. It will taste better! Drop batter (~1/4 cup at a time) onto hot pan and fry for about 2 minutes per side. If they are browning too quickly, turn heat down so that they cook all the way through without getting too brown.
4. Continue with step 3 until batter is gone.
5. If desired, freeze or refrigerate and reheat in toaster or toaster oven for a nice crispy outside.

Parsley-Cilantro Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons Arbosana olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. In small food processor, combine all ingredients except oil and pulse until combined. While food processor is running, drizzle in olive oil and process until well combined, scraping down sides as needed. Drizzle on plate or over pancakes.

Verdict: Delicious! They were an interesting combination of traditional pancake with Asian flavors and a slight nutty crunch from the quinoa. I’d be perfectly happy throwing these on a bed of greens and making a vegetarian meal out of it as part of Build a Better Me. They would also be a great side dish.
Husband’s take: I was surprised, but he loved these! He ate them for breakfast the next morning with maple syrup. Maple. Syrup. Whatever makes him happy is fine with me…
Changes I would make: The Asian flavor was quite mild so I think next time I might kick it up a little with more ginger and more sesame oil.
Difficulty: Easy

GIVEAWAY details: One winner will receive Quinoa and Arbosana olive oil. Update: WINNER has been chosen randomly, congrats Athena!

To Enter:

Visit Bob’s Red Mill or California Olive Ranch’s Facebook page and find the Virtual Potluck code word. Use that code word in a sentence in your comment.

For Extra Entries (MAKE SURE to leave an extra comment for each or they won’t count!):

1. Follow BRMCOR and VirtualPotluck‘s Twitter profiles and tweet about the contest linking to the blog you’re entering from and using the #virtualpotluck hashtag. Then comment again, letting us know you’ve done so, by providing the link to your tweet.
2. “Like” Virtual Potluck on Facebook 
3. Subscribe to my RSS feed or add your name to my email list (please confirm when you get the email asking you to do so).
4. “Like” Not Rachael Ray on Facebook.
5. Follow @Not_RachaelRay on Twitter.

Don’t forget you can get additional entries in each week’s giveaways by visiting our host blog and finding other participating VP bloggers sites to comment on.

That’s up to six chances to win (just here on my blog)! Enter by Tuesday (1/24) and I’ll choose a random winner on Wednesday (1/25). Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I choose another winner. Prize will be shipped by BRM and COO. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with free products to use, review, and create recipes with. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.