Louise's Picnic Game. Then I set up the quinoa balls like a picnic and Sylvia and E decided to join in and we had a fun picnic at home where we enjoyed the balls. Finally before I could write the post we find outselves in the midst of a change of prime minister. Goodness it is hard to concentrate on these quinoa pizza balls.
cheeseymite scones , packed them along with some walnuts, tomatoes, lamington bars and a thermos of tea. It was simple but excellent. We took the train to Emerald and ate our picnic at some tables by the railway line. A charming place for a relaxing lunch.
Coming back we had open air seats looking out at the bush. This is God's own country. Spectacularly beautiful with the sun lighting up the smoke that filtered through the majestic gum trees. It made me think of my ancestors travelling by steam train through the bush before so much of it was cleared.
Diet Dessert and Dogs. It is just the sort of snacky balls that I love. However some tomato paste did not seem to warrant the 'pizza' in the name. So I added some tofu bacon, sun dried tomatoes and olives. At first I was not sure they made a difference. Later I decided I quite liked the chewiness of the bits in the balls.
Louise's picnic game. (You remember the game you played as a child, I went on a picnic and I brought along apples, then the next person brought bananas and the next cucumber.) She holds this every year. Louise chooses this time of year because it is International Picnic Day on 1 July. Everyone takes a letter to help choose a recipe to make. I took part in 2010. I finally had time to take part again this year.
I chose the quinoa pizza balls because picnics mean transportable finger food to me. It also seemed timely, give that it is the International Year of Quinoa. And did I mention they are easy to make? When I set up my picnic to photograph, Sylvia was excited. Before I knew it, we found ourselves actually having a picnic on her bedroom floor. The quinoa balls were excellent. Then we moved to warmth of the winter sun on the front verandah to continue the picnic with pikelets and lemonade. (I will write more about both another day.)
A - Aloo Gabi
B - Blueberry Cucumber Salsa
C - Crispy Curry Fried Chicken by Kitchen Flavours
D - Dying for Chocolate Cake
E - Eton Mess
F - Fish in a Jar
G - Golden Pillow Hee Ban
H - Hummingbird Cake
I - Ice Cream Sandwiches
J - Jersey Hot Dogs
K - Kahlua Mocha Ice Cream
L - Light and Soft Japanese Cheesecake
M - Ma’moul
N - Nettle Quinoa Tart
O - Oriental Pasta Salad
P - Pan de Mango
Q - Quinoa Pizza Balls
Quinoa Pizza Balls
Adapted from Diet Dessert and Dogs
Makes about 30 balls
2/3 cup dry quinoa
2 cups stock (I used stock powder)
400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup fried tofu bacon*
6-8 black pitted olives, sliced*
3-4 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped*
16 basil leaves, chopped with scissors
1 garlic clove, finely chopped*
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Bring the quinoa and stock to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all stock is absorbed. Mash kidney beans and mix with remaining ingredients. Stir in quinoa when it is cooked. Roll mixture into balls the size of golf balls. Bake until crispy and brown on the outside. I baked mine for about 45 minutes at 200 C in my slow oven - Ricki advises to bake hers for 25 - 35 minutes at 180 C, so you may need less time for more powerful ovens. I preferred mine room temperature with hummus the day after baking. They can also be eaten straight from the oven or kept in the fridge a few days.
*NOTE: This recipe feels like work in progress because I would try changes, despite enjoying it. I am not sure the tofu bacon, olives and sun dried tomatoes are essential. The garlic was quite strong on the first night but better the next day. Possibly less would be better. I would also try adding nutritional yeast flakes or cheese for more pizza flavour.
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