Fifteen years ago my sister Noa and I went on a trip to Southeast Asia. We travelled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and our final destination was New Zealand. We thought it was relatively close to where we were. Turns out it was 13 hours from Thailand and whole new world that was waiting for us to explore.
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this now. Well, one of the most talked about topics on our trip to New Zealand was how boring it seemed to live in New Zealand. There was never anything interesting on the news, everyone was really content with their life, had time for taking up hobbies like extreme sports, everyone was really thoughtful about the environment and global warming and in general just had the time to enjoy life. But after talking to some of the locals we learned that many of the younger generation of New Zealanders had left the country in the masses in search of a place with more action (notably London). The mundane vibe of the country proved to be hard on the young, who saw through globalization all of the many exciting things were going on in other parts of the world.
I ended up asking myself, being Israeli, and living in one of the most “action-packed” places in the world, if I myself could live in New Zealand. The answer for me was clearly no. I had gotten used to living in action, where the pace is face and sometimes everyone seems downright angry. Something is always happening here, the news is always showing something super dramatic. The hate feeds us and the desperation keeps us alive and kills us at the same time.
Times like this though make me think about life in New Zealand, where its quiet and the news is boring. Where you can walk in the streets and feel safe and not have to think about where the next attack is going to come from. I wouldn’t mind now feeling a little bit like a New Zealander.
So instead of being outside and enjoying the last days of summer/first days of fall, we’re spending a lot of times indoors, which means I’m in the kitchen making up some new recipes.
We’ve been experimenting recently with quinoa, since Deanna isn’t eating gluten, and because its kinda popular here. We ended up making these quinoa fritters with zucchini, mint and feta cheese but you can really add whichever flavors you like- try spinach, kale, butternut squash or even grated beets.
Quinoa and Zucchini Fritters
These fritters are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside- without even paying attention I ate 10 during the photo shoot. We used the super popular Turkish goats milk cheese called Tulum. It can be found in specialty markets and in the farmers markets and its got a very soft texture, and is perfectly salty. It’s great to use on salads and in baked dishes like quiches or pizza.
Ingredients for about 25 fritters:
3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 1/4 cups dried quinoa, cooked in boiling water and drained)
2 zuchinni, finely grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
100 grams/3.5 oz. grams tulum cheese, or feta
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup instant quaker
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 375F/200C.
- Place all ingredients (excluding olive oil) in a large bowl and mix together until well combined. The mixture should be a bit sticky.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle on the olive oil.
- Using two spoons make 1in./3 cm. fritters and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm with yogurt and lemon.