Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Curried Quinoa Zucchini Fritters w/ Pumpkin Seed Butter (Vegan, GF)

GF, Vegan, Appetizer, Meal-prep, Freezer-friendlyHaley Hansen2 Comments

"What are some of your greatest strengths?" - a question I've never found easy to answer. You probably don't, if you're anything like the shy introvert I am. Is introversion a strength? Betcha' five bucks I can make it one. 

Annnnnyway, a couple years ago, at orientation for Cal Poly SLO, the school requires incoming students take the Strengths Quest quiz, which asks you several different questions, presents scenarios and choices for you. Based on your answers, whoever is behind this whole quiz tells you your top five strengths in order from highest to lowest.

Since then - almost three years ago - no one (besides my highly school-spirited roommate) has brought them up. Until now. I'm a new member of a Peer Health Education team on my campus - PULSE at Cal Poly SLO, if anyone is extra curious - and today was day uno of our spring training sessions. Of course, my supervisor asked that I bring my Strengths Quest results. 

1. Learner. 2. Achiever. 3. Responsibility. 4. Input. 5. Futuristic. 

So, I'm basically a nerdy, disciplined, goodie-two-shoes who spends her time researching current nutrition news and planning for the future? Sounds about right. I thought to myself. 

For a split second, that thought tried to carry with it some negative connotation and self-comparison with it, but my brain's newly enlisted positive-mindset defense system was like "NUH UH. You ain't gettin' in here!" 

I could've easily just sat there and compared myself to the "typical" college student (one you might think of who parties every weekend and blah blah blah), buuuuuut I didn't - yay me! I figured a more beneficial use of my time would be to find out how the creators of this quiz define "input" as a strength...

"... a craving to know more... to collect and archive all kinds of information." On point. Like, the exact point on which my mind and interest have been standing lately. My obsessions with podcasts and researching have bloomed ever so beautifully, allowing me to absorb information piled upon more information that's been stuffed with even more information. Everything from the science behind the Bulletproof Diet to adaptogens to intuitive eating and beyond. 

You know it - I've read about it or listened to it or seen someone else using it on Instagram. 

Expanding my knowledge: check. 

Trying new things: check. 

Occasionally forgetting what routines work best for my body: also check. 

And the final statement is one of the downfalls of the "input" strength. With every up comes a down, right? Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't trade this strength for another. I wouldn't trade my time researching and reading and podcast-listening for much else. But, I'm thankful that this Strengths Quest test (which I originally thought of as a slightly more reputable BuzzFeed-esque quiz) opened my eyes a bit more. 

Are you curious about the other four? Ehh - no need. Just keep reading my blog and you'll no doubt see where they come into play in my life. I promise. 

For now, just make these fritters. And keep an eye out in your local grocery store for Bob's Red Mill products! As one of Bob's (are we on a first-name-basis, Bob?) number one fans, I always reach for his brand before anything else. For as long as I've been grocery shopping on my own, I've trusted his quality and it has never failed me. 

PS I know you might be wondering whyyyyyy in the world that story was relevant. It might not be. But it was a cool experience. What are your strengths? Tell me more below!


1 cup cooked tri-color quinoa (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 large zucchini, shredded/grated
2-3 flax eggs (2-3 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 5-6 tbsp. water)
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. curry powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. coconut oil, for pan-frying, separated
Cilantro, for topping
Assorted fresh veggies, for serving

Pumpkin seed butter: 
1 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, or as needed for texture

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions and set aside to cool slightly. 
  2. To shred the zucchini, use a cheese grater or, my personal preference, a veggie-noodler and then roughly chop the noodles until they resemble shreds. 
  3. Combine quinoa and zucchini, flax eggs, and spices, mixing until well-incorporated. Form into fritters, about the size of the palm of your hand, and refrigerate 1-2 hours to firm slightly. 
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with 1 tbsp. coconut oil. Carefully place 2-3 fritters into the pan and cook until golden brown on each side, or about 3-4 minutes each. Remove from pan and set aside. 
  5. Add another tbsp. coconut oil each time before adding fritters to the pan. Cook, and allow to cool slightly before serving. 
  6. Blend the pumpkin seeds and olive oil in a high-speed blender/food-processor until smooth. Remove and store in an airtight container. 
  7. Serve fritters with pumpkin seed butter, cilantro, and assorted fresh veggies. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week. 
  8. Enjoy!