Monday, August 1, 2011

Quinoa Cakes - First in a Series

As I told you, I'm quite smitten with Super Natural Every Day, my new cookbook from Heidi Swanson.  I've read through the whole book now and marked more recipes than ever (with dorky legal tabs) that I'm dying to make. The cookbook will help guide me into a world of more vegetarian cooking, something I'm interested in trying to explore more days of the week (for the health of my body and the environment).  I will try to chronicle my experiences (both good and bad) with this cookbook as I make my way through all of my tabbed recipes.  Grilling a pork chop is easy, but coming up with interesting (and healthy) vegetarian meals can be more challenging for me.  Hopefully I can learn to make vegetarian meals that aren't just pizza or macaroni and cheese.

The first recipe I tackled were these mini quinoa cakes.  As I was shaping and frying these tiny cakes, it dawned on me how similar they were to crab cakes and other seafood versions of this treat.  The recipe uses no mayonnaise, however, and is held together with four eggs and a cup of breadcrumbs.  A smattering of freshly grated Parmesan cheese helps add flavor to the cakes.

John and I loved ours topped with hot sauce (Frank's for him, Sriracha for me).  These would also be great with some sour cream or Greek yogurt.  Or avocado.  Or just delicious plain.

They are a great protein-packed option (quinoa and eggs both have tons of protein) for a delicious meatless meal that will make you realize you never even missed the meat.

Quinoa Cakes
From Super Natural Every Day

2 1/2 cups (340 g) cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup (15 g) finely chopped fresh chives
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup (15 g) freshly grated Parmesan
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup (100 g) bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying the cakes

Mix quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in chives, onion, Parmesan, and garlic.  Add breadcrumbs and combine.  Let the breadcrumbs absorb the moisture for a few minutes.  Form the mixture into 1-inch thick, ~3 inch wide patties.  It will make about a dozen.  Add extra breadcrumbs if too wet or extra water/eggs if too dry.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, adding about half the cakes so there is enough room in between each.  Cover the skillet and cook for 7-10 minutes, until bottoms are well browned.  (Crank up the heat if there is not enough browning after 10 minutes.)  Flip the patties and cook the other side for 7 minutes until that side has browned nicely too.  Cook the remaining cakes the same way in the same or a different pan.


  1. I love quinoa...may try these tonight. And I'm going to pass along this recipe to a gluten-free friend.

  2. Looks delish! I'll have to try them out on a Meatless Monday.


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