Quino-what? Little Quinoa Cakes for Dinner

I love everything about cookbooks. I especially like the ones with photos on every page and amusing commentary- I like to read them like books. The Borders here in town is going out of business and I gathered up a couple of really great cookbooks. I like to consider them table art after I’m done picking apart the recipes so guests can come in and flip through them 🙂

This recipe, from Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Everyday” really caught my eye- Little Quinoa Patties. Not only did the main ingredient, Quinoa, make me really happy but the fact that the ingredient list was stuff that was already in my cabinet! Cooking on a budget means choosing meals to make with stuff you already have and, granted, not very many people have quinoa in their cabinets but I think it’s something you might want to consider next time you’re shopping. It’s packed with protien and can be mixed with just about anything for a great lunch. Dinner, though, I feel like it needs a main dish paired with it, as it’s almost more of a side show.

This recipe for Little Quinoa Cakes (I like cakes better than patties 🙂 ) seemed like quite a hearty dinner, though, and could be something I could keep eating throughout the week since when quinoa cooks, it cooks up in large amounts. I ended up frying these in a couple of tablespoons of oil and they got really crispy and delicious. Be sure to drop them on a paper towel to get rid of some of the oil, though! I also served it with a bit of Garlic Aioli (just mix some mayo with lemon and garlic and you’ll get fancy like me!)

Little Quinoa Cakes

Adapted from Hiedi Swanson’s “Super Natural Everyday”

  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • Couple grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese (I used goat cheese!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • Water, if needed
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A couple of swirls of extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, carrots, lemon zest and juice, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.

Yum! Enjoy!

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Categories: Food

Author:Rachel Johnson

Writer/Photographer/Food Person Stupid Good: When food is so simple and delicious, it's just stupid. www.stupidgoodrachel.com

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One Comment on “Quino-what? Little Quinoa Cakes for Dinner”

  1. September 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    These look really delicious and pretty healthy! I’m definitely going to try them!

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