Crispy Quinoa Cakes
It's the time of year where it feels like non-stop holiday parties, work lunches, and family get togethers. If you're like me, I hit a point where my body says enough and needs a time out. This is when I like to make easy and healthy meals to help me get through to the new year.
The recipe I pulled out this year is a more recent find: Crispy Quinoa Cakes. These little "fritters" are made with quinoa and are baked to keep them light and healthy. You can change up the mixture for different flavors and ingredients, too.
Quinoa continues to grow in popularity. It is a grain that is naturally gluten free, typically organic and has more fiber than other grains. Quinoa is a complete protein (provides all nine essential amino acids) which makes it great for vegetarians and vegans, too. If you're looking to change up the grains you're using, quinoa is one to try.
Quinoa is very easy to cook. The first step, which shouldn't be skipped, is to rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. A common complaint about quinoa is that it has a bitter taste. This is usually caused by not rinsing the quinoa at all or enough before cooking. To cook 1 cup of quinoa, put the quinoa and 2 cups of water (or broth) into a pot and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes then fluff and serve.
To make these quinoa cakes, you take the cooked quinoa, add a few binders like egg, flour, and tahini to help the cakes hold together and then other ingredients you like. For these, I'm using sweet potato, spinach, and feta cheese. I then bake the cakes in the oven so that they brown and crisp up with out frying.
You can serve these as a light snack/dinner with a little red pepper coulis to dip them in that I made in a previous blog. Or, over a bed of greens for a more complete meal.
Crispy Quinoa Cakes
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons tahini or nut butter
1 ½ teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
½ cup sweet potato, finely grated
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine egg, flour, tahini, and vinegar in bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, then mash together until mixture is firm enough to shape into cakes. Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands.
Bake on prepared baking sheet 25 minutes, turning once, or until cakes are browned.