These delicate cakes start with cooked quinoa, which responds well to being shaped into patties. Eggs help bind them together, but the other additions are up to you. Try finely chopped veggies of any kind, chopped apple, fresh parsley, lemon zest, or leftover bits of meat, fish or grated cheese. If you have a hard time shaping your mixture into patties, add a tablespoon of flour to help absorb excess moisture.
1 cup (250 ml) quinoa
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or crumbled feta
1 green onion, finely chopped, or 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped purple onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1. Rinse the quinoa well in a fine sieve. In a medium pot of boiling water, cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or according to the package directions, until tender and the germ separates from the seed like a little tail. Drain well in the sieve and return to the warm pot, off the heat. Cover with a tea towel under the lid and set aside for 10–15 minutes. (The towel will absorb excess moisture while the quinoa steams, making it fluffy.)
2. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. Take a small handful of the mixture (about the size of an apricot) and shape into a patty. Set aside on a plate or baking sheet.
3. When ready to cook, set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous drizzle of oil to the pan. When it’s hot but not smoking, add patties to the pan without crowding, and cook for 2–3 minutes per side, flipping as they turn golden.
Makes about 1 dozen quinoa cakes.
Per cake (recipe made with 2 tbsp canola oil for cooking):
94 calories, 4.4 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 2.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 9.4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada, April 2012