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Meatless Monday: Curried quinoa cakes with spinach

Are you ever stuck with too much leftover quinoa? These tasty little cakes will have everyone going back for seconds.

By The Garden of Eating / April 22, 2013

Fried or baked, quinoa cakes stuffed with fresh vegetables, Parmesan cheese, and seasoned with curry powder are delicious with a cucumber yogurt dipping sauce.

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I have a little secret to share. In the past, when I'd make too much quinoa, the leftovers would sometimes sit in my fridge, cold and unappetizing, taking up valuable refrigerator real estate, until enough time had passed and then I'd throw the whole mess into the compost. And then feel terribly guilty about wasting good food.

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Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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But not anymore! Now I find myself intentionally making way too much quinoa so that I can make these truly delicious quinoa cakes the next day.

I've been meaning to try these ever since my review copy of "Super Natural Every Day" by Heidi Swanson arrived and I found myself yearning for Heidi's recipe for little quinoa patties. But what with one thing and another (like having a second child) I kept forgetting about them. That's the thing about having kids, you basically forget everything.
 
 Until my mom-in-law threw together some surprisingly delicious (we all had seconds and some of us went back for thirds) quinoa cakes a few weeks back. Then it was just a matter of waiting until we had leftover quinoa to work with. I finally got my chance last weekend and my whole family was thrilled by the results.

Once you've got the quinoa base, it's as easy and flexible as any fritter. I added sauteed red onions, garlic, spinach, fresh cilantro and parsley, garam masala, ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper, Parmesan and used eggs and bread crumbs as my binder.

 I was short on time when I made these for our dinner so mine were fried but you can also bake them with great results. The ones my mom-in-law made were baked and they were very tasty and a little lighter, of course.

You can also add anything else you think would be tasty to these fritters – black beans, red pepper, substitute kale or chard for the spinach, etc.

Serve warm (or cold) with an herby cucumber yogurt sauce for maximum yum factor and enjoy the knowledge that you have a wonderful way to use up leftover quinoa for the rest of your days. 

Curried Quinoa Cakes with Spinach

These are also great the next day – gives the flavors more time to develop. Inspired by Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe in the New York Times and Heidi Swanson’s little Quinoa Patties in "Super Natural Every Day"

Serves 4
 
For the quinoa cakes:

2 - 2-1/4 cups cooked quinoa or 1 cup organic uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained and 1-3/4 cups water or stock (cooking it in broth or stock makes it way more flavorful) 

3 good-sized garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional – but if you do add them, use Eden Organic since their cans are BPA-free)

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