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.
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2-3 big handfuls of spinach, chard or kale leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped (unless you’re using baby spinach in which case no chopping is necessary)Skip to next paragraph
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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3 large eggs, beaten (pasture-raised are the best kind if you can get 'em)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garam masala or curry powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil (4-5 tablespoons)
Breadcrumbs or flour, optional (if your mixture is too loose)
For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small-medium cucumber, peeled and diced (optional – but it gives a nice crunch)
1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves, washed, dried and chopped
1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves, washed, dried and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-3 tablespoons milk to thin the sauce, if desired
1. If you don't already have leftover cooked quinoa, your first step is to make some! If you do, skip to No. 2 below. Bring the water or stock to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, lower the heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover for 15-20 minutes until done – you'll know the quinoa is ready when you see the little white "tail" of the germ around the outside edge of each seed. If you're starting to see the little white tails but the quinoa seems too soggy, remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking. You can also just drain the quinoa if that doesn't do it. And if the water is all gone but the tails are not visible yet, add a little more water and simmer for a few more minutes, covered. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, spices, cheese, salt, pepper and the cooled down onion, garlic and spinach mixture. Mix together until combined thoroughly.
4. Using your hands, form small patties, taking care to make them rather chunky so that they'll have enough mass to stick together while you're frying.
5. Heat the peanut, canola or grapeseed oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium-low heat. Once it is hot but not smoking add as many patties ad you can comfortably fit while still allowing a little room between them so you'll have space to flip them and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottoms are deeply browned (cooking time will depend on how hot the pan and oil were when you started.) Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for another 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and cool on a paper grocery bag while you cook the remaining patties.
6. Combine ingredients for yogurt sauce with a fork. Serve with the quinoa cakes.
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