First of all, let me just say I have tried my hand at many quinoa “cakes” and these are by far the best ones I’ve made. The mounds of grated sweet potato, a whole sauteed onion, fresh parsley, and grated cheese make these little guys total winners! I would definitely make them again, as soon as possible (even for non-health food lovers). The addition of the poached egg is totally optional (as is the prosciutto), but it added a little extra protein to this mostly vegetarian meal. I also made some spicy tomato sauce to liven it up and it was terrific on top of a bed of field greens doused in lemon juice.
Tri-Color Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
- 1/2 cup Tri-color Quinoa (like Trader Joe’s organic), well rinsed
- 1 cup Chicken Broth (I used low sodium)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil, plus more for frying
- 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 tbsp green onion, chopped (can also use garlic)
- 1 rounded cup Grated Sweet Potato
- 2 Eggs, whisked
- 1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup grated Manchego or Iberico cheese (gruyere works too)
- 1 tbsp fresh Parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring the broth to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the quinoa and salt. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is slightly translucent, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile chop your onions and grate your sweet potatoes!
Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan or skillet (I used my cast iron). When the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, a pinch of salt and pepper if desired, and cook 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Taste. Sweet potato should be soft and onions not too brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Whisk the eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley together in a large bowl. Add the sweet potato mixture and fold with a spatula to combine. Add the cooked quinoa and fold in.
Heat a pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the quinoa mixture and firmly press mixture into cup to form cakes. Turn them out onto a plate- should make about 8 small cakes. Add cakes to the pan and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cakes.
While the cakes are frying, poach the eggs in simmering water with white vinegar (lemon juice works too!) until yoke is still tender and runny. Transfer to paper towels and serve on top of the quinoa cakes. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with the spicy tomato sauce (below).
1/4 cup natural katsup
2 tsp hot sauce (I used the Mexican Valentina)
1 tsp chili flakes
Chopped raw or sauteed garlic (depending on how strong you like it)
2 tsp lemon juice, or to reach desired consistency
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and serve with these cakes, adjusting the ingredients to your taste. I like it spicy!
And that’s it. I made these cakes for one of my guy friends who absolutely loved it! I served it on a bed of lemony greens whisked together in a stainless steel bowl (I love this tool!) to wilt them but keep them nice and crunchy. Just the perfect thing. I also made my recipe for baked eggplant (or aubergine) taken from My New Roots. Check out the recipe here. Slight adaptation: this time I used goat cheese instead of feta, lots of fresh mint, and made a yummy tahini dressing that I will now put on salads and anything else that comes to mind (below).
Spicy Tahini Lemon Dressing
Makes about 1 cup, adapted from My New Roots “spicy tahini sauce”
1/3 cup tahini
1 ½ Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I used more like 3 tbsp)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. crushed chili flakes (or to taste)
pinch of salt
1 tsp. honey (or agave)
water to thin
In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend on high until smooth (Or just mix by hand, that’s what I did). Add water or lemon to thin to desired consistency. This sauce is meant to drizzle, so it shouldn’t be too thick and gloppy. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. YUM!