Quinoa Cakes with Grilled Asparagus & Goat Cheese

Like I said last week, I haven't really been cooking. I've even been habitually buying lunch - which is just really not me. After all, I did eat crockpot pomegranate chicken for like 9 work days last summer. I'm dedicated to the cause of saving a few bucks each day.

But tonight, I felt a smidge inspired and had a flashback to these quinoa cakes I made last year. They were so refreshing and just screamed light, tasty, and summer. Over the weekend, I had stumbled upon this quinoa salad from Kitchn that I attempted to make for some workday lunches. So with the quinoa already made in my fridge, I had limited excuses.

I didn't even bother to look up the original attempt for guidance, I just figured it would either work out... or it wouldn't. If it didn't, I happened to have a dozen english muffins in the freezer for backup. I didn't have parsley or feta in my stockroom, so I went with some fresh basil from my fire escape for the cakes and creamy goat cheese. Thankfully, my basil had come back to life after the heatwave last week and it only took some water, a dose of miracle grow, and weather that was less than 93 degrees and steamy.

Honestly, I am surprised at how great this combo was ... and it makes me more excited to eat my lunch tomorrow.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Make your quinoa. Follow this recipe for that. Quinoa won't change your ife but this step by step made me feel like I could be trusted around grains. I still can't make rice.

(Step 2) While your quinoa is cooking, mix up your egg(s) in a small bowl and set to the side.

(Step 3) Mix together the chopped basil, panko, parmesan, salt and pepper in a dish.

(Step 4) Once your quinoa is cooked and cooled, add it to the mixture and ensure its all pretty well blended. Then add in your eggs. You want the quinoa to not be hot because then you'd get scrambled eggs ... and well folks, this isn't breakfast so don't be scrambling the eggs. If your mixture isn't "moist", just add the tiniest bite of water until it is. You don't want the quinoa to dry out, seriously. That'd be terrible.

(Step 5) Get your skillet to a medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil in there. You need you give your cakes something to sizzle it.

(Step 6) Scoop about 2 tablespoons or so into a meatball shape and then flatten it. Gently put in the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on either side. You can make the cakes as big or as small as you want. It's your cake, not mine. But, I'd recommend ensuring each person gets 3 medium sized cakes. I ate four. 

(Step 7) While the cakes were cooking, I tossed some asparagus on the grill top. I think there is still some prosciutto flavoring leftover from this meal ... which was an amazing add that I could not have planned better. 

(Step 8) For some fancy plating ... I artfully scattered some goat cheese over the cakes, a smidge more parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little impressed with myself for a Tuesday evening.

Shopping List makes 6 cakes (serves two)
3/4 cup of dry quinoa
4 leaves chopped basil
1 cup panko flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 eggs
olive oil

dressing & bedding
goat cheese
olive oil

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