sweet potato and brussel sprout quinoa cakes

I think just last week I was commenting on how unenthused I was about quinoa. I probably said the exact same thing the last time I made quinoa cakes. But, as I was wrapping up my weekend I felt the need to treat my body a bit like a temple. I had some leftover butternut squash chili but for some reason quinoa was calling my name.

I am notoriously bad at cooking grains. I simply can't make rice or quinoa - but give me a rice cooker and I'm all set. I tossed some quinoa in the rice cooker before taking my shower and by the time I was done so was the quinoa.

This meal really came together rather holistically. I literally made it up as I went. Here are some quick notes:

  • Sweet Potato // I have recently fallen in love with zoodled sweet potatoes (ate them 4 meals last week). So I chopped up some that I had leftover. Finely chopping sweet potato sounds like an arduous task which makes zoodling first pure genius.
  • Brussel Sprouts // Admittedly the brussel sprouts make it a little more challenging to form the cakes. I left my sprouts a little more roughly chopped (e.g. big) which was great for texture but made it a little harder. If you are apprehensive, just chop the sprouts more finely. No big deal.
  • bread crumbs // these are essential to keeping the cakes together. Don't skip it. I also feel like you get better results with bread crumbs over panko flakes.

Here's how it goes. Oh, and here are the other times I've made quinoa cakes (201220132014, 2017)
  1. combine cooked quinoa, egg, and breadcrumbs in a bowl. You want the consistency to be very loose since you haven't added your chunky ingredients yet.
  2. Add in your brussel sprouts and sweet potato. You are the captain, as much or as little as you want. Eventually, you want the consistency to be on the wet, loose side but enough that it stays together if you were to ball it up in your hands. I know this isn't a really helpful description - but fundamentally, don't let it be dry and don't load up on breadcrumbs.
  3. spoon the mixture into gentle balls and place into a medium-hot skillet.
  4. let cook until browned and then flip to the other side.
  5. Toss a few extra sprouts in the pan to cook for a topping.
  6. plate the cakes on a plate and scatter with parmesan and capers. Drizzle olive oil over the plate.... and then eat.
Shopping List
for 3 cakes
1 egg
1 cup of cooked quinoa
handful of roughly chopped brussel sprouts (~5) + plus more for topping
1/4 cup finely diced sweet potato
bread crumbs

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