I was so excited when I read Mahasti’s recipe, I let out an audible “yasss” complete with the hand-motion you are probably imagining. Quinoa was the reason behind this. Quinoa is a good source of protein, as well as vitamins B, B6, and E, amino acids, potassium, and a healthy list of other minerals. It is a pseudo-cereal that is vegan-friendly and can be consumed in low quantities by those with celiac disease. The inside of the seeds also happen to taste great when cooked, otherwise it is an unpalatable, bitter seed. To get to the tasty part of quinoa, it needs to be cooked. Luckily, that’s easy to do.
To start, you’ll need:
½ cup Quinoa
1⅛ cup water
Place the quinoa and water into a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until almost all of the water has been absorbed. Then turn the heat down to low, and place a lid on the saucepan. Steam the quinoa until the seeds are soft and splitting open. Remove the quinoa from the stove, and pour the cooked seeds into a large mixing bowl.
In order to turn the seeds into Tomato Head’s quinoa cakes, you’ll need a few more ingredients:
⅛ cup oil
⅔ cup onion, diced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup almonds, chopped
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup breadcrumbs
In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add sautéed onions and all of the remaining ingredients to the quinoa bowl and mix well with gloved hands. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. Next, scoop the mixture into balls, then flatten the balls into disks.
Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the quinoa cakes in the oil until the bottoms are golden, then flip and fry the other side until it is golden as well.
Top them with plain yogurt and sriracha, if you so choose. They could also be served on top of your favorite salad or mixed greens. They can be served hot or cold.
The raw quinoa cakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and fried when needed.
This would be a fantastic dish to keep on hand for a quick lunch, or serve well for an easy dinner. As far as pairings go, this dish would pair well with a Beaujolais wine, low in tannin, fresh and nutty. If you’re adding the cakes to something with a tomato-base or similar flavors, try a Chianti or Barbera. If you don’t drink red, try a Sauvignon Blanc, especially from New Zealand. As far as beers are concerned, try a nutty porter or nutty brown ale rich with roasted malts.
Certainly be sure to give this recipe a try, especially if you’ve never tried quinoa. It is both healthy and delicious. I hope you enjoy it!
Click the photo below to watch Mahasti’s recent WBIR cooking segment.