Friday, December 16, 2011

Looking for a Healthy Start to a New You? Try Quinoa Cakes

Let me start this post by saying these delectable cakes were quite possibly my first kitchen disaster. I was really excited to try the recipe since I love quinoa so much, but I was nervous.  The first time I saw quinoa I was thinking “what the heck is quinoa and how do I even pronounce it?" Well, its a super grain and its pronounced “keen-wah”. If you’re looking for a highly nutritious carbohydrate you have found it in quinoa. It has a pretty similar nutritional profile to that of brown rice except it’s slightly higher in overall protein content.

So you can understand my excitement when I saw this take on quinoa cakes (similar to crab cakes.) You could also use it between two burger buns, which I’m sure would make a great veggie burger. Below you will find the recipe I used which I modified after my "kitchen disaster." 

First - the kitchen disaster..... I followed the recipe (even wringing out the shredded zucchini) and when I went to make these they instantly fell apart. Total bummer. But like all good cooks, I was starving. It was already 6:30 and after a long day of work I just needed to eat. So I did what I could to salvage. I chopped it up and ate it as a sort of quinoa scramble. I ate it with my favorite side; Brussels sprouts! I made a quick sauce by combining ketchup, light mayo and lemon juice for a garnish. I sat down to eat not expecting any of this to be good, and surprise, it was fantastic! After I scarfed down my creation I went back to the drawing board. 
I was thinking that the mixture was just too wet and needed a binder. I make black bean burgers often and I usually bind them with steel cut oats so I always have a box in the pantry, so I figured I’d give that a shot.  I added a cup of oats and mixed it all together then let them absorb some of the liquid for about 20 minutes. It looked more solid already so I tried again. I was determined for this to work. And…it worked! (Yay!) I took pictures as proof! In the recipe I will include below I put one less egg and will just put a 1/2 cup of oats, but add more if you need it. Also a note: the zucchini added a great flavor to the cakes, but you could also add shredded carrot.

Quinoa Cakes 

*Makes 10-12 cakes depending on how big you make them


2 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded zucchini, squeeze out water)
1 egg
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 green onions, including white parts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup steel cut oats
Handfull of cilantro chopped
Olive oil for frying.

Cook Quinoa to package directions. When finished, let it cool in a strainer.
Cook Quinoa to package directions. When finished, let it cool in a strainer.

Once quinoa is cooled,  in a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheese, oats, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions,pepper, cumin, salt, chilli powder, cilantro, and garlic powder.

Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  

Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and serve hot!

Kitchen Disaster #1

Lets take a look at the progression of this meal…
Attempt #1- My Kitchen Disaster

Attempt #2 ( Success!)

It just goes to show, if something comes out the way you want, DON'T PANIC! Odds are you know the best way to fix the situation, you just need to trust yourself and rely on your instincts! 

Has anyone else had a kitchen disaster that they could or couldn't fix?  Leave a comment and let me know!  I’d love to hear from you.


  1. my crab cakes always crumble too! I found that making the patties and putting them on baking tray in the fridge for like half hour or so helps too!

  2. AhI love it when I can turn a kitchen disaster into a triumph. Way to go! I love quinoa and these cakes look divine!

  3. They werevso yummy! I am eating one for breakfast now!

  4. Are the steel cut oats raw, or cook them first?

    1. Just raw. After you add them wait 15 minutes for them, to absorb the moisture and the mixture will be less wet. Hope this helps!

  5. This is fanatastic.
    Suggestion: I blend oats with Chia Seed for my Smoothies. This would work well here as a binder and give it a tremendous Omega-3 boost.