Wednesday, October 16

Falafel-Inspired Quinoa Cakes

I've featured previous recipes for quinoa cakes before, but this falafel-inspired version is totally new. I used some of my favorite Mediterranean flavors: fresh herbs, spices, and feta cheese to give the patties a distinctive green color and falafel-like taste. Also, unlike my previous recipe, this version is baked in the oven rather than pan-fried and I shaped them into smaller two-to-three bites morsels so that I could easily tuck them into a pita pocket for an easy, portable sandwich. Feel free to enjoy the anyway you like, but they pair really well with a creamy yogurt sauce like tzatziki.

Falafel-Inspired Quinoa Cakes:
  • Combine 1 c. quinoa and 1 3/4 c. water in a pot. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until tender and the water has been absorbed.* Let cool.**
  • Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle (or food processor) to mash 1/2 c. parsley leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt into a paste.
  • Add the quinoa to a bowl, along with 3 lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs, the parsley mixture, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ground coriander, a pinch of red chile flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir to combine, then fold in 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and place heaping 1 tbsp. quinoa patties*** onto the sheet.
  • Bake in 375F oven for 10-12 minutes, the flip and cook the patties for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve with tzatziki, pita bread, etc.

Serves four
*Drain any excess water if it doesn't all get absorbed.
**Quinoa can be cooked, cooled, and stored in the fridge several days in advance.
***I roll the quinoa into balls and then press lightly onto the cookie sheet to flatten.