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Laurie David Does Meatless Monday With Quinoa Cakes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Join Laurie David, activist, producer and cook, in creating dishes that are simple, fast, “low in the bad stuff and high in the good stuff.” Try her recipe for quinoa cakes, a favorite for Meatless Monday -- from her newest book, The Family Cooks, with Kirstin Uhrenholdt.

We love this beautiful cookbook’s approach, which reminds us of the importance of sitting down to a home-cooked meal with family and friends.  Enjoy!

Quinoa Cakes

Makes 4 to 6 servings

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOKING TIME: 45 minutes

These quinoa cakes are crispy, crunchy, tasty, perfect for meatless Mondays ... and very adaptable! Mix them up by adding a few of the suggestions below in Play with It! And make plenty, because they freeze well and are perfect to slip into wraps and sandwiches or to pull out for dinner on a busy day. They're delicious with red pepper or yogurt cucumber sauce, but a simple tomato sauce is lovely too.

1 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed)

2 eggs

1/4 cup all-purpose, whole wheat or any gluten-free flour

3 tablespoons tahini, almond butter or peanut butter

1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar

1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach or kale, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup finely grated sweet potato (about 1 small one)

1/4 cup finely diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

A pinch of freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper

Olive oil, for the baking sheet

1. Start the quinoa cooking immediately so it can cook while you are prepping the other ingredients. Combine the quinoa and 3 cups water in a pot and boil it until it is soft, about 20 minutes. Drain it well.

2. Transfer the quinoa to your favorite mixing bowl. Add the eggs, flour, tahini, vinegar, spinach, sweet potato, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir, knead, and smoosh all the ingredients together until they are one tight-knit family. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes if you have time.

3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF with the rack in the middle. Oil a baking sheet.

4. To shape the cakes, first wet your hands. For each patty, scoop up 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mixture with your hands and form a 1/2-inch-thick patty, firmly patting it so it stays together (loosie-goosies will fall apart). Arrange the patties on the baking sheet.

5.  Bake until the cakes are lightly browned and crisp, flipping them over once halfway through the baking time, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with one of the sauces.

Kids in the kitchen

* Squeeeeeeze the spinach dry.

* Mix, mix, mix.

* Patty-cake the quinoa cakes into shape.

* Be the official lookout for loosie-goosies.

Play with it


* 1/2 cup chopped nuts (any kind: pine nuts and walnuts are our favorites)

* 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

* A little crumbled feta cheese

* A bit of chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro


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