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savory quinoa cakes with a lemon-garlic aioli sauce

October 10th, 2011 · 9 Comments

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I tried on a pair of jeans last week that used to fit me. With room to spare. And now they don’t. Given that all my current jeans are hand-me-downs from my designer-shop-a-holic friend, I simply must do something about this. Enter quinoa. I have heard loads about this complete protein and even seen some recipes here and there that have struck my fancy and I finally decided it’s time to lay off the pumpkin and chocolate themed desserts for a bit while I work on buttoning my pants again. I was certainly skeptical about these quinoa cakes. First, who uses quinoa and cake in the same sentence? Secondly, the little tails on quinoa scare me. And third, these quinoa cakes were supposed to go in a salad, which seemed like health food overkill even if I am on a diet.

I read on another website that someone enjoyed these with a lemon-garlic aioli sauce (I’m certain aioli is either French or Italian for “unhealthy”). I looked up the recipe, omitted half a cup of the oil to help make it designer-jean-friendly and smeared it on my quinoa cakes. And now I’m a quinoa cake convert. These are absolutely delicious. I enjoyed them so much that I plan on making another batch soon, which says a lot. I also am thinking about a sweet version for breakfast. Because, you know, we’ve already had the discussion about how I won’t eat anything savory for breakfast, no matter how delicious it is.

savory quinoa cakes with a lemon-garlic aioli sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 quinoa patties + ~1 cup of aioli

Source: Nicole @ Heat Oven to 350

These patties are a new favorite source of protein for me! I eat them with the lemon-garlic aioli as a snack or serve several of them with a veggie for my lunch!

Ingredients

quinoa cakes
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 - 1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
Water, if needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
lemon-garlic aioli
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (to taste)
2 large egg yolks
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup light fruity olive oil

Instructions

    quinoa patties
  1. Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, queso fresco, cumin and red pepper flakes. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch patties. Nicole and I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they'll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you repeat with the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.
  3. aioli
  4. Press the garlic through a press and combine with the salt in a medium metal bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks, water, and lemon juice. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 140F for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the water. Whisking occasionally, cool the mixture to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Place the mixture in a food processor and turn on. Gradually pour the oil mixture in a thin slow stream until the aioli is thick. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.
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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alivia // Oct 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    These look just like you put it in the title of your blog- Divine!!!

  • 2 LeAnn // Oct 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    This post cracked me up! The little tails scare you – I kinda get that. They’re weird.
    I’m sure you’ll find a way to incorporate chocolate chips or pumpkin (or both) into these. Until then, I’d love to try this version, sounds good!

  • 3 lisaiscooking // Oct 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I love the texture of quinoa, and the aioli on these cakes looks fantastic. A sweet version sounds great too!

  • 4 natalie (the sweets life) // Oct 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Uhhh I can definitely relate to the tight jeans lately, ugh! Looks like I need to make these–I’m always looking for new ways to use quinoa!

  • 5 julia (see you in the morning) // Oct 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    oh these look awesoooome.
    i also love that fork.

  • 6 Anna // Oct 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I have heard a lot about quinoa too.. making me so curious about it. If I try it the first time using your recipe, I know it will turn out well. Your recipe looks great!

  • 7 mel // Dec 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    ground up some oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, 2 eggs seemed like plenty to me.

    very yummy (did not make the aioli or use pepper flakes).

    would love to try something different than cumin. maybe parsley, plus??? thyme, marjoram, any ideas.

  • 8 Candice // Feb 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Speaking of putting “quinoa” and “cake” together in the same sentence, I have the book “365 Days of Quinoa.” In it is a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake made with quinoa. It is fantastic!

    I made it for my son’s 3rd AND 4th birthday parties and everyone ate it up. It is rather dense and very fudge-like.

    A quick google search turned up this slight variation on the recipe: http://swervecalgary.com/2011/04/22/quinoa-chocolate-cake/

  • 9 Jenni // Dec 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    These turned out wonderfully!! I was pleasantly surprised by how well they stayed together. No falling apart in the pan or anything. I actually ended up omitting the queso fresco altogether (couldn’t find it at the store) and didn’t feel like they would have needed it. They had a nice, dense and moist texture with just a little bit of crisp on the outside. Love that nutty flavor from the quinoa!

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