Spinach Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa.  Honestly, I don't really like the stuff.  But, Aaron loves it, so I make it because, well, that's what you do when you love someone.  Plus, he puts up with all my food concoctions without complaint.  However, I couldn't handle plain quinoa with ketchup anymore, so I needed to try something new.  That's where these little cakes come in.  I love spinach, garlic and onion and hoped it would be enough to change my mind about this little grain.  

It did. oh it did.

No, really.  These healthy little cakes are great!  I add some cayanne and chipotle powder for a little heat, but you can always leave that out if it's not your thing.  Feta would also be a great addition and something I will definitely be adding next time.

Spinach Quinoa Cakes:

Servings: 14 cakes

Serving size: 1 cake

 

1 cup quinoa 

1 tbsp. oil 

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 stalks green onion, chopped

1 cup panko breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs of choice)

1 tsp. chipotle powder

1 tsp. cayanne powder (if you like a little heat)

1-2 tsp curry powder

1-2 tsp. cinnamon

salt and pepper

2 eggs

lemon (optional, but recommended)

 

First, prepare the quinoa according to directions on the the package.  Once fully cooked, set aside and allow time to cool.

In pan or skillet of choice, add 1 tbsp. oil and chopped onion. Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes- the idea is to cook the onions so they are just starting to soften.  Add your thawed spinach and mix until the spinach and onion are mixed evenly.  Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, mixing occasionally.  Move the onion and spinach to the side and cook the garlic separately for about 30 seconds before mixing with the onion and spinach.  Cook for another minute or two and set aside.

After your quinoa and spinach/onion mixture are cool, transfer to a large bowl.  Add breadcrumbs, chopped green onion, chipotle powder, curry powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  

Before adding the eggs, taste and add any additional spices you feel necessary. I love heat, so I generally add extra cayenne.  I also love salt, so it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll be sneaking in a bit more of that, too.

Finally, add the eggs to the mixture and mix well.  You don't want the mixture to be too dry.  Use your best judgment and add an extra egg if you feel necessary- it certainly won't hurt.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with butter or oil.  Start forming your cakes- you can, realistically, make them as large or as small as you want.  The size pictured here produced 14 cakes.  Gently add your cakes to the pan and cook on each side for approximately 5 minutes.  You know it's time to flip when they are starting to turn golden brown.

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Nepal: Chitwan National Park

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