Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quinoa "Confetti" Cakes

I excel in a few of areas of my life.  I'm pretty good at making flower arrangements, vacuuming, and spotting fellow introverts in a crowd.  

But something I'm especially skilled at?   Embarrassing myself with mispronunciations.

For the longest time, when referring to the famous reality TV family, I said "KAR-duh-shane" instead of "Kar-DASH-ian".   U2's frontman was "Bow-no" instead of "BON-oh" (that one still makes me cringe).  And the featured grain in this recipe?  "Kwee-noah"  

(In case you've also been in the dark on it's proper pronunciation, let's say it together:  Keen-WAH.)

Mercifully, all three of my gaffes were to the same loving, understanding person who sweetly corrected me and then had to leave the room to laugh her head off.

But, these quinoa cakes will make up for my previous pronunciation problems.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I used tricolor quinoa today, but the regular stuff will work just fine. 

Unless the packaging specifically states it's pre-rinsed, always rinse quinoa before you cook it to remove the naturally-occurring soapy substance.

To add extra flavor, I cook quinoa in a vegetable broth as opposed to just plain water.  But it's optional.

While the quinoa is cooking, dice up some red onions, yellow onions, bell pepper, and broccoli florets.  You can also toss in some spinach and corn, just for fun.

Add plain Greek yogurt, some dried herbs, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and pepper.

Taste it.  If necessary, add salt (but you may not have to if you used a salted broth to cook the quinoa). 

 Scoop about a cup of the mixture and use your hands to form it into patties.

Bake on a parchment-lined and oil-rubbed baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

Good stuff,
(even though my family says it looks like bird seed).

Here's the printable recipe.

Quinoa Vegetable "Confetti" Cakes
Makes 5 (8-ounce) patties

1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water (substitute vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 orange bell pepper, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/4 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, if needed
Olive oil or butter for greasing parchment paper

Place the quinoa, water (or broth), and olive oil in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes (covered).  Stir occasionally.  All liquid should be absorbed and grain should be tender.  Set quinoa aside

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly grease the paper with olive oil or butter. 

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Stir in quinoa and mix well.

Use a 1-cup measuring scoop to remove 1 cup of grain mixture.  Form into a patty (about 1 inch thick) with your hands and set onto parchment paper, pressing lightly.  Repeat for all 5 patties.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Adapted from Whole Foods Cookbook