Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bento for Baby Recipe: Quinoa Cakes

I had some leftover quinoa from our dinner the other night, so I used it to make up some more quinoa cakes.  Everybody knows how healthy quinoa is, right?  Not only is it a complete protein packed with good phytonutrients, it is also really tasty.  Baby girl will gladly shovel handfuls of loose quinoa into her mouth, but the cakes are a bit less messy and easier for her to eat. And I can pack them full of even more vegetables and protein.  I have put in spinach, but you could easily substitute any other finely chopped vegetable.  I had been considering grated zucchini or yellow squash for this batch, but decided on spinach instead.  These freeze very well, I just wait for them to cool and then pop them in a freezer bag for future lunches.


1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves minced
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed, drained of excess liquid, finely chopped if not already
3 cups cooked quinoa
3 large eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt, if desired
1 tablespoon olive oil


Sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in 1 tbs olive oil until soft.  Gently beat the three eggs in a large bowl.  Add the cooked vegetables, chopped spinach, and quinoa to the bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.  Season with salt as desired.   Add about half the breadcrumbs and stir.  The mixture should be pretty moist, and a handful should hold together when squeezed. You don't want to add too many breadcrumbs because the cakes will fall apart while you're cooking them.  If the mixture still looks runny add the remaining breadcrumbs.  Form patties a bit larger than a bowling ball (ha, ha!  just caught this typo!  Those would be some large quinoa cakes!) GOLF ball from about 1/4 cup of the mixture.  You will get about 24 patties.

Lightly oil a large frying pan or griddle and heat on medium heat.  Place a few patties in your pan, gently pressing on them with the spatula to flatten them.  Let them cook undisturbed for 5 - 7 minutes, until a medium brown crust forms.  You don't want them to cook too quickly so that the egg inside them has a chance to cook before the patty surface gets too crispy.  Gently turn the cakes over and let them cook until other side is browned and patties are thoroughly cooked through, another 5 minutes or so.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Emily! I made this recipe tonight with dinner. My kids are not fond of quinoa so I have to sneak it in whenever possible. (Also spinach) It was a success! I toasted the quinoa in sesame oil before cooking and added some paprika and chili powder for spice. I also used gluten free panko breadcrumbs instead of regular bread to keep the recipe gluten free. My picky eaters were hesitant but Rowan ended up eating three with her dinner. Thanks for posting!!!!!!