One of the most popular posts on my blog is not some insanely decadent dessert, but rather the relatively healthy quinoa cakes I made a couple of years ago. After my gluttonous weekend in the Bay Area, I was looking for something fresh and easy. These cakes are full of vegetables, but the black beans help keep them hearty enough for a meal. I added some spices for warmth and the saffron yogurt to cool your mouth and added tang. The cake mix can be prepared up to a day in advance so you can cook them whenever you want. They also make a great party appetizer.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes
Makes about 12 2-inch cakes
1 cup (1/2 cup dry) cooked and cooled quinoa
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup coarsely grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
1 cup finely chopped spinach (you can use frozen, but make sure it is drained extremely well)
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs or panko
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Saffron yogurt for serving (optional)
In a large bowl, mash about half of the black beans and leave the rest whole. Add the quinoa, garlic, carrot, spinach, breadcrumbs or panko, red pepper flakes, Aleppo, cumin, and salt. Mix well until everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add the egg and mix well.
Line a pan with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the mixture. Form into a cake, about 2-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick. Place each cake on the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the cakes for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are lightly browned. Serve warm with the yogurt on the side for dipping.