Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our first quinoa recipe. Success!

On Sunday I was looking through one of the blogs I like to read, The Healthy Foodie.  She seems like a nice, down-to-earth person, and she takes way better pictures of food than I do. 

While browsing through her recipes, I came upon one for Quinoa Cakes and Poached Eggs.  Oh my.  Be still my heart!  I love poached eggs, and there's nothing finer than whole wheat toast breaking open an over-easy yolk.  We'll definitely try that some Sunday soon.

However, we were looking for recipes for weeknight dinners, so we decided to put the quinoa cakes on top of big green salads, with avocado, cucumber, red peppers, tomatoes, sliced almonds, paper-thin discs of radish, and a drizzling of Lime Ginger Dressing

The quinoa cakes called for bread crumbs.  Using our delicious homemade bread crumbs instead of the sawdust-textured store-bought variety was a very satisfying feeling.  For the cheese, we used a few ounces of gouda.

The quinoa cakes were fried in about 2 T. EVOO, and the recipe made nine 4-inch cakes.


I changed the dressing recipe up a bit.  I grated the fresh ginger, and omitted the garlic.  I substituted honey for the sugar, and 2 T. EVOO + 1 T. garlic grapeseed oil instead of the vegetable oil.  I also added a splash of white wine vinegar.  We had both jalapenos and jicama on hand, so I added both.  Then I blended the whole lot in a bullet-style processor.

Now that I've written up all the changes I made to the dressing, I see that I probably created an entirely different dressing in the end.  Well, either way, it was very good.  I picked it originally because I was looking for a dressing with both sweet and tart components, to play opposite the slightly salty flavor of the cheese in the cakes, and the comparably unctuous, crunchy fried crust.  All of those qualities were also complimented beautifully by the big chunks of avocado, and the sharp bite of radish.

The quinoa cakes were so satisfying.  The crunch, the flavor, the texture, the warmth, were all perfect pairings with the fresh crispy romaine and tender spring greens.  Definitely a winner!

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