Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce

by angelika on August 19, 2011

My mother in law is in town, which is a real treat for me. Not only do the kids adore her, she is a vegetarian and an amazing cook! Do you have any idea how refreshing it is to have a vegetarian house guest? She and I pour over cookbooks drooling and devising which recipes we must “test”. She came up this trip with a recipe for quinoa cakes that she recently discovered. It comes from Whole Foods and you can find the original here. Now, I am not very good at following directions, as you may well know. I had to give the cakes and the sauce my fabulous touch. I think they turned out amazing! Very flavorful, great texture, both crisp and chewy. The very fact that they have carrots, zucchini and spinach in addition to the quinoa makes them a nutritional powerhouse. Baby Girl devoured them. Little Man took some convincing, but eventually came around. (drowning in sauce) 

Quinoa Cakes
makes about 10-12 cakes
1 cup quinoa 
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Lemon Dill Sauce:
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
juice of a lemon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse quinoa in a strainer under running water for a minute or two to remove the bitter coating. Place the quinoa in a pot and cover with water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and cover again for 5 minutes off the heat. 

Preheat the oven to 400º.
Grate the carrots and zucchini into a large bowl. Add the quinoa and all the other ingredients and mix well. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease it. Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop out the mixture and dollop it onto the sheet. Use a spatula to flatten and shape. 
Bake at 400º for 25 minutes, flipping half way through. I was surprised how well these held together, they were actually easy to flip! 
To make the sauce mix all the ingredients together. 
Serve the quinoa cakes warm or room temperature, with some sauce drizzled over. My mother in law and I sampled a few sauces atop, (as we do) and while this one was excellent, the caramelized onion and tomato jam was the hands down winner. So if you happened to make the flatbread I posted last week, you are in luck! You can use the leftover jam on these cakes. Stayed tuned for another recipe that will use up all the leftover lemon dill sauce. I eat so well when my mother in law is in town.
A votre santé! 

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