Curried Quinoa Cakes With Spinach

Monday, April 15, 2013

Curried Quinoa Cakes by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I have a dirty little secret to share. In the past, when I'd make too much quinoa, the leftovers would sometimes sit in my fridge, cold and unappetizing, taking up valuable refrigerator real estate, until enough time had passed and then I'd throw the whole mess into the compost. And then feel terribly GUILTY about wasting good food.

But not anymore! Now I find myself intentionally making way too much quinoa so that I can make these truly delicious quinoa cakes the next day.

Quinoa by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2008.

I've been meaning to try these ever since my review copy of Super Natural Every Day arrived and I found myself wiping a few drops of drool off the page with Heidi's recipe for little quinoa patties. But what with one thing and another (like having a second child) I kept forgetting about them. That's the thing about having kids, you basically forget everything.

Until my mom-in-law threw together some surprisingly addictive (we all had seconds and some even went back for thirds) quinoa cakes a few weeks back. Then it was just a matter of waiting until we had leftover quinoa to work with. I finally got my chance last weekend and my whole family was thrilled by the results.

Curried quinoa cake mixture by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Once you've got the quinoa base, it's as easy and flexible as any fritter. I added sauteed red onions, garlic, spinach, fresh cilantro and parsley, garam masala, ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan and used eggs and bread crumbs as my binder. I was short on time when I made these for our dinner so mine were fried but you can also bake them with great results - I actually think they're even tastier than the fried ones plus no need to deal with hot oil which is always a plus in my book. I've included instructions for both ways below.

Curried quinoa cakes frying by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

You can also add anything else you think would be tasty to these fritters - black beans, red pepper, substitute kale or chard for the spinach, etc.

Curried quinoa cakes post-frying by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Serve warm (or cold) with an herbed cucumber yogurt sauce for maximum yum factor and enjoy the knowledge that you have a wonderful way to use up leftover quinoa for the rest of your days.

Curried Quinoa Cakes by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

-- print recipe --
Curried Quinoa Cakes with Spinach
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe in the NY Times and Heidi Swanson’s little Quinoa Patties in Super Natural Every Day
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the quinoa cakes
* 2-2 1/4 cups cooked quinoa or 1 cup organic uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained and 1 3/4 cups water or stock (cooking it in broth or stock makes it way more flavorful)
* 3 good-sized garlic cloves, minced
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (*optional) - but if you do add them, use Eden Organicsince their cans are BPA-free
* 2-3 big handfuls of spinach, chard or kale leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped (unless you’re using baby spinach in which case no chopping is necessary)
* 3 large eggs, beaten (pasture-raised are the best kind if you can get 'em)
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 Tbsp garam masala or curry powder
* 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil (4-5 Tbsps)
* Breadcrumbs or flour, optional (if your mixture is too loose)

For the yogurt sauce
* 1 cup whole milk yogurt
* 1/2 garlic clove, minced
* 1/2 small-medium cucumber, peeled and diced (optional - but it gives a nice crunch)
* 1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves, washed, dried and chopped
* 1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves, washed, dried and chopped
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1-3 Tbsp milk to thin the sauce, if desired

Directions

1. If you don't already have leftover cooked quinoa - your first step is to make some! If you do, skip to number 2 below. Bring the water or stock to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, lower the heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover for 15-20 minutes until done - you'll know the quinoa is ready when you see the little white "tail" of the germ around the outside edge of each seed. If you're starting to see the little white tails but the quinoa seems too soggy, remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking. You can also just drain the quinoa if that doesn't do it. And if the water is all gone but the tails are not visible yet, add a little more water and simmer for a few more minutes, covered. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. If you plan to bake your quinoa cakes, preheat the oven to 425 (and just skip to number 3 if you're planning to fry them.)

3. In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saut矇 the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, spices, cheese, salt, pepper and the cooled down onion, garlic and spinach mixture. Mix together until combined thoroughly.

5. Using your hands, form the patties. 
For baked: make the patties kind of wide and flat.
For fried: make them rather thick so that they'll have enough mass to stick together while you're frying.

6. For baked: line a heavy baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper, place the patties on the foil or paper and place in the oven. Bake, flipping once after about 10-15 minutes (once the bottoms are golden brown and sizzling) and bake another 10-15 minutes until the other side is golden brown. Remove to a platter or plate.

For fried: Heat the peanut, canola or grapeseed oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium-low heat. Once it is hot but not smoking add as many patties ad you can comfortably fit while still allowing a little room between them so you'll have space to flip them and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottoms are deeply browned (cooking time will depend on how hot the pan and oil were when you started.) Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for another 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and cool on a paper grocery bag while you cook the remaining patties. 

7. Serve with the yogurt sauce or top with some cheese, sliced avocado, lettuce and ketchup. These are also great the next day - the extra time gives the flavors more time to develop.

You might also like:

Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Mandarin Coconut Cookies - Vegan & Delicious

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I've been known to make disparaging remarks about vegan baked goods from time to time so for me to say that these cookies are delicious means they are truly delicious.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Our friend, Karen who is the innkeeper at the lovely Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, had made a batch of these the last time we stopped by to let Will move sand in his dumper and throw rocks into the stream. While we were there, Rahm built this lovely stack of rocks that Karen captured a day or two later as the waters began to rise from the downpour we got.


Karen was very generous with her cookies and we sat around in the inn's kitchen/office enjoying them. When I asked for the recipe, she told me that it was from Whole Foods. So I Googled "Whole Foods mandarin coconut cookies" when we got home and, sure enough, there it was.
Screenshot of google image search results

I've adapted their recipe slightly below as there were a couple silly / inefficient things in their version. For example, instead of removing the skin of the tangerines with a vegetable peeler and then chopping it to obtain enough zest, I've changed it to just zesting the tangerines. Time is precious, after all...

Tangerine Zest for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

We happened to have a small pile of tangerines that were not getting any younger sitting on the counter so the timing was perfect. And I had the rest of the ingredients - coconut oil (which is great to cook with!), flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt and coconut flakes, too.

Ingredients for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Will "helped" me make them. His favorite part was drinking the freshly squeezed tangerine juice and eating the sweetened coconut - and eating the cookies, of course. He told me recently in a very solemn and proud little voice, "Mama, I can eat SO much sweet things." Which is true.

Tangerine Juice for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Since we often use eggs in our cookie dough (although I sometimes bake and cook vegan dishes, we don't follow a vegan diet), he assumed that this dough was also off-limits for eating. And I saw no reason to tell him otherwise...

Dough for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

The dough is kind of fun to handle - the texture is soft and marzipan-like with a delicious sweet smell from the coconut oil and the tangerine juice.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies (pre-pressing) by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I also enjoyed smushing the cookies with the bottom of a glass dipped first in water and then in the coconut flakes to flatten them out for baking.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I think the cookies end up looking a little bit like flowers. Seems fitting now that it's Spring and the warmer weather is on its way. Enjoy!

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

-- print recipe --span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">Mandarin Coconut Cookies
adapted from Whole Foods' recipe

Makes roughly 3 dozen

Ingredients

* 2 mandarin oranges, such as satsumas or clementines
* 1 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cuporganic, virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup finely grated dried, sweetened coconut, divided
* 3 Tbsps cornstarch
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use a microplane zester to obtain 1 tablespoon zest. Juice the mandarins to obtain 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups sugar and oil on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the tangerine juice, zest and vanilla and beat again. Add flour, 1/2 cup coconut oil, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and beat again until combined.

3. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange the balls two inches apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet (I used my Silpat but it's worth noting that  both parchment paper and Silpat contain silicon so, if you're concerned about that, my guess is you could also just grease a cookie sheet with equally good results.)

4. Dip a flat-bottomed glass in water and then in the sweetened coconut flakes. Press down firmly on each cookie, re-dipping the glass as needed. Bake until golden brown and just firm, about 15 minutes.


You might also like:
Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Curried Quinoa Cakes With Spinach

Curried Quinoa Cakes by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I have a dirty little secret to share. In the past, when I'd make too much quinoa, the leftovers would sometimes sit in my fridge, cold and unappetizing, taking up valuable refrigerator real estate, until enough time had passed and then I'd throw the whole mess into the compost. And then feel terribly GUILTY about wasting good food.

But not anymore! Now I find myself intentionally making way too much quinoa so that I can make these truly delicious quinoa cakes the next day.

Quinoa by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2008.

I've been meaning to try these ever since my review copy of Super Natural Every Day arrived and I found myself wiping a few drops of drool off the page with Heidi's recipe for little quinoa patties. But what with one thing and another (like having a second child) I kept forgetting about them. That's the thing about having kids, you basically forget everything.

Until my mom-in-law threw together some surprisingly addictive (we all had seconds and some even went back for thirds) quinoa cakes a few weeks back. Then it was just a matter of waiting until we had leftover quinoa to work with. I finally got my chance last weekend and my whole family was thrilled by the results.

Curried quinoa cake mixture by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Once you've got the quinoa base, it's as easy and flexible as any fritter. I added sauteed red onions, garlic, spinach, fresh cilantro and parsley, garam masala, ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper, parmesan and used eggs and bread crumbs as my binder. I was short on time when I made these for our dinner so mine were fried but you can also bake them with great results - I actually think they're even tastier than the fried ones plus no need to deal with hot oil which is always a plus in my book. I've included instructions for both ways below.

Curried quinoa cakes frying by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

You can also add anything else you think would be tasty to these fritters - black beans, red pepper, substitute kale or chard for the spinach, etc.

Curried quinoa cakes post-frying by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Serve warm (or cold) with an herbed cucumber yogurt sauce for maximum yum factor and enjoy the knowledge that you have a wonderful way to use up leftover quinoa for the rest of your days.

Curried Quinoa Cakes by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

-- print recipe --
Curried Quinoa Cakes with Spinach
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe in the NY Times and Heidi Swanson’s little Quinoa Patties in Super Natural Every Day
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the quinoa cakes
* 2-2 1/4 cups cooked quinoa or 1 cup organic uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained and 1 3/4 cups water or stock (cooking it in broth or stock makes it way more flavorful)
* 3 good-sized garlic cloves, minced
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (*optional) - but if you do add them, use Eden Organicsince their cans are BPA-free
* 2-3 big handfuls of spinach, chard or kale leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped (unless you’re using baby spinach in which case no chopping is necessary)
* 3 large eggs, beaten (pasture-raised are the best kind if you can get 'em)
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 Tbsp garam masala or curry powder
* 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil (4-5 Tbsps)
* Breadcrumbs or flour, optional (if your mixture is too loose)

For the yogurt sauce
* 1 cup whole milk yogurt
* 1/2 garlic clove, minced
* 1/2 small-medium cucumber, peeled and diced (optional - but it gives a nice crunch)
* 1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves, washed, dried and chopped
* 1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves, washed, dried and chopped
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1-3 Tbsp milk to thin the sauce, if desired

Directions

1. If you don't already have leftover cooked quinoa - your first step is to make some! If you do, skip to number 2 below. Bring the water or stock to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, lower the heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover for 15-20 minutes until done - you'll know the quinoa is ready when you see the little white "tail" of the germ around the outside edge of each seed. If you're starting to see the little white tails but the quinoa seems too soggy, remove the lid for the last few minutes of cooking. You can also just drain the quinoa if that doesn't do it. And if the water is all gone but the tails are not visible yet, add a little more water and simmer for a few more minutes, covered. Then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. If you plan to bake your quinoa cakes, preheat the oven to 425 (and just skip to number 3 if you're planning to fry them.)

3. In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saut矇 the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, spices, cheese, salt, pepper and the cooled down onion, garlic and spinach mixture. Mix together until combined thoroughly.

5. Using your hands, form the patties. 
For baked: make the patties kind of wide and flat.
For fried: make them rather thick so that they'll have enough mass to stick together while you're frying.

6. For baked: line a heavy baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper, place the patties on the foil or paper and place in the oven. Bake, flipping once after about 10-15 minutes (once the bottoms are golden brown and sizzling) and bake another 10-15 minutes until the other side is golden brown. Remove to a platter or plate.

For fried: Heat the peanut, canola or grapeseed oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal) over medium-low heat. Once it is hot but not smoking add as many patties ad you can comfortably fit while still allowing a little room between them so you'll have space to flip them and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottoms are deeply browned (cooking time will depend on how hot the pan and oil were when you started.) Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for another 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and cool on a paper grocery bag while you cook the remaining patties. 

7. Serve with the yogurt sauce or top with some cheese, sliced avocado, lettuce and ketchup. These are also great the next day - the extra time gives the flavors more time to develop.

You might also like:

Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mandarin Coconut Cookies - Vegan & Delicious

I've been known to make disparaging remarks about vegan baked goods from time to time so for me to say that these cookies are delicious means they are truly delicious.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Our friend, Karen who is the innkeeper at the lovely Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, had made a batch of these the last time we stopped by to let Will move sand in his dumper and throw rocks into the stream. While we were there, Rahm built this lovely stack of rocks that Karen captured a day or two later as the waters began to rise from the downpour we got.


Karen was very generous with her cookies and we sat around in the inn's kitchen/office enjoying them. When I asked for the recipe, she told me that it was from Whole Foods. So I Googled "Whole Foods mandarin coconut cookies" when we got home and, sure enough, there it was.
Screenshot of google image search results

I've adapted their recipe slightly below as there were a couple silly / inefficient things in their version. For example, instead of removing the skin of the tangerines with a vegetable peeler and then chopping it to obtain enough zest, I've changed it to just zesting the tangerines. Time is precious, after all...

Tangerine Zest for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

We happened to have a small pile of tangerines that were not getting any younger sitting on the counter so the timing was perfect. And I had the rest of the ingredients - coconut oil (which is great to cook with!), flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt and coconut flakes, too.

Ingredients for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Will "helped" me make them. His favorite part was drinking the freshly squeezed tangerine juice and eating the sweetened coconut - and eating the cookies, of course. He told me recently in a very solemn and proud little voice, "Mama, I can eat SO much sweet things." Which is true.

Tangerine Juice for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Since we often use eggs in our cookie dough (although I sometimes bake and cook vegan dishes, we don't follow a vegan diet), he assumed that this dough was also off-limits for eating. And I saw no reason to tell him otherwise...

Dough for Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

The dough is kind of fun to handle - the texture is soft and marzipan-like with a delicious sweet smell from the coconut oil and the tangerine juice.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies (pre-pressing) by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I also enjoyed smushing the cookies with the bottom of a glass dipped first in water and then in the coconut flakes to flatten them out for baking.

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

I think the cookies end up looking a little bit like flowers. Seems fitting now that it's Spring and the warmer weather is on its way. Enjoy!

Vegan Mandarin Coconut Cookies by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

-- print recipe --span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">Mandarin Coconut Cookies
adapted from Whole Foods' recipe

Makes roughly 3 dozen

Ingredients

* 2 mandarin oranges, such as satsumas or clementines
* 1 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cuporganic, virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup finely grated dried, sweetened coconut, divided
* 3 Tbsps cornstarch
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use a microplane zester to obtain 1 tablespoon zest. Juice the mandarins to obtain 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups sugar and oil on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the tangerine juice, zest and vanilla and beat again. Add flour, 1/2 cup coconut oil, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and beat again until combined.

3. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange the balls two inches apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet (I used my Silpat but it's worth noting that  both parchment paper and Silpat contain silicon so, if you're concerned about that, my guess is you could also just grease a cookie sheet with equally good results.)

4. Dip a flat-bottomed glass in water and then in the sweetened coconut flakes. Press down firmly on each cookie, re-dipping the glass as needed. Bake until golden brown and just firm, about 15 minutes.


You might also like:
Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.