Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mushroom Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

And...we're back! Our travels are done (for now at least), Caroline has moved into her new house, which I'm sure she's excited to tell you about, and I've decided that it's time to start cooking. I always go through a summer stretch of no cooking (pasta again! tomato salad again! stir fry again!), but I'm ready for some real meals. I've been working on some interesting new recipes that I'm hoping you'll enjoy. The first teaser: peanut butter and jelly will never be the same. The next: cinnamon swirl what?!
My husband can't imagine eating quinoa before these cakes entered our lives. I think I've mentioned this before, but he's not really a fan of the "new" super grain; I have to sneak it in when he's not paying attention. But hands down, this dish one of his our favorite ways to incorporate quinoa into a meal--he'll even eat them cold. I usually eat 2-3 cakes (ok, sometimes 4 if I'm really hungry) along with a green salad. If there's company coming, I add another side like Turkish Carrot Salad or fresh fruit.
Mushroom Zucchini Quinoa Cakes
Recipe and photo by Kelly

Makes about 8 3-inch cakes

1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed + 1 cup water, well salted
8 baby bella mushrooms, minced
2 small zucchini, finely shredded
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs (preferably Panko)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Bring salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. 
  3. Meanwhile, squeeze the excess liquid of the shredded zucchini with a paper towel. Add zucchini and mushrooms to onion and garlic and cook just until tender. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir in quinoa and zucchini mixture until evenly incorporated. Optional: Chill mixture 30-45 minutes for ease of handling. 
  5. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently drop 2-3 inch balls of quinoa mixture into the skillet and flatten into a patty between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the underside is lightly browned and gently flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes and place cakes on a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve warm. 

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