Meat Free Monday: Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

by Angela on August 1, 2011

The other day I received my September 2011 Vegetarian Times in the mail.  Right away I started flipping through it and marking pages…there were quite a few (don’t try to read my chicken scratch!):

Vegetarian Times issue

So it should be no surprise that today’s meat-free recipe came straight from this issue…Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.  I am always trying to find new ways to fix quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah” just to clarify for a certain someone in my life…you know who you are).  The hubby likes the old standard way (boiled with water), but I like it to have more flavor and other things mixed in.  So I loved this recipe!  The ingredients were pretty standard purchases for us, except for the tahini.  I had never used it before but now I have a large jar, of which I only used 1-1/2 Tbs (any recipes in which I could use tahini would be greatly appreciated!). 

Quinoa Cakes ingredients

The recipe says it makes 6 servings, but I thought it fell short of this by quite a few cakes.  Maybe the problem was I ate more than one serving (the patties are actually smaller than they look in this picture)!

Quinoa cakes in oven

The recipe for the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce actually made plenty with a lot leftover.  Next time I may half the sauce recipe only because I can’t quite figure out what else I could use the remaining sauce for.  Maybe something will come to mind.  As for the quinoa cakes, I loved the bits of sun-dried tomatoes in it.  I thought the spinach was a bit much, so next time I may put in more sun-dried tomatoes and less spinach.  The hubby actually said he liked it and would eat it again, but he felt it was more like something he’d eat for lunch.  Point taken and I can understand his preference, but I’d really eat it for any meal.  As for the kids, the older one ate a half of one and thought it was “pretty good” but we couldn’t get him to eat much more than that, even by telling him the spinach would give him muscles like Popeye.  The little one didn’t even try it.  I really need to get that little squirt to broaden his food repertoire.  But I hope you all try this out and like it as much as I did!

Quinoa Cakes finished

Crispy Quinoa Cakes

“Serve these with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe below).  After trying the recipe as is, mix things up.  Replace 1 cup quinoa with lentils, and season with curry powder to make Indian koftas.  Or mix in more chopped parsley, and serve in pitas for quinoa falafel.”

1 large egg

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

1-1/2 Tbs tahini or nut butter

1-1/2 tsp red or white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup finely grated sweet potato

1/2 10-oz. pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional (I did not use)

2 oz. crumbled feta cheese, optional (I did not use)

2 Tbs finely diced onion

1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (I used parsley)

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1/2 tsp salt.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.  Combine eggs, flour, tahini and vinegar in a bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients, then mash together until mixture is firm enough to shape into cakes.  Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands.  Bake on prepared baking sheet 25 minutes, turning once, or until cakes are browned. 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

makes 2-1/2 cups

1-1/2 cups roasted red peppers, drained

1/2 cup toasted almonds

1 clove garlic

2 tsp red wine vinegar

Puree all ingredients in a food processor and serve with Crispy Quinoa Cakes.

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lila February 26, 2012 at 12:28 am

after browsing through your site I am not sure as to whether you are completely vegetarian or not. So I apologize if you are and I’ve missed it. If not, then my suggestion for use of the leftover roasted red pepper sauce would be with a dish called Chicken Negamaki. I made it once sometime ago and the sauce recipe sounds quite similar. Very delicious dish.
Anyway, I really am looking forward to trying some of the recipes you’ve posted. We are on a mission to eat much healthier as well.
I wish you all the best for your family. What you are experiencing is without a doubt every parent’s nightmare.

admin February 26, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thank you so much Lila! Nope, not vegetarian, just trying to cut down on meat. We will definitely try out the recipe you mentioned. Thanks for visiting our site and let us know what you think of some other recipes you try!

admin August 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Sarah, thanks for the feedback! I love all your suggestions and have written them down on my recipe sheet for next time!

Sarah August 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I made this and altered them quite a bit. I used Kale instead of spinach and almond butter instead of tahini. I also made a marinara sauce and placed my veggie mix that I put in my food processor into the sauce. It was delicious! the kids loved it too! I would have put more garlic though I think – my veggies were: kale, carrots, garlic, onion, leeks.

Aimee August 2, 2011 at 8:21 am

I love quinoa – especially after I learned how to pronounce it properly 🙂 As for the tahini you can certainly make your own homemade hummus as that is one of the main ingredients. As for the roasted red pepper sauce, try it on spaghetti sauce with some parmesan cheese. Yummo!!

admin August 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Ah spaghetti, great idea! Thanks Aimee!!

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