Quinoa Cakes with Sweet and Spicy Corn Relish

I don’t know about you, but I probably had more sugar over this past month than in the last 12 months combined.  It’s time to get back to some healthy eating in these parts.

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These quinoa cakes are super delicious and adorable.  I really love cute finger food and these are the perfect remedy to keep you (and me!) away from the vegan brownies at a New Year’s party.  They are also yummy at brunch or as an entree paired with a salad or some baked tempeh. They are gluten and soy-free and, contrary to what you might think of when you hear the word “cake,” they don’t involve sugar except for a little maple syrup in the relish.

My directions below call for a standard size muffin-pan for baking, but if you are serving these as purely finger food you might want to use a mini muffin pan (just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly).  The challenge with making these is that if they are not cooked long enough they will not hold together.  However, if you cook them too much then you end up with crunchy quinoa.  In my oven, longer than 25 minutes seemed to be when things started to get too crispy.

I cooked my first trial batch for 30 minutes and none of them fell apart, but the outside layer was a little too crunchy.  To remedy this, I put them (while still hot) in a glass storage container and let them cool in the fridge for a few hours.  The trapped steam softened the quinoa up perfectly and none of the cakes fell apart.  This is now my preferred method of making them, but if you will be serving them straight from the oven be sure to cook them for 20-25 minutes.  Just know that you will probably lose one or two to crumbling. 

Serves 4 as an entree or about 6-8 as an appetizer. 

Quinoa Cakes
Makes 12 quinoa cakes.  

1 cup raw quinoa, cooked and then cooled
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
egg replacer for 3 eggs (I used Ener-G brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cold quinoa with paprika, cumin, spinach, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add egg replacer and mix together.  

Add 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture to each muffin cup.  Press down a little on the top so it is flat and even. 

Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until the tops are just turning brown and cakes are fully formed. Remove from oven, cool, and then flip the muffin tin over onto a baking sheet.  Your quinoa cakes are ready!

Sweet and Spicy Corn Relish
Inspired by Herbivoracious’ recipe. 

1/4 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tsp red chile pepper flakes (if you want this less spicy, use 1/2 tsp or leave it out entirely)
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 cup corn kernels
1 small onion, diced finely
olive oil 
salt and pepper

Saute onion and red chile pepper flakes in a little olive oil over medium heat until the onion is just turning brown.  Add the corn and a little more olive oil as necessary.  Saute for about 5 more minutes. 

Mix the lime juice, zest, cilantro, maple syrup, and corn mixture together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over the quinoa cakes.

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  1. says

    I found this recipe on pinterest and tried it out this week. It was surprisingly delicious! I especially loved the corn relish (used honey instead of maple syrup because that’s what I had on hand). I did feel like the cakes ended up a bit dry and crumbly though. I’m thinking next time I might try to make some sort of sauce to pour over the top so that it doesn’t feel like such a dry meal.

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