good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Quinoa Cakes with Portugal Pepper Sauce

We’re back on the CSA box again after a hiatus over the summer. I love getting a surprise box full of seasonal and local produce. It gets me out of my usual rut of buying the same fruits and veggies week after week and also is a great way to force us to try new things. Not to mention, challenging us to prepare dinner in new ways. So here goes…

Since I don’t eat much meat, I’ve been wanting to learn to make better use of grains. I love veggie burger patties and frequently order a spicy black bean burger at the pub down the street. Everytime  I do this, I am thinking I should try making my own.

I had a handful of a  mixed bag of lentils and various beans. This made up the base of the patties. Tri color quinoa was also added to the mixture.

If you prep all the ingredients in advance and even the night before, this dish comes together fairly quickly. A time saving tip: make the portugal pepper sauce the night before as well as the patties- formed and all. The next day, all you have to do is toss the patties with flour and into a pan of oil they go! Easy and done.

Portugal Pepper Sauce:

2 garlic cloves

3 portugal peppers

2 roma tomatoes

1 tsp sea salt

Char all but the salt on a comal, or broil in the oven until blackened. Remove the seeds from the peppers, but leave the skins on. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. For a looser sauce, add a tablespoon of water. Set aside until ready to use.

Quinoa Patties:

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa- cook according to package instructions.

Bean mixture (pinto, navy, black, kidney, red and green lentils. You may use just one type of bean as well. I just happened to have a handful laying around that needed to be used up. Boil until tender and drain. You will only need 1 cup of cooked beans.

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

black pepper

fresh thyme, 2 leaves epazote, fresh oregano, chopped

1 cup all purpose flour

olive oil  (enough to coat the bottom of a frying pan)

Place the 1 cup of cooked beans in a medium size bowl and smash with a potato smasher. You want some chunky parts and well as some well mashed parts to help bind it together. Add 1 cup cooked quinoa, egg, salt, pepper and herbs. Mix together and form small balls (I used a small ice cream scoop). Refrigerate 30 minutes, or overnight until ready to saute.

When ready to saute, remove them from the fridge and toss with flour. Flatten slightly and saute in olive oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Warm the pepper sauce and serve with the patties. Garnish with a lemon wedge and micro greens.

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