Meatless Monday: Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olives, and Parsley

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A lot of good, healthy grains in this house are called “tiny pasta.”

It’s not that I’m afraid to give Zachary the real names of things (he’s not really to the point yet where he will refuse to try things based on the name) but sometimes, it’s easier. “What’s this mommy?” “It’s quinoa. It’s like…tiny pasta.”

Plus? He’s infallible. The other day, he had bulgur (more tiny pasta) with zucchini.

“What’s this mommy?”
“It’s zucchini.”
“No! Cucumber!”
“Well, you’re right. It does look like a cucumber, but it’s called ‘zucchini.'”
“CUCUMBER!!!!!!”

Oh.

So when something’s called “tiny pasta” I go with it. Here’s a recipe for pasta cakes. Errr…quinoa cakes. And, they’re pretty fabulous. If you haven’t already eaten quinoa, I urge you to try it. It’s delicious, nutty, and incredibly healthy. It’s got plenty of protein and fiber, and will keep you full for a long time.

The flavors mixed into these patties are some of my favorites—lemon, parsley, olives, and of course cheese. I used kalamata olives rather than green because I’m not a big green olive fan. But I’m a BIG kalamata olive fan. They are cooked in just a little bit of oil in the pan and end up  nice and crispy. I added a little cornmeal to them to keep them together a bit better and also to provide some added crunch.

We had these with a salad with lots of feta and Greek-ish dressing. (And I’m sure that the feta would also be lovely actually *in* the cakes, instead of the Romano I used, too.) They paired really wonderfully together and even though the leftovers were not quite as crispy the following day, I still enjoyed them.  Tom particularly liked these, and mentioned again after work the next day how much he liked them and how great his lunch was. That’s always the sign of a winning dish—especially when the meal doesn’t contain meat.

While I adored these with salad, they would also be great for breakfast with an egg on top, which I will definitely try next time. You can keep the mixture in your fridge for a day or two and just cook them whenever the mood strikes you, so go ahead and make a batch up on Friday for dinner and then fry up the leftovers on Saturday morning with a poached egg.

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olives, and Parsley

  • I really do need to try these Elly. I need more little pasta in my life.

  • I do that with my parents except I call every grain barley or quinoa since those are two that they recognize and will eat. 😛 I’ve been meaning to make these quinoa cakes since I got Heidi’s cookbook and this variation sounds excellent! i’m thinking I need to try your fried egg on top idea.

  • What a pretty dinner! Love it!

  • These sound so good (and we call a lot of things “funny rice” at our house)!

  • Ben

    Hahahaha, yes, sometimes arguing with kids about the name of food is a loss battle. I think I could make this with amaranth as well. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

  • Perfect for Meatless Monday or any time at all!

  • I’m in awe that your child eats quinoa and bulgur. Kudos to you!

  • These look so delicious and healthy, Elly. What a great recipe!

  • These sound amazing! I love “cakes” and quinoa 🙂

  • Tiny pasta it is!

    These sound great 🙂

  • marcie

    what would you rec as a substitute for olives in this recipe – it looks very tasty! I don’t like olive or beans so I am wondering if they are needed as a binder or if they are just for flavor?

    Thanks.

    • elly

      They are just there for flavor. You can omit them.

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