Have you tried on your spring/summer clothes yet?...........
We did ........ and they're a wee bit snug......... perhaps a little too much of this or of that........... but we're working on it; getting out on our bikes, walking, working out on the Wii-Fit. We're also eating a little lighter, leaner and healthier.
Eating lighter and leaner certainly doesn't mean ho-hum or boring - we have some fabulous recipes for you this week; a Café original salad dressing, delightful and extremely versatile, along with a few delicious ideas for salads to drizzle it on. But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you about these super healthy, amazingly flavorful Quinoa Cakes w/ Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. This is one more recipe incorporating the yummy Italian Slow-Roasted Tomatoes I introduced to you last week.
For those of you who don't know much about quinoa, all you have to to is Google it and you will be amazed at what you'll learn; a super food, gluten-free, it's loaded with wonderful nutrients and has a ton of protein. It's considered a "dieter's dream food" with it's complex carbs, high fiber, low fat and low glycemic index. With the high protein it will keep you satisfied for hours and give you lots of energy!
I've been cooking with quinoa for awhile now, but to be perfectly honest, it's never been a super big hit, especially with my chief taste-tester (aka husband). I know the health benefits and that's been my primary reason for serving it........... until now! Wow, these are good, really good! I was actually just a little sneaky and didn't tell my husband what was in these golden, crispy cakes. Quess what! He loved them! In fact his statement after the first few bites was "these are amazing!"!
If you haven't tried quinoa, if you've tried it and weren't crazy about it, or if you love quinoa, I think you will be surprised at how delicious these Quinoa Cakes are! I served them with a yummy Fresh Herb Salad drizzled w/ Avocado-Basil Vinaigrette (tomorrow's recipe) They make a wonderful vegetarian combination, but they'd also be fabulous with grilled or roasted meat, poultry or seafood.
P.S. Check back for more light and lean recipes this week ............ but just so you don't get worried that I've lost my sweet tooth somewhere along the way, I'll be sharing a fabulous cake with you on Friday ............. after all, it will be the weekend, right? :)
Quinoa Cakes with Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
2½ cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs - I used fresh thyme, basil, chives and rosemary, you can use whatever you have
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
6-8 slow-roasted tomato halves, depending on size
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 5 cloves Roasted Garlic
1 cup panko (or regular dried bread crumbs), plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1. Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the fresh herbs, green onion, cheeses, and garlic. Add the panko, stir, then gently stir in the tomatoes Let this mixture sit for at least 30 minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into10-12 1" thick patties - I like to use a 1/3 cup size measuring cup, pack the mixture in and then tap it out onto a plate, this makes for nice, perfectly round, uniform patties.
2. Spread another 1/2 cup of panko or bread crumbs on a large plate and gently roll each patty in the crumbs, to coat.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, add as many patties as will fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 4-6 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties, adding a bit more oil and butter as needed. The quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook some of the patties right away and some a day or so later.
Adapted from Epicurious who presented the recipe from Super Natural Every Day