I’ve been making these quinoa Spanish cakes about once a week and feel like I’m indulging in some sort of comfort food, but without all the fattening ingredients.
For the past 2-3 years I’ve been on a major Spanish cuisine kick and make recipes using the flavors from this region at minimum weekly. From my vegan enchiladas to simple Mexican Buddha Bowls, I’m constantly creating recipes that have an extra kick from chili powder, saffron, and more. Today’s recipe is adapted from a recent class I took at The Chopping Block at the Merchandise Mart Downtown. It was an entire class on cooking vegetarian by chef Maria Clementi. I arrived hungry and left more than full (in a good way of course). If you want to learn how to cook more vegetarian cuisine (or really just hone in on your cooking skills in general) – The Chopping Block is the perfect class to take because it’s extremely enjoyable and you get to learn how to chef it up while dining on exquisite cuisine!
Now onto the recipe: there are a few ingredients that I switched out – I used chickpeas instead of corn (as I typically don’t cook with corn), coconut flour instead of white flour, and almond milk instead of milk. I also made Maria’s cardamom-lime dipping sauce to top the cakes with. You will find both recipes below!
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s break down the nutritional benefits.
- Protein: You’ll be getting a dose of protein from the quinoa, eggs, and chickpeas. Actually, quinoa is a complete protein meaning that it has all 9 essential amino acids. A lot of folks think you need to bombard your body daily with tons of protein, but everyone is different. As long as your getting a wide array of produce in your day and plant-based sources of protein like nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, and grains like quinoa – you’ll be A-OK.
- Vitamin K, A, E, B6, D, and Folate: These fritters contain a slew of vitamins from the spinach, eggs, and mushrooms. Both of these veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K from the spinach which is essential for healthy blood clotting. All of these vitamins also support and promote beautiful hair skin and nails.
- Minerals like magnesium, iron, selenium, calcium, and potassium: Found again in the eggs, spinach and mushrooms, these minerals help support many functions in your body like maintaining strong bones, carrying oxygen throughout your body, and regulating water levels in the body as well.
You can make big batches of these fritters and store them in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week as well. If you try this recipe at home, please let me know how you enjoy it in the comments below or by tagging your Instagram photo with the hashtag: #BalancedBabe – I love hearing from readers, even if it’s tips on how to make these recipes stand out even more!
Spanish Quinoa Cakes
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese
- Cook the quinoa according to the chef’s instructions. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork,
and spread out on a sheet tray to cool.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Gently sauté the scallions and mushrooms
until just tender, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and chili flakes and cook until the spinach has wilted. Transfer to a medium-size bowl.
- Add the cooked quinoa, flour, eggs and almond milk. Mix until you have a thick batter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 200°.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and add a generous layer of coconut oil
- Spoon or scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter in the pan for each cake. Gently press the batter down with a spatula so it’s 1/2-inch thick.
- Cook on the first side until golden brown and crisp. Flip and repeat. Transfer the cakes to a rack set over a sheet tray, and place in the oven to keep warm. Continue making fritters with the remaining batter.
Cardamom-Lime Dipping Sauce
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a high-power blender until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook, over medium-low heat until slightly thickened. Alternatively add more coconut flakes to thicken..