To be completely honest, these quinoa cakes look a little tadpoley - the translucent quinoa seeds that dot the surface of this patty do look a little dodgy. BUT, as with anything in life, looks can be deceiving. I've made many different kinds of vegetarian patties - using a variety of ingredients from tofu to eggplant to beets, chickpeas, yam ... you name it. But, looks aside, these are the best tasting patties that's come out of my kitchen. Honestly.
I actually don't have a specific recipe for these patties. I've made them three times and each time, I used different vegetables - whatever that was left in my fridge. The base of these patties are, of course, the quinoa - about a cup of cooked quinoa (white, red, black or tri-coloured - it's up to you).
I also added lots of herbs, mainly parsley but also thyme or oregano.
And then the variables.
The first batch had onions (chopped fine), tofu (pan-fried and chopped fine) and mushrooms (chopped fine also). Oh, and chopped nuts. I used walnuts. They were yummy!
For the second batch, I used some onions (chopped fine), eggplant (about half a medium eggplant, roasted and mashed) and chopped green chilli (one medium). And walnuts. Yummy too.
Last night, I made some with garlic (chopped fine) and green peas (steamed and mashed) and nuts. Also yummy.
My conclusion? The quinoa was so tasty, it didn't really matter what vegetables you used. You don't really need a sauce to go with them: I just squeezed a little lemon on them and ate them with some sauteed baby spinach or salad.
The recipe below is really just a guide. Use any vegetable - from carrots to long beans and I'm sure you'll end up with a winner.
Tofu and Mushroom Quinoa Patties
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup tofu, chopped fine
3-4 button mushrooms, chopped fine and lightly sauteed in olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4-6 walnuts, toasted and chopped fine (not too fine as you want the crunch)
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
1/2 egg (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup (or more) breadcrumbs (to bind)
salt and pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them together and season with salt and pepper. Take a small portion (about 2 tbsp) and press into a patty with your hands. Use some pressure to make a tight patty (use as much breadcrumbs as necessary to hold the patties together).
Freeze the patties for about 10- 15 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven (160C) for about 20-25 mins or until patties are firm and start to brown. Alternately, you can pan fry them in a skillet.