Pattycake, Pattycake...

I think if there's one thing I've established beyond the shadow of the doubt around here, it's that I've developed a full-fledged obsession with sweet potatoes. It's crazy to me, considering I didn't even eat them two years ago, but now I find myself bookmarking virtually every sweet potato recipe that crosses my path. 

Because Justin has expressed a desire to eat more meatless and vegetarian meals lately, I've found myself taking a second look at my stockpile of sweet potato recipes in search of inspiration. After all, sweet potatoes are full of nutrients, and unlike most vegetables, I actually enjoy eating them. This week, I thought I would try adding some meatless or meat-lite dishes to our weekly meal plan, just to test the waters a bit, and my first selection was, unsurprisingly, a recipe that promised to fuse two things I enjoy: sweet potato and crispy cakes, not unlike the semolina-quinoa cakes we had last month. In fact, this recipe was quite similar to that one, only it substituted mashed sweet potato for the semolina; quinoa was still there to add chewy texture and protein.

Without the need to make the semolina, allow it to thicken, and refrigerate it long enough to cut it into cakes, this recipe was much faster, making it more appropriate for a weeknight meal (something to keep in mind when I find myself employed once more and no longer having the luxury of cooking all day.) It would probably also be good, if not quite the same, with leftover mashed sweet potatoes. 

I really liked the texture of the quinoa, and the savory-sweet contrast of the sweet potato with the onion, herbs, and cheese. My only problem was that the recipe was designed to be a side dish for a larger meal, and we were making the patties as an entree with a bit of salad on the side. As a result, there wasn't enough food to be satisfying, so I resolved to double the recipe in the future. And I'll definitely be making these again, not just to meet Justin's request for less meat in our diets, but because they are absolutely delicious. Seriously, if you are even half the the sweet potato fan that I am, you owe it to yourself to give this recipe a try!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 medium sweet potatoes, about 12 oz., peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 c. plain breadcrumbs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, season with salt and pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

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