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An Easy, Yummy Way to Prepare Nutritious Quinoa

An Easy, Yummy Way to Prepare Nutritious Quinoa

I usually have some quinoa in my pantry—and for a long time, I used it as a base for different kinds of salads, adding veggies, crumbled cheese, olive oil, herbs and seasonings. I still enjoy quinoa salads, but my new favorite way to use this grain is to make cakes.

I like to incorporate quinoa into my diet because I enjoy the taste and texture, and because of its incredible health benefits. According to the website The World’s Healthiest Foods, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” because this group recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.

Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. It’s an outstanding source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.

Making quinoa cakes is actually quite simple. Just finely dice up whatever veggies you have on hand, and cook them with the quinoa using stock. Throw in some herbs if you have them. After everything’s done cooking, let the mixture cool, add egg and bread crumbs to form cakes, and then cook them in a bit of oil. For complete instructions, plus ideas for other ingredients to add, check out Quinoa-Zucchini Cakes with Summer Herbs.

These cakes can act as a main course with sides, as a side in themselves, and as an appetizer or even just a snack. I’ve had mini-cakes setting out as snacks at parties, and they were a huge hit. The cakes hold well at room temperature.

Need more ideas for cooking with quinoa? Take a look at this Baked Eggplant with Quinoa recipe.

Photo by Emily Heller

Related: Learn About and Cook with Whole Grains, Growing and Cooking with Super-Nutritious Sweet Potatoes and 7 Superfoods with the Smallest Footprint

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Eating for Health, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
4:45AM PDT on Apr 22, 2013


1:57PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Yummy recipes,thanks for sharing

5:19PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

The Zucchini Cake Recipe really looks like it needs a binding agent. I would add an egg to the mixture.

11:41PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Pamela G, click on the blue link and this recipe comes up -
Quinoa Zucchini Cakes with Summer Herbs
To make the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa, soaked in water for 5 minutes
2 cups stock
Handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 small tomato or pepper, chopped
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
Handful of fresh, savory herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.), chopped
Sprinkles of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Drain and rinse the quinoa to remove the bitter flavors from the outer coating. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

To make the cakes:
2 eggs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Cooking oil
Stir the eggs and bread crumbs into the quinoa. Form little cakes about 2 inches across and 1/4 inch thick, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. In a low, wide saucepan, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the cakes a couple minutes per side, until the outside is crispy and light golden-brown. Serves 6 to 8. Check out more of our delicious summer recipes!

11:44AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

I don't find the recipe for baked quinoa cakes shown in this picture - Can anyone help?

3:08AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Thank you for the recipes.

5:15AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Thank you

4:46AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Thanks Shelley for the info and the links.

3:18PM PST on Feb 3, 2013

Thank you Shelly, for Sharing this!

12:31AM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Thank you :)

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Interesting stats, thank you.

I'm with Wesley S. I eat far more plant-based foods than meat, but I am an omnivore. And, I don't …

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