Quinoa & Spinach Cakes with Chipotle Cashew Sauce

Recipe & Photography: Emma Galloway

I make versions of these quinoa cakes whenever I find myself with leftover cooked quinoa. That said, if you don’t have leftover quinoa at hand, rinse 1 cup of quinoa grains in a fine sieve. Bring 1½ cups of water to the boil, add quinoa, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork. You’ll find cashew butter and chipotles in adobo sauce at most supermarkets nowadays. Store leftover chipotle in adobo sauce in a glass jar in the fridge where they will keep for months. Their smoky heat is a welcome addition to beans, tacos, soups and stews.

Serves 4 (2 cakes per person)

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
2 big handfuls spinach
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup loosely packed chopped coriander leaves
¾ cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten-free ones available at most supermarkets)
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp each smoked paprika, dried oregano and ground cumin
3 large free-range eggs, lightly whisked
fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, to fry

Chipotle Cashew Sauce

3 tbsp cashew butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 jar chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
3–4 tbsp water

Place cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil and spinach and cook briefly, until just wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool a little. Squeeze out any excess moisture, roughly chop and add to the bowl along with the onion, garlic, coriander, breadcrumbs and spices. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Add eggs and mix again. Shape into 8 cakes and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up (this can be done the day before and left in the fridge overnight). To cook cakes, heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add cakes (this might have to be done in two batches depending on the size of your pan), cover pan with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 7–8 minutes or until golden on the bottom and firm to the touch, flip over and cook on the other side for a further 3–4 minutes. Serve hot with chipotle cashew sauce.

To make the chipotle cashew sauce, combine all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend until smooth, starting with 3 tablespoons of water and adding another tablespoon if needed to achieve the right consistency. Any leftovers will keep in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. It’s delicious on everything!

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