Maybe you had a pretty great Thanksgiving.
Maybe you ate too much of your Gramma’s chopped chicken liver.
Maybe your new cousin Matt wore corduroys to the family football game and nobody cared. Maybe you spent the whole game running in circles and giggling with your other cousin, Katie, anyway, except for the time you caught two passes and did a little Tebowing.
Maybe you made Deb’s sweet potato biscuits and ate them with too much butter.
Maybe you and your Aunt Maggie tried a new pecan pie recipe that totally rocked.
Maybe you clinked lots of glasses, and drank lots of wine, and hugged lots of hugs, and sang made-up songs with your cousin Teddy at the piano.
Maybe you miss it.
Maybe you have leftover sweet potato! Make these.
Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Sauce
Let me just put it out there: these little cakes aren’t inherently sweet potato-ey. They don’t scream sweet, or potato, but instead have a pleasantly grounded, cheesy, herby flavor. The potato is definitely there, but it feels like more of a background note, a binder for the more dominant chewy quinoa, salty cheese, bright lemon and fresh herbs. I love these warm, served over a handful of arugula with a splash of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of the cold, tangy yogurt sauce on top.
For quinoa cakes:
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 cup sweet potato purée (canned or homemade)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pinch pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- canola oil, for cooking
For yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup plan Greek yogurt (I used 0% Fage)
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- pinch each salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
For the quinoa cakes, first cook the quinoa according to package directions, and allow to cool. (This can be done a day or two in advance, and the cooked quinoa can be held in the refrigerator until ready to use – we need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the cakes.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet potato purée, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth. Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the onion into the bowl, and mix to combine. Next add 3 cups of the cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, thyme and sage, and season with a bit more salt. Mix everything well.
Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to divide quinoa mixture into 15-20 cakes, about two inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick.
Coat the bottom of a large sautée pan with canola oil and heat over medium low heat. Once hot, cook the quinoa cakes in the oil for 4-5 minutes a side, until nicely browned and warm throughout. Allow to cool slightly on a paper towel-lined plate, before serving warm, with yogurt sauce.
To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together the yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper and chopped parsley until fully combined. Serve atop warm quinoa cakes.
Makes 15-20 small quinoa cakes and 1 cup yogurt sauce.