I have a confession to make…. I love red peppers! More specifically, I love roasted red peppers – well anything roasted really! I also love quinoa! This ancient grain was held sacred by the Incans and has been called “The Mother Grain”, although it’s not really a grain — technically its a seed. But regardless, it’s a superfood because it is a complete protein. And a yummy one at that!
I found and adapted this recipe from the new CookFresh for Fall. It’s loaded with some really yummy (and healthy) recipes. Fine Cooking is my all time favorite foodie magazine because the recipes are always good, they keep things simple and illustrate how to do things, like how to pit an avocado or test if your fish is done—things you need to know to find your way around the kitchen.
First, fire up your broiler, or if you are lucky enough to have a stovetop gas grill, fire that baby up! Roast your red peppers until they are nice and charred, then put them in a plastic sandwich bag to cool. This helps get the skins off easily.
While your peppers are roasting, get your low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth boiling, then add 1 cup of dry white quinoa and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes). Or you can also use a rice cooker. Once the quinoa is done, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool completely (this will help later when we fry the patties).
Next, rinse and drain the white beans. Put them in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add eggs, garlic , salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Add almond meal (or breadcrumbs), parsley, olives and the cooled quinoa. Stir to combine and form into patties.
In a heavy duty skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbls of olive oil. Add the patties and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat for the rest of the patties.
To make the roasted red pepper sauce, take the peppers out of the plastic bag and remove the skins. Coarsely chop the peppers and tomato and add to blender, along with the lemon juice and drizzle olive oil into the blender until combined.
Serve the quinoa cakes over some mixed greens (I used arugula). Top with roasted red pepper sauce and some extra chopped kalamata olives. I also drizzled some extra virgin olive oil over the entire plate, to cover the greens. The red pepper sauce really makes this meal, especially because the quinoa cakes, although very tasty, can be a bit dry.