Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Cauliflower Quinoa CakesMost of the time living out in the bush is not so different than living in town. You know, minus the running water, bathroom, civilization, power. See, not so different. Until you need a grocery store.

Then it sucks. Sucks like wet sand in panties.

Yesterday, I slammed the freezer door, but I didn’t notice that the door had popped back open ever so slightly. Then I proceeded to climb up into my tower for the rest of the day. From 1 pm to 8 pm, my freezer door was left ajar. It was 33 degrees Celcius (that’s about 92 degrees Fahrenheit).

Yeah for me!

I was greeted to a mostly thawed freezer and every thing in my fridge, warm. Not. Good.

On the up side, I didn’t have much food in there to start with. On the down side, I didn’t have much food in there to start with.

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That’s where the Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes come in.

Thank gawd for pantry staples. If it weren’t for a well stocked pantry I’d be in a world of hurt!

No. I’d die of starvation! Seriously. I’d die.

Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it would be unpleasant.

For the next 7 days, I’ll be stretching out 1.5 heads of cauliflower (some of it is going bad…), 1.5 zucchinis, a handful of radishes and 3 frozen roasted peppers, 8 eggs, 10 small to medium potatoes, 6 onions, 3 avocadoes, 1 grapefruit (I suspect it has gone bad, but I’ll find out when I cut it open) and some spinach I have growing in the garden.

Aside from the potato part, I can easily plow through that in 3 days. Without even trying. EASY.

My first “stretching out” project brought me to these tasty quinoa cakes. Using a head of cauliflower, eggs and quinoa, I was able to stretch this out to make 7 individual meals. Booyah!

Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes with Pepper Tomato Sauce

With limited supplies, I thought it would be wise to plan things out a bit. Meal planning that is. This is what I came up with.

So far I’ve made:

  • Curried Ketchup (to eat with pan fried potatoes and eggs. Delish by the way, but I didn’t write the recipe down. Sorry.)
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce (see below for recipe)
  • Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes  (See below for recipe)
  • Sprouted Spelt Potato Biscuits (also tasty, sorry no recipe)
  • Hemp Milk
  • Ice Maple Coffee with Hemp Milk (afternoon pick me up. A must!)
  • Sea Salted Coconut Chocolates with Raw Cashews (just a little treat you know…)

Still on the list with fresh veggies:

  • Zucchini Latkes
  • Flourless Zucchini Brownies
  • Spinach Salad with pumpkin seeds and avocados
  • Coconut Spinach Soup

From the pantry I can make:

Sh$t yo! That’s a lot of food. I could feed a freakin’ army!

Now this might seem like bragging, but the fact of the matter is, I was really worried. I sat down with a piece of paper and by brain screwed on right (that only happens about half the time) and I was able to come up with a ton of meals. It’s also a great way (unintentionally of course) of highlighting the power of meal planning.

I mean really, what the heck is there to be worried about? Who wants to come for dinner? You’re all invited. It’s going to be a party!!!

This recipe makes a lot, but they are very versatile. They’ll make a great lunch or dinner, but don’t limit yourself. Serve these with a poached egg for a fancy brunch or as a healthy appetizer at a dinner party. Or better yet! Try them with salmon lox and creme fraiche. That sounds delightful doesn’t it? Yum.

I froze packs of 3 for quick easy meals in the future. Thaw, reheat slightly and enjoy.

CqC Collage

Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes

3 per person, makes 21 cakes or serves 7

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup raw)
  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (1 large head) or 4 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 cups spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onions or 1/2 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch (or flour or oat flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Additional flavor substitutions under recipe notes

Cook 1 cup of cooked quinoa according to instruction or my favorite way. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the cauliflower in a food processor. Process until the cauliflower is in rice sized pieces. You’ll need 4 cups. If the cauliflower is wet, place over a fine mesh sieve and allow any liquid to drip out. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Cover and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, heat a 1 Tbsp of olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Scoop out the mixture. Pack firmly using your hand to create a firm little quinoa puck. Flip the cup upside down into the pan (you should get a neat little puck in the pan). Alternately, these egg pancake rings would work well. Squish the puck using the back of a spatula. Allow to cook for 5 minutes until golden brown. Gently flip. Cook until cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Serve with your favorite tomato sauce or the Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce that follows and greens.

How To Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes

I served these at room temperature because it’s hot out. In the winter, these can be kept warm in a oven set at 200 F on a lined baking sheet and served with a warm sauce instead of the cold pepper tomato sauce shown here.

The oven: Alternate method. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Repeat making the pucks and squishing. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Other Flavor Ideas

  • Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Add 1/2 cup grated cheddar, substitute cilantro for parsley and serve with Adobo Chili Salsa
  • Add 1/2 cup each crumbled feta and finely chopped olives and serve with a Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
  • Omit spinach and add 1/2 cup finely chopped mint and 2/3 cup raisins. Serve with citrus cashew dressing.
  • Add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil and serve with homemade marinara sauce
  • Add 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese and 1 cup dried cranberries serve with Onion Jam
  • Substitute broccoli for cauliflower
  • Substitute kale for spinach

Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup roasted pepper
  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes, strained (alternately, you could use fresh tomatoes that have been strained)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  •  2 tsp agave or honey
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Make sure the tomatoes are well strained to avoid a runny sauce. Serve at room temperature. In the winter, this sauce can be heated up in a sauce pan and served hot.

Note: If you do not handle raw onions well, place the puree in a pan and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add a couple tbsp of water if it becomes too thick.

My friend Ashley @ Love What You Eat just wrote about pantry staples, click here to learn more. Or check out next weeks post by Ashley on kitchen time saving tips!

18 Responses to Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce

  1. Carrie July 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Can you substitute flax for the eggs? Looks like it would be good except for me egg allergy. :)

    • beyondthepeel July 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      You could try an egg replacement, but since I haven’t tried it I can’t guarantee it.

  2. Chaya July 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    It looks like you can eat better in a crisis than most people can eat when well stocked.

    This is my kind of recipe but I would like to bake it although, I now have frying pans that really cook without oil. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions……….

    All I know, this sounds terrific and I want to make them ASAP. Thanks for always inspiring us.

    • beyondthepeel July 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      I did leave directions for baking if you choose to go that way. Hope that helps. On a side note, healthy fats do help a person better absorb the nutrients and there is hardly any fat in them unless you opt to try some of the alternate suggestions to add cheese or choose to serve them with a yogurt sauce.

  3. Ashley Smyth Srokosz July 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    France! Thanks for the shout out, yo! I’ve been perusing your site, looking at all the delish recipes to talk about in my post, you’ll have it before the weekend is out :-)

  4. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    You proved that meal planning is so important along with a stocked pantry. Delicious!

  5. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    You proved that meal planning is so important along with a stocked pantry. Delicious!

  6. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat July 10, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    I love how creative you are with food! Cauliflower Quinoa Cakes? Brilliant! And all from a mishap. Way to make lemonade out of lemons! :)

  7. Ellen July 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    These look great. Do you think it would still work just using egg whites?

    • beyondthepeel July 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I think they would.Maybe increase the egg whites by 1 egg.

  8. Laureen @FoxKitchen July 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Yum, I must make these as soon as possible! I love all of the additional flavour substitutions you include. Making mine with Kale and Cilantro. Might add cheese or maybe sprinkle with fresh Parmesan? Decisions, decisions…love it :-)

  9. Amber H July 20, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    France, I love this post. You always share such wisdom! These quinoa cakes look fabulous. Look at those puppies!! Wow!

    Meal planning can be such a pain in the arse. So I think this is just super helpful. It’s an example of how to be creative and think outside the box. And girlfriend, your pictures are magazine worthy! Beautiful.

  10. Suzy N October 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    This looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try it! Was the cauliflower cooked first, or just raw, prior to processing it in the food processor?

    • beyondthepeel October 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      Raw. They’ll cook when you fry them.

      • Suzy N October 25, 2013 at 2:05 am #

        Fantastic! Thank you for the prompt response! I’m making these tonight. : )

  11. Rita March 22, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Omg, These turned out great! I made the burgers in mini size and seasoned the sauce a bit more (more sea salt,more pepper,more paprika and added ground ginger!) the sauce is divine. yummy
    These are so light but super satisfying .


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