Quinoa Cakes with Poached Egg and Parsley

by Michael on May 31, 2011 · 41 comments

I was dead to the world on Sunday morning. Outside, people had been awake for a couple of hours and my neighbours were rejoicing in the beautiful weather, yet I was in my dark cool place fast asleep. And I didn’t feel guilty for a moment. There was no room for that on this day.

My wife and I were out at a wedding shoot most of the day Saturday, so when the time came to choose between sleep and an early start to Sunday, the choice was easy. Sleep is my friend, my landing pad when I need to recharge. I cherish the moments in my life when I can escape in the afternoon for a quick nap.It balances me. There’s something about Sunday mornings tucked away inside my soft, delicate duvet that I really come to expect and enjoy. Love.

When I finally awake to greet the day that’s already in full motion, I do so methodically. I flip my pillow and playback the previous day’s events. One beautiful memory after another plays on repeat in my mind as I roll through the stages of my yesterday and close my eyes one more time to capture the last of the darkness inside.

I finally mustered up the energy to walk downstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast. All the familiar breakfast options appear before me but I’m in the mood for something different. Better, maybe. So before I can debate the merits of one item over another, these quinoa cakes flood my head and take over my thoughts.

Recently I had been hearing a lot about Heidi Swanson and her new book, “Super Natural Every Day”  which features healthy recipes like these cakes. I figured it was time to tackle something new. And of all the recipes in her book this is the one that spoke to me.

I had picked up a bag of quinoa recently to experiment with. I made a quinoa salad which was wonderful and reminded me of the season we’re in now. So I cooked some quinoa and followed her recipe fairly closely. And before you knew it I had made these cakes. Wonderful, healthy and lovely cakes.

The fact that it was Sunday morning meant I needed to flip this into a breakfast item. So I poached a few eggs and ripped up some parsley and seasoned everything until this landed on our table. I love adding poached eggs to brekfast cakes so this didn’t take a lot of thought. Which was exactly what I was hoping for on this stress-free day.

Wendy and I grabbed our plates and headed out to our cute little table in the backyard. We sat down and reflected together and enjoyed this tiny gem as our morning reward to a job well done. And we listened to the neighbourhood come alive with each passing moment. It was the perfect way to start a Sunday off.

For the rest of the day I worked around the house and enjoyed the routine that happens on Sunday. And all the while my mind was on breakfast and how unique and amazing it was.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Quinoa Cakes (By Heidi Swanson)
The Goods:
  • 2 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g cooked quinoa, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked pepper
  • 1/3 cup / .5 oz / 15 g finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup / 0.5 oz/ 15 g freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • Water, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin
  • Olive oil or clarified butter (see page 224)


  1. Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch / 2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned.
  3. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Georgie May 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm
mamashack May 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm
wenderly May 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm
Allison May 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Barbara | Creative Culinary May 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm
A Thought For Food May 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm
Lisa H. June 1, 2011 at 1:39 am
Marnely Rodriguez June 1, 2011 at 3:44 am
Kristen - Dine & Dish June 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Sonia | Food Obsessed June 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm
bakerbyNature June 2, 2011 at 12:51 am
MikeVFMK June 2, 2011 at 1:56 am
All That's Left Are The Crumbs June 2, 2011 at 4:03 am
Maria June 2, 2011 at 8:59 am
kitchenarian June 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm
Charlie June 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm
keri May 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I made these Celiac-friendly last night and they were awesome! I just substituted gluten-free bread crumbs. And, because I was in a hurry – I just scooped them with an ice-cream scoop onto a foil-lined (and sprayed) baking sheet, flattened them with a fork and threw them in the oven. Took about 15 minutes @ 350 degrees and convection. I froze what I didn’t use and plan on frying them later.


Anonymous June 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Marion Ashley June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm
athriftyfoodie June 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm
Michelle June 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm
RavieNomNoms June 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm
Natascha Kessler - Heaven on Hearth June 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm
Betsy June 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm
sheryl June 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm
apaler1 June 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm
Anonymous June 3, 2011 at 12:21 am
LaPhemmePhoodie June 3, 2011 at 1:24 am
BecHef June 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm
Kristin @ The Pastry Affair June 12, 2011 at 12:48 am
wazzra June 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm
CharlesR June 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm
SG July 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm
Lindsay August 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm
Susan February 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

I am curious of these can be frozen, or the mix?


Michael February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Susan, I don’t see why these can’t be frozen as patties. I’ve done it once before with no issues. Hope that helps and thanks for reading.


Susan February 29, 2012 at 2:39 am

thanks!! I am slightly obsessed with these at the moment and made a big batch to use during the week. changes I made to the recipe were: adding both fresh and roasted garlic (had roasted garlic sitting in my fridge) about a teaspoon of hot paprika (I add paprika to most things though), and adding an adobe chipotle chili (the kind from a can). I would add two next time as the flavour was pretty soft.


Kim September 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Oh my gosh! Those look delicious. I love the way poached eggs add such a richness to certain foods. I’ve served them over crab cakes before, but never made quinoa cakes. I can’t wait to try it!


Keshia March 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Is there something I can use to bind them other than bread crumbs?


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