Friday, May 25, 2012

Sugar may be out but Quinoa is far from "in"

I posted recently about my attempt to remove excess processed sugar from my diet.  It's been a struggle as I've noted, but our 22 year old daughter, Kelsey, has been very supportive of my efforts.  Well, minus the time or two she tried her best to get me to go with her to our favorite frozen custard stand.  But I've digressed.  She really has been quite supportive.

On Thursday she sent me a couple of links to food blogs that showed some healthy food options that she wanted us to try.  I read through them both and felt the Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa not only sounded sort of yummy but looked terrific.  You can check out the original recipe on the "How Sweet It Is" blog here.

I told my husband about Kelsey wanting to try this recipe.  He wholeheartedly was on board to give it a shot. Telling him about new recipes is like a double-edged sword.  I'm thrilled he wants to cook, but I also know what the kitchen looks like after he puts his Emeril-esque preparation skills to work.  It usually takes me an hour after he leaves the kitchen to get it clean.  But again...I've digressed.

So, yesterday afternoon we headed to the kitchen to prepare this dish.  He cut up the sweet potatoes and onions and made the blackberry salsa while I served watch over the stove and made the quinoa while also making my homemade salsa for the weekend (which I must admit is quite yummy).

About 30 minutes into the preparation, we had assembled the cakes.  And while our Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes didn't quite look as pretty as Jessica's on her blog, well, I think we did quite well.
The mixture before molded into cakes

We fried them in a bit of olive olive and within 10 minutes we were ready to give them a try.

Ok, so I must add at this point that I've had quinoa a few times before.  We have a Crazy Bowls and Wraps restaurant in town, which if you aren't familiar with, is a fast-food restaurant that focuses on making healthier food options.  It offers quinoa as an option to their bowls or wraps in place of white or brown rice.

Since I've had quinoa before, I wasn't expecting that it would add some incredible flavor to these cakes.  I knew the sweet potatoes, basil and cilantro were going to be the "highlights" of this dish.  And the blackberry salsa was going to give it that extra ummph.  So, it's safe to say that my expectations weren't terribly high.

I took a bite, and while edible, I certainly won't be making this one too often.  Kelsey and my husband seemed to like it ok.  Kelsey didn't care for the salsa while I felt it was an absolute "must."  They both ate a whole one (I opted for about 3/4 of one) but I think it's safe to say that quinoa won't be added to our daily meals on a regular basis.  At least not through Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes.
Although not the tastiest thing I've ever made, it sure is a pretty dish.


  1. Julie, I think it's pretty. And I think it sounds yummy. Blackberry salsa - could you put that on ice cream? :)

  2. It was pretty, but tasty? Ummm, no! ;) My husband took that salsa and put a little sugar in it and WOW! If it hadn't had cilantro and red pepper flakes in it, I would definitely put it on ice cream!