Once in a while, everyone needs a little cake in their lives. But that doesn't necessarily mean the chocolate-based, sugar-filled kind. These little patties are packed with flavor from the fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, are fun to make, and make the perfect portable lunch or dinner for a springtime picnic. Plus, the egg and quinoa base is a great source of protein, and the mild flavor makes them easy to eat as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

What You'll Need:

2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (plus a few extra tablespoons if needed)
1-3 tablespoons olive oil

What to Do:

  1. Combine cooked quinoa, beaten eggs, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add basil, cheese, garlic, and onion, and stir until evenly mixed.
  2. Add bread crumbs and let stand so crumbs absorb some moisture. The mixture should be easily formed into balls without falling apart. If needed, add a couple tablespoons of breadcrumbs and let stand a few minutes more. (Note: For the gluten-free diners out there, try using 2 slices gluten-free bread toasted and crushed plus 2-3 tablespoons of any savory gluten-free flour — I used chickpea flour!)
  3. Heat the olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan — the exact amount will depend on the size of the pan you use, but 2 tablespoons should be enough) in a frying pan over medium heat. Pat the mixture into patties (1/4 cup servings work well) and cook in batches, about 10 minutes per side or until browned and crispy. Flatten each patty as the first side cooks until each is about 1/2 inch thick. Flip carefully!
  4. Repeat with remaining mixture! Allow the excess oil to drain from the patties on a thin layer of paper towel, and serve alongside a salad, in a pita-pocket sandwich, or just about any other way imaginable. (My next idea? Quinoa-cake Parmesan!)
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