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Parmesan Cauliflower-Quinoa Cakes & International Year of Quinoa

How about a double post for the start of the New Year and New blog?

2013 is an exciting year for many reasons, not least of which is that The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2013 The Year of Quinoa to celebrate its nutritional qualities and crop viability to celebrate its nutritional qualities and crop viability. Hurrah!

The best place to start is to start, so away we go with a New Year’s Post: Parmesan Cauliflower-Quinoa Cakes. Quick, easy, packed with protein, naturally gluten-free, and, most importantly, delicious. You can make the “dough” and saute all the patties at once, or refrigerate the dough for up to three days, shaping and cooking when you are ready (perfect for lunches). And, of course, the flavor options are boundless–add spices, herbs, and accompanying dipping sauces to your heart’s content.

One more bonus: Nick (6) gobbled up three patties in one sitting (I left out the green onions–despite green being his favorite color, he refuses all green foods save for grapes and kiwifruit).

To quinoa!

Is it wrong that I sometimes dip these in BBQ sauce? Kevin says yes, but I love a good, smokey BBQ sauce…

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Parmesan Cauliflower-Quinoa Cakes

  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Quinoa + Cauliflower = Crispy Deliciousness. Perfect for lunch or dinner.


  • 2 bags (12 oz each) frozen cauliflower, thawed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans (e.g., cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium-size green onions, ends removed, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked cooled quinoa
  • 11/2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • About 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. In food processor, place cauliflower, beans, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover; process until smooth, then transfer mixture to large bowl.
  2. Stir in quinoa, 1-1/4 cups bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Shape mixture into 12 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter, using about 1/3 cup bean mixture for each. Coat patties with remaining bread crumbs. Refrigerate about 1 hour so mixture holds together.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add about half of the patties; cook 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until light golden brown. Repeat until all patties are cooked, adding more oil as needed.


Make it Vegan: Simply omit the Parmesan cheese.

Make it Gluten-Free: Simply replace the regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs

  • Category: Dinner, Lunch, Appetizer


  • Serving Size: 3 cakes
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