I’m excited to share this recipe with you since I am sure you will love it as much as I do! White quinoa usually does not make it to the top of my list of preferred grains. I don’t care for its lack of texture, non-descript flavor, or sweetness. But this recipe is different! It turns the grains usual negatives into positives. First, the lack of texture (mushiness?) allows for little cakes to be shaped and maintain said shape during the browning without the addition of eggs. Second, the browning step creates these little cakes that are crispy on the outside and delicious and moist on the inside. If you are still on the fence about trying this recipe, all you needed, at its simplest, is quinoa, water and a little oil for browning. Then, the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless, and even the kids are inspired by the blank canvas that these quinoa cakes provide. One kid suggested adding apples and cinnamon next time (according to this child, there is nothing that cannot be enhanced by the addition of apples). Served with a little maple butter? Sounds good to me! I can feel a future Cooking With Kids post coming….
Adding a little bit of vinegar to sweet potatoes while sautéing helps to preserve their structure and prevents them from turning mushy. The cell walls of plants are made of cellulose held together by pectin and hemi-cellulose. While cellulose remains unchanged when exposed to heat and moisture, both pectin and hemi-cellulose tend to become soluble causing cells to loose their structural integrity resulting in vegetables that soften and eventually become mushy. The acid in the vinegar helps to keep the sweet potatoes firm by preventing pectin and hemi-cellulose from dissolving. If you do not have the recommended apple cider vinegar on hand, any acid will do: citrus juice, or any other vinegar.