Cakes without sugar. Not sure how I feel about this baloney.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

I thought they might rank up there with my husband’s lack of sleeves on shirts, biting into an unsuspecting fennel seed (haaaate) on my pizza, the googly eye that the Target cashier gave me when I purchased three neon bras from the junior section and anything – and I do mean ANYTHING – that requires me to have patience.

But I was wrong. I’m in lust.

A few nights ago it dawned on me that we hadn’t eaten potatoes – like, regular Idaho’s or russets or whatever – in ages. No idea why, other than pure lazi-and-forgetfulness. So I was absolutely craving them, and more specifically I wanted mashed potato pancakes cooked in bacon grease and delivered to me on a warm plate with a few dipping sauces while I stayed firmly planted on the couch.

That didn’t happen.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

Wah! Life is sooooo unfair.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

THIS is what happened though. Messy hands.

I had two lonely sweet potatoes left, a container of cooked quinoa ready to go for breakfast, and I wondered what the heck would come of combining the two with some cheese and bread crumbs and herbs and stuff. And patting them into little cakes for a dinner side. Oh and topping them with fruit salsa! Because I am clearly incapable of going one week without cutting some fruit into little cubes, combining it with onion, lime and cilantro and proclaiming it the best salsa on Earth. Again.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

The sweet and the savory, the warm and the cool, all combined with fluffy cakes that possess a tiny bit of quinoa chew might just be my new favorite side dish. For now anyway. And maybe tomorrow. I mean it’s not like I’m fickle or anything.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

[adapted from Heidi Swanson]

makes 4 cakes, is super easily multiplied

1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with blackberry salsa!


Blackberry Salsa

1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

the juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

I totally think these should be cooked in bacon grease too… I was fresh out. Sad day.