Quinoa Sweet Potato Cakes1
The Secret Recipe Club is a monthly event that pairs food bloggers in secret so that they pick a recipe from their assigned partner, and blog about at the exact same time.  My group always posts on the last Monday of the month, but we had a vacation break in December.  Having barely survived SRC withdrawal syndrome, here I am to report on the outcome of my virtual stalking of Nicole’s site,  Hapa-tite.  I was delighted to learn the rationale behind her blog’s name: Hapa is a Hawaiian word that means “half” and is used to describe a person of mixed race with partial roots in the Asian or Pacific Islander heritage.  Hawaii is one of our favorite spots on earth for a vacation.  We love the atmosphere, the music, the pace of life, the people, and you cannot beat the weather.  Weather?  Sore subject. As I type this on a Sunday morning,  a foot of snow  is laying in our backyard. Simply put: a meteorological tragedy.  But, rather than dwell on the harsh reality of January in Kansas, I will tell you that two other recipes fought very hard to be featured in the Bewitching today: her Chicken-Lime Skewers with Apricot Glaze,  and her Pork Souvlaki.  In the end, the chance to use my black, red & white quinoa made me go for these tasty little fritters.


(from Hapa-tite,  inspired by original recipe from Cannelle & Vanille)

makes 8 cakes

1/2 cup (90 g) quinoa, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 + /2 cups (about 200 g) grated sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
1/3 cup (50 g) Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
grape seed oil for frying
Bring 1 cup (250 ml) of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes until quinoa has absorbed all the water and it’s tender. Set aside to cool.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and cook the shallot for 3 minutes. Add the grated sweet potato, 1/4 teaspoon salt, coriander, and black pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and chives. Add the cooled quinoa and sweet potato mixture. Stir to combine.
Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add enough grape seed oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape it into a round cake. Add enough cakes to the pan without overcrowding it. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Finish frying all the cakes. Drain them on paper towels before serving.

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: Aren’t these cakes the most colorful thing ever?  I modified the recipe a little bit, adding more sweet potato than called for, and using a mixture of different quinoa colors instead of only white.  They turned out quite festive.  Those who have gluten intolerance can use gluten-free bread crumbs, or I suppose almond flour could go well too.  You could probably get by with only 1/4 cup of almond flour as a binder.   I also think some grated ginger could be fantastic together with the coriander and the herbs.  Fun things to try.

Nicole, it was great to get to know your blog a little better this month, I see that 2014 will bring wonderful things to your life, like moving to a new home and getting married…  Good luck with all your projects, and if you succeed in de-cluttering, tell me your secret! 😉

If you want to see what my fellow Secreters were concocting in their kitchens this month, poke the blue frog at the end of the post. I think she might be Hawaiian, who knows?   She sure seems to have that aura of happiness that comes with the islands…

ONE YEAR AGO: Pumpkin Bolo de Fuba’ Cremoso

TWO YEARS AGO: Citrus-crusted Tilapia Filets

THREE YEARS AGO: Bran Muffins, not just for Hippies

FOUR YEARS AGO: Flourless Chocolate Cake


  1. Oh I love the Islands also! Remember wanting to have my ashes scattered from Nuuanu Pali [what a macabre statement, but true!]. These cakes sound so like ‘me’ I just have to try them next weekend🙂 ! Quinoa AND sweet potato: foodie heaven for me tho’ I would not have minded the chicken-lime skewers either. And now to go look up Nicole’s site!!!!


      • Neither have I and am vacillating twixt that and the wonderful Sydney Botanical Gardens above the Opera House!!! Actually quite a happy choice if one is sensible!!!! I AM NOT IN A HURRY EITHER, THANK YOU!!!!


    • For some people, quinoa is an acquired taste. I just read in a cooking forum that some folks are turned off by the appearance of cooked quinoa. I happen to love it, and I enjoyed it from the first time I had it. But it must be well rinsed, otherwise it will taste kind of bitter.


  2. Love the colors in this recipe! My sister was just giving me a recipe for farro and zucchini cakes yesterday- such a great way to make healthy grains into something a little more friendly for the non-adventurous eater! I love the Secret Recipe Club idea as well!! How did you get involved in that?


    • Jamie, it’s been a loooong time – I’ve been a member of the SRC for over 2 years now, and love it! if you are interested, log into the site and drop an email to the moderators. I know there is a long line of bloggers waiting, but some people drop out, giving a spot to newcomers… would be great to have you as a part of the group!


    • Hello, SeattleDee! I served them plain, actually. But of course, they could go well with many simple sauces on top – maybe an avocado cream sauce? or some type of a curry concoction?


  3. What a great choice! Your black, red and white quinoa is gorgeous — what an explosion of colour and it really comes through in that first photo. Great all-around recipe too. Although… I think I might also link over to those delicious sounding Chicken-Lime Skewers with Apricot Glaze🙂. (Sally, if you can believe it — and I have a feeling you will😉 — I just bookmarked some quinoa zucchini fritters last night!!).


  4. Great SRC pick~ My son and daughter-in-law just got back from Hawaii yesterday~ They loved it~ I have never tried quinoa,but I am definitely going too. Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines


    • Hello there, Lynn! Nice to “see” you here! Oh, how I wish I was GOING to Hawaii tomorrow…. get away from the cold and lay on a beach for some serious sun-tanning sessions! (don’t tell my dermatologist)


    • I think you are not the only one, lots of people dislike the texture, but when it’s incorporated in a dish as a component, the textural thing is gone – I hope you give this one a try, but maybe a similar patty could be made with couscous? I think I saw a show by Giada doing something like that…


    • It is nice for many reasons – you get to explore a food blog in depth, which is not always something we have a chance to do. Time constraints, cookbooks calling us, magazines – so it’s nice to have a good reason (and a deadline) to choose ONE recipe from a blog. And, of course it the blogger is geared towards cakes, I go into hyperventilation right away…😉


    • Thank you, Emily! I now want to try a zucchini quinoa type cake, so I’ll wait for Kelly to show me the way. If you don’t know her blog, you must stop by, she left a comment above, her blog name is Inspired Edibles…


  5. These look delicious Sally, and have one of my favorite treats in them, sweet potato. I’ve just started experimenting with quinoa, and this looks like the perfect recipe to do that with. Pinned it and great job this month!


    • The colors were surprisingly cute, but if you go to her original post, you’ll see that even monochromatic quinoa (now THAT’s a catchy name) works very very well…

      as to the crispy edges, I am soooooo happy with our Supernova stove! THe thing is awesome!


  6. This is so me- so glad to have found your blog! I make different “cakes” with sweet potatoes all the time, these look fantastic. Sweet potatoes and quinoa are both ingredients you can easily find organic versions of so they’re perfect for me🙂 Feel free to check out my blog anytime, I write about living an organic lifestyle on a budget (which these cakes would certainly be good for!) Can’t wait to try them.


  7. Made the quinoa sweh et potato cakes today, we liked them a lot – definitely something I will make again.
    Btw, it’s easier to shape the patties, place them on a cutting board sprinkled with panko, and refrigerate them for at least half an hour, before baking. They firm up and will be less likely to fall apart.


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