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Quinoa Cakes & Tempeh Bakes

March 30, 2011

I have not one but two recipes to share with you all today.  It may surprise you to hear that I’m a horrible recipe writer.  In fact, I almost never write my own recipes or make anything off the top of my head.  Sadly, I’ve been a follower all my life.  But I’m trying to be better by being a little more adventurous when it comes to cooking.

No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to start whipping up random recipes.  It means I’m going to be taking some liberties and adding some of my own flair to recipes I find.  That’s a big step for me.  Don’t laugh.

The thing is, following a recipe word for word ingredient for ingredient is mindlessly easy and at the end of the school and work day, mindless activities are all I really feel like doing.  That, and some most nights Joey is the one doing the actual cooking (gasp, aren’t I the food blogger??) and it’s easier to just email him a copy and pasted version of some recipe I found.

So, I’m making an effort to write re-write all the recipes I find with my own modifications.  That way I can still just email Joey the recipes. 

First attempt: Tempeh & Biscuit Bake

Modified from Jess’s recipe, here.


Tempeh & Biscuit Bake


  • 8 oz. block tempeh
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  1. Chop tempeh into pieces OR crumble, if you feel like it.
  2. In a medium pan, toss tempeh with seasoning and cook until slightly browned.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into pieces
  • 1 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  1. Heal the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until soft.
  2. Stir in the tomato, peas, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Heat until tomato liquid cooks out.
  3. Add kale and cook until just wilted.
  4. Remove from heat, add cooked tempeh and cover while you make the cornmeal batter.

Cornmeal Batter

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  1. Mix dry ingredients then whisk in milk, adjusting amount if necessary.  Allow mixture to thicken for 5 minutes.


  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a small casserole dish.  Add veggie/tempeh mixture then pour cornmeal batter on top.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes or until batter is golden and firm to the touch.


IMG_0488 (800x600)


Looks messy, tastes good.

I topped mine with some pasta sauce because the cornmeal was a little dry but the veggie mixture was just delightful.



Joey had 3 servings, so it must have been at least decent.  Actually Joey will eat anything so that’s not a good judgment to go by…

Recipe numero deux (I’m trilingual today) I was extremely happy with.  So was Joey but like I said…


While I’m not a full on vegetarian (can you be a 90% of the time vegetarian?), I do avoid meat because it just don’t appeal to me.  Plus I’m totally on the fence when it comes to ethical eating and meat.  So when we were invited to my dad’s cousin’s house for dinner and were already picking up some roasted veggies to bring along, I figured why not play it safe and pick up a meat-free something something just in case.  I perused the deli case in Whole Foods and my attention was immediately caught by the quinoa cakes.  It turned out to be really good so I was exited to re-create it at home.

I consulted the list of ingredients on the price label (thank you WF for listing out your ingredients) and worked from there.

Quinoa Cakes

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 1.5 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • juice of half a large lemon 
  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid is cooked out.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place onion, carrots, garlic, spinach, dill and lemon juice in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  4. In a large bowl combine cooled quinoa with spinach mixture.  Add eggs, salt and pepper.
  5. Wet hands and form mixture into 8 patties and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or on an oiled baking sheet).
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through.

I was worried that these would end up being a big gooey mess and after forming them into patties, I was convinced they would be, but they set perfectly and were so easy to flip.  That’s not usually the case with anything I try to flip.



Fresh ingredients are pretty aren’t they?


It will look like a mound of goop.  Don’t worry, it will all work out in the end.


They come out nice and sturdy.  And green!  See?



It’s equally cool looking on the inside.


I may not be a pro, but at least Joey likes what I cook.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2011 7:03 AM

    I wish the Husband knew how to do anything but boil water. Count your blessings.

  2. March 30, 2011 7:19 AM

    Quinoa cakes sound awesome! I really don’t make up my own recipes either, though I do like to substitute items in recipes I work off of … most of the time it’s just bc I never has all the ingredients of a recipe I’m looking at, ha.

  3. Lettuce Choose Healthy permalink
    March 30, 2011 8:50 AM

    loveee that recipe! I have to try it!

  4. March 30, 2011 9:00 AM

    I’m like 70% vegetarian, does that count? lol 😉 Loving those quinoa cakes 😀

  5. March 30, 2011 9:15 AM

    You can totally be a 90% vegetarian..that’s what I am too 😉

    Would the quinoa cakes work on a bun like a burger?

  6. March 30, 2011 11:12 AM

    I’ve been on a big quinoa kick lately an those cakes sound delicious. I might have to try those soon. 🙂 Lately, I’ve also been somewhat of a 90% vegetarian too. I realized I kind of gradually cut out meat without knowing it, and now don’t eat much of it at all.

  7. March 30, 2011 12:11 PM

    I love your quinoa cakes!!! Girl, you are the best cook around!!! I love you! Thank you! I have been in the need for more Quinoa recipes!!! 😀

  8. March 30, 2011 1:26 PM

    Justt made the the quinoa cakes but vegan/gluten free. They were so yumm!

  9. March 30, 2011 3:49 PM

    Don’t worry, I’m a recipe follower to. Hopefully when I actually have a kitchen I can cook in I can try new recipes and experiment to make my own! 🙂

  10. March 30, 2011 6:17 PM

    oooh, both things look amazing!! and there is nothing wrong with following recipes :] sometimes i like to get creative, but other times it’s nice to just do what i’m told 😛

  11. March 31, 2011 6:42 AM

    yumm, looks great!!! and yes 90% vegetarian is def acceptable 🙂

  12. March 31, 2011 9:05 AM

    Those quinoa cakes look great…I’ll definitely be trying them out in the next week! 🙂 I usually follow recipes too, but have also trying to get a bit more creative recently…although at least half the time I still end up eating things I’ve seen on other blogs…great for inspiration! 🙂

  13. March 31, 2011 3:16 PM

    These quinoa cakes need to get in my BELLY NOWW!! Dill is my favorite herb and quinoa my favorite grain! You totally made my day and now I have something to make when I get home!!! 😀 😀

  14. April 1, 2011 5:07 AM

    Those quinoa cakes look so interesting and original! Not to mention tasty too 😀
    I am a TERRIBLE recipe writer, too. But i’m trying to make more of an effort to create my own and post them on my blog now!

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