If you ask me, eggs are really an any-time-of-day food; Breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, or linner -- I'm there! A fried egg on wheat toast with a cup of yogurt is my usual breakfast, but I like to change it up sometimes. I love an egg for lunch with pasta, butter and parmesan, when the runny yolk makes a delicious sauce. For dinner, eggs can be served a myriad of ways, (like with crispy prosciutto on a firm mattress of polenta, for example) but we usually have breakfast for dinner on Fridays, so eggs at dinner are usually eggs in a basket (or whatever you like to call an egg fried in a hole in the middle of a piece of buttered bread) or eggs benedict.
Quinoa is a recent discovery for me. The first time I had it was at a little cafe in Ireland, where it was the base of a refreshing tabouleh salad. I rediscovered it at home a couple of months ago when I tried a recipe for Cheesy Quinoa Cakes via Spoon Fork Bacon. Holy wow, you guys! It was a revelation to my tastebuds. (And to rave for just a sec, you really should try that recipe sometime because it's so fabulous and I dream about it sometimes. But back to what I was saying...) Ever since then I've been fiddling with different ways to make quinoa cakes; because they're like eggs -- yummy any time of day. And while you're at it, you might as well fry up an egg to go on top, because -- well just because you can and because it's so dang tasty! It makes a quick lunch, a satisfying savory breakfast, or a light supper.
They're very versatile, too! Throw in what you have hanging around in the fridge. I used pecorino because we had a surplus, and it really made a lovely compliment to the nutty quinoa and earthy veggies. You could use cheddar or mozzarella and leftover steamed broccoli from last night's dinner or whatever you have on hand. Serve it with a salad for dinner, or with a side of bacon for breakfast. Or leave off the egg on top and use the cakes to dip into a tomato or butternut squash soup. Yum!
Roasted Veggie Quinoa Cakes
1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 c. roasted veggies, diced rather small (peppers, crimini mushrooms, zucchini, onions, broccoli, etc.)
1/4 c. grated pecorino cheese
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
olive oil or canola oil
Combine all ingredients except for oil in a small bowl. (I like to mix everything but the egg together to get the veggies, cheese, and seasonings evenly distributed, and then mix in the egg, but that's just me.) In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium to medium-high heat. Divide quinoa mixture into four equal parts, and smoosh into patties on the hot pan. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and cooked through in the middle.
Serve with an egg cooked your favorite way on top. I love a good fried egg, but poached or scrambled would be lovely alternatives.