I love a contest. It’s rare that I win anything, but I love the anticipation of it all, and the thought of what I’m going to do with all that prize money. I have a nice long list of places to go and things to buy. After the college bills are paid. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up that this week is full of contest entries... 🙂
In full disclosure, I do only enter cooking contests for products that I love, use and recommend, so any possibility of prize winnings is actually a bonus. Today’s contest is for avocados, and we all know how much I LOVE avocados! They’re a staple in my house all year long not only because they taste good and work in so many recipes, but also because they’re super healthy. Full of heart healthy fats, and lots of nutrients, avocados are a nice addition to so many recipes.
This one is a twist on tacos, which we love either as a veggie meal, or with grilled chicken or fish. Instead of tortillas, I used quinoa for a high protein grain, and avocados for some richness and healthy fat.
The Avocado Crema adds a wonderful creamy, richness and the salsa gives it some fresh crunch. Love the entire flavor combo!
Avocado Quinoa Cakes with Avocado Crema and Salsa Fresca
For Quinoa Cakes:
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 scallions minced
- ¼ cup cilantro minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 large Poblano pepper chopped
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- ½ cup rice powder or regular white flour if preferred
- 1 medium Hass avocado - diced
For Avocado Crema:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ medium Hass avocado – mashed
- zest of 1 lime plus juice of ½ lime
For Salsa Fresca:
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- ¼ cup cilantro mined
- 2 scallions minced
- ½ jalapeño pepper minced (optional)
- ½ medium Hass avocado - diced
- juice of ½ lime
For Avocado Crema
- Place Greek yogurt, avocado, lime zest and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth. Season with salt.
For Salsa Fresca
- Add first five ingredients to a bowl, and toss gently to combine. Add lime juice and season with salt. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the quinoa cakes.
For Quinoa Cakes
- Bring 2 cups water and salt to a boil. Add quinoa, and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. Quinoa can be prepared ahead of time.
- Pour cooled quinoa into a large mixing bowl, and add the cumin, scallions, cilantro, and chopped Poblano pepper. Stir to combine. Beat eggs and milk together in a small bowl, and add to quinoa mixture. Add cheese and mix all well. Stir in rice flour and make sure everything is combined well. Let sit for 10 minutes, so flour can absorb any moisture. Gently fold in diced avocado.
- Heat a non-stick skillet and lightly spray with cooking spray. While pan is heating, form quinoa mixture mounds and flatten into cakes (this will make approximately 20-2 inch cakes, or 10 larger ones). Add quinoa cakes to the skillet so they fit with some room in between them. Cook quinoa cakes for 5-7 minutes, or until the bottoms are deeply browned. Carefully flip the cakes with a spatula and cook for another 5 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from the skillet, and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining quinoa cakes.
- Serve topped with Avocado Crema and Salsa Fresca.
Don't be afraid of the length of this recipe! It's actually quite easy and can all be made ahead of time. Any extra quinoa cakes can even be frozen for another great meal.
How do you love avocados?