Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes: Plant-Forward Perfect for the Grill


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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Spring is here – time to grill! But instead of seasoning hamburger patties, try making sweet potato and quinoa cakes for a delicious, plant-forward option to boost your health.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes are shaped like hamburger patties and can be grilled in a similar way or seared like a crab cake for a unique spin on a classic appetizer.

"This plant-forward, healthy option replaces animal proteins with vegetables including quinoa, which is a superfood packed with amino acids, and the sauce utilizes brown ghee," said Chef Christopher Delissio, with Intermountain Healthcare. "The ghee not only adds a rich satiating flavor but delivers an excellent source of heart-healthy vitamin E and aids in the absorption of the dish's other nutrients. It's a symbiotic culinary relationship."

For people seeking the plant-forward path, quinoa is one of the only alternatives to animal proteins that contains all the essential amino acids combined with high-protein content.

Aside from the healthy quinoa, the dish is packed with other beneficial ingredients and tons of flavor. The dried peppers and browning of the ghee highlight techniques of concentrating flavors of ingredients to add excitement to a dish.

"This recipe is a great way to add plants to your diet, and a fun plant-forward addition to your next springtime dinner off the grill," Delissio said.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet Potato Cake ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (cooked per package instructions)

1 cup sweet potatoes, diced, steamed/cooked until tender

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup button mushrooms, chopped

1 pinch kosher salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tsp. shallot, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. panko bread crumbs

4 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated

3 tbsp. spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp. sherry vinegar

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

Brown Butter Roja ingredients:

4 tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

1/2 each fresh tomato

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 1/4 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 pinch black pepper

1 pinch ground cloves

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. lime zest

2 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, browned


  1. Mash cooked sweet potatoes.
  2. Toss the mushrooms with the salt, pepper and oil. Place on a sheet pan and roast in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until browned; cool.
  3. Combine the garlic, shallots, parsley, thyme and olive oil in a food processor; pulse until it's the consistency of pesto.
  4. In a large bowl mix the quinoa, mashed sweet potatoes and garlic paste. Mix by hand until everything is combined.
  5. Portion into 5-ounce cakes; sear the cakes in a pan with heated oil. Brown on both sides until evenly heated through.
  6. Blend chipotle peppers until smooth.
  7. Toss together the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil and salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and roast in an oven at 400 degrees until the vegetables soften and start to color.
  8. Place the rest of the ingredients together into a bowl, blend with an emulsion blender until smooth, slowly stream in the brown butter until incorporated.

Plate Assembly:

Divide cakes evenly between servings, serve with brown butter roja

For more information, go to www.intermountainhealthcare.org.


Aley Davis


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