22 February 2012

Quinoa Cakes + Greens + Poached Eggs + Pancetta

Sometimes I wonder why more full-time working mothers don't have blogs. And then I re-read that sentence and think about my own life and I remember why. The last month or so has been crazy. Not only is my job busy, but my husband's has had several major deadlines that have demanded many extra hours. Then there was my grandmother's death, the accompanying trip to Indiana and the subsequent nasty colds.

I am not complaining because I know the busy-ness of my life is all the result of choices I have made, and I have no regrets. I just find it challenging to nurture my creativity when we're existing in survival mode around here. Perhaps you've felt the same way.

One way I have been "playing" is with food. I'll be the first to admit that cooking is not one of my fortes. In fact, I usually leave the heavy-duty cooking up to the Wise And Bearded One who is more gifted in this area. But his recent super-long hours means he's been cooking less, and, hey, we've still gotta eat.  So that means I've gotta cook.

Here's a recent favorite of mine (discovered on Pinterest, of course): Quinoa Cakes.  And, I realize you can't even see the quinoa cake in this picture because it's so covered up by all the other stuff, but believe me, it's in there and it's DEEElicious.

I've been trying to shift my family over to healthy whole grains for a while and quinoa is one we all seem to like. The original recipe is from Annie 's Eats and I have only modified it slightly based on the ingredients we are most likely to have around the house.

Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs

  • In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, onion, Parmesan, and garlic.  Stir to blend.  Mix in the bread crumbs and stir gently until evenly incorporated.  Form the mixture into six evenly sized patties, about 3-4 inches in diameter.
  • Heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.  Add the patties to the pan so that they are not touching.  Let cook about 4 minutes or until the first side is lightly browned.  Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and let the second side cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes more.  Repeat with the remaining patties, using additional olive oil if needed.  Top each patty with a poached egg*, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over a bed of spinach or other leafy greens**.
 *I recommend Smitten Kitchen's method for poaching eggs.
**The Wise and Bearded One got home from work just as I was finishing up this dish, and he had the brilliant idea of crisping up a bit of pancetta in a frying pan and using it to garnish the dish. Oh, bacon, you always make everything better!

So,hard-working blog-reading friends, here's to finding a place for creativity even when you're existing in survival mode!

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