Revive, Day 21: Halfway through and feeling fine (Salmon quinoa cakes)

One of the things I worried about with trying out the Revive diet was feeling bored or sick of the food that I AM allowed to have. In my mind, when you take away sugar, gluten, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and non-organic meat, there’s not much left. I would just be eating salads and brown rice 24/7. And, worse, that’s all JD would be eating (even though he is not on he diet), since I cook all our dinners.

Lucky for me, and even more lucky for my husband, there is nothing boring about the food we’ve been eating. There are so many veggies! And gluten-free grains! And (homemade) dressings and sauces and wonderfulness. My MO the past couple weeks has been to make a big pot of something delicious on the weekends and have leftovers a couple times a week, and supplement that with easy meals like brown rice pasta w shrimp and veggies or baked salmon and rice. A lot of these “big pots of something delicious” are stew-y: Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili, White Bean and Kale Stew, Moroccan Chicken Stew.

But sometimes you want something a little fancier, and you know with all those restrictions you’re not going to get it at a restaurant. So you’ve got to just take dinner by the balls and make it happen yourself. So I did. And I poached some eggs. For the first time ever. And it was good.

My inaugural poaching of eggs. Action shot!

I adapted this recipe from one from 101 cookbooks and another from Epicurious.

Salmon Quinoa Cakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 or so cakes. I got 16 small ones.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I have been making big batches on the weekend and then using it all week for lunches, etc.)
  • 3-4 eggs, plus more for poaching (1 for each person)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup of spinach, chopped pretty fine
  • 2 cans of wild salmon, drained and fork-flaked
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T dill
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil
  • Gluten-free breadcrumbs (optional)

For serving:

  • arugula
  • dijon vinaigrette (good simple recipe here)
  • roasted potatoes and mushrooms

 Directions

  1. Maybe preheat the oven to 400 (see number 5).
  2. Whisk 3 eggs until pretty well beaten. Add the quinoa, garlic, onion, spinach and salmon and stir to combine.
  3. Add the seasoning, along with a pinch of salt and a few twists of the pepper grinder.
  4. Here’s where things get loosey-goosey: grab a handful of the mixture. If it easily forms a patty in your hand, you’re good to go. If it’s too wet and gooey, add some bread crumbs (maybe a third of a cup?). If it’s too dry and crumbly, add another egg.
  5. Another choice for you (this recipe is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book): if you want to bake these suckers, form the patties and put them on an oiled (or Silpat-ed) baking sheet. (NB: I baked half and used a Silpat and kind of wish I had used some oil since they didn’t brown very much. YMMV.) Bake for about 25 minutes, then flip them over to let the other side brown.
  6. If you want to pan-fry them, heat some canola oil in a pan over Medium-Low heat. Put in as many patties as will fit with at least an inch in between and then DO NOT TOUCH THEM for a while. You need to let them brown so they don’t fall apart when you flip them. Once they are nicely browned on the bottom, which will take maybe 6-8 minutes?, carefully flip them.
  7. MEANWHILE, poach some eggs! This was my first time poaching eggs and I am psyched they turned out. I used Smitten Kitchen’s instructions. Yay.
  8. To serve: lay some arugula on the plate and dress lightly with the dijon vinaigrette. I surrounded the arugula with some sliced potatoes (the teeny tiny potatoes they have at Trader Joe’s) and mushrooms roasted with rosemary and thyme. Place two of the salmon cakes on the arugula, top with a poached egg. Drizzle everything with a little more dijon vinaigrette.

I think my favorite part of this meal was the moment when we stuck a fork in the eggs and let the yolk drizzle over everything. Yum.

The finished product.

This recipe made a lot of quinoa cakes. I put the leftover in a ziploc bag in the fridge and plan to eat them for lunch all week.

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