Try, and try again
Every year, since I don’t know when, I try to like three specific things: The Grateful Dead, Monty Python, and sweet potatoes. I can listen to one or two Dead songs but when it comes to British humor, give me Are You Being Served any day (say what you will, but I just don’t get it when it comes to MP). The good news is that finally – finally – I’ve reached the point of enjoying sweet potatoes!
I was working on a recipe for work recently (I write for SheKnows.com – check it out!) and had a batch of leftover mashed sweet potatoes with black beans. I didn’t want to waste what I had on my hands, but I didn’t feel like eating mashed sweet potatoes at dinner. I thought I could add the potatoes to a bread recipe, but that wasn’t really doing it for me. Enter sweet potato, black bean and quinoa cakes.
Put it all together
It might seem like there are a lot of ingredients going on with this recipe – and there are – but trust me, the flavor and texture combination is great. The cumin and rosemary pair well with the sweet potatoes, and the walnuts do, too. They also add a bit of crunch to the soft cakes. The quinoa and black beans help hold things together and keep the cakes moist. For the crowning glory, add the sour cream-Dijon mixture to the sweet potato, black bean and quinoa cakes. It adds a slight zing to the sweetness of the cakes.
As for The Grateful Dead and Monty Python, there’s always next year!
Recipe for Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes
Yields 16 cakes
- 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 6 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (you may need a little extra)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with the nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Prick the sweet potatoes in several spots, and microwave them for about 5 minutes. Carefully check to see if the potatoes are soft. You may need to cook them for several more minutes.
- Once the sweet potatoes are soft, allow them to cool slightly, then peel, and cut them into chunks. Add them to a bowl with the butter, milk, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mash them or mix with a hand mixer until smooth (I kept a few small chunks in mine). Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and has “popped” open. Stir occasionally.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool.
- Add the mashed sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mix in the black beans. Next add the cooled quinoa, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, walnuts, and rosemary. Mix well.
- Shape the mixture into 2-1/2-inch balls and flatten them slightly. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 minutes more until both sides are golden.
- While the cakes are cooking, mix together the sour cream and Dijon mustard. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the cakes.
- Dollop the sour cream mixture onto the cakes.