Grain fed

[Recipe 1] SWEET POTATO, QUINOA and EDAMAME SALAD with MISO DRESSING transforms into 
Happy Halloween folks! Are any of you doing anything special on the 31st? My boys are Trick or Treating this year, for the very first time, and they’re SO excited. We also decorated a batch of gumnuts and made little skeleton heads and spooky screaming spiders with pipe-cleaner legs. The elves are for the Christmas tree (love getting in early with Christmas decorating). Their little hats are the pointy bits from inside an egg carton, stuck on with our trusty hot glue gun.
Here’s an orange and black recipe to celebrate Halloween. We’re a bit obsessed with quinoa at the moment (like the rest of the world). My lovely gluten-intolerant brother-in-law looked after our boys one night last week, so I made him (and us!) this Sweet potato, quinoa and edamame salad with miso dressing. It’s a conglomeration of my Roasted pumpkin and mixed seed salad and Roast corn, quinoa and pea salad and it’s pretty damn yummy.
The sweet potato, edamame, black sesame seed combo is lovely – I often serve up that combination on sushi rice with grilled fish. We love edamame and they’re such a kid-friendly vegetable, with all that squeezing and popping.
The sweet potato, quinoa and salmon cakes, made with a planned-over portion of the salad, are devoured by my boys. This recipe is a great way to stretch out a small portion of salmon, which is expensive, and also not a very sustainable fish. I use egg rings to make perfect little circles, but feel free to make them without – they’ll just be more free-form and fritterish. I’ve used both methods, and they work equally well.
Footnote: Thanks EatSmart for featuring these recipes on your blog!

Halloween GumnutsQuinoa, sweet potato and edamame salad[Recipe 1] Sweet potato, quinoa and edamame salad with miso dressing

Ingredients (serves 4–6 for two meals, ie. salad serves 6, salmon cakes serve 4):
2 heaped tablespoons (45g) white miso paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 orange sweet potatoes (about 750g/1½ lb), peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
800g (28 oz) frozen unshelled edamame, or 400g (14 oz/2 cups) frozen shelled edamame
2¼ cups (450g) white quinoa
3 cups coriander (cilantro), chopped, plus extra to serve
¼ cup black sesame seeds (or white, if unavailable), toasted
Miso dressing (for salad only):
2 heaped tablespoons (45g) white miso paste, extra
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce (gluten-free or regular)
Small piece ginger, grated and chopped, about 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
1 tablespoon (15ml) rice wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 200°C (390ºF).
Mix 2 heaped tablespoons miso paste and olive oil together to form a paste. Toss with the sweet potato in a large bowl, until well-coated. Place sweet potato onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Season. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
If using unshelled edamame, squeeze the beans from their pods. Blanch shelled edamame in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Add edamame to the roasted sweet potato.
Combine quinoa and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for ten minutes or until water has been absorbed. Spread quinoa out on a tray and set aside for ten minutes to dry. Add to the sweet potato and edamame, along with the coriander and sesame seeds.
♦ Reserve ⅓ of the undressed Sweet potato, quinoa and edamame salad (about 4 cups) for the Sweet potato and quinoa fritters.
Meanwhile, make miso dressing. Place dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring, until miso and honey are dissolved (1–2 minutes). Set aside to cool. Drizzle dressing over the remaining salad, and toss gently. Scatter with extra sesame seeds and extra coriander.

  • Black sesame seeds are simply white sesame seeds, unhulled. They contain about 60% more calcium than hulled sesame seeds, and have a lovely strong, nutty flavour. They’re available at Asian food stores. If you can’t find them, they can be easily replaced with white sesame seeds. You can toast them yourself, or cheat and buy them pre-toasted.
  • White miso paste is available from Asian food stores.
  • Contrary to my heading, quinoa isn’t actually a grain, but a seed. It’s commonly referred to as a grain though – Coles even label their variety as ‘Organic white grain quinoa’. It’s gluten-free and is readily available from health food stores, and from the health section of large supermarkets.
  • Edamame are young soybeans, salted and boiled in their pods. They’re readily available from Asian food stores, and are usually sold frozen. As they’re already cooked, they need only be defrosted or lightly blanched before serving. They’re eaten by squeezing (or popping!) the soy beans out of the pods with your fingers. They’re very popular as bar snacks in Japan. *sigh*
    I always sigh when I mention Japan. *sigh*
  • You can prepare the salad one day ahead. Store the prepared quinoa and dressing in separate containers. Store the cooked sweet potato and podded edamame together. Prepare the coriander and assemble the salad close to serving time.
  • Undressed salad, reserved for the fritters, can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Quinoa sweet potato cakes[Recipe 2] Sweet potato, quinoa and salmon cakes

Ingredients (serves 4, makes 12–14 cakes):
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour (gluten-free or regular)

½ teaspoon salt
4 cups reserved undressed Sweet potato, quinoa and edamame salad
1 large salmon fillet (about 350g/12 oz), skinned and finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives or spring onions (green part only)
4 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
Chilli mayo, to serve

Lightly whisk eggs and chilli sauce. Gradually add flour and salt and whisk to combine.
With a potato masher, roughly ‘crush’ the reserved undressed Sweet potato, quinoa and edamame salad. Break up the sweet potato chunks, as these help to bind the cakes.
Add the egg mixture, chopped salmon and chives (or spring onions), and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Place four oiled egg rings into the pan and fill each with about ½ cup fritter mixture. Flatten lightly with a spatula. Fry about 3 minutes, carefully remove the egg ring, and turn cakes over to cook the other side. Cakes should be golden and firm to touch.
You can also make free-form cakes without egg rings, by using ½ cup mixture for each fat little cake (approx. 8cm/3″ x 1.5cm/½” high). Don’t make them too thin or they won’t hold together.
Repeat with remaining mixture. Cakes can be served at room temperature or kept warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve.
Serve quinoa cakes with a simple green salad and chilli mayo.

22 thoughts on “Grain fed

  1. Pingback: Quinoa salad with glazed carrots | Chef in disguise

  2. Hi Sass, I finally got around to making both of these dishes. Have been attempting it since you posted them. At first I thought it was going to take a while so I put it off, and then off again until I had some time on Tuesday (Cup day) morning. To my surprise not as labour intensive as I first imagined. I took the salad to a BBQ that day and it was a huge hit.I made the Salmon cakes last night and they too were delicious not something that I would usually cook but will be doing them again over the summer months. So easy once the salad has been made. Thanks again for another 2 delicious meals!

    • Hi Tracey. Thanks SO much for the feedback. Really glad you liked the salad and cakes. I made the salad again this week too – so much quicker now I know shelled edamame are available nearby!

  3. Waw, Saskia! 2 grand & very stylish & very colourful dishes! I especially love the salmon cakes! They look just so beautiful & your pics are always mouthwatering too, even that I just had breakfast! 🙂

    • Hi Cass. You could just delete the salmon – no need to replace it as it’s only a small quantity. Chickpeas would be a great addition though. I was going to suggest tofu, but then I remembered you don’t do tofu 🙂

  4. The salad is so colorful and the salmon cake sure looks yummy. Dumb question, any reason why you use the unshelled edamame instead of the shelled ones? Since you are going to shell them why not buy the shelled ones and save time?

    • Thanks Norma. That’s a really good question! To be completely honest, I’ve never seen shelled edamame for sale here in Melbourne! I’ll alter the recipe though to reflect it as an option. Lucky you – I sure wish I could buy them shelled (although I’d be depriving my boys of one of their favourite tasks – podding)!

  5. Both of these recipes look great!! So delicious! They both look like they would make great lunches, and I’m going to favourite this page for later 🙂
    Now, can you please tell me where you found your Edamame? As you will see on Wednesday, I’m posting a recipe that was supposed to involve Edamame but one of the big-chain supermarkets did not have any clue what I was talking about when I asked if they had any! I improvised and it all turned out ok, but I do love my Edamame and I’m sure you must be able to buy them somewhere in Adelaide!!

    • Thanks Ali. You should be able to get frozen edamame at Asian grocers in Adelaide (they don’t sell them at supermarkets in Melbourne either. I buy mine from Fujimart, Prahran or Tokyo Deli, Elsternwick). If the general Asian stores don’t stock them, you’ll need to try Japanese grocers. There’s one in Victoria Square called Little Tokyo! (perhaps call first to check); and there’s a great online delivery service (for Melbourne and Adelaide) called Ichiba Junction. They definitely stock edamame. Good luck!

      • Thank you for the tips! I had a feeling they would be in Adelaide somewhere….I just didn’t have time that day to go searching (I really should have prepared a bit better before hand!!). I’ve just had a quick look at that website and saved it to my favourites…I love Japanese food, so this will come in handy! Thank you 🙂

  6. Yummmm, the salad would be for the grown ups and the salmon cakes would be for the kiddies in this household. What a great way to thank your brother-in-law–I love that food is part of how we build a community! Now I have a craving for this salad Saskia. Btw, I love how you’ve organized your sauces and sides on your site. So helpful!!!!

    • Hi Barb. Yes, my kids did like the corn/pea/quinoa salad I posted a couple of weeks ago (with mayo/tuna added, instead of dressing!); but with this one I knew they’re prefer the cakes, so I made the cake mixture on the same night as the salad. Thanks for the feedback on the sauces/sides – glad that’s helpful. Always good to get some site feedback!

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