Beet and Fennel Cakes

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This might look like a rare burger, but fret not.   It is an delicious vegetable “burger” with added nuts and seeds.  It is full of protein and healthy fats and is oh so flavorful.  You can make little patties and add them on top of a salad for a delicious lunch or dinner or you can make a bigger patty and serve it with a bun.       I saw this recipe and, since I love beets, it struck me right away.  The original recipe calls for about 2 cups of shredded carrots but  I only had one carrot in my fridge.   I had  just bought fennel the day before, however,  and it was staring me down in my vegetable drawer.  Why not?  And it works really nicely.  A little less sweet and a nice depth of flavor.   The cayenne pepper also adds a surprise heat.   It’s not overpowering though, and you could certainly skip it if spicy isn’t pleasing to your  palette.

I  used quinoa instead of Brown Rice, mainly because I wanted to have it for dinner that night and I didn’t have time to make brown rice.  Quinoa only takes about 15 minutes and is a complete protein because it contains all 8 essential amino acids.   If I am going to make rice, I soak it that morning because it makes it easier to digest and it releases the phytic acid.   Phytic Acid binds to minerals preventing their absorption.   Soaking grains prevents this.  Quinoa doesn’t need to be soaked but it does need to be rinsed well because the grains are covered in saponins, naturally occuring plant chemicals which can be bitter.   I also like to toast quinoa in a pan for about 5 minutes before cooking because it gives it a nice toasty flavor.

There is a good amount of prep work to this recipe…a lot of grating and toasting, but good food takes time.     I made this two ways- baked and pan fried and they were both delicious.  If you are short on time, pan fry them in about 1 tsp of coconut oil for about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe makes a lot so I suggest you half it if you aren’t making it for a party.  You can make this a day ahead too, and the leftovers are great.

Adapted  from Alison Clarke at Sustainable Table

BEET AND FENNEL CAKES

(makes about 14 large patties and 32 small patties)

Ingredients

2 cups grated Beets
1 cup chopped Fennel
1/2 cup grated Carrots

1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa (or 1 Cup  Brown Rice)

1/2 cup grated Onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup grated rBGH-free Cheddar cheese
1 cup Sunflower Seeds, toasted
1/2 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds, toasted

½ cup Sesame Seeds, toasted

2 large free-range Eggs, beaten
½ cup Sesame Seeds, toasted
1/2 cup grated Onion (about 1 medium)
¼ cup Coconut Oil (melted) or Olive Oil plus extra if pan frying.
3 tablespoons Flour ( I use a GF Flour)
3 tablespoons chopped Parsley
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce ( Shoyu or Tamari)
Cayenne, to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.    Put half the batter in the Cuisinart and pulse until  all ingredients are mixed but with some chunks remaining.   Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch patties and bake 20-25 minutes or until firm and vegetables are cooked through.   OR form into patties and pan fry in coconut oil for 5-8 minutes.


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