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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lentil-Quinoa Cakes with Lemony Pesto


We just returned from a cruise -aka ship with a 2 hour feeding schedule.  Which means I need to get off the gluten and sugar and back on track.  Easier said than done, which is why this sounded perfect for dinner tonight.  It's clean and healthy, but still feels indulgent in the way anything with garlic and pesto does.  So I can trick myself into thinking vacation is one night longer.  Until I get upstairs and start in on the 10 loads of sandy laundry, that is.  Sigh.

This recipe is one that I adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen blog, which I believe was adapted from yet another blog.  Here is the link to that recipe:
http://www.sproutedkitchen.com/home/2011/12/29/lentil-meatballs-in-lemon-pesto.html

 I like the original, but found the meatless meatballs a little dense with just lentils, so I added quinoa, as well as a few other tweaks.  I like the idea of a crab cake style cake to make it more like a dinner.  This is perfect served over a bed of gluten free pasta to soak up the sauce.  But today I'm having it over sautéed kale to keep it light.  They also freeze beautifully, so make a double batch!

INGREDIENTS~
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup breadcumbs, preferably Panko
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. tomato paste (optional)
For the Lemony Pesto:
  • 7 oz. prepared pesto
  • 1 lemon
*extra Parmesan shavings for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Add the quinoa and the lentils to a pot, along with 3 cups of broth.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat slightly, and continue cooking over a low boil for about 30 minutes.  After 20 minutes you may need to add more broth, up to a cup.  Make sure the mixture is pretty dry as you are going to shape them into patties.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the lentil-quinoa mixture, and all the rest of the ingredients (except for the pesto and lemon).  Mix well. 

3.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and brush evenly with olive oil.  Shape the mixture into hockey puck sized patties, or into meatball sized balls, squeezing them together as you go. 

4.  Bake for 20 minutes.  While they are baking, stir the juice from 1 lemon into the pesto.  Thin it out until you reach the right consistency by adding more water, lemon juice, or olive oil.  Serve on a bed of pasta or greens, and drizzle desired amount of lemony pesto on top.  Top with Parmesan shavings.




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