Veggie burger of quinoa, potatoes, pumpkin seed meal and spinach, topped with a mustard-yogurt sauce.

Quinoa - Potato Cakes Florentine

A couple of days ago, I posted about the newest addition to my evolving pantry – pumpkin seed meal; and promised to post this recipe that uses it in place of traditional wheat-based breadcrumbs. Making this simple change is such an easy way to make something just a little healthier, and natural. A baby step, so to speak.

In truth, revolutionary changes I try to take on are less than successful – one of the many reasons my New Year’s Resolutions last about as long as a glass of champagne. I do much better with the gradual, evolutionary change of baby steps. It feels more natural, and organic with the rhythms of my life, while I take the time to slowly absorb the aspects of whatever I’m taking on to change. And time to discover things I can do to support the change I’m seeking.

It’s why we get engaged before getting married. We need to sit with that level of commitment we’re making to someone, with whom we will be sharing a life and possibly creating a family. We need time to absorb, and savor, the huge changes that are on the way.

So if you’re new to using pumpkin seed meal, this recipe is a great baby step for you to take while you think of other uses that are more dramatic.


Quinoa Potato Cakes Florentine with Mustard Yogurt Sauce

     by Susan Pridmore

       Prep Time: 30

       Cook Time: 30


Quinoa Potato Cakes Florentine

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 leek, sliced horizontally into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 large russet potato, baked until soft
  • 1/3 cup Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed meal
  • Olive oil

Mustard Yogurt Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pinch cayenne (optional)


Quinoa Potato Cakes Florentine

Spoon the baked potato out of the skins. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until the egg is completely incorporated.

Form small potato cakes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the potato cakes until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Serve over a salad, topped with the Mustard Yogurt Sauce.

Mustard Yogurt Sauce

Whip together all the ingredients with a fork until completely blended. Chill until read to serve.

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37 Responses to “Quinoa Potato Cakes & Mustard-Yogurt Sauce” Subscribe

  1. LiztheChef March 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Such an original recipe – I wonder what would happen if I skipped the pumpkin meal and used flour, just because I have everything else on hand…

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks Liz! Any kind of breadcrumbs will do in this recipe. Pumpkin seed meal isn’t nearly as fine as flour, and flour could make it kind of gummy.

  2. Norma Chang March 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Adding orange juice to the mix that’s a neat idea.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks Norma! I find that it brings a nice hint of caramelized fruit to the cakes that I really like. I do this with a lot of other dishes too – especially since we’re still in citrus season.

  3. The Wimpy Vegetarian March 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Thanks Suzanne! Chickpea flour could be a little fine (see my response to Liz’s question. I’d go with breadcrumbs to be sure. I hope you try these little guys. They’re really, really good.

  4. California Callie March 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    This is a nice idea!I wonder why that never occurred to me… Thank you for the suggestion..

  5. HeathersCreativeConcoctions March 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Yum! Gruyere, quinoa, pumpkin seed flour?? Put my favorite things into a burger why don’t you? Making this with sweet potatoes tomorrow- thank you!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      I hope you like it as much as we did!! Using sweet potatoes will be quite a bit healthier too :-) Thanks for stopping by, Heather.

  6. Andrea May 13, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Very interesting recipe. Thanks, I will try it soon…:)

  7. sandyh May 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    do you have any nutritional info on this dish? sounds very enticing!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      I don’t, but you ask a really good question. I’ll post a great site to use for this. You insert the ingredients and ingredient amounts, hit the enter button and presto! You have all the nutritional information you could want. I’ve thought about doing it for all my recipes, but is a time consuming to do it every time. But I might reconsider that now.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      I just redid the recipe and included a bunch of nutritional information on the dish! I hope that helps. Sorry for the delay in getting this to you!

      • sandyh May 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

        thanks for finding the nutritional info! what a great website that is ( Self Nutrition Data website)!!! i will have to scout around there for a while!

        • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

          Great! I’ve searched through a few of them over the last few years, and I tend to like this one the best. I think they do a pretty good job on both a detail level and summarization. And they frequently update it for information. I’d put all my recipes through it but it’s a pretty laborious process. I’m always looking for good sites like this if you run into any others too.

  8. Joni May 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Looks delicious, wondered if I could use sweet potatoes instead?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      Absolutely! I think they would be great in this instead of the russets.

      • Joni May 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

        Thanks for replying…I’ll be sure to try it with sweet potatoes since my daughter prefers them over russets.

        • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

          And frankly sweet potatoes are healthier. The yogurt sauce feels like it could still work, but I’d consider maybe a pinch of nutmeg in it instead of the cayenne. And maybe a little orange zest. I’m going to have to try these with sweet potatoes next :-) Would love to hear how they work for you.

  9. Sam May 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    How about almond flour? That’s a similar (ish) texture to bread crumbs and I imagine similar to pumpkin seed meal?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      Almond flour is very similar in texture to the pumpkin seed meal, and is a great suggestion. We unfortunately are a nut-free family here with allergies, but I think it would work very well!

  10. Colleen May 15, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Hi, looks delicious — could you suggest something in place of the egg? Or perhaps try it without? Thanks!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      The egg is the glue that holds them together, and it provides some moisture. It’s not so important in eating them, but in the saute/fry process, you don’t want them falling apart as you flip them. So I would suggest either 1) eliminating the egg, browning them on either side quickly in a saute pan, then transferring them to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F; or 2) use a vegan egg substitute. Common substitutes are 1/4 cup applesauce, soy yogurt, or silken tofu; or 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds mixed with 2 -3 tablespoons warm water. Among these choices, the applesauce might be my last choice unless I change out the white potatoes for sweet potatoes. I haven’t actually made them this way, but it feels like to me that the other choices would work very well with the white potatoes. Or you could try it without the egg altogether and see what happens :-).

  11. laura May 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    These sound great!
    I wonder if these could also be baked?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      I definitely think they could be baked. I haven’t done them this way I admit, and you might want to brown them first with a quick 1 – 2 minute saute on each side. Otherwise bake them at 400 degree F to get a good browning. You’ll notice I recommended 350 degree F oven to Colleen above. I recommended a lower temperature to her because she would be eliminating the egg that provides some moisture. If you keep the egg in, I’d move the heat up to 400.

  12. Maria @ Box of Stolen Socks May 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Wonderful recipe! I am going to “Pin” it and definitely make it soon. I am a huge fun of quinoa but my husband cannot have eggs so I will try the egg-less version you mentioned above. Thank you.

  13. The Wimpy Vegetarian August 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    The consistency should not be too dry or crumbly. There should be some good moisture from the egg and from the steam of the cooked quinoa and potato. The egg and the potato should hold the patties together pretty well. I did not chop the spinach – it wilted from the warmth of the potato and cooked quinoa so that chopping wasn’t needed. Were your ingredients at room temperature by any chance?
    The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..#SundaySupper #CookForJulia: Pissaladiére Niçoise – Vegetarian Style My Profile

  14. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa January 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    These look absolutely amazing! Any way to combine quinoa and spinach is a win in my book. Two powerhouse ingredients – in a dish that would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love it!

    I’m hosting a Quinoa link up party on my site, Queen of Quinoa, and would love for you to enter this recipe if you’d like :)

    The event is called Thank Goodness It’s Quinoa (TGIQ) and is hosted bi-weekly. You can visit this weekend’s here:


    Hope to see you there! And thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

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