Thanksgiving leftovers quinoa cakes

After hours of cooking and preparation for Thanksgiving, it feels good to sit down at the dinner table and just be. In the end, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with the people we care about. Enjoying the moment. Hopefully you enjoyed the moment so much that you didn’t eat too much and have a bounty of leftovers in your refrigerator. You are in store for some really good eats. I encourage you to type “Thanksgiving” into the search bar on this site and look for some leftover ideas.

My dad, Preston Maring, contributed recipes almost weekly for over 10 years. There are a lot of really great finds. Some of my favorites are Leftover turkey chiliAsian turkey soupPost-Thanksgiving vegetable stew, and Roasted poblanos.

In addition to these, consider making a Mexican lime turkey soup by simmering turkey stock with diced white onion, garlic, jalapeño, scant diced tomato, and dried oregano. Add a handful of shredded turkey a few minutes before removing from the heat. Finish with chopped cilantro and generous squeezes of lime juice and salt to taste.

breakfast hash would be a good way to use any roasted vegetables or greens. Simply chop up the veggies and add them to a pan of sautéed onion and garlic. Consider grating a little sweet potato in as well. Ground cumin or paprika would work here, too. Top this with a poached egg and you won’t miss the meat.

Chop any roasted vegetable and shred some turkey leg, douse it with lime juice, shredded cabbage, serrano chile, and put in on a soft corn tortilla – leftovers taco.

Did you make green beans? Whip up a stir fry with mixed vegetables, green beans, firm tofu, garlic, ginger, and your favorite sauce.

Or, you could grab your kitchen sink and mix it with quinoa, like I did. I combined cooked quinoa with chopped roasted vegetables, leafy greens, and mashed potatoes with some herbs, aromatics, and spices. It isn’t the most colorful thing on the block, but it’s tasty! Try it under a poached egg for breakfast or with a salad for lunch. 

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup roasted vegetables, chopped (I used Brussels sprouts)
  • 1 cup cooked greens, chopped (like chard, kale, or spinach)
  • ½ cup mashed tuber or root vegetable
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, season it with salt, and cook about one cup of dry quinoa at a simmer for 9 to 10 minutes. It will still have a little bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until cool and dry. You may have some extra cooked quinoa.
  4. While the quinoa cooks and cools, chop or mince the remaining vegetables.
  5. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Make a test patty with moist hands. If it is a little wet and too pliable, add flour or ground oats to the bowl, one tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add another ½ egg or 1 tablespoon of tahini paste.
  6. Shape into patties using a 1/3-cup measure and gently place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip over with a spatula, and bake for another 9 minutes. They are done when you see browned quinoa, feel crisp greens, and smell Thanksgiving all over again.  

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • (Nutrition analysis approximate as can vary with ingredient choices)
  • Calories: 70
  • Total Fat: 1.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 25 mg
  • Sodium: 230 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 12 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Contributor

Benjamin Maring, MD