• 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, preferably red or white (about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated (alternatively, kale or collards with ribs removed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 large eggs (or 3, for cakes that hold their shape more when cooked)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • additional oil for frying
  • to serve:
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pureed


  1. To cook the quinoa: first, rinse the quinoa in a fine metal sieve to reduce bitterness. Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan or pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the quinoa, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for about 12 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the chard. Heat the garlic and oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium heat until the garlic begins to crackle. Add the chard leaves only, reserving the stems, and sauté until dark green and soft, seasoning as desired with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves and sauté the stems with a bit of water over medium heat until soft. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Once all ingredients are cool, place the cooked quinoa, cooked chard, Parmesan, and cumin in a large bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add eggs and mix again until well-combined. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Form handfuls of the quinoa mixture into patties. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a cast-iron, seasoned steel, or other nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add a few patties, leaving room for flipping, and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Reduce heat as necessary to keep from burning. Repeat until all the patties are done.
  5. To make the garlic yogurt, stir pureed garlic into yogurt and serve, or briefly panfry minced garlic until crisp and mix in — either works well. I fried a little extra garlic for topping, too.