Mother’s Day Brunch

Photo by Staci Valentine

Quinoa Benedict – Your Mom Will Love It!

I have been in the restaurant industry in Los Angeles for almost 30 years – an absolute truth I have learned – Mother’s Day = Brunch.  Mother’s love a home cooked meal they don’t have to cook themselves.  I have an impressive but easy recipe for you that will knock your mom’s socks off, Quinoa Benedict.


With these quinoa patties, the vegetables soak overnight with the oats, so you’re halfway to a quick vegetarian brunch by the time you wake up. The patties freeze well, so I like to make a few extra to have around for a quick breakfast or for our Quinoa Burgers. The only trick is shaping the patties. Like crab cakes, it takes a little subtle convincing to get them to stick together at first. But once you get the hang of it, it really is very easy.


Quinoa Patties

½ medium zucchini, roughly chopped
6 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small chayote squash, pitted, peeled, and roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on smallest holes of box grater
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1-teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 large eggs, divided
½ cup grated parmesan
1 cup unseasoned, toasted breadcrumbs divided
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions and drained
½ cup flour, more if needed
¼ cup vegetable oil, divided, more if needed



Wilted spinach
4 Poached Eggs
½ cup Marinara optional
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Makes 4 Quinoa Benedicts plus 4 additional quinoa patties

  1. In a food processor, combine zucchini, mushrooms, squash, and bell pepper and quickly pulse until finely chopped, about 15 to 20 times, scraping down sides of processor as needed (do not over-process vegetables into a paste). Remove any large pieces and discard them. Place processed vegetables in a strainer with grated carrots. Squeeze out as much water as possible with your hands. Place vegetables in a large bowl, add oats, and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight.
  2. The next day, in a large bowl, whisk together salt, garlic, ginger, 2 eggs, parmesan, and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Add vegetable-oat mixture and cooked quinoa. Mix well to combine and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Shape mixture into 8 generous ½ cup patties, cupping each firmly together like a crab cake and flattening into rounds about 3 ½ inches in diameter. Freeze on a plastic wrap–lined cutting board for 20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 eggs and ⅓ cup water. Place flour in another small bowl, and remaining ½ cup breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  4. Remove patties from freezer and gently dredge in flour one at a time. Sprinkle top of each patty with flour, using your hands to slightly re-shape if needed. Dip each in egg wash, then in breadcrumbs.
  5. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Sauté 2 to 3 patties at a time until golden brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula and cook on opposite side until golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. If oil begins to burn, wipe out pan and add another 2 tablespoons oil. Repeat with remaining patties. If you want to save some patties for later, place uncooked patties on a plastic wrap–lined cutting board, place in freezer to freeze completely, then transfer to food storage bags and store in the freezer. Bring them to room temperature before frying.
  6. To assemble the Quinoa Benedict, divide 4 warm quinoa patties among plates and top each with wilted or creamed spinach, a poached egg, and marinara, if desired. Season with pepper to taste and serve immediately.


Image by Staci Valentine