Learn to Cook Vegetarian: It’s Good for your Health and the Environment!

Vegan Quinoa Cakes with a SC Black Bean Salad

By Josianne Cadieux, Sargent Choice Nutrition Center Dietetic Intern


Last week in celebration of Earth Week, BU’s Executive Chef Adam Pagan hosted a vegetarian cooking class. For the cooking demo Chef Adam Pagan demonstrated how to cook a vegan meal. He made Vegan Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) Cakes with a Black Bean Salad. These recipes are both gluten-free and vegan, although substitutions (listed in the recipes) can be made for those who do not follow these diet restrictions. The quinoa patties and bean salad were nutritious, flavorful, and very easy to make. They were a big hit!


Vegan Quinoa Cakes

Yield: 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa
¼ cup chopped onion
1 small zucchini, shredded or finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup warm water mixed with 3 teaspoons Ener-g egg replacer or 1 egg
5-6 tablespoons of gluten-free flour or whole wheat flour


1. Boil 1 ½ cups of water in a pot and add quinoa, cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

2. Let sit for 5 minutes, covered and then fluff with a fork.

3. Mix together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. The consistency should be just about right to form into patties. It will be a bit sticky; you might need to add a little more flour if it is falling apart.

*Tip from Chef Adam:  it is easier to form the patties if you chill them in the refrigerator first

4. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat.

5. Drop patties into oil and sauté on each side until they are golden brown.

6. Serve with either the Citrus Dressing (vegan) or the Lemon Basil Aioli.

Suggestions: Once quinoa cakes are cooked they can be refrigerated and simply reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. You can also try making mini quinoa cakes as a party appetizer.

Black Bean Salad

Yield: 8 servings

1 (15-oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
3 green onions white and green parts, sliced thin
1 avocado, diced (*Watch this video to learn how to cut an avocado the way Chef Adam taught the class)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ bunch fresh cilantro, leaves stripped off and minced (about ¼ cup minced)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice from ½ – 1 lime)
2 garlic cloves, peeled, stem removed, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Fold all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Citrus Dressing

Yield: 16 servings

¾ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  (*acts as an emulsifier, mixing the lemon and oil together)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small bunch chives, chopped finely
1 small bunch parsley, chopped finely
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon shallot, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. In a blender mix all ingredients except oil.
  2. Once all ingredients are fully incorporated, add oil in a slow but steady stream.
  3. Blend until the mixture is emulsified.

Lemon Basil Aioli

Yield: 16 servings


¾ cup low fat mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
A few basil leaves, in a chiffonade
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/6 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Fold all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Look out for more information about vegetarian and vegan eating coming soon!


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