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Have you settled back into the Fall routine yet? We’re not really there yet, but I did manage to stock our fridge up with a bit of meal component prep this week. Something about this time of year always has me feeling some intense energy. I keep waking up at 4:30 and I find myself leaving random stuff in weird places all over the house. I’m not sure if it’s the season itself, the recognition that the year is beginning to close out, or something cosmic far beyond all of that. Whatever it is, I’m feeling it and the idea of spending extensive hours cooking is just slightly less appealing.

Enter the meal prep. When I’m in the flow of this practice, I always bake whole sweet potatoes. I usually reheat them and stuff them, smush them up in dahl, or even blend them into smoothies. I also give little spoonfuls to my dogs, no shame. Their ideal landing place though? These sweet potato cakes with quinoa, hemp, herbs, and tons of spices–including my fave blend ever Old Bay.

Compared to other recipes of mine, this one is pretty minimal on the chopping front, which is a nice break! If you take your meal prep one step further and cook quinoa at the beginning of the week and make your lemony tahini sauce, this one can comes together pretty quickly!

I know a lot of people immediately go to squash when Fall ushers itself in, but the first major craving for me is sweet potatoes, with spice-cooked apples as a close second. What’s your favourite Fall crop and how do you typically cook it? Have a great week, all! <3

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Print the recipe here!
NOTES: These cakes should be crisp on the outside and soft/moist on the inside. Remember to flip them over at the halfway point!
-I used a mix of lacinato kale and red cabbage for my slaw because I have an abundance of both in my garden. You could also use shaved fennel, shaved carrots, broccoli stems, all kinds of things!
-I bake whole sweet potatoes as part of my meal prep every week. For this recipe, I’d recommend the cooked and cooled flesh of roughly 1 medium sweet potato.
-The drier the quinoa is when you mix it, the better your sweet potato cakes will be! :)

⅓  cup tahini
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely minced/grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar/maple syrup
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon ice cold filtered water

½ cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato flesh
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon psyllium husk powder
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
avocado oil spray (or other oil spray of choice)

4 cups shredded kale or cabbage, or a mix!
chopped fresh dill or more parsley
lemon wedges

Make the lemony tahini sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard, agave, salt, and pepper. Then, add the ice water and whisk until smooth. The colour of the sauce should pale and the texture should be slightly thick. If it’s too thick, add more water by the teaspoon until you have the right consistency. Set aside in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Place the rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan along with 1 cup of filtered water and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and place it over medium-high heat. Bring the quinoa to a boil. Then, lower to a simmer, remove the lid, and cook until almost all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it cool.

Once the quinoa is cool and dry, add it to a large bowl along with the mashed sweet potato, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, Old Bay, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, lemon zest, psyllium husk powder, salt, and pepper. Once evenly mixed, taste the mixture for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Lightly spray the parchment-lined baking sheet with oil spray. Divide the sweet potato cakes mixture in 4 equal portions. Lightly oil your hands and from each portion into a patty. Place each patty on the oiled parchment, giving each some space.

Bake the sweet potato cakes for 35 minutes, carefully flipping them over at the halfway point. Once the sweet potato cakes are browned on the outside and firm, remove them from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes.

In a separate large bowl, toss the shredded kale/cabbage with enough of the lemony tahini dressing to coat. Season the greens with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Divide the lemony slaw evenly among 4 plates. Top each heap of slaw with a warm sweet potato cake. Drizzle extra lemony tahini sauce over the sweet potato cakes and finish with some chopped dill/parsley and a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

  • supal // @supaldesai_25/09/2019 - 10:11 am

    Stealing the slaw recipe to have tonight with my dinner and saving the sweet potato cake for another time!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Scully25/09/2019 - 11:37 am

    I only have lentils on hand, do you think it would go okay with that sub?ReplyCancel

    • Laura25/09/2019 - 1:01 pm

      In place of the quinoa? I don’t think the lentils would be “sticky” enough to be honest. They’re also quite a bit heavier, which might make the resulting cakes quite dense. Might be best to wait until you have some quinoa at the ready! ;)

  • La Torontoise25/09/2019 - 11:38 am

    Laura, I’ve been reading your blog for years but only now manage to write…
    These cakes look exactly like what I am dreaming of tonight:-) Thank you!!
    I have everything at home to make them.

    One question though: what other salad would you suggest to go well with the sweeet potato cakes?

    All the best!ReplyCancel

    • Laura25/09/2019 - 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much for this kind comment! I really appreciate it. If you’re not into the slaw, I think a peppery arugula-based salad would be great with the natural sweetness of these cakes!

  • Timothy Pakron25/09/2019 - 11:43 am

    Yum yum yum!!! These look so good. And the shots are GoRgEoUs!ReplyCancel

  • Nanda25/09/2019 - 12:03 pm

    Is there any workable substitute for the psyllium husk? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura25/09/2019 - 1:00 pm

      I think that you could leave it out and they would still be fine. The psyllium is just an extra insurance policy for the cakes holding together. Just be extra careful when you’re flipping them over :)

      • sweetC25/09/2019 - 2:02 pm

        What about flax or chia meal? They are my go to for holding my cakes together!ReplyCancel

        • Laura26/09/2019 - 7:28 am

          Yes, definitely a teaspoon of ground chia or flax would also be great!

  • linda M doyle25/09/2019 - 1:57 pm

    Sure would be nice if this site published the nutritional value of the recipes.ReplyCancel

    • Laura26/09/2019 - 7:37 am

      Hi Linda, Food is about joy and creativity for me, and I love to reflect that same energy here! If you personally need nutrition values for your meals, there are lots of free nutrition calculators online/in mobile app form that are very easy to use!

  • Lorna25/09/2019 - 4:11 pm

    These look great. Thanks so much, that’s dinner sorted for tomorrow!ReplyCancel

  • Anthea Smyth25/09/2019 - 4:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this – I made them for dinner and they were delicious!

    Can I ask where your plate is from – it’s beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Erin25/09/2019 - 4:48 pm

    I’m feeling that same energy this week! Getting lots done, but also finding it hard to focus on one thing at a time. Favourite fall crop – I’m still loving the last of the heirloom tomatoes and using them everywhere I can. It’s like the last little taste of summer before the seasons change. I’m making a crostata with them for dinner tonight!ReplyCancel

  • Liz Mackay25/09/2019 - 8:44 pm

    Wondering if I could double this and freeze some? Maybe just cook them all, and cool
    on a tray, freeze then bag? and reheat at 350?
    What do you think?
    Thank you! LOVE your cookbook and your blog!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura26/09/2019 - 7:26 am

      Hi Liz! I haven’t frozen these, but if I was going to, I’d go with the exact strategy that you described :)

  • […] LUNCH! […]ReplyCancel

  • Joshua Howard26/09/2019 - 6:00 am

    I made it today and the taste is amazing! Thank you for this recipe and clear instructions!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Velez30/09/2019 - 7:47 am

    Wow, these look fantastic! I am not a huge fan of quinoa but thinking millet might sub in here just fine?ReplyCancel

  • Nicole02/10/2019 - 8:13 am

    Hi Laura, your sweet potatoes look like it is cook in the oven. Can you tell me how you cook it ? And thank you so much for your delicious recipes and nice pictures. NicoleReplyCancel

    • Laura03/10/2019 - 8:01 am

      Hi Nicole,
      I prick a few holes in my sweet potatoes with a fork, wrap them in aluminum foil, and bake them in a 400 oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until they feel soft.

  • […] the recipe here by The First […]ReplyCancel

  • […] love with one of the recipes, and can’t stop making it. That’s what happened with the Sweet Potato Cakes with Lemony Slaw by The First Mess. I’ve made this one 3 times now. And each time I make it, I do something […]ReplyCancel

  • Justine30/11/2019 - 6:18 am

    Hi Laura – I’ve never commented on anything before but I’ve made these three or four times now. For some reason I can never follow recipes exactly, always adding a little, leaving out a little. But my last attempt was so good… I shaped them more like croquettes (no psyllium husk) and i also added dried chilli. As the UK doesn’t have things like Old Bay I had to make it from a recipe. Anyway it was all spectacular even though I multiplied it by three and I no longer use oil. I’ve found that a beautiful firm pointy white cabbage with peas and chopped spring onions in the tahini dressing is a revelation and that is now made at least twice a week. This recipe and your cauliflower in a green tahini dressing are my two favourite recipes (plus a good creamy curry of course) of all time. I love your cookbook and no one has more beautiful or enticing photosReplyCancel

  • Em04/12/2019 - 10:54 am

    How much cooked quinoa is this? In recipes with cooked grains, etc., it would be great to know measurements after cooking – super for those who batch- or pre-cook quinoa. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura04/12/2019 - 1:47 pm

      Dry quinoa generally cooks up to 3 times the amount you started with. Since we use 1/2 cup dry quinoa here, you will need 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.

  • Allison10/01/2020 - 10:44 am

    Hi, What can I use in place of the nutritional yeast?ReplyCancel

  • Private12/01/2020 - 11:31 am

    The picture and recipe are deceptive. There is ZERO way in the universe the patties are that crispy all around in an oven. That’s either a fake picture or deep fried. I tried it anyways, and to no surprise of mine- it’s one giant piece of mush. And no. I didnt do anything wrong. And I’m a super experienced and super successful cook. At least on recipes that dont misrepresent themselves. I would prefer you admit to the truth than pretend this outcome can be achieved without a lot of oil. Total waste of time.ReplyCancel

    • Laura13/01/2020 - 12:19 pm

      Hi there,
      I’m sorry that your experience with this recipe was so deeply upsetting. Suggesting that I need to “admit to the truth” and that my photos are fake is a bit dramatic though.

    • Julia29/01/2020 - 3:51 pm

      I made them yesterday, and they were delicious and crispy! Not as crispy as they would have been had a deep-fried them, of course, but I followed Laura’s instructions to lightly oil my hands while I formed the patties, and they held together beautifully, and had a nice light crisp on the outside. I can’t wait to make them again!!

      And they looked very much like Laura’s photos – well … perhaps not quite as uniform, and my plates aren’t as pretty, but they browned up nicely!!

      Thanks for the fantastic recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • Marilyn07/03/2020 - 7:08 pm

    Cannot wait to try these!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn12/04/2020 - 10:50 am

    I’m just curious about why the water for the sauce needs to be ice cold.ReplyCancel

  • Isabelle26/05/2020 - 7:53 pm

    I too struggled to get these crispy in the oven, so I just threw them in the air fryer and had great success! Delicious.ReplyCancel

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