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    Mayo Clinic cooks: Holiday dish for all

Finding a recipe that fits a number of dietary needs and taste buds can be challenging and frustrating, especially during a busy holiday season. Jen Welper, a wellness executive chef with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, has a sweet potato quinoa cake recipe that is standout. The kids will love it. The family will love it. Guests will devour it. It's easy. And this versatile recipe can be made ahead, stored in the freezer and put together quickly for a holiday dish for all.

For those who are vegetarian, gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, this recipe is one you may safely enjoy as well. It's packed with fiber, protein, vitamins A, B, C, E and other nutrients. And it's tasty, too.

Watch: A holiday side dish everyone might like

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (2:01) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Download the recipe. Read the script.

Quinoa cakes with sweet potatoes

Serves:  6-7 


  • 2 cups                        Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups                        Sweet potato, cooked, mashed 
  • 2 each                        Eggs
  • 3 cloves                     Garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces                    Gruyere or parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon            Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon            Black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon            Nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons         Parsley, fresh, chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoons         Olive oil for searing 


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.  Spear sweet potatoes, then bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until they are completely soft and cooked. Cook quinoa, then let cool.  
  • Once sweet potatoes are baked, allow to slightly cool until able to handle. Mix cooled quinoa, sweet potatoes, eggs, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley.
  • Preheat sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil unless you have very large sauté pan for all quinoa cakes. Form quinoa cakes into ¼-cup patties and then sear in pan until golden brown on each side.  To ensure heated through patty, you may bake in oven for additional 5 minutes.  

Chef’s Note: This recipe should make 14 ¼-cup patties. Two quinoa cakes would be appropriate per main meal. 

Nutrition information for 2 quinoa cakes: 260 calories; 12 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate; 12 g fat; 340 mg sodium; 4 g fiber.

This recipe is from Welper's new cookbook, "Cook Smart, Eat Well: Mayo Clinic Recipes and Strategies for Healthy Living."

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