I have to be honest, the first time I tried quinoa I was completely clueless as to what it was, or even how to pronounce it (I still don’t even know if I’ve mastered the latter). However, one thing I did know was that the grain was being heralded in as the next big thing in the vegetarian world, and not being much of a carnivore myself, I had to see what all the buzz was about.
Fast-forward to now, and I not only seriously enjoy this edible seed, but I actually actively seek it out on menus. One such menu that is included in this search is the one at North End Cafe in Louisville. This restaurant boasts a variety of options for those seeking vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free plates, and my favorite menu item is the chickpea and quinoa cake.
The cake is a baked combination of chickpeas and quinoa seeds that is topped with grilled vegetables that are locally-grown, crumbled goat cheese, red pepper coulis, and a balsamic reduction that is lightly drizzled on top. The vegetables are grilled perfectly to a crisp in order to balance out the softer consistency of the cake, and the goat cheese tangos beautifully with the balsamic reduction. These elements, combined with that coveted feeling of being satisfied and not stuffed after eating, are what make this one of my favorite lunch dishes in the city.
To learn more about North End Cafe and to see there menu, click here.