Rosemary, Pancetta and Sweet Potato Cakes with Radish and Mint Quinoa Salad

Today's guest post recipe is shared by Debbie Gibson, Registered Nutritionist and Food Blogger. Debbie blogs at ProperFoodie.com, where you'll find her tasty, easy to follow and downright drool-worthy recipes. I was drawn to her blog because she's passionate about tasty, nutritious food, but also balance and enjoyment. Learn more about her here

Debbie and I are really keen to make this collaboration a regular feature - so you can expect to see more tasty recipes and top foodie tips from her in the future. Over on her blog, I'm discussing #cleaneating and food guilt.

I invited Debbie to share a delicious and healthy recipe that could quickly be whipped up midweek when you're short on time.

Be sure to let us know any food/nutrition/health related posts you'd like to see from Debbie in the future, we would love your feedback! 

Deliciously crispy rosemary, pancetta, and sweet potato cakes, with radish and mint quinoa salad.

The humble potato cake

Coming home to the warming smells of sizzling pancetta and fried potatoes, is high up on my list of great things in life. With the addition of rosemary and a lovely crunchy quinoa salad, this is one superstar dish. It’s also nice to know that this delicious mix of potato and pancetta is actually quite healthy, full of veg and nicely balanced; so it can be enjoyed guilt free! It’s also a dish that can be used to suit different dietary preferences as its gluten free and can also be adapted to a veggie diet by simply removing the pancetta. Greatness all around!

A spring meal worth waiting for

Now that the nights are getting slightly longer and brighter, and spring is finally in sight, I’m starting to think about crunchy refreshing meals, which can only be fully appreciated when the weather is warmer and the sun is out. These potato cakes are one of those recipes.

I can imagine tucking into these, whilst sat out in the sun on our back patio, enjoying the final hour or two of daylight and sipping on some kind of cold, fruity beverage.

Not that this will stop me from making these throughout frosty March and showery April: mainly because it’s good to practise making the perfect potato cake, so that by the time we can sit outside in the evening my potato cakes are pure masterpieces! But also, because once made up and before frying off in the pan, these potato cakes can be wrapped in cling film and refrigerated for later, so creating a perfect time-saver meal.

How to knock out this meal when you’re short of time

First of all, the ingredients listed for this recipe are by no means unusual or scarce. In general, I find that I normally have most of these ingredients already in my cupboard or fridge. So this dish is extremely useful for using up any leftovers and making sure that there’s a little less waste at the end of the week.

So, if you’re looking for a quick fix meal and just so happen to have in all the ingredients, then this dish can usually be thrown together and be on the table within 30 to 45 minutes. Winner! However, if you’ve had chance to be a little more organised and want tea to be ready a little quicker after a long day at work, then the majority of the prep for this dish can be done in advance:

The Quinoa salad:

Make up the quinoa salad the night or morning before, pop it in the fridge covered with cling film and it will keep fresh for a good 24 hours. TIP: add the radish and mint leaves once the quinoa has completely cooled, as this will help to keep them crispy and colourful.

The Potato cakes:

Follow the recipe to the point of shaping the mash mixture into flat circles (do not flour or cook off). Place on a plate, cover in cling film and store in the fridge (max 24 hours) until you’re ready to flour and cook off.  TIP: remove from the fridge and bring back to room temp, at least 30 minutes before frying, this will soften the potato cakes and stop them breaking up when floured and put in the hot pan.

Why this recipe is on my mid-week menu

These potato cakes are my new go-to mid-week meal. They are quick, tasty, really easy to make and best of all; they can be prepared in advanced! This recipe is also healthy and well balanced:  two of these delicious potato cakes with half fat crème fraiche, and a helping of quinoa salad is under 500 kcal, with 60g carbs, 15g protein, 8g fibre and low amounts of saturated fat, salt and sugar. TASTY – FILLING – NUTRITIONALLY BALANCED :)

Click here to download the recipe.

For more healthy mid-week meal ideas check out the healthy option meals section of my website For more details on how I work out the nutritional values for my recipes please click here.

Happy cooking!!

Debbie