Kale and Quinoa Cakes
Do you have an investment piece? Wait… do you even know what an investment piece is?
Don’t feel bad… I’m just figuring this out myself. An investment piece is a bonkers awesome, typically super expensive, designer dress that one (say… you!) might wear to a gala, ball, or um… red carpet event (because people totally do that). Can you wear it to a wedding? Only if you don’t look better than the bride.
Do you own an investment piece? ….anytime a dress is called a ‘piece’, I know I can’t afford it… let’s just be real.
I don’t own a piece.
I do, however, own one Le Creuset pot in a dusty purple. I have yet to figure out how to wear this to a gala… but luckily I haven’t been invited to any galas.
I don’t anticipate owning a piece. I do anticipate a lot of blazers, summer shorts, and loose tank tops in my warm weather future.
While I may not have the luxury of investment pieces… I do have the luxury of just enough time to make these special little quinoa cakes. They have kale in them! They’re divine and sophisticated! Just like galas.. but without the control top hose (…yea, that’s totally still a thing).
These little gems might remind you of the Lemon, Olive, and Parsley Quinoa Cakes I made last year. They were a good idea. Kale is totally a good idea too!
Start with quinoa. I found a lovely rainbow quinoa… but you can use whatever you have on hand. Fresh Dino Kale is dark, leafy, and full of health. Sun dried tomatoes are a powerhouse of flavor.
Parsley and cheese too! I love the bright herby-ness that parsley adds to these cakes.
I also sauteed up some onions and garlic, along with the kale. Flavor on flavor on flavor when it comes to quinoa.
I found that a little cookie scoop was the best way to manipulate these little cakes from dough, to ball, to patty form.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, clean slightly damp hands will do.
These quinoa cakes take some time in the kitchen. There’s a lot of little things going on. Cooking the quinoa. Cleaning the kale. Chopping. Sauteing. Cooling. Chopping a bit more. Fixing. Shaping. Frying.
Please don’t let all these little steps keep you from this dish! They’re great! Healthy, hearty, and filling…. and can totally be made for any meal of the day! Feel free to add green olives and lemon zest… these patties can happily take on additional flavors.
The best part about this recipe is that is makes a generous amount of cakes. Fry them off for a party, or save some of the uncooked quinoa mixture and fry them off for a few days. They make great veggie patties (although they’re not firm enough to withstand a grill). They make great breakfast snacks. They’re good warm or cold.
I served mine at lunch with a squeeze of fresh lemon, some capers to snack on, fresh spinach (to simulate a salad), and thick balsamic vinegar.
Sure, they take a bit of time… but these cakes are totally my new investment piece. Time… not money. Kale… not clothes.
I just love them!
Kale and Quinoa Cakes
makes about 2 dozen small cakes
recipe adapted from Super Natural Every Day
1 1/2 cups raw quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bunch (about 3 cups) chopped dino kale
splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon olive oil for frying, add a bit more as necessary
lemon wedges, olives or capers, spicy mustard, and greens for serving
Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Wash under cool water for a few minutes. Quinoa needs to be rinsed or it tastes dirty.
In a medium saucepan place rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 t0 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. We’ll need about 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
In a medium sauté man, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add kale and toss until just slightly wilted, about 1 minutes. Remove from heat and add a splash of vinegar. Place kale mixture in a large bowl with prepared quinoa. Allow to cool to room temperature. You can speed up this process in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Add cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, break crumbs, salt, and pepper. Add beaten eggs and stir until all of the quinoa mixture is moistened. Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture. Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
Scoop out mixture by the 2 tablespoonful. (I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture right into the hot pan.) Use clean, moist fingers to form into a patty. Create as many patties as you’d like. (Rinse your hands after every few patties… it makes making patties easier.)
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil. If you pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan. You’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them.
Cook on each side until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Low heat helps the quinoa cakes cook slowly. Brown on each side then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Serve warm with a lemon wedge, mustard, fresh spinach, and salty capers. It’s like a deconstructed salad. Serve them any way you’d like.
Also, the quinoa mixture can be left, uncooked in the fridge for a few days. Cook as necessary. Fresh quinoa cakes with fried eggs are delicious!