Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kale and Quinoa Cakes: Super Duper Food.



Oh hey there! I guess my last post was hmmmmmmmm ST PATTY'S DAY. Opps. I have been very busy and need about 5 days to write up a whole blog about it. To tell you the truth it probably won't happen, but at least if I throw it out there it might push me to do it. In short, I am injured and currently trying to heal myself while road tripping home to Idaho while visiting friends along the way. Started off by driving to Santa Fe for a Zen Buddhist Yoga retreat that lasted 3 days. One of the best things I have ever done, must write a blog on it.... Then I shot up to Denver and was supposed to only stay one day but ended up staying 6! Needless to say, I enjoyed my time there TOO MUCH. Never wanted to leave. Great, great city with some of my favorite people in the whole world. After that I came up to Idaho to visit with my family and get some unfortunate things done like get my wisdom teeth out.. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. 

So while in town, I made my family dinner. I'm sure my dad took one look at the Kale and Quinoa cakes and was like "Kale and WHO?" But they are DELICIOUS. I assure you. I'm sure, by now, most of you have heard of Quinoa. It's supposed to be a "Super Grain" and it is INSANELY good for you. Believe it or not it is related to the beet, spinach and TUMBLEWEED families. And naturally because we have so much tumbleweed in Idaho and I starred at tumbleweed for 8 hours on my way through Wyoming, I decided to make something with quinoa for dinner just as a tribute to this lovely native plant..... The nutritional value is pretty groovy for athletes (and all you normal folks as well!) Per 100 grams (3.5oz) there is 369 calories. At first I thought this was high in calorie when I looked at the serving size, but when it cooks up it expands like crazy and it is SO unbelievably filling. It has 7 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein per serving. It's also high in phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. The components it is comprised of make it a complete protein which is wonderful all around.




Roasted some eggplant as well....
 
I found this recipe on "Joy The Baker", where I find all things wonderful. She is a sweet lady, I wish I could grow up and be JUST LIKE HER. I changed the recipe a bit so here is a link to the original and I will put mine up as well. Kale and Quinoa Cakes.

Kale and Quinoa Cakes
makes about 2 dozen small cakes
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
1 1/2 cups raw quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white 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 red peppers chopped
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

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 saut√© pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Throw in red bell peppers and cook for an additional 3 mins. Add kale and toss until just slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  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, 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.


I served mine with this cool and refreshing Yogurt Garlic Sauce.

Yogurt Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves pressed through a garlic press
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
salt to taste

Stir and combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl, serve immediately.

Another delicious recipe for kale is Kale Chips. They are super duper simple and I LOVE THEM. 
 
 
Kale Chips
2 bunches of kale, chopped into 3 inch pieces
olive oil
lemon juice
red pepper flakes
 
Chop the kale into about 3 inch pieces. Spread onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the kale and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Toss around and throw in the oven at 275 for an hour. 
 
The kale will crisp right up into delicious little chips that disintegrate in your mouth. You can use any flavor you like, plain sea salt and black pepper is delicious, you could do a take on Salt and Vinegar tossing the kale in a bit of white vinegar and sea salt... the options are endless and HEALTHY AS CAN BE. 
 
Good luck and enjoy your super food.

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