Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kale and Quinoa Cakes

I told my girls that I was going to make Quinoa Cakes and they said, "Yay!  Mom's going to make cake!"  I said that it's not really cake, but more like biscuits.  This was followed by another, "Yay!  We like biscuits!"  I didn't want to mislead them entirely, but I also didn't want to tell them up front that they would be chock full of kale and sun dried tomatoes and onions in addition to the little seedy bits of quinoa.  I figured they would reject them immediately without a second glance if I did that.  So I let them use their imaginations to decide what they thought quinoa cakes would be like.

Quinoa cakes were nothing like they imagined they would be, but were good enough to eat about half of one before they decided they didn't like the way the "green things" were looking at them.

I bought black quinoa.  I thought it looked prettier than the white.  That was good right up until I let my mind wander and think about ants.

I hear ants are tasty.

Sauteed onions and garlic with the chopped kale added until it just wilts.

They smell delicious as they sizzle on the pan.

Brown them nicely and serve hot.  I ate all five in a flash, they were so good.

Kale and Quinoa Cakes
adapted from Joy the Baker

makes about 2 dozen small cakes

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 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 kale
splash of apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup grated romano 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

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 20 - 25 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, 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 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, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, bread 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 an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture right into the hot pan.)  Use the back of the scoop to pat the mixture into a patty.  
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  If your pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan.  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.
Any extra mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.  


  1. I'd looooove to eat those!!!!! They sound sooooo goood. I love all the ingredients you put in them! ok, so, I'd have to find a substitute for the eggs and cheese, but, other than that, they sound perfect! Yum!

  2. So impressive! I can't wait to try them--I love the red quinoa, I'm buying some tomorrow! By the way, I'm really impressed Stella and Mabel tried them out! Good job!

  3. These seriously look soooooo good!