Okay. Now, let's get back to cooking...
After 3 years of growing food in our backyard, we're finally really getting what works and what doesn't. It pained us to recently tear out our entire raspberry patch, when we accepted that it just wasn't getting enough sun. But when it comes to greens and herbs, we can rock them all year round. Kale is the family fave and we have a whole bed devoted to growing all sorts of varietals - now we don't even have to make a trip to the market to procure some tasty greens. This makes my inner lazy cook especially happy!
Ever since I got Heidi Swanson's book last year, I've been wanting to make her quinoa patties. I often find myself with leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge and I end up eating it with all sorts of things... leftover roasted chicken, salsa, herbs, beans, and almost always avocado. Transforming leftover quinoa into hearty little savory cakes is brilliant and I love the versatility of Heidi's recipe. I think you could use quinoa or any other grain here - brown rice, millet, and/or amaranth would all be delish. And adding veggies to the mix seemed like a natural addition: if you don't have kale, try spinach, broccoli, shitake mushrooms - whatever you have on hand, or grow in your own backyard. Avocado, salsa verde, lemon, salt, cilantro, and garlic oil all were tasty topping for the patties we made, and I can imagine so many more ways to enjoy these savory cakes - I'm sure you can too.
INGREDIENTS adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3 spring onions, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup steamed kale, chopped
- 1 cup breadcrumbs ( GF friends: be sure to use GF breadcrumbs. I always make my own.*)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa verde, garlic oil
If you happen to already have leftover cooked grains on hand, this recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups. Otherwise, whip up some quinoa from scratch... Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Allow quinoa to soak for 15 minutes. Then, with the lid on the pan, bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid - about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temp.
In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, eggs, Parm, spring onions, garlic, salt, steamed kale, and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny. Form patties and get your pan ready for cookin'.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook up to 6 patties at at time (don't overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and let the cuties cook for 7-10 minutes until the underbellies are a deep rich brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.
I ate my patties topped with avocado, lemon juice, cilantro, a drizzle of really nice olive oil, and sea salt. If you want to pack your patties to eat for lunch at work and want an easy topping, just chop up some avocado and place it in a container with salsa verde and you're ready to go.
Note: If you don't want to eat all the patties right away, go ahead and refrigerate the batter and cook patties up to order at a later moment.
*A Note on gluten-free breadcrumbs... For my gluten-free friends who are new to making his/her own breadcrumbs, here's how you do it. Toast up a few slices of bread (or those lonely end-pieces) until they're dry. Tear the toasted bread up into chunks, toss them in the blender. Pulse a few times and you've got homemade breadcrumbs. So easy... and I love to put scraps to good use!
makes 12 small patties