cheese

kale and quinoa cakes

It’s amazing to think that just a year or two ago you wouldn’t find a stitch of kale on our family’s dinner table. We had to ease into the leafy green superfood by covering it with bacon (anything that tastes even a little like bacon is usually a thumbs up in our house). Now, it seems like we’ve always got a bunch in our fridge. Kale has worked its way into the dinnertime veggie rotation, sometimes still cooked in bacon, sometimes we let it shine all on its own, and sometimes cooked in little cakes.

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A food that hasn’t had quite the success that kale has in our house is quinoa. The protein packed grain is still trying to find its big break on our dinner table. I’m a fan, but finding ways keep quinoa from eliciting a painful grimace on my dad’s face is proving to be quite the task. These cakes are a step in the right direction.

Here you take cooked quinoa, mix it up with some blanched kale and breadcrumbs and round out the flavor with some salty parmesan cheese, green onions, and minced garlic. They are really tasty right out of the pan! Not as great cold though, so if you’re not already a lover of quinoa and kale I’d suggest reheating them or saving the uncooked mixture in the refrigerator and quick frying them when you’re ready to get eating!

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Kale & Quinoa Cakes

Makes 8-10 cakes. Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa *
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 spring onion, sliced thin
  • 1.5 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup blanched kale, chopped **
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat, but gluten free would work too)
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil

Directions:

In a large bowl combine quinoa, eggs, cheese, onion, garlic, salt, kale, and breadcrumbs. Mix well and then let sit for a few minutes to allow the liquid time to absorb. You want your mixture to be moist but not runny.

Heat your olive or coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Form your cakes and place into pan. (be sure not to overcrowd) Cover the pan and let the cakes cook for 7-10 minutes. The bottoms should be a nice deep golden brown when you flip. Now cook the other sides for another 7 minutes. Let the patties rest on a cooling rack. I needed to do 2 batches but that may differ depending on the size of your pan.

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We ate ours alongside some ribs and asparagus at dinner time, but these would also be great topped with a little avocado and lemon juice, maybe some chicken salad… yum!

* If you don’t have already cooked quinoa lying around, just cook some up! You can do as much or as little as you’d like but the rule of thumb is 1 cup uncooked quinoa needs 2 cups of water to cook and should yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. Throw your uncooked quinoa and water into a pot, allow it all to come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and tender. Fluff and let cool to room temp.

** To blanch your kale bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge kale entirely and drain immediately.

 

 

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zucchini ribbon salad

Summer is coming. Fire up the grill. Pick up some fresh zucchini. Make an awesome salad that will convince your friends that you’re a master of all things grilled, fresh, and delicious. Eat said salad. Repeat.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small – medium zucchini
  • 2-3 handfuls greens ( I used a baby chard, arugula, spinach mix)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-4 oz cheese (I used a sheep’s milk cheese similar to gorgonzola in flavor, feta would be delicious as would parmesan)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • crushed garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & crushed black pepper

Directions:

Preheat your grill. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin lengthwise “ribbons” of your zucchini. You could also use a mandolin to make the long thin strips. Massage the ribbons with some olive oil. Lay on your grill until cooked and you get some beautiful golden brown grate marks. Remove and set in a bowl.

To make your dressing mix 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part red wine vinegar. Whisk in 1-2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, and some crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper to taste.

Toss your grilled zucchini ribbons with the greens, toasted pine nuts, crumbled cheese, and a few tablespoons of dressing.

We ate our salad with some grilled salmon (recipe to follow) and a hearty serving of roasted sweet potatoes!

Sweet Potato “Pizza”

WARNING: If you continue to read this post and/or make this recipe you are not allowed to say that this is not pizza. You are not allowed to hassle me about the fact that potatoes aren’t pizza crust or that yours fell apart or blah blah. You know why? Because this stuff is good whether you think of it as a pizza or not. You’re gonna eat it all. You can call it sweet potato nachos or just stuff on sweet potatoes for all I care, but do me a favor and savor the sweet potato goodness. Give in people! Let it happen.

That being said, some time ago I made a sweet potato pizza.I was nervous about it at first. I had my doubts, but the power of the potato pulled through. It’s a little involved, but the pesto and other toppings could absolutely be made ahead of time or you could just buy some of your favorite pre-made versions to cut down on the time in the kitchen.

And yes, I am ignoring the fact that I haven’t posted on the blog in FOREVER. We are just gonna brush over that. Consider this your “let’s sweep this one under the rug” present.

Sweet Potato Pizza

Crust:

  • 3 huge sweet potatoes or 6 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • pinch paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • mozzarella cheese

Toppings

  • bell peppers (used 1/2 red and 1/2 orange), sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • bacon, cooked & chopped
  • chicken, cooked and shredded
  • mozzarella cheese

Suggestions:

  • Top with bbq sauce instead of pesto and use pulled pork instead of chicken
  • Add some broccoli or other veggies of choice with your peppers and onions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash and pat dry your sweet potatoes. Cut off the ends and give them a rough peel, no need to stress about getting all the skin off. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut your potatoes lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and toss to coat with the olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt & pepper. Lay the potatoes in a single layer, making sure their ends overlap.

Here is where you add your veggies. Sprinkle your peppers and onions over the sweet potatoes. You don’t want too many toppings on the pizza just yet or else they will burn or end up just steaming the potatoes and you won’t get a good crust. I sprinkled everything with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Then bake for 20 minutes and then broil on high for 10 minutes.

While that is cooking, prep your other toppings. If you have to cook your chicken or fry up your bacon do that here.

After the crust is done, pull the pan out and top everything with 2.5 oz of the cheese. Make sure you get all the seams because the cheese is going to help keep the crust together come stuff your face time. Drizzle on your pesto, sprinkle on the chicken and bacon, and top with the remaining cheese. Return the pizza to the oven and broil for another 8-10 minutes or until your cheese gets bubbly and browned. Take that shit out and cut into slices or dig in with a fork or just put your face in it.