My Chef's Hat - Kale & Quinoa Patties

When I worked at Maryland I had a colleague named Danita.  She worked in the athletic department, and then ran the alumni association, and now does the same at the University of Florida.  I can't tell you how many times I had alums who were in school with Danita mistake me for her, and asked if I worked at Bentley's back in '82.  Pretty sure that wouldn't have worked out very well, considering I was in 7th grade! I would post a picture of us together, but I honestly don't think I have one.  I guess this means I need to make a road trip to Gainesville for a game weekend to rectify that.

Why am I telling this story?  Well, she's the inspiration for me making the recipe for Kale and Quinoa Patties.  I saw her post the link a couple weeks ago and it looked so good I knew I had to try it out.  Besides, I love both kale and quinoa, and am always looking for new ways to make both.  So what better way than a recipe that combines them? 

Here's the official recipe picture

And here's my version

Oh my gosh this is fantastic. Both the kale and quinoa are cooked prior to frying, so all it's really doing is binding together and getting that beautiful crispy exterior. I always toast my quinoa prior to adding the liquid, to bring out the nutty flavor. The very first time I made quinoa I cooked it in water, and it tasted like sandpaper. Ever since then, I always cook it in broth. Just that one change makes a huge difference.

Even though I sautee the kale with fresh chopped onion and minced garlic, I also add some garlic powder and onion powder to the mixture before putting them in the oil. It just adds more flavor. A commenter said they used roasted garlic. That would be phenomenal in these. I used to always use the canned parmesan, and then one day a couple years ago I bought a block of the real stuff...and have never looked back. Yes, the can says "real", but who the heck knows for sure when it was actually grated. Besides, the hard block just tastes so much better and has that bite. The recipe calls for bread crumbs, but if you don't have those, corn flake crumbs or even panko bread crumbs will do the same trick. It's just the binder, so whatever you have on hand will work fine. The recipe calls for olive oil when cooking the kale, but I used Pam instead, as I always do when I'm sauteeing veggies.

The only down side is the pan frying. But I used as little oil as I could, and let it get very hot, so they didn't have to cook very long.  In the blog comments she says you can bake them instead, but to me you lose the crunch and the golden deliciousness when you do that. 

I used 1/4 cup quinoa and about 1 cup of kale, and was amazed at how filling these were. The first time I made it I did it as a side with tilapia. Of course I've made it more than once since then, and now do it as a hearty, yet healthy, lunch. 

Recipe found on Everyday Dishes & DIY

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