Kale and Quinoa Patties. A wonderfully flavorful combination of superfoods, these pan-fried patties are perfect for a hearty meal that will keep you satisfied for hours
Everyone who knows me, knows that I love to eat. And I love to eat food that’s not necessarily the healthiest. However, I do try to regularly eat on the healthier side. That’s the primary reason I cook lunch and dinner at home nearly every day, because it’s much easier to make better choices when I make my own food.
I don’t eat healthy grains as often as I should, but quinoa is one of my favorites. Quinoa is a complete protein, is high in fiber and iron, and has a low glycemic index. In other words, it’s a good-for-you superfood. When I’m on a quinoa kick, I will eat it at least twice a week. But other times I’ll go weeks at a time without it.
The first time I made quinoa I cooked it in water, and nearly threw it out. Quinoa cooked in water tastes like wallpaper paste. I was super gun-shy after that, and it was several months before I tried again. The next time I used vegetable broth, and the result was night and day, as the broth adds a lot of flavor.
My friend Shawn is always on me to showcase more healthy recipes, to help inspire him to eat better. My Loaded Zesty Portobello Burger is perfect for meatless Monday, and full of delicious flavors. When I’m craving a light lunch, I go for my Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt.
About 5 years ago I discovered Kale and Quinoa Patties. With 2 superfoods in the main ingredients, it’s both hearty and healthy
I love the hearty texture, bite, and beautiful crispy exterior of these Kale and Quinoa Patties.
I’ve gone back and forth on what type of quinoa I use. I started with traditional white quinoa, because that’s what I found at the grocery store. My mom introduced me to tri-color quinoa, a combination of white (most delicate texture), red (richer taste and chewier texture) and black (earthy flavor). That combination creates a much heartier texture.
KEY INGREDIENTS IN KALE AND QUINOA PATTIES
- I use Chosen Foods White Quinoa for Kale and Quinoa Patties, because I prefer the fluffy texture of white quinoa. Tri-color quinoa creates a more dense patty
- I recently discovered Avocado Oil, and am a huge fan. It has a 500° smoke point and a wonderful silky texture. Canola oil is also a good option
- I use Panko Bread Crumbs because they are much lighter than traditional bread crumbs.
- I strongly recommend using fresh grated Parmesan cheese. There is a distinct difference in flavor, texture, and bite between the fresh chunk and the can in the grocery store.
- I cook both the quinoa and kale in my Homemade Vegetable Broth. Homemade has so much more flavor, but you can certainly substitute boxed
I was a picky vegetable eater as a kid, but kale was always on my favorites list. It doesn’t have the bitter bite of other leafy greens like bok choy or collards, and it absorbs whatever flavors you add to it. Kale is low in calories, and high in fiber, antioxidants and protein. Kale significantly reduces in size when you cook it, so don’t be afraid to use a lot. What looks like way too much raw, will be the perfect amount when it’s cooked.
TIPS FOR PERFECT KALE AND QUINOA PATTIES
- Cook the quinoa a few hours ahead of time. I usually make Kale and Quinoa Patties for lunch, and cook the quinoa in the morning before I leave for work. If I forget, and cook the quinoa right before adding it to the mixture, at least one patty will fall apart in the pan.
- Let the complete mixture rest for about 10 minutes before frying
- Use a scoop for equal-sized patties. I use a quarter-cup scoop, and it works perfectly
- Use a skillet large enough that the patties don’t touch, otherwise they won’t brown properly
- Press the patties down slightly once in the pan, so they cook more evenly
Everything in the mixture is fully cooked, so the frying is just to create that beautiful golden crust. I pan fry these Kale and Quinoa Patties in a very hot pan, and use just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. You can cut back on the oil and make them on a griddle with cooking spray, but you won’t get that same color.
The recipe creates 8 generous-sized patties, perfect as a hearty lunch for 2. You can also make the patties smaller and serve as a side for dinner or even an a party appetizer.
Adapted from Everyday Dishes & DIY
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 cups kale, ribs removed, chopped into bite sized pieces, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
- FOR BEST RESULTS, MAKE QUINOA SEVERAL HOURS AHEAD
- In medium saucepan, toast quinoa over medium heat for a few minutes, to release nutty flavor
- Add 1 cup vegetable broth. Be careful, because broth and quinoa may bubble. Reduce to low simmer, and cook for approximately 18 minutes
- In large bowl, add quinoa, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan
- In skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray or add 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent
- Add kale and remaining broth, and cook until kale is softened, 5-10 minutes.
- Allow kale to cool for 3-4 minutes, and add to bowl.
- Beat egg, add to mixture and combine thoroughly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Wipe skillet clean. Add avocado oil or vegetable oil, and turn heat to medium-high
- Form patties. I use 1/4 measuring cup, and pack mixture into cup, so that all patties are uniform and stay together. I also spray the inside of the cup lightly with cooking spray, so the patties release easily
- Carefully add patties to oil. Press down lightly with the back of the cup or a spatula, to flatten them slightly.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, or until you see the golden crust begin to form. Carefully turn using spatula, and allow other side to cook. You may lose a little of the patty, but that's okay!
- When patties are done, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- Top with additional grated parmesan and a little more red pepper flakes, if desired. Enjoy!