Kale And Quinoa Patties And The Spirit Of The Southern Wild

Before slipping into the vortex of the next two months of work trips galore, I wanted to stop by and share some things I have been crazy about lately. I had intended to share this kale and quinoa patty recipe before the recent retreat I went on, but the retreat was so great I wanted to leave the images fresh in my mind. And now here I am ready to share this delicious and fabulous recipe and there is something even more pressing to share!

If I have talked to you in the last week I have probably told you to get to a movie theater and get there quick. Not in my usual way but in the way that prompted me to send numerous texts to people saying YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE AND DON’T WAIT! It is rare that a movie moves me so deeply and when it does the feeling is so special I want to shout it from the tops of buildings and share it with everyone I know. The recent movie that left me so motivated to climb hills just so I could scream of its tremendous merits was BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.

Before the title credit had played I had goose bumps and I was leaning over propelled by the music to whisper to my friend Eniel that this movie was already blowing me away. It is lyrical, mythical, fantastical, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at the same time. It is everything you want to experience in a dark theater and too often find escaping you; it is everything you want to tell people they have to experience for themselves and then watch them tell everyone they know to watch it. I went in with high expectations (it won big at Sundance and Cannes and has had great reviews) but it exceeded my every hope. Like the main character Hushpuppy, this small film packs a heart and soul larger than anything you could ever dream to find. So there it is, if I haven’t texted you to say GO GET TO A THEATER I am now saying it here, run and I promise you will be happy you did and sharing the news as enthusiastically as I am.

Now on to some Kale and Quinoa, don’t let the excitement about the movie detract your attention from these delicious little pieces of yum. These are inspired from SUPER NATURAL EVERY DAY, and they might be my favorite recipe from this cookbook. I have made these little quinoa cakes multiple times in the last few months in multiple ways (with kale, with chard, with no veg option at all). They are packed with protein, portable, and best of all they taste fantastic! I make a half recipe from what is called for in the cookbook only being able to eat so much kale and quinoa in a week.

KALE AND QUINOA PATTIES (adapted from Super Natural Every Day)


1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa

2 Large Eggs lightly beaten

¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

1 yellow onion finely diced and divided in half

¼ cup (or more sometimes) grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic diced and divided in half

½ cup breadcrumbs

Water if needed

1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil divided

½ a bunch of kale any variety (or spinach or chard)

Splash of red wine vinegar

To Cook Quinoa: Combine 1 cup of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 1 ½ cups water and ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little curlicues form the beads of quinoa. Set quinoa aside to cool. Sometimes I make extra quinoa the night before with dinner and make these patties the next day; conversely you could just put the quinoa in the fridge to get cool. You want the quinoa to be room temperature or colder as you combine raw egg to it.

Sauté kale or other greens of your choice with half of the onion and one clove of garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until kale is wilted and onion is translucent. Remove mixture from heat and add splash of red wine vinegar (this will help to brighten the flavor). Set aside and let this mixture cool to room temperature as well.

Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, and kale in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, remaining half of onion, and garlic. Add breadcrumbs, stir until fully combined. Then let mixture sit for a few minutes to absorb moisture.

At this point you should have a mixture that you can form into 10 – 12 small patties. You can always add more breadcrumbs to a moist mixture or more beaten egg or water to a dry mixture.

Heat half of remaining oil in a heavy skillet or I use my Dutch oven, over medium-low heat (temperature is important; too hot and you get some crispy dark spots, I did it once). Add 5 – 6 patties very carefully to hot oil; you want them to have some room between each other. Cover and cook for 7 – 10 minutes until the bottoms are golden to brown. Turn up the heat if they are not browning or turn it down if they are browning too fast.

Carefully flip the patties with a spatula, cover with lid, and cook the second side for 7 minutes or until golden.

Remove from pan to wire rack or plate while you cook the remaining patties in remaining olive oil.

These little patties take some time and a number of steps but they are well worth it. They stay good in the fridge and are great hot, cold, or at room temperature. They were even great en route to the Catskills!

~ Ramona

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07 2012

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  1. Jess #

    This sounds delicious! I will have to try it soon. We are making Collard Green Enchiladas next week, where the collard leaf replaces the tortilla. I have very high hopes.

    • ra #

      The Collard Green Enchiladas sound amazing! I can’t wait to try them when I have time in my kitchen again! XOXO Ra

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