Kale and Quinoa Patties with Sundried Tomatoes and Romano Cheese

quinoa and kale patties I opened my freezer the other day and saw a quart size container of cooked quinoa, I like to do that with different grains, I always make extra and freeze some, it’s nice and handy, and makes for some quick meals during the week. I do it with quinoa, couscous, farro and rice, a quick defrost and you’re ready to go!

quinoa and kale patties I decided to try my hand at making quinoa patties, and being a “newbie” at this I searched the Internet for some inspiration. Kale and quinoa sounded like a good combination to start with and then I gave it my own little Italian twist.

quinoa and kale patties Most of the recipes I saw added a bunch of breadcrumbs, I wanted to try making them without bread, so I just added more cheese instead and surprisingly they came out perfect! I added sundried tomatoes to mine, romano cheese, a little basil. Think about what you might have on hand, like shredded carrots, diced red pepper, other types of greens and cheese, different kinds of herbs, basically the sky’s the limit on additions.

quinoa and kale patties They’re very versatile, and a nice meatless meal that you can make ahead and reheat. I served mine alongside a simple salad for lunch, and topped them off with some tzatziki sauce.

quinoa and kale patties I also served them as a main course with a warm roasted red pepper sauce and a nice side of mixed veggies.

quinoa and kale patties And if you have any leftover at all, just plop a crispy fried egg on top for a wonderful breakfast, it’s so darn good!

Kale and Quinoa Patties with Sundried Tomatoes and Romano Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • Recipe adapted from Every day Dishes and DIY
  • 2½ cups of cooked and cooled quinoa, either tri-color or plain, cooked according to package. I advise having this done ahead of time.
  • 4 cups of kale, deveined and chopped up into small shreds
  • 1 cup of grated romano cheese
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons or so of diced sundried tomatoes, if using oil packed, rinse and pat dry
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, drizzle bottom with olive oil and saute onions and garlic until soft then add in the shredded kale and cook until wilted on a medium low flame, stirring and being careful not to burn edges of kale, let it cool down.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the quinoa, romano cheese, basil, sundried tomatoes and the three beaten eggs.
  3. Add the cooled down kale mixture to the bowl and combine everything well.
  4. Heat another skillet, I would use a non stick surface because of the cheese, drizzle that with olive oil.
  5. Form patties and place into hot pan, medium flame, don't move them until a crust forms on the bottom! (very important) then flip them over and cook the other side until crust forms, watch them so they don't burn, lower heat if necessary.
  6. The crust that forms will keep them together, so don't move turn them before that happens or else they will fall apart.
  7. remove patties, place on a paper towel and serve..

 

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Summer Entertaining with Grilled Whole Fish

grilled red snapper Are you intimidated by the thought of grilling a whole fish? Don’t be, the entire process is actually very simple! The most important thing you can do is to buy your fish from a reputable source and become friends with your fish monger. I trust the guys at my Whole Foods, in fact I told them that I wanted to grill a whole fish and they gave me a couple of suggestions, on the day I was there it was either sea bass or red snapper, to which they highly recommended the snapper, so that’s what I went with.

Your fish monger is your friend, he will do all the dirty work for you, he’ll scale, gut and remove the gills and all you have to do is take it home, stuff it, and stick it on the grill! I told you it was easy!

When you get it home make three or four diagonal cuts on the top of both sides straight down to the back bone, not only will it ensure even cooking but you’ll be able to tuck  lemon slices and shaved garlic inside the slits like I did. Open up the cavity and drizzle good olive oil inside, salt and pepper then stuff it with your favorite herbs, more lemon and a few tomato slices, finish by rubbing the whole fish with olive oil, both sides. It’s that easy, no measuring, just go for it!

 

grilled red snapper Place your fish on a hot oiled grill on low direct heat, flipping only once and cooking until completely opaque, about ten or so minutes per side. (my 2 lb. fish took about 25 minutes). Some of the skin might stick to the grill and peel off when you flip it over but for the most part it will stay intact and the skin will hold everything together and protect the meat from the flame.

grilled red snapper The end result is so delicious, a slightly smoky, moist but yet firm, sweet subtle flavor infused with herbs, lemon, tomato and garlic. So good!

Feel free to drizzle more olive oil on top to finish it off. Oh and if the eye creeps you out like it did me, cover it with a basil leaf!

red, white and blue potato salad Keep your side dishes simple because the fish is really the show stopper. Since it’s 4th of July weekend how about my Red, White and Blue Potato Salad? (recipe below).

red, white and blue potato salad This would go really nice with the fish. Roasted small red, white and blue potatoes along with roasted red pepper chunks, onions, parsley and lots of lemon zest all tossed while it’s warm in an olive oil and lemon dressing.

quinoa tabbouleh with kale Or how about a colorful healthy Quinoa Tabbouleh with Kale and Grilled Vegetables this would be a wonderful side as well plus can make it the day before, and that’s a good thing!

Cook 1 cup of rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water, cool it down, then add any grilled veggies you want, I used red and yellow pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, then to that I added red onion, 1/2 can of chick peas rinsed, sliced grape tomatoes, lots of curly kale and parsley, all tossed in a lemon and olive oil dressing.  Sorry, no exact amounts, just add in as much as you want, you’ll know when to stop.

 

tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad Or you just might want to keep it real simple by making a layered Tomato, Avocado and Fresh Mozzarella Salad, just be sure to top it off with some good quality olive oil and fresh chopped fragrant basil, a summer staple for sure!

Have a Happy, Healthy 4th!

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. assorted small red, white and blue potatoes cut in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • ½ red onion sliced thin
  • 4 scallion, sliced
  • handfull each of chopped parsley and chives
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • lemon and olive oil dressing
Instructions
  1. Coat potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 F. until fork tender.
  2. Roast the chopped red pepper at same temp in a separate pan while potatoes are roasting, until tender.
  3. When potatoes and peppers are done, toss into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, parsley, chives, scallions, red onion and zest, toss well and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on desired amount of lemon and olive oil dressing.
  5. LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
  6. Start with fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 3 tablespoons, a small smashed garlic clove, whisk in good olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste it as you go along checking for the right balance of juice vs olive oil, you’ll know when you get it just right!

 

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Summer Salad Sides

Italian saladIf you’re having a BBQ then your going to need some side dishes, here’s a few that I’ve been making lately. When I make a salad I don’t fuss about exact measurements, I just grab a bowl or a platter, the size of which is always determined on how many people I’m feeding, then I just start cutting and tossing in all my favorite ingredients. If you love artichokes like me then add more, if you’re not crazy about onions, don’t add any. If I’m adding chickpeas I might want to start with a handful at first adding more as I go. That’s how I make a salad, so for these four salads I’m featuring I’m giving you the combination of ingredients I used but not the exact amounts, you can be the judge according  to your tastes!

For my ITALIAN CHOPPED SALAD  which is also great as a starter because of all the antipasto ingredients. I added romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, green and black olives, red onion, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, diced provolone cheese, salami and cooked ditalini pasta. Vinaigrette dressing.

zucchini ribbon salad ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD with ASPARAGUS and CORN. Everything here is raw except for the grilled corn, After you dress it let it sit for an hour so all the flavors meld together.  It includes yellow squash and zucchini ribbons, ( that I make with my vegetable peeler) slices of baby zucchini, tender small asparagus cut diagonally, grilled corn, parmesan chards, (the more the better), toasted walnuts, basil and chopped chives. Vinaigrette or lemon olive oil dressing.

grilled potato saladGRILLED RED POTATO SALAD. This is a tasty side for steaks, ribs, pork and chicken. Pre-grill some red potato slices by cutting the top and bottom off of the potatoes then cutting into planks, toss in olive oil and place on your grill until tender. Grilled red, yellow and orange peppers, chopped bite size, Nicoise olives, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped green onion and fresh parsley. Vinaigrette dressing.
Italian vinagrette I get asked many times how I make my Vinaigrette so here it is,  3 parts good olive oil to 1 part wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic, 1 smashed garlic clove, a dollop of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ground pepper to taste. Whisk everything together. I always have a jar sitting in my fridge at all times!                                                                                                                                                                                                   quinoa saladGrilled Veggie Quinoa Salad. A great healthy lunch as well as a side. For this I used a tricolored quinoa that I precooked according to the package then I just added assorted and chopped grilled veggies, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, eggplant, red, yellow and orange peppers, chopped basil and lemon zest. Lemon slices for garnish. Lemon and olive oil dressing.
 How could something so simple taste so good? Fresh Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing. This simple dressing is one of my favorites! Fresh squeezed lemon juice plus a little zest, a small smashed garlic clove, whisk in some good olive oil, add salt and pepper, done! I taste as I go along checking for the right balance of juice vs olive oil, you’ll know when you get it just right!

Enjoy!

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