March 5, 2014

Kale Pesto

Oh Kale, you eluded me for so long, and I think we have finally come to terms. You are not quite in the 'love' category like your siblings brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage, but no longer in the hate category. Now we are going to introduce you to our son, and make him love you from the start.

What's in it
1/2 C kale, rinsed and chopped
1/4 C basil, rinsed
1/2 C walnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C olive oil

How it's made
Boil a pot of water, and add kale to cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile prepare an ice water bath, and submerge cooked kale in water bath to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.

In a food processor, chop garlic. Then add kale, basil, walnuts and cheese. Pulse until combined and well pureed. Gradually add olive oil while food processor is running. Combine well, and add more olive oil if necessary. Store in airtight container in fridge (add a thin layer of oil to the top to preserve color) or freeze.

Enjoy on pasta, pizza, quinoa burgers, chicken sandwiches...

Quinoa Burger

I LOVE Quinoa!!! I liked it from the first taste a few years ago, but didn't quite know what to do with it. Then I finally figured out you could basically sub it out for lettuce in a salad and toss with French Vinaigrette, and that power salad sustained me through a year of breastfeeding my son. Fast forward a year and I sign up for Pintrest, and the first thing I see is a recipe for Quinoa burgers. Oh yum.

These versatile 'burgers' are so easy to make, and you can sub out ingredients fairly easily, to use whatever you have on hand. They are so flavorful and healthful, and a fun alternative to your run of the mill burger. Even my husband loved them (I assume he wasn't just humoring me).

Try them!

What's in it
1 C uncooked quinoa (I use red), rinsed
2 C chicken or veggie stock, or water
1 C cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), chopped
1/2 C grated cheese, I recommend smoked Gouda or Parmesan
1/4 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C (or 1 medium) carrot, grated
2 green onions, thinly sliced
minced garlic
1 egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
salt & pepper
slider buns or rolls, or standard hamburger buns
avocado, cheese and other yummy toppings

How it's made
Cook quinoa and stock (bring to boil then simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed, fluff with fork). Set aside to cool, can be done in advance.

In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cheese, panko crumbs, carrot, onion and garlic. Mix until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then mix in egg. Form into patties appropriate to the size of your bun, and be sure to squeeze them into a firm patty.

Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large nonstick pan or cast iron skillet (or 2 to be twice as fast). Add patties and cook on one side until crispy, then carefully flip. If they come apart when flipped you are not packing them enough! Cook other side until crispy. Repeat for remaining patties.