Quinoa-Kale Green “Fish” Sticks
When was the last time your kids argued over who got more kale? Because they WANTED more! This dish is packs A LOT of kale into each little bite. And it mimics the texture of a finely minced fish stick. I suppose that if you added a bit of sea vegetable, you could get the flavor in there too. But we are pleased with this dish as-is, simple, quick, tasty.
The key to getting your kids, or yourself, to eat more of the superfood – kale? Add another superfood – quinoa! These two foods are elegant together. They taste so good that you might forget that you are eating, in each powerful bite, the most nutrient dense vegetable on the planet and the most ancient of grains (okay… actually seeds), with high protein and a long list of vitamins and minerals!
My son likes to add ketchup because it makes these bites reminiscent of… ahem… really good processed fish sticks. But I like them plain, thin, and almost chip-like. The texture is so good that I have woken up in the night thinking about it!
PLEASE… Do this at home.
How to make this fast!
For a fast meal, even breakfast, make your batter in advance and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge. I usually make extra for quick quinoa-kale cake bites on a whim.
Easy Steps for making Quinoa-Kale Sticks or Cakes
Mise en Place. Cook quinoa according to package direction. You can do this in advance and keep quinoa ready to go in the fridge or freezer.
Kale pulp is simply blended with the juice strained out. Don’t waste the juice! Drink it for an energy and nutrition boost. CLICK HERE for quick easy blender pulp tips.
Next, add one egg, garlic, and salt, or umeboshi plum paste.
I also add nutritional yeast. It has a wonderful flavor! And adds b12, making this an even more powerful superfood.
At this point, I like to make a little cake to taste. There are three shown here. I only make one, very small. Then adjust seasonings as needed. Also determine how soft or crispy you prefer your patties or sticks to be.
Handle your batter carefully. It is delicate. Flip carefully, and cook both sides, of course.
You can use a portion scoop to make uniform sticks or patties which will cook evenly.
Heat oil in a skillet. Form each quinoa-kale portion into desired shape. Place them carefully into the pan. Don’t crowd the pan! These will fall apart if you are not careful and do not give yourself room to cook.
Allow the first side to cook completely before attempting to flip it. Faux “fish” sticks are fun to eat, and great for kids, but they will require a little more effort than mini patties. I make sticks occasionally, but usually opt for quick easy mini cakes.
When both sides are cooked, remove sticks or cakes from skillet and place them on a rack to keep them crisp.
Then serve immediately, with or without ketchup or a dipping sauce. If I am making sticks, I like to do a faux “fish” and chips thing. It is easy to forget that there is tons of nutrition in there!
Quinoa Kale Cakes and Sticks
If you have more or less kale pulp than the recipe calls for, just adjust your recipe. This is a very forgiving recipe. My family likes a little more quinoa than kale. Mix your ingredients and make a little tester cake, then adjust ingredients if needed.
- 1 c quinoa, cooked
- 3/4 c kale pulp, or finely minced kale – click here for easy tips
- 1 egg (if needed, add another egg)
- salt, to taste (we like 1/2 to 3/4 t)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced, or 1/8 t garlic powder, or roasted garlic (preferred)
- Optional: nutritional yeast, to taste. (I like 3-4 T)
Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Use a spoon or portion scoop, and your hands, to form sticks or cakes. This batter is delicate. Handle carefully. Once you have made a few, you will be comfortable with it. You may prefer using two eggs. Make one little tester cake to be sure you like the seasonings. Adjust if needed.
Place sticks or cakes into an oiled heated skillet. Medium heat. Avoid getting your skillet too hot. Low and slow is better with this dish.
When one side is completely cooked, flip stick or cake to cook the other side. When both sides are cooked, transfer sticks or cakes to a rack to keep them crisp. Add more oil between batches, if needed.
Tip: if making cakes, you can just drop spoonfuls into your skillet and gently mash them with the back of the spoon. If you press them thin, you can use slightly higher heat and cook faster.
Serve immediately with or without sauce.
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