Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quinoa, Kale, and Tofu Patties

Quinoa, Kale and Tofu Patties with Massaged Kale Salad
Open-faced served with Massaged Kale salad
I saw a recipe for Spinach Burgers and I thought that’s a great idea. Unfortunately, I am allergic to spinach (go figure) so here I am again looking for substitutes. 
I do have some left-over kale and I thought, hmmm… that should work well. I searched and Googled and found this recipe from This looked like a great option and will prevent me from experimenting… too much.
Fortunately, I also have (re-)discovered the bulk foods aisle at Whole Foods, so I managed to get some more quinoa. I bought just enough to make this recipe. As a side note, that aisle is wonderful – one can get just the right amount of oats, spelt flour, almond butter, almond flour, and experiment. I actually think I bought a bit too much grain.

Back to the task at hand…
Quinoa Kale Tofu Patties - Dry ingredients
Beautiful greens in this batter!
The original recipe calls for 1 cup of uncooked quinoa that yields about 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. That’s a lot of quinoa especially for just two people. I usually keep a batch precooked (I cook about a cup at a time). So, it’s a bit easier to adjust the proportions. It’s probably more energy efficient anyway. Check out the advice from on how to make fluffy quinoa; it helped me prepare the perfect quinoa.
The original recipe also called for steamed kale. However, after a recent experience of sautéing kale, I prefer massaged kale. I also think that massaging provides better texture. I also have some tofu left, so I figured I should add it to the mix to add a bit more protein. If you don’t like tofu, you can omit it.
The initial recipe that I used is below.  As always, it will most likely change a bit. But overall it’s a delicious alternative to a garden burger. Even my husband agrees. For future variations, I may use feta cheese for a bit of a Mediterranean flavor.

Quinoa, Kale & Tofu Patties
Makes about 4 burger-sized patties or 8 slider-sized patties


  • 5/8 cup of cooked quinoa (3/4 cup would probably work too)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup spring onions (about 1), sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup massaged kale, chopped (with olive oil and salt)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tofu, mashed with a fork

  1. The recipe calls for about 5/8 cups of cooked quinoa (I quartered the recipe). If you don't have any precooked, rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Allow quinoa to soak for 15 minutes. Then, with the lid on the pan, bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid - about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In large serving bowl, add the kale, a drizzle of oil and a little salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Quinoa Kale Tofu Patties - cooking
Almost there...


  1. In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, eggs, cheeses, spring onions, garlic, salt, kale, and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Make a patty with about a half-cup of the mixture. Cover the pan and let the patties cook for 7-10 minutes until they are a deep rich brown.
  3. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.

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