Meatless Monday: Quinoa Kale Dinner Cake

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Kale Dinner Cake

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Try a vegetarian, gluten-free dinner cake made with two nutritional superstars.

Not so long ago, both quinoa and kale were overshadowed by mainstream cousins such as rice and spinach. But now that the quinoa and kale craze has peaked, this nutritional duo is everywhere—in wraps, salads, and side dishes. Fortunately, all this attention is well deserved.

First, let’s consider quinoa: this itty-bitty seed (yup, it’s not actually a grain) is an excellent source of antioxidants for gluten-free diets. Its high protein content and balance of amino acids also make it an ideal addition to meatless diets.

Then there’s kale: just one cup contains more than 100 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamins A, C, and K, plus a bevy of cancer-curbing antioxidants. To best absorb all these nutrients, researchers suggest mixing the greens with healthy fats, as in the recipe below.

I have yet to use kale as a salad staple, but I love it in dinner recipes and smoothies. Do you have a go-to kale recipe? Let me know, and keep us updated on your Meatless Monday meals via the comments below, Facebook, or Twitter.

Quinoa Kale Dinner Cake

From Matthew Kadey’s “Hearty Winter Greens”

3/4 cup (180 mL) quinoa
1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped 
5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten 
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) roasted red pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili pepper flakes

In medium-sized saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Grease 8 or 9 in (20 or 23 cm) springform pan or tart pan.

Steam kale, in batches if necessary, until tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, wrap in clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Finely chop steamed kale. Place kale in large bowl and combine with cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt, and nutmeg.

Place kale mixture in pan and press down in even layer with rubber spatula. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges slightly pull away from pan and the centre is firm. Let cool for a few
minutes before removing from pan.

To make the sauce: Place sour cream, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt in blender or food processor
container and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency.

Serve wedges of kale quinoa cakes topped with sauce.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 257 calories; 11 g protein; 13 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 406 mg sodium

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