Kale and Quinoa Patties

It’s time for THR’s highly anticipated quinoa blend recipe! This one does not disappoint, but then again, when do they? These little patties got rave reviews from my test kitchen rats. Five stars across the board and the prep was a breeze. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Kale and Quinoa Patties

Serves: 6 (2 patties per serving)
*See recipe notes below

½ cup dry tri-blend quinoa (I use Ancient Harvest’s Quinoa Harmony)
1 cup water
1 cup steamed kale*
3 eggs, beaten
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Rinse quinoa and place in a medium size sauce pan with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.

Mix together steamed kale, cooked quinoa, garlic, green onions, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mixture should be moist, but not runny. Form into  12 patties and set aside.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4-6 patties (depending on the size of the pan) at one time. Cook for 8-10 minutes per side or until browned. Remove cooked patties from pan and finish remaining batches.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Serving Recommendation

Feel free to eat these patties atop mixed greens or a roasted vegetable. I chose to get a little fancier when I made them the first time around with a mixed toasted+raw kale salad, homemade Parmesan Lemon Dressing and a runny poached egg. See below for all the pretentious details!

Kale and Quinoa Patties with Toasted Kale Salad and Poached Egg

Serves 2

2 Kale and Quinoa Patties
4 poached eggs
4 cups chopped, fresh kale
Cooking spray

Parmesan Lemon Dressing:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1-2 teaspoons honey

Whisk together Parmesan Lemon Dressing ingredients*. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 2 cups chopped, fresh kale on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray, toss. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine remaining raw and toasted kale with the Parmesan Lemon dressing. Divide between 2 plates, top with quinoa patty and a poached egg. Finish with some fresh cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Happy eating!

Recipe Notes:
Dressing: the dressing was thrown together by myself a little haphazardly. Take that as a warning, but the measurements are close. Feel free to play around with it!

Steamed Kale: I placed a steaming basket in a large saucepan, filled it with water to just below steaming basket. Place kale in steaming basket, bring water to a boil and steam until kale is tender; about 10-15 minutes.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

(Money Shot)

Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper


Red Lentil Cashew Burgers

This recipe gets a mad shout out to Eating Well Magazine. I stumbled upon this recipe a few years back and while it may be a touch labor intensive, I promise you the efforts involved will be rewarded. As I mentioned in last week’s lentil post, cooking lentils can be a bit dicey. This recipe should put your mind at ease if it turns out to be your first lentil cooking experience. Why? You cook the red lentils until the point of mush – failure approved! These burgers are packed with flavor. If you don’t like curry, please select another post to read from the archive (to the right) because that little spice is a big player in this recipe. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short, but full 26 years of life it’s to never force feed people curry…or demand fortune cookies from a BBQ food truck…or start a football tailgate in the parking lot of a zoo. I suppose that’s more than one thing.

Red Lentil and Cashew Burgers are easy to prepare in advance. Frozen in patty form prior to pan searing makes them an excellent freezer staple with no pre-thawing required. I lay out how to make them in advance below the recipe in the notes section. Don’t let that little sweet heart of yours think I am leading you on.

Enjoy these burgers any time of year because no grill is required. Just fresh, honest, whole ingredients are combined to make your diet and kitchen more simplified. Got other lentil ideas? Please leave them in the comment section below.

Happy cooking!

Red Lentil Cashew Burgers

Adapted from Eating Well

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Serves 6

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 cup peeled and diced carrots, about 3 medium carrots
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 whole wheat pitas
6 cups baby spinach
1 red pepper
1/2  English cucumber, sliced into 1/4 inch half-moons
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 2 cups water, carrots and lentils in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover saucepan and simmer until the lentils are tender and falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain through mesh strainer pressing out any extra liquid with a spatula. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place cashews on prepared cookie sheet and bake until toasted, about 15 minutes or until golden brown. If you can remember, shake pan halfway through baking to get a good toast on the nuts. Set aside and let cool.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder and the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lentils and the onion mixture; pulse until mixture is combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs. *See below for blending note.

Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Form the mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each. Cook 2 to 4 patties at a time until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.

Cut tops of whole wheat pitas off; put a good healthy layer of hummus inside, followed by a cup of spinach, the red lentil cashew burger and slide in english cucumber slices and red pepper strips.


Recipe notes:

Make Ahead: Prepare burgers as directed, stop before pan searing. Wrap ‘raw’ burgers in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and store in freezer up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, remove from freezer and once unwrapped, these little guys can go straight into the searing pan! Cooking time will increase by a minute or two per side.

Blending: I only have a small food processor. To accommodate the space issue, I blend the cashews, lentil mixture and onions all separately – I place the three blended parts in a medium-size mixing bowl, add breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

Hummus: I prefer the roasted red pepper flavor for this recipe, but feel free to experiment as you like


Creamy Polenta

Here we are! It’s time for my whole corn recipe. As mentioned last week, polenta (or corn grits) is a source of whole grain corn. I love making this recipe during the week when looking for an alternative starchy side dish. In terms of labor intensity, it’s similar to mashed potatoes and much less work than the carpal-tunnel-inducing risotto. Polenta pairs well with the likes of chicken, pork, lamb, steak or seafood. It also serves as a wonderful bed for roasted garlic tomatoes with sautéed greens like kale, spinach or swiss chard.  HR’s creamy polenta is a simple quick fix for impressing your dinner guests or enjoying solo on a mundane weeknight.

Image by Kimberly Sabada

Image by Kimberly Sabada


Creamy Polenta

Serves: 4-6
*See bottom of post for recipe notes

Image by Kimberly Sabada

Image by Kimberly Sabada

1 cup polenta (coarse ground cornmeal/grits)*
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a medium size sauce pan, bring broth to a boil. Whisk polenta slowly into broth, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Stir polenta frequently to prevent clumping. Remove from heat, stir in milk, butter, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy! Yep, it’s that simple.

Recipe Notes:
Polenta: I use Bob’s Red Mill Polenta (corn grits)
Polenta Variation: Fold in caramelized onions or roasted garlic for an added level of savory flavor.

Come back next week for another one of HR’s Easy Weeknight Dinner!

Image by Kimberly Sabada

Image by Kimberly Sabada

Happy Cooking!

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Kale has been labeled a super food by the media for a while now, so here is me jumping on the kale-frenzy bandwagon. This recipe was really only born from the fact that there was an actively expiring box of basil in my refrigerator. In an effort to salvage the dying herb, I picked up some kale and made this beautiful, nutrient-rich pesto from ingredients already in my kitchen.

Kale is loaded with vitamin K, A, and C. When consumed whole, kale also offers plenty of fiber. Sneaking it into salads, turkey meatballs and stir-fry are often my go-to moves with this lovely vegetable. Kale chips are another easy dinner side for nights when your time isn’t as dispensable.

What can you do with pesto besides the tired pasta sauce? You can put it in sandwiches for an extra level of flavor or fold into regular humus and dip veggies in it until your heart is content. I also enjoy spreading pesto onto homemade pizza. Try mixing it into scrambled eggs or sneak it as a layer into your lasagna – seriously, the list goes on and on.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

Kale & Walnut Pesto


1 bunch of basil (optional)

4 cups of chopped kale

Zest of 1 lemon

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

3 cloves garlic

Salt, pepper

1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine basil through garlic and blend. Season with salt and pepper.  With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until desire consistency is achieved. Feel free to add some parmesan cheese if you so desire.

I also recommend freezing the pesto in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer. The cubes defrost in no time and are just as delicious.


Easy Weeknight Dinner: Part Five

Where was I? Oh yeah, loosing my independence and learning how to be at the bottom of the totem poll. The dietetic internship has started and I am quickly learning the cold, hard realities of what it means to be an intern. I am going to try to get back into posting more seriously, but I have to be honest – when I get home at night, the last thing I want to do is think about nutrition. So to ease myself back into it, I thought I would do yet another Easy Weeknight Dinner. You’re welcome.

This little number is one I turn to frequently on nights when I am pressed for time.  It’s the perfect dish to over-make and pack the leftovers for lunch the following day.  I, like so many of you, love carbohydrates.  The love affair dates back to God knows when, but I could honestly survive on Italian bread, pretzels, pita and granola. Dinner is possibly my biggest meal of the day (although some days breakfast takes that title). Two maybe three servings of vegetables are not an uncommon thing to see piled on my plate at night.  In order to make eating them more fun, folding in pasta or brown rice is my go to move.  It just makes it more…what’s the word….bearable.

Picture by Kimberly Sabada

Picture by Kimberly Sabada

Whole Wheat Farfalle with Sautéed Kale and Kalamata Olives

Serves 1

  • 2 ounces of dry farfalle
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, trimmed, washed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 heaping tsp kalamata olive tapenade (premade)

Cook pasta according to directions.  Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet heat oil over med-high heat.  When oil has heated, add prepared kale and sauté until tender.  Add cooked pasta and kalamata olive tapenade to skillet.  Toss to heat through. Enjoy! Add some parmesan cheese if you so desire. YUM. 

The Greatest Breakfast Sandwich In The World

Yea I oversold this one with a title like that, but seriously – this thing might just change your life or at the very least, your morning. This has been something I’ve perfected over the last week or two and let me tell you, it really hit the spot the day after Patriot’s Day.  Massachusetts is not joking around with this state wide holiday. Honestly, watching people complete 26.2 miles of running while drinking beer on a patio in 87-degree weather was exhausting. This little breakfast gem was exactly what I needed the day after to recover and refuel.  Well this, three Advil and a gallon of Gatorade.

Serves: 1

  • 1 whole wheat english muffin
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 slice of cheese
  1. Slice and toast english muffin
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat
  3. Beat eggs, spray pan with non-stick cooking spread
  4. When hot, add eggs to pan and let them spread out like a crepe, lifting up at the edges to aid cooking
  5. When egg has set, place piece of cheese in center and fold over the edges of the egg-crepe (should be 4 – think envelope)
  6. Let sit for 30 or so seconds to let cheese melt
  7. Slide cheese-egg onto toasted english muffin and ENJOY!

Note:  I’ve also been known to add a sausage patty to this bad boy and use egg 2 egg whites. Tasty.

An Easy Weeknight Dinner: Part Two & Three

Developing posts can sometimes feel like opening the Hatch on LOST. I don’t always know where they are going to lead and they often require heavy lifting.  Having said that, these Easy Weeknight Dinner posts are a delight to create. Like most of you, I am pressed for time, but that does not mean I am willing to sacrifice my appetite. As the spring semester gets into full swing, I am realizing one thing: Holy Mother of God, this one is going to hurt. 16 credit hours, 150 hour research practicum at Tufts University and a teaching assistant position are all on the docket for the next four months. I am beginning to think I had some kind of brain aneurism last fall when I was designing this infernal agenda.

These two recipes are vegetarian, but you could easily add some turkey sausage, grilled chicken breast or beef slices on the side. I’ve really just combined some classic vegetable sides into one dish and called in it an entre. I’m dressing up your vegetables and making them fabulous.  Charles Bukowski once said, “An intellectual says a simple thing a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” So I suppose in this case I am the intellectual.  It rarely happens so let me have it. Please.

Cooking doesn’t have to be a nightly production.  Finding little ways to cheat the system can be rewarding and that’s why I am here.

Curried Cauliflower with Garlic Roasted Beans and Brown Rice

Serves: 1

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS. olive oil
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/8th tsp. curry powder
  • 1/8th tsp. cumin
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine beans, garlic and 1 TBS of olive oil in small bowl. Place bean mixture onto a 14″ sheet of aluminum foil and season with salt and pepper.  Bring sides of aluminum foil together and seal, crimp edges to make a sealed pouch.  Place on a cookie sheet in the center of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until beans are tender and fragrant.

Meanwhile, coat cauliflower flowerets in oil, curry, and cumin.  Place mixture into a rimmed cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Bake in 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.

On a large plate, place warm brown rice. Top with half of bean mixture (saving other half for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner) and cauliflower. *Note: this may be more cauliflower than you want. Fee free to cut it in half.  I am a vegetable FREAK at night. 

Garlic Roasted Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Serves: 1

  • Left over Garlic Roasted Beans (1/2 of original mixture)
  • 1 TBS chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 8-10 Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed and halved
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry minced onion
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2- 3/4 cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium size bowl, combine Brussels spouts, olive oil, minced onion and salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until sprouts are tender and slightly brown.

Add sun-dried tomatoes and some oil from jar to leftover Garlic Roasted beans.  Microwave on high for about one minute to heat through.  On a plate, place brown rice and top with Brussels sprouts and beans. Enjoy!