Monday, January 14, 2013

Lunch in a Box: Quinoa Sweet Cakes

I wrote a post yesterday about getting back into weekly meal planning. I stumbled across a few interesting recipes and am really pleased with the things I have made so far. Last night, I made a Sweet Potato and Kale Pesto pizza that was absolutely deliciously. I used a minimum amount of oil in the pesto, and the result was a fresh and tasty pizza that was not the least bit greasy. It was healthy, without TASTING healthy! It was a winner for sure.

I also made Sweet Quinoa Cakes and a Creamy Tahini Kale Salad for our lunches today and later this week. (You can find links to all of the recipes from yesterday's post). I've had multiple failed attempts at making veggie burgers, so I was a little skeptical of this recipe. But they turned out just fine, and actually taste really good. We often rely on frozen veggie burgers for quick lunches, but I like finding alternatives that are not made with soy. These have a little extra quinoa in them, so they pack a good punch in the fiber department.

Kale is one of the best foods you can eat. It's full of fiber, fights off yucky diseases, and even makes your skin and hair healthy. It puts the SUPER in superfood. It's also ridiculously inexpensive. At my HEB, a bundle costs 98 cents. It does cook down quite a bit, so I usually count on only getting 2 servings out of one bundle. The Kale Salad that I made was lacking some of the zing that I thought it would have, but it's still tasty. The recipe makes a ridiculous amount of dressing, and I only used about a third of it. Any more than that and the kale would have been soggy. I will definitely tweak the quantity, and also find a way to add a little more flavor to it. But I think it's worth making again.

I rounded out our lunches with some carrot sticks with hummus, and fresh grapes for "dessert". I also packed an apple for Hank, and a Cutie for me to have as an afternoon snack.

Sweet Quinoa Cakes:

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup each of quinoa and lentils. I upped the quinoa to 1 cup so that I could get more cakes out of the mix. I left the lentils alone because I'm not a huge fan. For seasoning, I used 1/2 T chipotle chili power (gave it a nice kick), and 1 tsp each of turmeric and garlic powder. But I love that the recipe is easy to tailor to your taste. Once I had all my components in the bowl, I ended up adding about 1/3 cup of cornmeal, just to make it stick together easier. I sprayed my baking sheet with a bit of olive oil, and ended up cooking them for closer to 30 minutes so that they would be a little crispy on each side. I was able to get a total of 12 cakes out of the mix.

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