Perfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites
Quinoa bites are the perfect on-the-go snack or mini meal. Even better, you can make and freeze them ahead of time.
These little kale-packed quinoa bites came with me to Tokyo. I wedged eight of them into a structured container, tucked that into my purse, and onto the flight we went. I know some of you like to know what I bring to eat on flights, and four hours from SFO, I was wishing I'd brought more. My travel pockets were also lined with kishus (holding steady as my favorite winter citrus), a buttery, ripe avocado, and a bar of dark chocolate. The quinoa bites were nearly perfect for travel, in part because you can do most of the prep ahead of time. Here's how.
A week before my flight I made a batch, shaped them, froze them, and the morning of my flight baked eight - you could also pan-fry them, if you don't want to heat the oven. The rest were home awaiting my return.
Part of the charm here is the inherent flexibility of quinoa bites. Feel free to play around with the quinoa base. I went with kale, edamame, feta, because they were on hand, tasty, and needed to be used up. But there are a thousand other combinations to explore. You could do chopped broccoli with goat cheese, or baby fava beans, and chopped asparagus with lemon zest as we head into spring. Or, add an assertive spice blend or curry powder, chopped garbanzos, and green peas.
Browse this page if you're looking for other things to cook with quinoa.
I had a great little trip. Not too long, not too short, and jam-packed. Pictures & and updated Tokyo map to come soon! We found a few special new items to share here, and I'm hoping they won't take too long to arrive. xo -h
Kale Quinoa Bites
I baked these, but there is no reason, you can't shape them by hand and pan-fry them. A quick dusting of fine breadcrumbs, or rice flour before placing them in a saute pan results in a fantastic crust if you go that route.
- unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup very finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- to serve: avocado, chives.
Preheat oven to 375F, with a rack in the top third.
Butter mini-muffin tins generously, and line with a strip of parchment paper in each indent, this makes popping the bites out of the pan after either baking or freezing simple (see photo).
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, feta, garlic, kale, and edamame. Stir in most of the breadcrumbs, and let sit for a few minutes so the breadcrumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Fill the prepared muffin tins with the quinoa mixture, pressing the mixture down, and then sprinkling with the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until baked through and deeply golden crusted.
Remove the quinoa bites from the pans after a few minutes. Enjoy either hot, or at room temperature spread with salted avocado and lots of chopped chives.
Post Your Comment
The batter is resting as I type--I'm stocking a friend's freezer for her return after a family tragedy. What is the best way to freeze these? Uncooked, in the pan (and then maybe moved to a container or bag)? I'm sure it'll work out. Thank you--they look delicious.
Very long time reader and experienced baker of your rosemary olive oil cake, but first time commenting! Looks lovely and appreciate the variation suggestions; but, would second the question on what other seeds/grains this would work well with, as my tummy doesn't take too kindly to quinoa anymore. Amaranth, bulgur? Any other ideas?
HS: Hi Karen! Perhaps an overcooked rice version (maybe with a bit of millet?), or bulgur?
How clever to use the strip of parchment paper...I will incorporate this from now on in my nest! Happy Nesting.
These look so delicious and full of all my favourite things! I like the trick with the parchment paper, that's much easier than trying to get them out with a knife. Looking forward to tryin these over the weekend.
Oh my goodness, perfect timing! I'm going on a trip soon with my 10 week old. I can eat these one handed while he nurses. I'm thrilled with this suggestion and post. Thank you so much!
Do you have all the travel snacks tagged? I'd love to be able see all the ones you've done and choose from what's in my larder.
HS: Hi Clare, no, but I should!
How do these hold together? Are they crumbly. Thinking these would be perfect for an upcoming trip with our toddler. She will love these and a nice healthy snack/meal vs airport/plane food.
HS: Hi Michele, no, they're not particularly crumbly, particularly if you pack them tight before baking, or pan-frying.
Look at those cuties! Welcome back. I am patiently (!) awaiting the new adds from your trip. And, nudge-nudge, a certain shop opening? Plans?
Thanks Amanda! We're definitely hoping to have it so people can drop by the studio soon....life seems to get in the way of it happening though. Fingers crossed, soon.
I am so glad you had a nice trip! I am looking forward to hear more about it :) These bites look fantastic! And I love the flavour combination - scrumptious :D x
First of all, you make even parchment strips look beautiful! :-) This is a great little bite, thank you! Have a mentioned before I hope you do a cookbook on travel food?
These look great!! Any suggestions on making them vegan? I'd like to pack them on my trip to Kenya!
HS: I definitely use egg as the binder here, let me know if you figure out an alternative way!
Your quinoa patties are a staple in my kitchen so I'm pretty sure I'm going to love these bad boys. Can't wait to try 'em!
Wow these sound absolutely amazing and they really are the perfect little snack to bring on the airplane. I too also prefer bringing my own food, so I will have to give these a go. Great travel food - would also work really well for long train rides, bike rides, or picnics! Rae
How much uncooked quinoa equals 2.5 cups cooked? Thanks!
You certainly have a way with travel-friendly bites. I love hearing what you take on trips and how you think about traveling with food. If I didn't want to deal with muffins tins and the parchment strips I'm assuming I could shape these into rounds, pat them down, and bake as patties on a baking sheet?
I'm seeing these in our future, not just for dinner, but for a long awaited trip to Mexico..from London the journey is quite long, so these are perfect!
I usually read you in the early morning, in that small span between breakfast and getting ready for work. These appeared in my feed as a small revelation: they saved me a trip to the grocery store looking for something to put on the table for dinner. I have all I need to make them. And they look just perfect. Thank you Heidi!
these sound fantastic! I'm going to make them this week and hopefully get my toddler to eat them too as a protein-rich snack!
Could you do this with another grain? Like faro? I love this idea of a neatly portable snack, but my honey is allergic to quinoa. (yes, she is!)
Now I know what to do with my huge bag of kale. Yum!!