Perfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites

Perfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites

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.
Perfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites
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. Perfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites

Variations

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.Perfect Little Kale Quinoa BitesPerfect Little Kale Quinoa Bites

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

4.12 from 9 votes

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.

Ingredients
  • 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.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, with a rack in the top third.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Serves
24
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment

Recipe Rating

Comments

  • I made these today as we're headed to Portland for the weekend and they sounded like the perfect snack to have on the plane. Plucked kale from the garden, substituted roasted squash for the edamame. And used another cheese on hand. They're delicious. I better save some for tomorrow!

    Susie
  • I will make these this weekend! However, I am would like to know if I were to use chopped carrots, should I cook them first? I am thinking that pan-seared with small amounts of ginger and sesame oil.

    Kelsey
  • I have a trip coming up soon and I like taking my own food, which is far superior to the bland, meager food served by the airlines. Thanks for another delicious travel meal idea!!

    sharon
  • This looks like a really great and refreshing recipe that is very straight forward. As kale has recently become quite a favorite of mine I really enjoy the versatility of how it is used in this recipe. Thanks

    Allan
  • What a fantastic healthy snack idea! Like muffins but way better for you. Shall try!

    Deepa@onesmallpot
  • Hi! Oh I can't wait to try these. I've made your SNE patties a few times. I'm curious about your mention of freezing. Did you freeze them raw then bake them off? Also, by mini tins I'm assuming you don't mean small-small, but kind of the standard 12 cup size? Thanks!

    salvegging
  • OMG! My two most fav ingredients coming together beautifully! Thank you for this recipe.

    Sonja
  • Looks delicious--I am trying to figure out a good substitute for the breadcrumbs for my G/F partner. Would you go the ground nut route or substitute something else. I am still wrapping my head around baking without gluten (I miss my beloved panko) and GF products often seem to be too spongy/foamish for breadcrumbs. Would cornbread crumbs be a good substitute?

    HS: Hi Danielle - cornbread crumbs would be a fantastic substitute.

    Danielle
  • I love how simple this is, yet it's so elegant.

    Jerrelle | Chocolate For Basil
  • I usually travel with a pb&j, granola, and goldfish...but this sounds way better. It looks like I need to up my travel snack game a bit!

    Sarah from Soymilk + Honey
  • I made these with spinach and peas and they were great.

    Chantha
  • I just recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it very much. Love your recipe ideas and this one sounds just delicious, can't wait to try it.

    Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
  • Look delicious and simple. I just have to substitute the cheese :( Your description about what you pack when you travel sound like something I would write. I hear you. I never find anything edible on planes... Thank you!

    Shelly
  • The perfect travel food. I am going to explore with the broccoli goat cheese Idea for my next trip. It's gonna be LAX to Cabo, so nothing like Tokyo, but I'll make sure to pack plenty :-) Yummy !

    HS: Safe travels! And I'm sure Cabo is much warmer than Tokyo ;)

    Ciao Florentina
  • I wonder if the breadcrumbs you use are fresh or dried? I'm never sure which in many recipes as some specify & others don't. ?..

    anne
  • These look so tasty (and adorable too). I love the small strips of parchment you used to help line the pan. I hope you are having a wonderful trip to Tokyo. I'm in love with the photo of the ingredient round up and the little glass jars and prep bowls. I happen to have a bunch of kale sitting in the fridge that I've been neglecting... I need to get on these cuties. Thank you! xo

    Lisa Cohen // Life is in the Details
  • Looks like perfect picnic food ! If I wanted to make without cheese and butter what would you recommend?

    Anonymous
  • These look great! I have some travel coming up and may have to follow your lead on the plane snacks. I bet Tokyo was amazing!!

    Jenna @ just j.faye
  • Anyone have any ideas for making these without the eggs? I can't eat eggs nor cheese - I don't think leaving out the cheese will be a problem, but the eggs are a big part - any suggestions for a substitute?

    Jody
  • I really like the healthy creativity you have going on here ~ although I am tempted to pan fry them, I think I will bake them with you. And I like the idea of adding asparagus. Love the stuff =) Also think your white subway tile is nice, I think that's what I want to put in my kitchen. Inspirational all around!!

    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
  • More Recipes

    Popular Ingredients