(baked) purple kale, cilantro + spaghetti squash cakes


my spaghetti squash was lying on the kitchen counter for a little over a week before i knew what i wanted to do with it. sure i could have made some recipes that are the usual suspects around here when fall come into town, but i wanted to use the squash strands for something different this season.  spaghetti squash is my absolute favorite of the squash family.  yes, on the exterior it's a quite underwhelming: it has muted yellow skin, and a smooth and mundane surface.  i guess one could surmise that spaghetti squash, despite it's cool name, it somewhat lackluster judging from the outside.  but as soon as you cut them open, you recognize how major they are!  what plant or vegetable out there gives you perfectly shaped, noodle-like strands without the use of any sort of tool (unless a fork counts as a tool?  are tools and utensils the same?).   most. genius. veggie. everrr!  

like i said, i wanted to make something with the squash i never had.  so with a little exploring of what my mouth likes to taste and what my belly likes to eat, i decided to go the route of some form of burger, patty, cake, or fritter of some sort.  this made me think of my great-grandmother's german potato latkes that my mom would make around hanukkah.  my favorite thing about them was always the lone strands of potato that would make up the edges of the latke - those little crunchies alone were my inspiration for these squash cakes.  i thought the squash strands would be perfect to give the edges that crisp and crunch i was longing for, and they did just that!  the rest of the cake mixture is made up of some tasty seasonings as i was going for a latin-light vibe here.  i toyed around with pan frying them and making them thinner (much like my mom's latkes) but i opted for a lighter interpretation that cuts down the use of oil and keeps your kitchen free of frying-oil odor.  so in they went into the oven.  and they were some form of perfection - super crunchy on the outside, with a billowy, sog-free center.  there's a little bit of prep work involved in these, but once everything is chopped, they're a cinch to just throw in the oven.  and with just frank and i, we had plenty of leftovers for lunch and dinner throughout the week.

 

 



(baked) purple kale, cilantro + spaghetti squash cakes w/ sriracha avocado sauce | gf + dairy free |

 

| makes 10 cakes |   

inspired by Sprouted Kitchen

ingredients

for the cakes

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise 
  • 1 cup purple kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped   
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 small-medium shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (ground from gluten free rolled oats in a food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 
  • neutral oil for greasing baking pan (grapeseed works the best here)

*also needed: a clean tea towel or cheesecloth to wring out squash

for the avocado sriracha sauce

 

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending on how creamy you want it) 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium shallot (or ~2 tablespoons chopped red onion) 
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • salt to taste
  • ~3-4 tablespoons water, to thin consistency


instructions

make the cakes

  • preheat oven to 400° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  cut the squash in half, lengthwise and scrape out the seeds (reserve seeds for toasting! totally optional, but also totally yum).  brush the flesh with olive oil and place face down onto the baking sheet.  bake for 35-40 minutes until knife-tender.  remove squash from oven and let it cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes.  this is a good time to prep the rest of your ingredients)
  • preheat the oven back to 400°.  once the squash is cool, use a fork to scrape the flesh into long strands.  one half at a time, place the scraped squash strands into a clean tea towel (or cheesecloth) and wring out as much liquid as possible (i was actually amzed how much liquid the spaghetti squash contains!).  place wrung out squash in a large bowl and repeat with the other half.  place chopped kale, cilantro, shallots and garlic in the bowl with the squash and mix until thoroughly combined.  add egg and combine once more. set aside
  • in a separate bowl, combine the oat flour, ground flaxseed, salt, baking powder, chili powder, cumin and cayenne (if using) .  pour the dry ingredients into the kale and squash mixture, and mix.  set aside
  • oil a large rimmed baking sheet.  using a 1/4 cup measure, pack it almost to the top and press the cake mixture into the cup measure to make compact.  turn measure over and tap out onto the palm of your hand.  place on oiled baking sheet, use the back of the measure, or your fingers, and press the cake down just a bit (it should be just under an inch thick).  repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have 10 cakes  
  • place baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.  at the end of 20 minutes take cakes out of oven and flip them over to brown the other side.  place back in the oven for 5 additional minutes.  remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  let the cakes cool for about 5 minutes, or eat them at room temperature.  top with avocado sriracha sauce and garnish with cilantro
  • store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

 

 

 

 

 


make the avocado sriracha sauce

  • place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until desired consistency.  (you made need more water depending on how thin you want the sauce.)

enjoy!