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MacKellar Farms & Edamame Quinoa Cakes W Egg and Spicy Avocado Sauce

We love edamame. If you have ever eaten sushi, you have probably had steamed, salted edamame in the pod and might not even know what edamame is apart from the fact that it is a tasty snack. Let me give you quick answer: it is the preparation of immature soybean in the pod and it's packed with protein, fibre, folates, vitamin K and more. In North America, we just call the actual soybean edamame, regardless of how it's prepared or whether it's in the shelled or removed. One of my favourite, quick lunch bag items, we go through this stuff like an ape goes through bananas.

As much as we love the stuff, I am becoming increasingly wary of the soybeans coming from overseas because I can't really be sure about the quality. I keep reading all kinds of stuff about GMO's and other sketchy practices in production, never mind the fact that they are coming half way around the world to land in my freezer so who really knows how fresh they are? It is widely reported that 99% of our edamame is a GMO coming from either China , Thailand or some other East Asian country but even most of the American grown soybean is a GMO product, so what are we supposed to do?

I was told about an Ontario farm that is growing non GMO soybeans and set out to find some. A handsome young farmer, Jacob MacKellar, is the fourth generation running the show at MacKellar Farms and he is growing what I was looking for. He is the very first producer of 100% naturally grown, non GMO edamame in Canada, representing the mere 1% of edamame grown right here at home and he also happens to be in my Province. I got in touch and asked if I could sample some of the product and received a care package of freshly picked as well as bags of frozen in the out of the shell edamame to try.

We boiled and salted the fresh and ate them straight up because I wanted to really taste the soybean in it's natural state. They were delicious and fresh and I will be forever spoiled from now on. I tried the frozen, shelled edamame in two different recipes and again, the quality was excellent. No freezer burn, good colour, fresh taste and great texture and best of all, grown right here in Ontario, traceable, accountable, all natural and nutritious.

To find a store that sells MacKellar Farms edamame near you, click here

Clearly, I was given the edamame I used to make this recipe but my opinions are absolutely mine and this will now be my regular edamame in my home.

Edamame Quinoa Cakes with Egg and Spicy Avocado Sauce

this makes a great brunch dish or a light supper and between the quinoa, edamame and the egg, it's packed with protein 
serves 4-6

Edamame Quinoa Cakes:

1 cup cooked, cold quinoa
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 scallion, chopped
zest from 1/2 lime
1/3 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko

Put the cold quinoa in a big bowl.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your frozen edamame for about 3 minutes, drain under cold water and set aside.
Into your food processor: garlic, scallion, lime zest, cilantro, salt and the well drained, cooled edamame. Pulse until it's smooth but still a bit coarse with texture - don't puree it.
Scrape into a bowl with the quinoa and blend well, taste for salt and add more if needed.  Now add in the egg and stir again, mixing well and finally, add in the panko. After a final mix, put the mixture into the fridge while you get your sauce together.

Spicy Avocado Sauce

1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup water
7 canned tomatillos
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup cilantro
1 seeded jalapeno (or to taste)

Throw everything into the blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Taste, adjust salt and hot pepper if needed and set aside.

To make the cakes:

edamame quinoa cakes
olive oil to fry the cakes
*poached or fried eggs
spicy avocado sauce
feta cheese

Put a small handful of arugula down on each serving plate.

form the mixture into balls - you should be able to get 6 of them. Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan over med heat and add the balls, flattening them down a bit with a spatula to form little hamburger sized cakes. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned and crispy.

Remove and set on top of the arugula.

Top each cake with a poached egg, spoon some sauce over them and sprinkle some crumbled feta over the top.

*to poach soft eggs with runny yolk:
heat  at least 4" of water to a light simmer and add about a tsp of white vinegar to the water. Use a wooden spoon handle to create a cyclone inside the pot but stirring really fast in one direction. I like to crack the eggs, one at a time into a shallow bowl and slide them gently into the barely simmering water, right into the vortex of the swirl you created. Put up to four eggs in the pan and turn on your time for 3 minutes if they are straight from the fridge and 2 minutes if they are at room temperature. When the timer goes off, remove them gently with a slotted spoon and rest them on a plate lined with a piece of paper towel unless you really like wet eggs that make your food all soggy. I don't like soggy food so I let the slotted spoon rest on paper towel.

You can make the eggs a bit ahead of time and hold them in a bowl of very warm water while you get everything ready.

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