Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Seedy Vegetable Patties

Well, there have been a whole bunch of things happening this week which have kept me away from the blog - feeling a bit slack really!

My youngest daughter had her third birthday party on Saturday which was so much fun…she opted for a pirate party! We had it at the park with about 30 family and friends and we were lucky to strike a gorgeous warm sunny day in amongst the crazy rain, wind and thunder we'd been having all week - thank goodness!

As much fun as the party was, it is also a massive undertaking - I love making a big cake and putting together all sorts of goodies for the big day. This year the cake was a pirate ship sitting on top of the ocean with a beach, palm tree and treasure chest at the spot marked 'x'! The ship was made out of gluten-free chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cake layered with chocolate buttercream (for birthdays I always use buttercream as it is only a couple of times a year and yes, I know it's not dairy free, but I refuse to use margarine or some other nasty butter substitute to make it!). The base of the cake was a gluten, dairy, grain, soy, nut free banana chocolate chip cake (recipe courtesy of http://www.naturalabundance.co.nz) which was covered in fondant icing. Fondant icing is pretty gross and even the kids don't like it, so it works well - it gives the cake the desired colorful finished effect but they just peel it off and eat the cake alone.

 The cake in all it's glory!

My two girls with a friend (the friend's the blondie!)

So after all was said and done with the party we had a day of getting the house back in order then had to think about her actual birthday which she really enjoyed - I made some little allergy friendly banana chic chip muffins for her to take along to celebrate with her friends at Montessori and when the kids got home we had afternoon tea of reassembled cake complete with the lighting of the candles - poor thing missed out on blowing out her candles at her birthday party due to very strong winds…the hazards of a party at the park! To redo the cake, I used the square of base cake we had leftover, removed the fondant icing and re-iced with a far more nutritious option… I made some coconut butter, pureed some bananas into it, added a small handful of chocolate chips and a tbsp of maple syrup and it set beautifully in the fridge! I was really just throwing stuff into the blender and hoping for the best, but ended up with a really great substitute for buttercream…the new icing actually had a similar consistency to buttercream. I think it would even have piped well if I'd needed it too, although not through a small nozzle as it still had a slight texture to it from the coconut. 

Not a very beautiful cake (plating was a shocker, and the photo is just as bad!!), but this is the remake with the yummy wholesome icing - I was in a major rush so ain't pretty!

Finally this week (today) I had a wisdom tooth removed which was a really bizarre experience! I was sedated and I remember them putting the sedative in and prepping me, and then the next thing I know I was sitting in a different chair in a different room, thinking I still had to have the tooth out and wondering where I was and why everyone was asking me if I was ok…totally spun out when hubby came in and said 'time to go'!!!! My big question…..how did I get to the new chair?!!!! OMG I must have walked, but have zero recollection of it which is both super cool and super freaky at the same time. So weird!!

I do have a recipe for you though… can't even remember which night I made these, but with all the cake baking and eating that was going on I had a really strong craving for just some good old fashioned vegetables! There were a bunch of random bits and pieces in the fridge that were all due to be used up, and decided to blend them together to make a vegetable patty that I served with raw carrot and zucchini noodles, and a chunky avocado salsa. Simple, crazy nutritious and a great way to deal with those 'I need to do the groceries' days when you just have random bit of vegetable lurking in the bottom of the fridge! With the addition of sunflower seeds and tahini they also have a protein hit so they are a complete meal for a light dinner or easy lunch (they're GREAT for lunch the next day cold…yum!) You could make these a lot more chunky, I blended them quite throughly to appeal more to the kids, but if I was making them adults only I'd try and leave a few more 'bits' in them. 

Seedy Vegetable Patties

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

2 cups broccoli, roughly chopped into small florets (you can just hack at it really, it just needs to be small enough to blend easily)
2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped into small pieces
2 cups baby spinach
4 cloves garlic
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 coconut flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup tahini
coconut oil to fry

1. In a food processor, blend together the vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and onion) until finely chopped. Add the sunflower seeds, eggs, mustard, and tahini. Blend for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to bind then add the coconut flour and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
2. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Grab a handful of the broccoli mixture and shape into a patty (you choose how much you use in each patty!). Fry gently on one side until golden then flip (carefully!) and brown the other side. 
3. Serve however you would like - they would be great in a vegetarian burger with a bun, a grain free burger sandwiched between 2 large flat mushrooms, and they worked really well as I served them on top of zucchini and carrot noodles with an avocado salsa. The noodles and salsa added the 'sauce' element that gives them a lovely moisture boost.

To make the noodles, I used a spiral grater to create 'noodles' from a couple of zucchini and carrots, then added lemon juice, fresh green chilli, about 1 tbsp fish sauce, salt and pepper to a bowl with the veges. I leaved them to sit while I made the rest of the dinner so they could absorb the flavors and 'cook' in the juices. The salsa was just a tomato, cucumber, avocado and spring onion (one of each) roughly chopped with a dressing of lemon juice, salt and pepper.