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Fishcakes and Sweet Potato Frittatas
Who has the time to cook completely from scratch 3 meals a day? Not me! That’s why convenience food has become so popular. It’s so easy to pop something in the oven or microwave and cut out the time of preparing all the food. It also saves time on washing up but as we are always told processed foods are high in fat, salt and sugar which are extremely bad for us and our children. After becoming a major Jamie Oliver follower I have discovered fantastic shortcuts and ways to speed up the cooking time but still make nutritional and tasty meals.
TIP ONE: Cook extra to use in another meal or know how to use your leftovers. Today I am going to cook extra Sweet Potatoes to use in tomorrow’s dish – frittata.
TIP TWO: Freeze old bits of hard, dry, stale bread and use to make breadcrumbs. Keep them tied up in a sandwich bag, in the freezer, and keep adding to it.
TIP THREE: The busiest time of the day seems to be just before the evening meal so prep food throughout the day, that way you only have to cook it at tea time.
MEAL ONE – Sweet Potato Fishcakes
Time: 3 hours (Most of this time is baking and prepping time throughout the day)
Makes 10 (Great for freezing. Defrost for kids to have as a quick lunch or in pack up boxes.)
Cost: about 80p per fishcake (Jan 2015 Tesco prices)
4 Large Sweet Potatoes (2 for this meal and 2 to make Frittata another day)
400g of white fish (You could also use canned tuna which will not need baking in the oven)
1 pickled gherkin
1/2 bunch of parsley
1 Juice of a lemon
Plain Flour for coating
Breadcrumb coating (Optional)
75g Ciabatta (Or use old, hard bits of bread)
Bake the Sweet Potatoes for 1 1/2 hours, until soft in the centre at 200C/400F/Gas6. Move the potatoes onto a lower shelf. Brush the fish with a little olive oil and put it onto a foil lined tray, bake in the oven for 15 mins.
Once everything is baked, cut the potatoes in half and scrape out the middle, mash it and put 1/2 into a bowl and leave to cool. Allow the fish to cool at the same time. Put the leftover 1/2 of potato into a bowl and cover with cling film. Keep in the fridge to make Frittata another day.
Once the fish has cooled, remove the skin and any bones. Flake the fish up with a fork and add it to the mashed sweet potato.
Chop up the gherkin and parsley, add to the potato and fish mash. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add pepper if you wish. Mix together well.
Divide the mixture into 10 parts. Form these parts into balls using your hands and flatten them so they are about 2-3cm thick.
Sprinkle the flour onto your clean worktop and roll each fishcake so that they are evenly coated.
At this stage you can stop, chill them in a fridge and bake but I like to add breadcrumbs as it gives a lovely crispy outside.
So to add the breadcrumbs. Put your ciabatta or stale bread into a food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs. Crack the egg into a bowl and beat. Dip each fishcake into the egg, wiping off the excess egg. Now coat in the breadcrumbs and lay each one on a foil lined tray.
Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This allows it to set and firm.
30 minutes before your dinner time, bake your flour or breadcrumb coated fishcakes at 200C/400F/Gas6 for 20-30 minutes. Until they have turned golden.
Serve with peas and carrots or try a tomato and mozzarella salad. Parents may also like a bit of tartar of sweet chilli sauce, be careful giving this to very young children as it contains some salt.
MEAL TWO – Sweet Potato Frittata
Time: 30 minutes (1 hour 30 if you need to bake the sweet potatoes)
Serves: 6 Adults (or 2 Adults and 2 Children with leftovers)
Cost: £3.50 (Jan 2015 Tesco prices)
Leftover Sweet Potato or 2 Baked Sweet Potatoes
200g frozen spinach
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 Spring onions
75g Feta Cheese
25g of grated Cheddar Cheese
NOTE: If you do not have left over sweet potato then you will need to bake 2 sweet potatoes at 200C/400F/Gas6 for 1 hour.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the spring onions and cook until soft. This takes about 2 minutes.
Add the frozen spinach and cook until defrosted. Keep stirring.
Take the pan off the heat.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, add the nutmeg and crumble in the feta cheese. Stir well.
Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan and tilt until it is evenly spread.
Sprinkle on chunks of the leftover sweet potato mash. (If you don’t have any left over potato you will need to scoop out the middle of your cooked baked sweet potatoes.)
Sprinkle over the grated cheddar cheese.
Pop the frying pan into the preheated oven 200C/400F/Gas6 for 15 minutes. The egg will fluff up to make a thick frittata rather than looking like an omelette.
Cut into pizza like slices and serve with a tomato and rocket salad.
For great Baby Led Weaning Recipes visit www.lowflyingbananas.co.uk