School is back! Parents everywhere rejoice!
Not that I don’t love spending weeks on end trying to convince children that “who can stay quiet the longest” is the best game in the world, or that epic bragging rights and eternal love are a suitable prize for doing extra household chores, but I’m ready for the family routine to return to normal. So following on from my earlier blog post giving you back-to-school lunchbox tips, I’m sharing a lunchbox-friendly meal that is suitable for kids of all ages: vegetable and lentil fritters.
These fritters are a great way to use up little bits of vegetables that are sitting in the fridge slowly going soft - as long as you have the batter right it will bind pretty much whatever you can throw into it. Don’t have carrots? Leave them out! Kids don’t eat zucchini? Tell them bad luck and they’ll be really hungry later! No, I’m only (half) joking, but they can very easily be manipulated to suit whatever you like and whatever you’ve got. And if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll eat pretty much anything if it’s hidden inside a) pizza scrolls or b) cheesy fritters, so they’re a great way to pack them full of vegetables they wouldn’t normally tolerate.
They’re wholegrain, full of fibre, rich in protein and packed with nutrients, and they include just enough cheese to help flavour and bind the fritters without ruining their nutritional profile. They’re lunchbox friendly, re-heat well and make an excellent snack or light meal topped with cottage cheese for extra protein and calcium. I grated all of my vegetables and the cheese using a food processor so the prep time was minimal, but if you're not quite as lazy as me or you don't have a food processor then grating by hand won't take too long.
Next time you need an easy, kid-friendly meal that won't break the budget and sneaks some extra nourishment into your family think vegetable and lentil fritters.
Vegetable and Lentil Fritters
(makes 20-24 fritters)
1 carrot, grated
2 medium zucchini, grated
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 x 400g can corn kernels, drained (or approx 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed)
1 x 400g can brown lentils, drained (or boil your own - 1/2 cup dried)
1 cup tasty cheese, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 & 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. Add carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, corn, lentils, onions and garlic in a large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Sprinkle over flour and baking powder, and mix so that flour is evenly distributed.
3. Add eggs, cheese and milk, and mix until the batter is smooth. If it's too dry: add more milk, if it's too wet: add more flour.
4. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. When it's nice and hot add 1/4 cup size portions to the pan.
5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently flip the fritters and fry for a further 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
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