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Meatless Monday Recipe: Pan-Fried Veggie Cakes

10/17/2011 2:48:05 PM

Tags: fried veggie cakes, pan-fried veggie cakes, reuse leftovers, whole grains, beets, carrots, potatoes, quinoa, grits, corn, Jessica Kellner

Hello! Welcome to another edition of Meatless Monday, where we celebrate exquisite vegetarian dishes, be they a weekly or daily part of your diet. This week, I want to share a trend I've been hearing a lot about lately from just about everyone I know. Pan-fried veggie cakes! A crispy, pan-fried little cake is almost always delicious, and these recipes I've been hearing about are often a rehash of leftovers from another meal, meaning you cook it once and eat it twice. Energy savings for the planet and for me!

So my first "AHA!" moment in the veggie cake arena came from our brilliant food & garden editor, Tabitha Alterman. In our piece on whole grains in the November/December issue, she wrote a little tip for a sidebar that struck me as sheer genius: "Add egg and breadcrumbs to whole-grain salad leftovers to create yummy little cakes suitable for pan frying." YUM. I love making quick, easy and nutritious quinoa salads for a side dish or for lunch at work. I cook up some quinoa, add olive oil, garlic, minced veggies, herbs, crumbled cheese and anything else I want et voila! Delicious meal or side dish. While I'm at it, I like to make a big batch. Now I have a great idea to give those salad leftovers a decadent spin.

My next fried cake suggestion came from Mother Earth News Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Long. Last week we had a potluck in our office to celebrate a coworker's upcoming marriage. Cheryl brought in grits. I am not usually a fan of grits, but these were delicious and made from whole corn she grew herself. They had texture and bite, unlike many too-smooth grits I've had in the past. I emailed her to say how great they were, and she mentioned she liked to take the leftovers, slice them up, dredge in flour and slowly pan-fry each side. Another delicious-sounding veggie cake!

Finally, I was walking with a friend at the dog park the other evening, and she mentioned just having returned from visiting her daughter, Mollie,  in Montreal. Her daughter made pan-fried veggie cakes out of grated beets, carrots and potatoes. She said it was totally easy and delicious and looked beautiful because of all the rich colors. (Mollie writes a blog and shares her recipe here.)

It seems to me that the varieties and possibilities for little veggie cakes are almost endless, and they're a great way to make something delicious out of whatever's around the house--fresh veggies, leftovers, grains, etc. Do you all make veggie cakes? Has this blog brought a brilliant idea to mind? Please share!

Veg Cakes 
These veggie cakes come from the RedChillies Vegetarian Recipe blog.



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