"Kitchen Sink" Fritters

I have been making a lot of fritters these days! Fritters are one of my "go-to" recipes, when I am short on time, can't get to the store, or especially when I need to stretch leftovers into another meal (kitchen sink = whatever I have on hand).

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Fritters can pack in nutrients and once you master these simple steps,  you won't even need a recipe!  Last week, I had nothing to send for lunch for my two girls (3 years old and 11 months old).  I wanted something easy to prepare and that was applicable for both the girls, and what you see below is just the latest of many versions of this simple dish.  

What's most important is the base of the fritters, because it's all about using what you have on hand.

 

 

1. Fritter Base:

Start with a grain or legume or both.  Some of my favorites include brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro  and lentils or black beans.

2.  Pick a binder and bulker
We want the fritters to stick together, I usually add an egg or a chia/flax egg (mix 1 tbsp chia or flax seed with 3 tbsp water and allow to set for about 10 minutes).  I will sometimes add in a bulking agent, like flour (your favorite type) or oats.

 Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

3.  Pack in some vegetables
This is where you can really have some fun (I am such a veggie nerd)!   Some of my favorites are shredded carrot, shredded zucchini, shredded beets (don't knock it until you try it), peas, greens (like spinach and chard), steamed or baked cauliflower or broccoli, and sweet potato.  If you have a smaller child consuming the fritters, you might want to be careful of harder chunks of veggies, which is why I like to grate some of the veggies when I can.

4.  Find your flavor
Spices and cheese can be great additions to give your fritters a signature flavor.  Some seasonings I like to use are cumin, garlic and onion powder, tumeric, dill, rosemary and basil.  Many times of cheese work as well.  For a sharper flavor, try parmesan or pecorino romano; or for a softer flavor add cheddar or mozzarella.

5. Mix in a large bowl using a spoon, or mix in a cuisinart or blender, until evenly mixed.  Then, spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet, as you would cookies, or pan-fry in your favorite oil.

I typically bake (sometimes I brush with oil first) because they don't require as much oil and it's easier than standing over the stove.  Try baking at 350 F for about 18-20 minutes (flipping half way through).  When the flavors mix, and the slight crunch of baking  comes through, I have been amazed with how well these go over.

There you go, you have your fritters! 


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Leftover lentil pasta sauce fritters

Black Bean and Barley Fritters

Leftover lentil pasta sauce fritters

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Leftover lentil pasta sauce, or just use 3/4 cup cooked lentils and 1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F
  2. Combine lentil mixture and rice in a medium bowl
  3. Add egg and scramble a bit before mixing together
  4. Add spices and mix well
  5. Add oats and combine until well incorporated
  6. On a well greased baking sheet, drop about a 1/4 cup of the batter and lightly flatten with a spoon
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes, flipping half way through

Black Bean and Barley Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cooked barley 
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed shredded carrot
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup oats

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F
  2. Combine barkey and black beans in a medium bowl
  3. Add egg and scramble a bit before mixing together
  4. Add spices and mix well
  5. Add oats and combine until well incorporated
  6. On a well greased baking sheet, drop about a 1/4 cup of the batter and lightly flatten with a spoon
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes, flipping half way through