One of my favorite foods to make early on in our baby led weaning journey was patties/cakes/croquettes. Whatever you call them, they are more technique than recipe: a little bit of binder, a little bit of grain, a little bit of a mashed vegetable, some seasoning or herbs. This is my “basic” recipe, but I wholeheartedly encourage experimentation to find flavors that you like. Basically, if you’re comfortable making some executive on-the-fly decisions in the kitchen, a basic ‘patty’ can become your best friend.
(Real talk: That would be just sad if this was actually your best friend…so let’s just say it will become a go-to recipe when you have some leftover mashed sweet potatoes. See? Not as sad.)
- 1 cup mashed root vegetable (yams, potatos, parsnip are all favorites)
- 1 cup cooked grains (I prefer quinoa for its protein, but you also use other grains like rice or cous cous)
- 1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 2 T (a small handful) of freshly chopped herbs (I like scallions and chives most often, but also use parsley, basil or cilantro)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I like whole wheat panko best when I don't make my own)
- 1 egg
- pinch of kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- avocado oil (for pan frying)
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well-incorporated. Or, use a food processor and add the egg, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and sweet potato until smooth. Add the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs and chopped herbs, pulsing until incorporated.
- Form mixture into golf ball sized balls. If you have the time, I recommend placing in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. I've found this helps keep the patties well-formed during cooking, but is not a necessary step.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. When hot but not smoking, add 2-3 golf balls, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Use a spatula to flatten into a patty size.
- Cook about 3 minutes each side, flipping when golden brown and continue to cook the other side for another 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from skillet and drain on wire rack or paper towels. Either serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or cool completely and store in fridge for snacks and meals during the week!
- I tend to make a large batch of sweet potatoes early in the week, so usually just mash one or two with a fork. They're so silky on their own they don't need the additional cream or stock and butter that mashed potatoes or mashed parsnips might need.