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Potato, parsnip and carrot cakes: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

Posted Dec 04 2012 6:45am
potato, parsnip and carrot cakes: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

I was asked to create a recipe for the charity Action for Children recently. The meal had to feed a family of four for five pounds, or 1.25 each. Making good, fresh food for so many people so cheaply required some thinking, vegetarian food is much cheaper than meat, six pounds would be impossible if it were to include quality chicken or something along those lines, but six pounds is still very little. I realised to fit the brief I would need to cook totally seasonally, so I seized the two best winter veg – carrots and parsnips – and combined them with potatoes and a little tomato puree to create these beautiful winter veggie cakes.

I have to admit I’m pretty obsessed with my new creation. They are absolutely delicious, as the flavours of the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and tomatoes are totally balanced and complement each other perfectly. They also have a really wonderful texture, nice and crisp on the outside and deliciously warm and squishy on the inside. They’re the perfect healthy take on winter comfort food – filling, warming, satisfying and scrumptious – just like lasagne or shepherds pie were in my old meat and dairy eating days. Of course, these are much healthier, giving you two beautiful portions of veggies as well as an awesome dose of plant fibre.

I like mine served on a bed of wilted spinach with a simple homemade tomato and red pepper sauce, like this they taste absolutely divine. The sauce is super easy too and can be made in ten minutes while the cakes cook. It’s a perfect winter dinner.

potato, parsnip and carrot cakes: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

potato, parsnip and carrot cakes: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

Makes 8 cakes – serves 4 people:

- 6 carrots

- 6 parsnips

- 6 potatoes

- 4 tablespoons of tomato puree

- dried herbs

- salt

potato, parsnip and carrot cakes: vegan, gluten free, dairy free

Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Then, start by peeling the carrots, parsnips and potatoes, before chopping them into rounds.

Bake the parsnips and carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs for about 45 minutes, until they are soft enough to be mashed.

While these cook, boil the potatoes until they too are soft enough to be mashed.

Once everything is cooked either mash the veggies with the potatoes, or else mash the potatoes and put the veggies into a food blender for about 30 seconds – it’s a lot easier than mashing!

Mix everything together with the tomato puree. Then mould into cake shapes.

Cook the cakes in a frying pan with olive oil, until both sides has brownfor about 3 minutes on each side.

If you want to make the tomato and red pepper sauce simply chop 4 large tomatoes and one red pepper into small cubes then place them in a sauce pan with three spoons of tomato puree, some fresh basil leaves, salt and a drizzling of olive oil. Allow them to simmer down into a sauce, this should take 10-12 minutes. Once ready, pour over your cakes and enjoy!

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