This is going to be a lickedy-split QUICK post because I am doing this while the toddler sleeps and I still have lunch/shower/resting to attend to before i hear his cries of, " mama, mama, mamamamama!" when he wakes.
The mister was telling me the other day about the need for us to up our vegetable game since I tend to fall back on steamed broccoli or simple salads as our veggie side on a pretty regular basis. We also want to try to make the veggies a little more appealing to the wee one since he has been shunning them like nobody's business lately.
I took stock of what we had around the house and searched the computer for a bit and this is the mish-mash mix up of a few recipes that caught my eye.
Let me say that these are seriously delicious. Seriously. Delicious. The cauliflower tastes and acts more like a potato and so these really and truly taste like a big, jacked-up tater tot and you can rest easy knowing that they are pretty damn healthy since they are made with cauliflower, spinach, egg, just a little panko and cheese and cooked in olive oil. If you have any broccoli, carrot or zucchini in the house, go ahead and add whatever you want in.
They are perfectly delightful all on their own, but they could be even tastier if you dipped them in a little warm mainara sauce or a lemon aioli.
Cauliflower + Spinach Bites
3/4 head cauliflower, cut up into large-ish chinks and steamed for 5-7 minutes until tender, then mashed into little florets with a potato masher
1/4 yellow onion, diced
4 cups spinach, chopped small
1/4 cup panko (you could use more but this was all I had left)
1/2 cup shredded sharp/med cheddar
1/4 cup parmesan
fresh lemon juice
Saute the onion in a little olive oil until soft, 5 minutes or so. Add the chopped spinach and saute until the spinach wilts down nicely, another 3 minutes or so. season with salt + pepper.
In a large bowl, add the panko, egg, cheeses, lemon juice (maybe 1tsp), s+p. Once the cauliflower has cooled a little, add to the large bowl and mix everything well.
I added smoked paprika because I have been on a big smoked paprika kick lately so feel free to do the same. You could also add in some fresh Italian parsley.
Form 1 small patty and cook in some olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side. Be gentle when flipping it. When it has cooled slightly, give it a taste. I like to do just 1 patty first so that I can check my seasoning. Now you will know if the mixture needs more lemon, salt, pepper or smoked paprika. If the patty is falling apart, add more panko.