Thursday, 10 July 2014

Animal Veggie Cakes


These ironically named veggie cakes may or may not contain any animals at all but it may be a good way to get kids to eat their veggies if they look like animals.

The little man had a play date yesterday and I had some free time in the morning so I thought I'd knock up some Animal Veggie cakes for him and his little friends.


Ordinarily these are super easy to make and considering I was juggling playing host to a lovely mum of a 4 year old and twin 3 year olds, my own 2 and a half year old little miss 5 week old and a temperamental oven, I suppose I should be glad that they didn't come out too badly. It only really goes to show that you really can't mess up this recipe even with the odds stacked against you. 

The best thing is that these little patties can be knocked up ahead of time and popped into the oven for 10-15 mins before serving. 


As with all my recipes I'll give you the base ingredients and I usually make modifications to it depending on what I have in the fridge. 

Base Ingredients: 

  • 500g potatoes (about 4 large potatoes or 6 baby potatoes)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 50g butter
  • 2 eggs (well beaten)
  • 2+ handfuls of grated cheese

Optional Ingredients (I suggest at least 2 from the list to add to the above)

  • Broccoli (Puts the Iron in the iron'ic name.. geddit geddit)
  • Cauliflower
  • Diced Capsicum (red for preference, adds a nice colour to it)
  • Ham
  • Cooked Polenta
  • Cooked Lentils (This is how I get my little man to eat more protein because he's not a big meat fan)
  • Leftover cooked chicken
  • Diced tomatoes (well drained)
  • Tomato sauce (to serve)

Equipment: 

Ikea Cookie Cutters
  • Steamer
  • Various animal cookie cutters. I ordered the car cookie cutter from eBay for $1.25 (including shipping) the animals I got from Ikea (6 for $4.99). I also have airplanes and ships from Daiso for $2.80 for sets of 2. Lightly oil the inside of the cutter to make it easier remove the cutter from the mixture.
  • Oven
  • Baking Tray
  • Baking Paper

Method: 

Steam potatoes, carrots (and broccoli and cauliflower if included). Steaming cooks the veggies without waterlogging it too much and you don't want the veggies with too much water or it won't hold it's shape. Also you can do it all at once and not have to worry about some veggies, like the broccoli, getting too soft (you're going to mush it all together anyway)

Now is when you add the capsicum, ham, cooked chicken, cooked lentils, polenta or tomatoes.
Little hands are good at mixing
Empty veggies into a bowl and add cheese and butter and mash together. 

When mixture is cooler add in the eggs.

Slowly add milk. You might not have to add all of it if the mixture is wet already. Mix well. The mixture should be thick enough so that a lump sticks to a upside down spoon. 

Fill up cookie cutters with the mixture and press tight with the back of a spoon

Carefully remove the cookie cutter leaving the shaped veggie mixture.

Note: Each recipe makes about 1 tray. 

Bake in a 150 degree oven for about 10-15 mins or until lightly brown or the top crisps slightly.

My oven burns with the inferno of hellfire. So making sure things cook evenly is tricky. It's still a hit with the kids tho.

This batch came out a little better.
Let kids choose their own animals (might be a good idea to let them tell you what animals they want beforehand to avoid arguments) and serve warm on a plate with or without tomato sauce.

Epilogue: 

I couldn't fit all the mixture I had made up onto the baking tray so after the playdate I took out the single offcut sheet of puff pastry (leftover from making pie) and lined a couple of muffin trays and scooped the leftover mixture into the cups to make little veggie tarts for my own lunch.










3 comments:

  1. Ha! I love these. In my head I'm quipping " 'Iron'ic animal veggie cakes... the iron comes from broccoli".

    Going to test these with small miss and see if I can make an egg free version!

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  2. The egg is just binder... you could probably get around it buy adding more cheese. You can't really go wrong with more cheese.

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