The Good Life With IQ

Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom

This quick recipe builds on traditional German potato pancakes, and pairs it with a light and flavourful side of spinach and mushrooms, and a quick carrot salad.

This quick and easy recipe is something that can be whipped up without much planning and effort. It’s hearty and satisfying, and can be easily modified to make it vegan as well. It’s lightly flavoured too, allowing the natural flavours of the vegetables to shine through.

The traditional German kartoffelpuffer or reibekuchen is a pancake made of grated potatoes, onion, egg and flour. This recipe adds a dash of sweetness and healthy veggies by including pumpkin, too. The spinach and mushroom recipe is a take on the basic recipe for creamed spinach, and uses mushroom for extra bite and flavour. It also substitutes cream with milk for a lighter sauce. The salad is a quick one of grated carrot with a bit of onion and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Also read: Fun and healthy: Mushroom and broccoli pizza with homemade tomato sauce

Ingredients - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
The ingredients laid out, and ready to begin
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Total time taken: 30-45 mins | Serves: 4 | Vegetarian: Yes | Vegan: No (contains egg, milk and butter, but can be made without)

What goes into it

The pancakes

  • 250 gms pumpkin (either green or red will do)
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 tsp butter (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The spinach and mushroom

  • ­250 gms spinach leaves
  • 250 gms button mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • Half a cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The carrot salad

  • Three medium-size carrots
  • 1 tsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (can be substituted with any other vinegar)
  • Pinch of salt and sugar, to taste

Also read: 12 vegetarian dishes from all over India that you need to try

Pancake ingredients
Starting on the pancakes
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Getting it done

The pancakes

  • Grate the pumpkin and potato (keep the potato peel on for some extra nutrition and fibre).
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • Squeeze some of the water out of the grated potato and mix with the grated pumpkin, onion, egg and salt.
    • You can leave out the egg, if you prefer. The starch from the flour and the potatoes will still hold the pancake together.
  • Allow the mixture to stand for a few minutes so the potatoes can release more water.
  • Mix in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a thick (but not dry) mixture. Then mix in the pepper.
  • In a non-stick pan pour about a tablespoon of olive oil, and a teaspoon of butter.
    • You can also leave out the butter. It’s only there for flavour.
    • Once the oil is hot and fluid, you can pour most of it out and use it for the rest of the pancakes.
  • Place a heaped tablespoon of the pancake mixture in the pan and gently spread it out. Don’t worry if you get strange shapes.
  • Cover the pan and cook the pancake over low heat for about 5 minutes, turning it over every few minutes, until golden brown.
  • Taste the pancake and adjust the seasoning and cooking time, if necessary.
  • The potatoes in the pancake mix will continue to release water as you go. Add more flour, if necessary.

Tip: Use two or three pans to cook pancakes at the same time. This way, the first few won’t cool down while you’re cooking the rest.

Watch the video: My first recipe video: Pumpkin potato pancakes

Potato and pumpkin - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
The grated potato and pumpkin
Potatoes releasing water - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
The grated potatoes release a lot of water
Spreading pancake - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
Spreading the mixture into an even circle is almost impossible!
Ready pancake - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
This pancake is almost ready
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The spinach and mushroom

  • Finely chop the spinach leaves. This gives a smoother texture in the final dish. If you prefer a firmer texture, chop the spinach roughly.
    • You can retain the stems for more nutrition, but will give the dish a slightly herbal taste.
  • Wash the mushrooms, and cut them into thick slices.
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic. You can set aside a teaspoon of the onion for the carrot salad, if you’re making that.
  • Pour a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic before turning on the heat on low. As the oil heats slowly, it will absorb some of the flavour of the garlic.
  • Once the garlic starts sizzling, add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the shredded spinach, one handful at a time; the spinach will lose a lot of volume as it cooks.
  • Once all the spinach is in the saucepan, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Once the mushrooms and spinach start releasing water, add the milk. This will help the mushrooms to absorb liquid and prevent them from becoming smaller as they cook.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Serve hot.

Tip: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can keep reducing the liquid on low heat. It won’t make much difference to the texture of the spinach or mushroom.

Spinach cooking - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
The spinach reduces in volume as it cooks
Spinach and mushroom - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
Almost done; just need to reduce the sauce

The carrot salad

  • Peel, wash and grate the carrots.
  • Mix in the onion, vinegar, salt and sugar and set aside for 30 mins.
  • Mix well before serving.

Also read: 6 unexpectedly great restaurants for vegetarians in Hyderabad

Lunch is served - Vegetarian and satisfying: Pumpkin potato pancakes with creamed spinach and mushroom
Lunch is served!

 

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