Vanessa is a mum to two toddlers that are pretty fussy at the best of times. I can't let them eat sausages or cereal every night!
Easy Tuna Cakes
I have two toddlers. One who eats and tries things, and one who would rather eat cereal for dinner than try a vegetable.
This recipe is a winner for both my kids and even my vege-phobe hubby who only eats a few selective veggies. This recipe is super quick and will leave enough for one or two leftovers for snacks the next day. They even taste great cold.
I think it's important that even the fussiest kids (or any fussy person actually) get exposed to actual pieces of vegetable they can see from time to time, which is why I chose to leave the corn whole. My mantra is:
"If you don't like it, pick it out."
You can swap out any vegetables in this recipe for other things. I have chosen zucchini, carrot, and corn because carrots are sweet and zucchini is almost flavorless. Corn can be swapped for peas—I chose corn because I like it and also because, no one apart from myself, likes peas.
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Serves 2 children and 2 adults plus leftovers
- 500g tin of tuna, drained—I like Serina tuna but you can use anything you like
- Half a medium zucchini or carrot, skin on or off—up to you
- Half a small onion
- 3 dessert spoons plain flour or fine flour
- Salt and pepper
- Your herbs of choice, Recommended are: parsley, mixed herbs or corriander
- 1 large egg
- Quarter cup tasty cheese
- 100g tin of corn kernels
- Grab a small onion, chop it up rough but on the small side—it's being added to the potatoes for flavor so rough chop is fine.
- Peel three potatoes and cut into rough cubes (this will be mashed so it doesn't have to look pretty.)
- Grab a pot of water—enough for 3 potatoes and set the temperature to boil. Add a desert spoon of salt to the water. The water doesn't have to be boiling so add the potatoes and onion to the water.
- Once the water is boiling, turn it down to a simmer and cook untill soft. Test the potatoes are soft by using a fork—if the fork goes in really easy, they are cooked enough.
- Drain the potatoes and onion and place in a bowl to cool.
- While the potatoes are cooling, finely chop (or grate) carrot and/or zucchini plus cheese. Put some oil in a frying pan and cook the grated vegetables until soft. Do not use a high heat—you only want to soften them so they aren't hard pieces in the tuna cakes. Add this to the bowl with the cooling potatoes.
- Add your herbs and a little bit of fine black pepper and a grind of salt. I like to use 1 Tsp of mixed herbs, however, if I have coriander in the fridge I will use two pinches of that. Parsley is also good.
- Add flour, cheese, tuna and egg.
- Grab a masher or fork or whatever utensil you like to mash with and mash the mixture. This is where you can choose how you like it—my kids are impossible so I mash it as smooth as I can. Don't use a food processor on potatoes—the starch in potatoes turns it into glue.
- Add the corn last as you don't really want to mash this. It doesn't hurt if you mash it though. If you all hate corn, use peas.
- Heat some oil in a medium or large fry-pan. You can use any oil you like, however, if you are using herbs other than coriander, I would avoid coconut oil as it won't taste nice with that flavor.
- Test the oil is hot by placing the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you don't have one of those, drop in a tiny bit of the mix. If it bubbles, it's hot enough. If it immediately goes dark, it's too hot, turn it down. Pretend you are cooking pancakes.
I make these in a few different ways. Whichever is easiest for you is the way you can go. My smallest toddler likes finger food and really enjoys the Quenelle.
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Please see video tutorial if you don't know how to make one.
I like to use an egg ring to get an even thickness as well as uniform shapes.
You could use an ice-cream scoop and squash it down a bit with the spatula.
You could also just spoon the mixture into the frying pan in dollops.
Do A Tester Tuna Cake
Mine is breaking apart!
If you find you turn the first one and it breaks apart, add more flour—say a dessert spoon and re-mix. Alternatively, you can coat them in breadcrumbs or mix a handful of breadcrumbs into the mixture.
- Give each tuna cake a gentle turn from time to time until it's a golden brown color.