Thursday, April 25, 2013

waste nothing: sweet potato, rice and cumin patties

Pete, my ever loving, creative, social justice campaigning husband, works with Indigenous communities around Australia recording photos and stories about culture and the environment, he has produced a number of books including the widely read Elders-Wisdom from Australia's Indigenous Leaders. Of the wisdom Pete has soaked up and treasured over the years, two words he shared with me from an Elder "waste nothing" often come into my mind in the kitchen. 

The amount of food waste that occurs in developed countries really is shameful. Pete and I both love the creative challenge of coming up with a meal that makes use of what we have on hand. And it is out of this thinking that today's recipe came together.

I had leftover basmati rice from River and Sol's cooking session. There was sweet potato, carrot and pumpkin that needed to be used and I threw in a potato just because I felt like it. Once the vegetables were boiled soft I mashed them and mixed in the cold cooked rice. In went a couple of tablespoons of finely grated parmesan, about half a cup of fresh basil leaves from garden cut into slim strips, a generous teaspoon of ground cumin and to bind it all together one whisked egg. Whatever I am cooking, making it enticing to the children at our table is always a motivating factor. I find anything crumbed or in pastry is usually met with applause. So, once I had shaped the veggie mix into small patties I coated them in gluten free rice crumbs and fried them golden in a hot pan of melted butter.

My aunty and uncle made a surprise visit and timed it well to sample some for lunch. My aunty loved them so much she went home and made a batch that night replacing the rice with quinoa.

Cumin, basil and parmesan may seem like a curious combo but it worked. There are no rules especially if you follow Pete's theory (tried & tested in our kitchen) that whatever you have on hand wants to go together in a dish. 

Do you have favorite dishes made from leftovers? Could you be wasting less food? Go on be honest :) Meal planning is a sure fire way to avoid waste. What are your tips?


  1. roast potatoes are yummy cold with some mayo and herbs to make potato salad! these patties look amazing :)

  2. These sound great. Almost dead veggies usually end up as a big pot of soup here...but I think my kids would love your patties!


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...