Spinach and potato cakes recipe
This recipe for spinach and potato cakes from Dr Joan Ransley for Love Your Gut makes a delicious, substantial breakfast or brunch. You can add as many trimmings as you like from tomatoes and mushrooms to some smoked salmon.
There are lots of gut-friendly, nutritious ingredients in this spinach and potato cakes recipe. Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are excellent sources of dietary fibre, as well as polyphenols. The bright green colours of vibrant veggies are a dead giveaway to one of their most potent plant powers. The green pigment (known as chlorophyll) is a powerful anti-inflammatory. There’s evidence to suggest that eating lots of this soothing substance can help inflammatory skin conditions.
Polyphenols and fibre increase the diversity of the gut microbiota, helping to support good gut health. Cooked potatoes are also an excellent prebiotic food for gut bacteria. Starch crystallises in potatoes when we cook and cool them, making it more resistant to human digestion in the small intestine. As this starch reaches the colon it is also used by bacteria to create butyrate that can help keep cells in the colon healthy
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- Leave one of the potatoes unpeeled. This increases the fibre content of the potato cakes, without altering the texture too much.
- One large free-range egg contains approximately 5% of our daily zinc needs.
For the spinach and potato cakes
- 600g potatoes peeled, chopped into small chunks about 2cm square
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 200g spinach
- ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- Ground black pepper
- 12 (100g) cherry tomatoes
- 8 (100g) small mushrooms, sliced
- 100g kale, ready prepared
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with boiling water from a kettle, then simmer for 10 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium frying pan and sauté the onion until soft and translucent.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain well and reserve a little of the cooking water. Leave to cool slightly and then return the potatoes to the pan. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add a little of the reserved cooking water to the mash if you need to loosen it a bit.
- Put the spinach in a large colander, resting over a bowl. Pour over boiling water from a kettle to wilt it. Press the spinach into the colander with the back of a spoon, squeezing out as much water as possible.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the mashed potatoes, onion and spinach with the ground nutmeg and a generous pinch of pepper.
- Form the mixture into eight even sized cakes approximately 8cm across. Use a pastry cutter to help shape the potato cakes if you have one to hand.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the cakes, four at a time, for three to four minutes on each side until they have a bit of a crust, then carefully lift onto a baking tray in a single layer. You may need to add more oil to the pan. When all are fried, place the potato cakes in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the kale by plunging into boiling water for between five to seven minutes, until tender to the bite. Place the mushrooms and tomatoes in a non-stick pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cook gently for about five minutes.
- For the poached eggs, fill a large saucepan or large deep frying pan with water and bring it to a very gentle simmer – the water should barely be moving. Crack the eggs into the water and poach without touching for three to four minutes. Cook the eggs two at a time. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Serve two potato cakes per person topped with an egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and kale alongside. Sprinkle with a little parsley to serve.
Alternative serving suggestion
Give the potato cakes a spicy twist by replacing the nutmeg with 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds, toasted in a dry pan, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground turmeric. Add these spices to the mashed potato before shaping and cooking.