You know the days when you feel like there's not enough in your fridge to pull together a real dinner? Or those days when you find yourself with a few lingering ingredients in your crisper drawer that have seen better days? That happens around here all.of.the.time.
I try and treat it as an adventure, that sometimes ends up just barely edible. But sometimes it's a total success!
This post is sponsored by Earthbound Farm.
Instead of creating a hodge-podge meal with those leftover ingredients, today I'm trying to pull them together and actually make a recipe. Something you want to make more than once and that can be pulled together with pantry staples and common fridge + freezer items most people have on hand.
Avocados are hit + miss for me. Don't get me wrong, I love avocados, but sometimes I buy them out of habit with no real plan for what to actually make with them. Maybe you do the same?
I also typically have a pepper or two lingering in the fridge. The same goes for organic baby spinach, because it's just so dang convenient and easy to add to everything. Those giant Earthbound Farm spinach tubs from Costco are my go-to. One trick I've learned when dealing with large quantities of spinach is to freeze any I know I won’t use before it expires in the fridge. I pack it into a large freezer bag, squeeze the air out, and then freeze the bag. It's perfect to add straight into your blender for smoothies or even soup! It also helps avoid food waste and makes your dollar stretch a little further at the store.
Frozen corn is one of those staples that everyone has in their freezer. It's just always there. It can be called on in a pinch for a dinner side dish (with butter + salt, mmmm), used in savory oven bakes, corn chowder, and obviously for taco night.
Limes are also a staple around here (hello, moscow mules!), as well as basic flours, garlic, milk, and eggs. I would say that the only non-staple (for our kitchen) ingredients in the recipe list you'll find below are jalapenos and chives.
But if I can cook up a delicious meal and only have to buy jalapenos + chives I'm a happy person.
This month, Earthbound Farm is celebrating Earth Day for the entire month! They’re focusing on how to get creative with pantry meals and dishing out plenty of earth-friendly tips for you to think about all year long. I loved reading Amelia’s simple tip for helping conserve water when washing fruits and vegetables and how to reuse the water when you're done.
And speaking of being a little kinder to our planet, in 2015 alone, the organic farming efforts made by Earthbound Farm will keep 16.1 million pounds of toxic chemicals + fertilizers from entering our environment. I found this fact to be mind-blowing. It not only helps the environment but our health as well!
While you will need to bust out your food processor for this meal I promise it's worth it. The recipe is actually pretty simple and ends up looking fancy, thanks to that bright green sauce.
You'll first create a simple avocado lime spinach sauce that is sort of like guacamole meets pesto. You won't find basil here, but it is still loaded with a fresh, bright flavor. It will keep in your fridge for a day or two and would be fantastic as a topping to so many other things (ie: tacos, sandwiches, enchiladas, etc.). The sauce will take about 5 minutes to prepare.
After quickly rinsing your food processor you'll finely chop a pepper, garlic, jalapeno and more spinach that will be mixed into your fritters to give them a ton of flavor and those pretty flecks of color.
You'll then combine a few basic pancake-type ingredients together and fold in the pepper mixture, corn, and chives. After a few minutes on each side in a skillet you'll be ready to chow down.
I like to make sure the skillet (or pan) is well coated with oil to help create a crispy, golden edge on the fritters.
They're sort of a fritter meets savory pancake meets cornbread.
Can you deal?
Corn Fritter Cakes with Avocado Lime Spinach Sauce
for the cakes:
- 1 small bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and chopped
- 1 cup lightly packed Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach
- 1 med. clove garlic, peeled
- 2 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or soy, 2%, etc.)
- 3 tablespoons refined avocado oil (or other baking oil)
- 3/4 cup corn flour
- 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 cups thawed frozen Earthbound Farm Frozen Organic Sweet Corn
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
for the sauce:
- 1 med clove garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 medium avocados
- 2 cups lightly packed Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To prepare the sauce: Place garlic in your food processor and turn on to mince. Scrape sides and add the avocado, spinach, lime juice, chives and salt. Pulse until spinach and avocado are well chopped and incorporated together. Scrape sides as needed. Stream in the olive oil while continuing to pulse until desired consistency has been reached. Add more oil for a thinner texture. Taste and pulse in more salt/lime if desired. Transfer to a bowl.
To prepare the fritters: Rinse your food processor. Place garlic in your processor and turn on to mince. Add chopped pepper, jalapeno and baby spinach. Pulse about 15 times until small bits remain (refer photo 3). Do not puree. Set aside. (This should amount to a heaping 1/2 cup. There will be a small amount of liquid. If the mixture is overly wet you should lightly strain it.)
Preheat a skillet or large pan over medium heat with a good coating of oil.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. Add the flours, salt, and cumin on top. Stir until just combined. Fold in the corn, chives, and pepper mixture until combined.
Once skillet is fully preheated, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the pan. Spread slightly with the bottom of your measuring cup (appx. 3 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick). Repeat, leaving a few inches between each fritter. Don't overcrowd. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the fritter is set and golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter until all are cooked, adding oil to the pan in between batches. Serve as they finish or keep warm in a 200° F preheated oven on a baking sheet.
Serve with fresh lime and avocado lime spinach sauce.
Store sauce in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
- A mini food processor should work for both the sauce and pepper chopping. You may need to work in batches. Instead of streaming in the oil (for the sauce), simply add 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse in for the sauce.
- Do not sub cornmeal for the corn flour. However, cornmeal can be finely ground in a high-powered blender to create corn flour. Sift out any larger pieces.
- To quickly thaw your corn, place in a bowl with cool water until tender. Drain water.
Not bad for a pantry staple/leftovers meal, huh?
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Today’s post is sponsored by Earthbound Farm. Product opinions are always my own. If I didn’t love it, you wouldn’t hear about it.Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness + behind the scenes action you see here.