recipe: broccoli and cheese "pancakes"
I'd like to tell you a story. A story of a 10-month-old, who, inexplicably decided to become a picky eater. A 10-month-old who can (and will) eat an entire banana, but no longer likes meatballs, pasta, or vegetables. A 10-month-old whose parents are a food writer and voracious food eater, respectively.
Yes, dear friends, my darling Avvie is displaying a bit of the stubborn streak that she (un)fortunately inherited from both her mother and her father. While fruit of any kind poses no problem (she loves everything from blackberries to figs to kiwis), as of late, she's turned up her nose at virtually every savory solid food. The only way I've been able to get her to eat a lot of necessary sustenance is by mashing a blueberry on top of whatever else she's eating. I'm fairly hopeful this is a phase, but I don't want to rely on a lot of victual crutches in the future; I want her to eat, and hopefully enjoy, a wide range of sweet, savory, and spicy foods. Preferably not coated in banana puree.
So, what's a food-obsessed mom like myself to do? Well, I have noticed over the last few weeks she's been more interested in eating things that she can pick up and put in her mouth herself. At 10 months she can eat tiny pieces of fruit or chicken, her puff cereal, or bits of bread on her own, even though she still doesn't have any teeth. One of her favorite breakfast foods is banana pancakes, which is basically just half a banana and an egg mashed up and then fried like a pancake (it's now one of Mike's favorites too). So tonight, I had an epiphany: what if I made a savory version?
I tossed a handful of broccoli, a handful of shredded cheese, and an egg together and out came these bright green "pancakes" (full recipe below). And she gobbled them up the same way she does with the sweet version! Plus, one egg makes enough for about two meals-worth for her, so the already-quick cooking time really isn't that bad. I plan on experimenting with lots of different veggie and cheese combos in the future. If you come across any you love, let me know in the comments.
avvie's broccoli and cheese baby pancakes
1 handful (approximately 1/3 cup) of chopped, cooked broccoli
1 sprinkling of shredded, meltable cheese (approximately 1/4 cup). I used a blend of cheddar and monterey jack.
Tools: immersion blender
Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. A bit of butter is optional (but make sure it doesn't burn).
Combine your egg, broccoli, and cheese into a tall mixing cup (I used the one that came with my immersion blender). Using your immersion blender, mix until well combined and ingredients have consistency of thick pancake batter. [Note: If you don't have an immersion blender, you can make this in a regular blender, but I would double or triple the ingredients so everything gets properly mixed.]
Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet (but seriously, eyeball this; it does not need to be exact). Wait until you see bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake and then flip over to brown the other side. These cook MUCH faster than regular pancakes, so watch carefully. It's probably less than a minute a side.
Allow to cool on a paper towel or plate and then tear into bite-sized pieces for baby. Leftovers can be served warm, cold, or room temperature and keep for a few days in the fridge. These are super easy to pop into a plastic bag and bring with you for lunch on the go. No mess!