Potato Pancakes – gluten-free Latkes for Chanukah or anytime!

Chanukah table with potato pancakes

In honor of Chanukah, here is my potato pancake (latke) recipe. Served with a salad or a veggie on the side, these make a lovely dinner.

I’ve replaced most of the potatoes with sweet potato, and drastically reduced the oil, to make really healthy potato pancakes that taste delicious! Even my pickiest kids love these.

latke batter

The batter. You can see that it is mostly sweet potatoes, but there are also some regular potatoes in there too.

I originally got this from my oldest son’s kindergarten teacher, many years ago. His birthday is right around Chanukah, so when I asked his kindergarten teacher if I could bring in cupcakes as a birthday treat, she decided that since I am Jewish I should also help the class to make potato pancakes. It was really neat watching her cook with the class — she had one student practicing reading by reading the recipe, another student practicing math by multiplying the ingredients, another one learning kitchen skills by grating potatoes, and so on, with each student matched to a task that practiced something appropriate for that kid. I wasn’t happy about being pressed into volunteering in the classroom, nor about the teacher’s assumption that being Jewish meant I’d be knowledgeable about potato pancakes. But I ended up with an appreciation of differentiated multi-grade education and also a very yummy recipe for potato pancakes. This version is very different from her recipe — I’ve cut way down on the salt, reduced the eggs, took out the onions, replaced most of the potatoes (no nutrients) with sweet potatoes (lots of nutrients), added optional green leafy veggies, and lowered the oil content far below what’s traditionalatkes cookingl. And the resulting potato pancakes are delicious!

Some tips:
* If your nonstick pan is pretty good and the pancake is sticking anyway, it is not fully cooked. Let it keep cooking for a few more minutes and then try again.
* I always think about balancing the liquid as I’m making this recipe. The potatoes gradually give off liquid as they sit in the batter. So at first the batter is on the dry side, and later on it gets wetter. So for the first pancakes, I use batter from the wettest part of the bowl, to make sure there is enough liquid. Later on, I stir the batter to keep the liquid proportionate to the solids, so that both the liquid and the potatoes last until the end.

My pickiest eater, who normally eats only beige food, will gobble down potato pancakes and serve himself more. Go figure!

Jewish cooking tip: A pizza cutter is a quick way to cut up potato pancakes for a small child.  :) Kitchen scissors can do this as well.

IMPORTANT: This is a small recipe, about enough to serve one person. I multiply it by five to make dinner for the family.

Potato Pancakes - gluten-free Latkes for Chanukah or anytime!
 
These healthy potato pancakes taste delicious! I've replaced most of the potatoes with sweet potato, and drastically reduced the oil. Even my pickiest kids love these.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 1 person -- makes 4-6 latkes
Ingredients
Note: I usually quintuple this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, grated (use a food processor -- it is much faster and safer)
  • 1/2 cup potatoes, grated (don't omit - their liquid makes the recipe work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch or, if you're not gluten-free, regular flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: a few leaves of greens (chard, kale, etc.), chopped finely in the food processor
  • 1 or 2 glugs of oil (not a very exact measurement -- a glug is about a tablespoon)
  • toppings: applesauce, sour cream, homemade beannaise, etc.
  • a green side dish, such as broccoli or a salad
Instructions
  1. Preheat one or more nonstick frying pans on the stove. Good pre-heating helps to prevent sticking. For a big batch, I use three frying pans at once. I preheat the empty pans on medium-low, then turn the heat up to Medium a couple of minutes before adding food.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except toppings and side dishes!) in a big bowl. Stir very thoroughly, to make sure it's all well mixed, so that there aren't any lurking patches of salt or potato starch.
  3. Use a dinnertable tablespoon to ball up a wet blob of the mixture, then drop it into the pan and pat it with the back of the spoon to gradually widen it and shape it into a pancake shape. At this point for the first batch turn the heat up to medium-high, then once the pancakes are really cooking, lower it to just above medium and leave it there. When the pancake is gorgeous and brown on the bottom, use a spatula to flip it, pat it down, and cook the other side. When the second side is cooked, remove the pancake to a serving plate.
  4. Serve with bowls of toppings on the table. Eaters get 3-4 potato pancakes, and then put a spoonful of applesauce or sour cream or beannaise on top, spread it around and eat with a fork.
  5. The cooking time varies depending on how big a batch you are making. When I quintuple the recipe, it can take maybe 90 minutes to cook everything.

 

Lentil Apple Walnut Veggie Burgers

Lentil Apple Walnut Veggie Burgers

chopped carrotsThese lentil apple walnut burgers are vegan, satisfying, and have the zen goodness of lentils and the yumminess of little chunks of apples sprinkled throughout.

The recipe is based on Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited from the Oh She Glows blog.  I converted the recipe into burgers, because they are more approachable than a loaf — and cook much faster.

apples, preppedThe photos show:

  • a finished veggie burger with ketchup
  • chopped carrots
  • an apple ready to be chopped
  • the dough mixture
  • a batch of burgers that are ready to cook
  • and, finally, a cooked burger waiting for toppings.

If you need a nut-free version, try replacing the walnuts lentil mixturewith sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (without shells).

I usually serve these without a bun, but if you want to use a bun these burgers should be delicious that way too.

Serves 4, at three bun-free burgers per person.  With buns you could probably feed six.

 

shaped, uncooked burgers 

 

 

 

 

 

cooked lentil walnut apple burgers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lentil Apple Walnut Veggie Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These vegan lentil apple walnut veggie burgers are satisfying to eat. They are full of the soothing Zen goodness of lentils, mixed with crunchy good bits of apple.
Author:
Recipe type: veggie burger
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 veggie burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
  • 1 cup carrot, or baby carrots
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms - optional!
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxmeal
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 apple
  • 2 cups of a crispy rice cereal such as Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, blended in a blender, or 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put lentils in a pot with 2 cups water. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until water is absorbed and lentils are soft.
  3. While lentils are cooking, chop or grate the carrots, celery, and optional mushrooms and add them in to the lentil pot. The pieces should be smaller than 1/4 inch.
  4. Mix the ground flaxmeal with the 1/2 cup of warm water (temperature matters!) and let sit.
  5. Chop or grate the apple.
  6. When the lentils are cooked, add all of the other ingredients, including the flax gel. Stir gently but thoroughly, until all is well-mixed.
  7. Shape the mixture into 12 patties on two cookie sheets. Each patty will use between 1/2 and 2/3 cup of the mixture. My cookie sheets are super-nonstick, but if yours are not you may want to line them with parchment paper before shaping the patties.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Serve with ketchup or salsa or carrot ginger sauce.
  10. Serves 4, at three burgers per person. If you add buns you could probably serve six people.