What’s for lunch at Hogwarts? Potatoes!

Rumbledethumps... with sweet potatoes and white ones.

Rumbledethumps, without its coat of grated cheese (so you can properly see the filling).

British kids like Harry and Hermione find foods with the strangest names on their school menus. Which of these dishes isn’t like the others… Is it Bubble and Squeak? Rumbledethumps? Hash? Or Spotted Dick?  Here’s a hint: Think potatoes.

Eat your veggies

Bubble and Squeak are best friends. The dish named after them is made with leftover veggies from a roast dinner. It’s mainly mashed-up potatoes and cabbage. But you can throw in carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, whatever.

Bubble the Owl and his pal Squeak come to lunch, when we try a few British dishes.

Bubble and Squeak could be one of the earliest of the fast foods. A recipe for it first came to light in 1804. Now, it turns up on school lunch menus in England all the time. Try the recipe at the end of this post. I use sweet potatoes, rather than the white ones. White potatoes are only a breath away from sugar once they hit your stomach. Sweet potatoes provide energy longer.

Rumbledethumps is the Scottish versoin of Bubble and Squeak, made from left-overs. Wave your wand at my recipe below to learn how to make it fresh.

Harry might have had trouble identifying the third potato dish in my list of funny-sounding foods. That’s because hash turns up more often in  North America. Hash browns are made from raw potatoes that are grated and squeezed (to get out extra liquid) before they’re fried. Left-over cooked potatoes that are sliced (not mashed) before popping them in a frying pan are usually called home fries but are sometimes confusingly served as hash browns. Hash dishes are often served for breakfast. I usually say “No thanks,” though, when they’re offered. I’d rather fill up on breakfast foods that last longer in my tummy than potatoes do.

The remaining dish with a colorful name, spotted dick, has no business on our list of potato recipes. But it would have been a favorite with Harry Potter.  It’s a steamed pudding! Learn how to make it in my next post.

Bubble the Owl says sweet potatoes taste the best, whether they are oven roasted or fried up as Bubble and Squeak. Shrimps and maple syrup are the sides.

Easy Bubble and squeak recipe

Use up your left-over veggies. Eat this potato dish with meat on the side, as protein slows the digestion of the potato.

  • 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • Leftover mashed potato (use sweet potatoes if you have them for a healthier version)
  • Any leftover vegetables: cabbage, turnip, peas, carrots, Brussels Sprouts, etc., finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fried bacon pieces (optional)
  1. In a large frying pan melt the butter and oil together, add the chopped onion and bacon if using, and fry gently for 3 minutes or until soft.
  2. Turn the heat up slightly and add the mashed potato and vegetables. Fry for 10 minutes turning over in the melted oil two or three times ensuring the potato and vegetables are thoroughly reheated. Press the potato mixture on to the base of the pan with a spatula and leave to brown for 1 minute. Flip over and repeat. Or make small patties, like I did.
  3. Serve and cast a spell on your table for good health and happy mealtimes!

Rumbledethumps is ready for the oven… topped with cheddar cheese and mozzarella

Fresh Rumbledethumps Recipe

  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 boiled potatoes (preferably sweet ones) mashed with 1 tablespoon butter and a little salt and pepper
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1/2 cup well drained cottage cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Shred  onion and cabbage. A food processor works nicely.
  2. Lightly saute them in the oil and a dab of butter, until the onion is transparent and the cabbage wilted.
  3. Mash the boiled potatoes with a little butter, salt and pepper and stir in the onions and cabbage. My suggestions: Add a half cup well-drained cottage cheese and/or an egg to the mix. Use sweet potatoes instead of white ones.
  4. Put all this in an oven-proof dish and top with shredded cheese.
  5. Pop the dish in an oven preheated to 350°C and bake until golden brown.

Note: The cottage cheese and egg  increase the protein in the dish. Protein slows down digestion of the potato, so you don’t get an energy surge from the dish. Sweet potatoes are digested more slowly than white ones and have added vitamins. They make a healthy substitute!

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Farm, Foodie and Fitness
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 11:07:52

    Vinny I love your blog! Such great ideas! I’m in the process of publishing a middle grade novel set in Tuscany and it focuses around the cuisine and small towns. I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts. Thanks again for stopping by today!


  2. eatandgetmoving
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 05:56:15

    Hey! You’ve got some amazing posts! You’ve found a great way to get kids involved in conscious eating! I love that! 🙂


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 08:42:36

      Thanks! I think this stuff could help in the schools etc but it’s harder than you might think to get the word out.


      • eatandgetmoving
        Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:03:04

        I know it’s so sad! Sometimes it makes me wanna shout, scream and cry – like little kids do 😉 – in order to get some attention for healthy eating habits for children! You’d think schools want the best for their children… it’s a sad knowledge that they don’t. They seem to be just like all those other profit driven companies 😐 It’s quite worrisome!


  3. food4five
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 22:48:21

    Love your post..Bubble and squeak is a favorite of ours….and Harry Potter is on the TV right now … The Picky Eater is a mad fan!


  4. Colin
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 12:22:07

    Hi its Colin,
    Just asking where did you get the idea to make The Hogwarts Lunch? it looks great. 😀


  5. Blaise
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:47:33

    I love Harry Potter! I absolutely love this post because the food looks really good (Especially the Rumbledethumps) but it’s too bad that I’m lactose intallerant 😦 but anyways…it still looks really good!


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 05, 2012 @ 15:29:40

      Blaise, this is an easy recipe to adapt for lactose free. Use an egg instead of cottage cheese to up the protein. Instead of grated cheese on top, sprinkle with dry bread crumbs and little dabs of dairy-free butter substitute. If you are using a margarine, check the label to make sure it has no TRANS FATS. These are very bad for us.


  6. Anonymous
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:35:43

    ummmmmmm okay


  7. Vinny Grette
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:34:21

    Hmmm… Next time I’ll make my potatoes into a Z!


  8. ianofdoom
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 15:48:03

    I’ve bought spotted dick in a can at an international food store. Pretty good stuff. This is a great “Leftovers for Tomorrow” post. Great insight into some unusually named foods.


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:36:15

      Thanks, Ian. Apparently you can get vegetable suet… If I can find it, I’ll try a less artery-clogging version for my next post and let you all know 🙂


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