Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes with a Savory Twist

I love starting out the day with some hearty energy sustaining grains. This recipe is this easiest way for you to have whole grain, gluten free pancakes lickity split! Make some batter and keep it in the fridge all week for fresh cakes or make a bunch and freeze em.

If you like your panqueques super fluffy, you’ll be sorely disappointed, here. Sorry.

If you like sinking your teeth into hearty german bread with soul, keep reading and get ready to salivate with delight when you sit down to enjoy your bounty.

The BASE BATTER is tres healthy and easy to make and massively versatile – I’ve even adapted in into pumpkin muffins. They are gluten-free and vegan, using flax meal instead of eggs as a binder. Because of the millet, these are especially great for diabetics (assuming they go easy on the compote).

And once cooked, they are super-versatile. They were the hit appetizer for a Thanksgiving banquet I designed last year, topping them with my chipotle pumpkin seed pesto and pickled red onions. YUM YUM YUM.

Below, are two options. There’s also a video of me cooking the pancakes and making the rueben. Time stamp at 2:04.

Savory Whole Grain Pancakes with Apple Persimmon Compote
(Vegan / Gluten-free / Sugar-free)

Base batter – Soak in a blender overnight:
1 cup millet
1 cup buckwheat
2 cups water (add a 3rd cup if you like them more crepe like)

After soaking, Blend on high and add:
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs flax seed

If you’re a purest and don’t want a savory pancake don’t add the following ingredients:

2 green onions
Handful of cilantro, approx 8 stems and leaves
1/2 tsp cumin

Once thoroughly blended, add and pulse:
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/8 cup pine nuts

On medium-high flame, heat a high heat oil in a skillet. Pour batter and cook until the edges are brown, the top appears bubbly and dry. At this point, it should be easy to flip. (If you struggle with your spatula, they aren’t cooked enough).

Fruit Compote (use any fresh seasonal fruit)
Ingredients:
1 apple
1 fuyu persimmon
2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp kuzu root (or arrowroot, although not as nutritiously beneficial. And please eliminate corn starch from your pantry. ‘Nuff said.)

NOTE: If you use kudzu root starch vs. arrowroot – you’ll reap the benefits of one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Chinese medicine – known to reduce hangovers, alcohol cravings, upset stomachs, migraines and allergies. Pretty good deal!

Preparation:
Dice the apple and fuyu persimmon. (Peel the apples first if they aren’t organic, since they are one of the highest pesticide crops of all produce)
Simmer in 2 cups water with 1/8 tsp sea salt until the fruit is tender.
Measure 2 tsp kuzu root powder and dissolve into cold water. (This is key – Kudzu added directly to hot liquid will coagulate). Add to simmering fruit and stir until thickened.

Serve the pancakes with a generous pour of compote and accessorize with julienned basil or mint.

Garnish with julienned fresh basil, thyme or mint

Shopping List
SAVORY VEGAN PANCAKES
[ ]Millet
[ ]Buckwheat
[ ]Sea Salt
[ ]Ground Flax Seed
[ ]Green Onions
[ ]Cilantro
[ ]Cumin
Compote
[ ]Apple
[ ]Fuyu Persimmon
[ ]Kuzu Root Powder – available in Asian section at Whole Foods or online at http://www.EdenFoods.com
[ ]Fresh Basil, thyme or mint

*****

When I was in 5th grade, my dad checked me out of school every Wednesday to go for Jewish Deli. We each always ordered the same: for me, a bagel, lox and cream cheese; for Dad, a Rueben Sandwich.

With the wild variety of mushrooms available in the winter time, I’ve created a vegan rendition, repurposing the savory pancakes and accessorizing with my favorite packaged foods that I suggest you keep on hand.

“Meatless” Mushroom Rueben Sandwich
(Vegan / Gluten-free / Sugar-free)
serves 2-4

Ingredients
2-3 cups sliced wild mushrooms, I love using king oysters and chantrelles
1 clove garlic, diced
olive oil
Savory Pancakes
Daiya Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Miso Mayo
Sauerkraut, I use a red cabbage and beet blend for the exquisite color contrast

Preparation
Saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil. Turning once browned. Add diced garlic, pinch of sea salt and a dash of vinegar to finish.
Meanwhile, on a hot griddle, prepare griddlecakes from leftover breakfast batter. Once flipped, sprinkle Daiya shredded vegan cheese to melt.
Remove pancakes onto a plate or cutting board. Add cooked mushrooms, miso mayo and top with sauerkraut.

Enjoy with a garnish of pickled veggies or sautéed kale. Delicious!

Sweet and Savory Galettes 
dough from Baking with Julia (Child)

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EASTER EATS – Sweet and Savory Galettes 

dough from Baking with Julia (Child)

INGREDIENTS, makes enough for 2-8″ galettes
3T sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk – sub buttermilk powder 1:4, powder: water)
1/3c ice water (approx)
1c AP gluten-free flour
1/4c yellow cornmeal
1t sugar
1/2t salt
7T cold unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces

PROCEDURE
1. stir sour  cream, yoghurt or buttermilk powder and ice water together – set aside
2. mix flour, cornmeal,  sugar, and salt
3. cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry knife – pieces should range  between breadcrumb sizes and small peas. I usually take the super easy path and put into my food processor and “pulse” to cut the butter.
4. sprinkle cold water sour cream mixture, 1 T at a time until moist enough to stick  together when pressed
5. divide the dough into 1/2s and press  each in disk shape,  wrap in plastic, and
6. refrigerate for at least 2 hours (keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge or in the freezer – perfect for galettes on demand when you feel like dressing up a meal or being the culinary hero at your community brunch)
7. roll each disk to 11″ round, 1/8″ thick
8. dough will be soft; toss flour on board and keep turning and adding additional flour as you roll it out, in order to prevent  sticking
9. transfer dough to sheet pan, should slide easily; otherwise lift incremntally with a very flat wide spatula or pastry scraper
10. fill with the fruit of your choice (drizzle the rolled out dough with honey or maple syrup, fan layer with sliced fruit and top with a few slices of butter ) OR vegetables with salt and herbs (saute the veggies lightly first). Suggestions: SWEET – 1). peaches, 2). plums, 3). a blend of apples with dried fruit & nuts – dates, apricots, almonds, pecans SAVORY – 1). potatoes with rosemary, 2). sweet potatoes, beets and carrots, sage and pine nuts
11. fold  over edges of galette
12. bake on cookie sheet at 400 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.
13. savory galette makes for an impressive brunch baked with an egg sunnyside up and a side green salad; sweet galette with vanilla ice cream or cashew cream.

Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup

Passover starts tonight, April 14, at sundown and is the Jewish holiday that lasts 8 days and commemorates FREEDOM.

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At Passover, families, extended families, friends and friends of friends come together for a ceremonial dinner, called a seder, in which we eat symbolic foods and read from the Haggadah – which is a libretto that tells the story of the  the Jews flight from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
We eat a bread, that is not leavened and resembles a cracker, called Matzoh, to signify the bread that was eaten in the desert while the Jews were in flight and had no time for bread to rise.
You know it’s close to Passover, when stores have big displays of matzoh crackers and other related matzoh products.
I grew up on Chicken soup, referred to as “Jewish Penicillan”, and especially loved Chicken Matzoh Ball soup, which is a mainstay of most seder menus. Matzoh balls are delicious dumplings made from matzoh meal, vegetables and spices and elevate any bowl of chicken soup to treat status. Maztoh balls usually come in 2 forms – floaters (light and fluffy with just a bit of chewy at the center) and sinkers (dense and resembling cannon balls). You generally get ridiculed (just a bit and lovingly) and wear the passover seder badge of shame if you’ve made a pot of sinkers. SO…that’s why I recommend using a boxed mix and following the instructions. Mazel Tov! – that’s good luck in yiddish.
Regarding chicken soup and me, I have a sorted relationship. Since we ate waaaay too much chicken at my house growing up, and since the poultry industry has inhumane standards that make me really sad, I’ve come up with this great stand-in recipe made from red lentils sans chicken.  (Think chickens raised with hormone injections, living in cages with no room to move around freely, their nails growing around the wires, no access to the outdoors, the tips of their beaks being burned off…yep, that’s what really happens at Foster Farms and most chickens sold)
What I love about my Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup is that it does no harm to any animal and does benefit to ME and to YOU for all it’s healthful ingredients – top ones to mention – lentils, onion, burdock root and seaweed.
I confess that recently I had chicken soup which I made from a $25 raw whole chicken raised hormone-free in a pasture, eating organic feed. It is tasty, I confess but pricey. I’m still working out my ethics. I’ll let you work out yours.
The matzoh balls do use eggs, which I recommend buying organic pasture raised eggs – they are more expensive, about $1.25 per egg,  but you’ll notice the difference in taste and if you really pay attention, energetically. I no longer take eggs for granted – they are laid one at a time, often one egg per day. Remember – it only seems like eggs come ceaselessly out of a  lottery ball blower.
Now for the SOUP –
Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup
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Ingredients
 
1 cup RED lentils, (the red one’s dissolve to create a nice body)
1 medium onion
2 carrots
2 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 stalk fresh sage, or 1 T dried sage
1 3″ strip of kombu seaweed
2 T olive oil
fresh parsley
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Burdrock root is one of the more obscure ingredients that will give this recipe depth and power-charge your health – great for your kidneys, tonifies the blood, builds chi. It’s sold at local stored dried & diced or in it’s root form raw. Either is perfect to use and if you can’t find it, don’t sweat.
 
Instructions:
 
  1. Mince or pulse 1/2 the onion in a food processor
  2. Heat up light pour of olive oil in a 8 QT soup pot
  3. Saute the onion til it starts to clarify and brown slightly
  4. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and add to the pot with 10-12 cups water
  5. Add bay leaf, sage and kombu
  6. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer and periodically skim off the foam that will spread over the top of the broth.
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  7. Chop the carrot, celery, garlic and remaining onion – a uniform medium-sized dice or a larger rough cut that are bite sized, your preference.
  8. Add veggies to the simmering lentils.
  9. Cook until veggies are tender, and lentils are well-broken down.
  10. To finish this off: ADD vegetarian “chicken” broth powder, to taste or red miso paste, add approximately 1 teaspoon per cup of soup, diluted first in a small amount of water and then added to each serving. (when you boil miso, it kills the live pro-biotics that make it such a soothing healer for you digestive track).
AND THE MATZOH BALLS PLEASE: 
Last year I experimented with making gluten-free, egg-free matzoh balls. They were more like sticky gnocchi than fluffy matzoh balls, so I’m sticking to my mom’s recipe – aka A BOXED MIX. This year I am using Manishewitz Low-Sodium Matzoh Ball Mix (Streitz is also a great brand) – follow the instructions on the box. Here’s where you’ll use 2 eggs and 2 T oil. 
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If you need a vegan matzoh ball – experiment with substituting flax meal and baking powder for the eggs.
 
Serve one or two matzoh balls into each bowl and enjoy with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley.
 
Here’s to your freedom, (and the chicken’s – “Buk buk buk buk bukkaaaaa”).
 

 

April Fools Chocolate Genie Cake

SURPRISE! April Fool’s – this gluten-free chocolate cake is made with VEGETABLES. It will fool even the most veggie-reluctant husband or 8 year old. Plus it’s low fat – made with no oil or eggs!
You can use any cake mix, but I love using a chocolate mix. I used Pamela’s Gluten-free chocolate cake recipe, available at The Food Mill or most health food stores, some big grocery chains and certainly online. If you must, this recipe works with Duncan Hines…or if you’re concerned with sugar content, use your favorite cake recipe from scratch where you control the amount and type of sweetener.
INGREDIENTS
makes 8-12 slices
1 box cake mix, any flavor
2 Tbsp baking powder (for a chewier cake replace 1 T baking powder with 1 T flax meal)
3 cups fresh fruit and vegetables, shredded, (I used the grater adapter on my cuisinart)
parchment paper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Precut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the electric skillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. While oven is preheating, combine dry cake mix with baking powder and flax meal into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Shred and add veggies and fruit. Stir vigorously into the cake mix.
  5. Pour into baking pan or oven-safe skillet and cover. Cook 25 minutes or until done. Cake is done when it does not jiggle when skillet is shaken.
  6. Once cake is cooled, give  an easy shake to loosen. Place cake platter over top of skillet and invert cake onto platter.
  7. May be frosted if desired.
TIPS
  • Here are some other great combinations:
  • celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, apple (what I used today)
  • carrots, celery, pears, potatoes, apples
  • yellow squash, zucchini squash, bananas, orange
  • Cooking time varies slightly based on moisture of the fruit or vegetable mix you choose, but 25 minutes is normal.
  • If you check the progress of the cake by lifting the lid often, you will lengthen cooking time.
  • If you happen to burn the bottom of the cake slightly, simply use a serrated knife to cut off the burned bottom. The flavor of the cake will still be perfectly in-tact.

One favorite and easy frosting is:

Chocolate Mousse

Made with a ripe avocado, raw cacao powder, a pinch of salt and your favorite healthy sweeter. Blend it all together in the food processor til it’s smooth, then place in the fridge to let it set before spreading.

For fun flavor combos: you can add almond extract, ground almonds and cardamom to the cake batter.

April’s Holidays make The Food Mill Recipe Line-Up

We have a great line-up for April recipes and food demos all in honor of April holidays.
April 4&5 – April Fool’s Day – Chocolate Cake
April 11&12 – Passover – Vegetarian “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup
April 18&19 – Easter – Sweet Beet & Carrot Gallete
April 25&26 – South African Freedom Day  20th Year Anniversary of the first free elections after the end of apartheid – We’ll feature one of Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Foods
Come in to The Food Mill and enjoy some tastes, learn some new cooking techniques and take home customized chef recipes for cooking tasty meals to improve your health and increase your energy.

Hummos with Miso – Mega-Healthy, Mon

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HUMMOS
A popular Middle Eastern dip, hummos is the perfect party appetizer. It’s also now available in most markets, including coffee shops like Pete’s coffee, it makes an amazing mid afternoon snack when your energy is dipping. Since it’s high in protein and essential fatty acids, it will replenish your energy immediately and sustain you long past what would caffeine and the sugar & carb high of a mid afternoon muffin. Don’t let your cravings deceive you. That 4pm sluggishness is really your kidneys looking for a little rest. If a siesta or a 3-minute meditation is out of the question, hummus is the thing to keep on hand in your office or home fridge. Plus, my special recipe, made with miso paste, will keep your intestines happy due to it’s probiotic nature.

“If you’re happy and you know, say “I am”  –  I AM…”

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And here I AM happy, serving up tastes of hummos with it’s sexy counterpart, Tabouli.

Enjoy this served with fresh or toasted pita bread, slathered on a piece of your favorite hearty bread, as a dip for veggies. You can even dilute it and use it as a sauce for veggies or on a baked potato. Tahini, rich in calcium, is a ground sesame seed paste, similar to peanut butter. It’s an important part of the hummus recipe and cannot be substituted. However, it can be omitted, and many store bought hummos will leave it out to cut productions costs and nutrition costs for you.

I also add miso paste – and less straight up sea salt. The miso has a tangy, salty vibe that gives the hummos some added depth. Plus, fact is miso rocks in the nutrition department and I aim to slip it in as many dishes as I can – it’s full of probiotics, protein, minerals, vitamins, including B12 (conflicting reports) .

Hummos with miso – Mega-healthy, Mon.

Try making it yourself, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make and how great you feel after.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas / garbanzo beans
  • OR 2 cups cooked from dried chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup liquid from the chickpeas
  • 3-5 T lemon juice (depending on taste – I like it on the more lemony side)
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T miso paste (red or mild yellow are what I use)

Preparation:

If you choose to cook your chickpeas, start by soaking 1 cup of dried chickpeas overnight. Boil without salt, in 4-6 cups water, with a 3” strip of kombu seaweed for approximately 40 minutes or until tender.

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Add the garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and miso and continue blending.

NOTE: Always taste what you’ve made before serving and dial in the right balance of salt-fat-acid.

Place in a serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus. I love adding a small drizzle (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with parsley, paprika, cumin or zatar (a middle eastern blend of spices and crushed toasted sesame seeds).

Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita or whole grain bread, tabouli and olives. or cover and refrigerate and use instead of meat or cheese on a sandwich, in a wrap or as a snack with veggies.

CUMIN MINT TABOULI

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This is a delicious twist to a very Classic Tabouli Salad – made with cracked wheat bulgar, parsley, tomatoes, and a garlic mint parsley dressing and accents of lemon zest.

We had a good time with this at the store today, doing a cuisinart demo to make the dressing. An enthusiastic customer was my taste tester (and camera person), helping to dial in the salt, acid (lemon), fat (olive oil) ratio while a crowd looked on, having tastes and waiting patiently while we packaged it up for each one to take home a container.

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Let’s backtrack to show you how to make this simple dish. Note: the second time you make a dish, it takes about half the time, once you know what you’re doing. Like riding a bike.

The cool thing about tabouli, is that the grain – cracked bulgar wheat, is actually cooked al dented, NOT on a stove, but actually just by pouring boiling water over it, and letting it sit for 20 minutes covered. Instead of using a bowl, today I made the bulgar in a canning jar – which has a screw on air tight lid and what’s so cool, is that the glass jar can handle the heat of the hot water without breaking.  Just pour it over  – 1 cup bulgar to 1/2 teaspoon of salt, screw on the lid, give it a shake. And voila!
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Now for the veggies. It’s always best to have a sharp chef’s knife. In Oakland, I take my knives to The Shaver & Cutlery Shop for sharpening. They love knives and I love them.

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Toe-mato, Toh-mahto…First, trim the end off of the tomatoes, quarter them and then turn them upward so the flat end  is on the cutting board, this makes it easy to trim out the seedy center. Lay them flat and then dice them by slicing them first into strips, and then the final manuever, the dice.

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Peel your cucumbers with a veggie peeler, then do the same process as you did with your tomatoes, cutting out the seeds.
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And cutting them down to strips, ending up with diced cucumber.

Dice your mint and parsley and set aside. Make your dressing  in the blender or cuisinart with:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley, stems are fine
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • NOTE: I often make a double or triple batch of dressing to have for a second batch or to use the dressing on other things. Yum yum yum.
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Pour this over your cooked bulgar, let it soak in and then toss in the veggies, garnished with parsley, more fresh mint, and a little extra lemon zest. ALWAYS taste your food before you serve it to be sure  it tastes just right! In other words dial in the salt – acid – fat ratio.

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That’s me holding up the tabouli with all our great bulk herbs in the background. The world of herbs & spices is your oyster! Remember to take liberties to flavor it up just like YOU like it and make it orgasmic.

 CUMIN MINT TABOULI

Makes 6 to 8 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cracked wheat bulgar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch flat leaf or curly parsley (I prefer the texture of curly, both for taste and appearance)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 English or hothouse cucumber

Preparation:

  1. Put bulgar in a medium bowl and mix in 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1 1/2 cups boiling water, cover, and let sit 20 minutes. Note: let it stand undisturbed – this will cook the bulgar to a perfect al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processer blend olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender . Add mint leaves and the ends of the parsley, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, onion powder, and cumin. Whirl until parsley and mint are minced into the dressing and the dressing is more or less smooth. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and spices.
  3. Chop parsley leaves. Core, seed, and chop tomatoes. Peel, seed, and chop cucumber.
  4. Drain bulgar, if necessary. Pour dressing over the bulgar and toss to combine well BEFORE adding the veggies. Add parsley and toss to combine well. Add tomatoes and cucumber and stir to combine.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. Best within 24 hrs, served classically with hummos, stuff it into a wrap or enjoy as side with grilled vegetables or fish.
  6. Note: If you’ve had this in the fridge a day or two, adding fresh parsley and / or mint will resuscitate your tabouli salad if it’s looking a little lack-luster.
  7. Remember: We eat with our eyes and nose first, so make it look and smell delectable.

 

Lobster Sonnet

seagull eating a mussel

farmed from the side of the floating dock

seafood is a blessing
meant for eating
for me 
for seagulls
8 lobster carcasses from xmas dinner
awaiting reuse
no waste
i declare
lobster bisque recipe
internet no doubt:
bake carcasses at 400 
10 min
break with a small pot 
bang
crush
large pot 
simmer for an hour
skimming off foam 
then add veggies
bay leaf
no skim for the stench
of lobster 
for weeks
in towels 
in robe
next time 
carcasses in trash
sorry, charlie
the lobster
the memory of the one bisque that was

Experience yourself looking 10 Years Younger

Getting ready for bed tonight. Washing my face. Whoa! My complexion looks amazing. No splotchy redness on my cheeks. No redness at the tip of my nose. Lines smoother. Heavy creases gone. Something’s different. It’s not sleep–could it be lack of sleep? Could it be my new makeup from BareEssentials?

Ahhh…maybe it’s my diet!

Macrobiotics, I love you.