Quinoa Crepes with Veggies and Cashew Creme Fraiche

Finally, a recipe!!  I don't consider myself a great home cook, but every once in a while, I make something that's pretty good!  And I'm definitely not a food photographer.  So you get what you get :)  This recipe is actually really easy, super tasty, and comes out kind of fancy, imo.  It's vegan, gluten free, and is not short on flavor!  You won't even miss the meat, or think that it's even needed at all.  I promise!

Quinoa Crepes

You'll need a high speed blender, like a Blendtec or Vitamix, for this recipe.  If you don't have one, go get one, now!  It's worth the investment.  I've had mine for almost 5 years and I use it up to 5x a day!  It has paid for itself a million times over.  Completely worth it!

Put in the blender

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (that has been soaked and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup millet (that has been rinsed)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • spices and flavors of your choice ... I added 2 tsps of Flavor God Everything seasoning

Blend on high until a thick, pancake like dough has been formed.  Cook in a pan on medium high with a little bit of coconut or olive oil in the pan.  Do not flip until the entire pancake/crepe has been bubbling.  It may seem like it's overcooked, but it's not.  It won't flip unless it's fully cooked.  This makes a ton of pancakes/crepes.  They are not flexible, so eating with a fork is a must!

Veggies

What can I say, this was really easy and you can use any combination of veggies you want!

  • Chop up onions and add to the pan with a little olive oil
  • Then add any roots/starchy veggies that need longer to cook
  • Add veggies that cook in a shorter amount of time, then add greens last so that they just lightly saute
  • With this recipe I used onions, kabocha squash (my FAVORITE!), bell pepper, purple cabbage, swiss chard, himalayan salt and pepper

Cashew Creme Fraiche

This recipe comes from the book Raw and Simple by Judita Wignall.  She's a raw foodist, creates the most beautiful recipes, and is also a fellow grad of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  Her recipes are easy, fresh, and super tasty!  I make this stuff ALL THE TIME! It's super versatile, you can use it anywhere you'd use sour cream or creme fraiche!

  • Soak 1 cup of cashews for at least 4 hours
  • Drain and rinse until the water is clear
  • Add cashews to the blender
  • Add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I actually added more lemon juice, so it turned out to be about 1/3 cup)
  • This is my addition, 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
  • Blend until smooth and creamy, keeps for up to one week in the fridge

I suggest making the creme fraiche first, then the crepes, then the veggies.  Top the crepes with veggies, fresh avocado, garden tomatoes, creme fraiche.  You have yourself a tasty meal that is super healthy and will be enjoyed by vegans and meat eaters alike!

 


What DO you eat??

I am so used to people wondering why I have so many dietary "restrictions" that I have stopped defending myself and instead I try to teach them WHY!!

How do I eat.  Okay, it's a long list.  First of all, I eat whole foods as close to the source as possible.  I eat very few processed foods, nothing with preservatives, food dye, food additives, msg, artificial or refined sugar, or carraggeenan.  I am gluten/dairy/soy/corn/egg/peanut free.  I also limit beans and legumes.  Yes, that's a lot.  I think that's the whole list, sometimes its hard to remember because I just know how I need to eat!!

Now for the WHY:

Gluten and dairy, beans and legumes too, are mucus forming.  Excess mucus in the body can create problems for the sinuses, bronchial tubes and lungs, and intestines.  When I eat mucus free, I breathe easily.  I truly believe that one of the reasons why I had asthma and so many throat and upper respiratory infections as a kid was because I was eating mucus forming foods.  Ditch the mucus, no more issues!!  I tell friends, family and clients all the time, if you can't go 100% free of these foods, at least stay away from them when you are sick.  Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing a little kid with a runny nose drinking a bottle of milk.  They don't need the excess mucus when they're nose is running for 2 weeks straight :(

What about the other things??  Well, corn is very inflammatory and really doesn't contain a lot of nutrients.  I try to eat foods that have the most bang for every bite.  I went without corn for a week and then ate it.  I didn't feel good, so that was an indication that it just doesn't sit well with me.  Peanuts I stay away from because they are actually a legume, and they can be filled with mold.  They sit in storage warehouses for a long time before they are processed in to peanut butter, or chopped up and added to a variety of packaged foods, and mold forms on them easily during this sitting time.  They are also mucus forming since they are a legume.  Hmm, what else ... soy I just don't want to mess with.  Knowing that I work so hard to get my hormones balanced, and all the contradictory things I have heard about soy, I feel it is better for me to stay away.  It is extremely high in phytoestrogen, and most people already have so much estrogen in their body from using plastic, using body products with parabens, and eating too many foods that have rancid oil (fried foods) which are extremely high in omega 6.  Too much omega 6 raises estrogen levels due to the increase of an enzyme called aromatase.  So I just stay away from soy, and parabens, and plastic too, as much as I can.  As far as eggs, I have done an elimination diet and discovered that I react to eggs.  I feel mucus in my throat and weird in my gut when I eat them.  Most people who have had, or do have, auto immune issues (asthma is actually an auto immune issue) will react to eggs, or the protein in eggs to be exact.  Every once in a while I will bake with them, and not notice much if there are only 2 eggs in the recipe.  But I can't eat them whole, that doesn't do well with me.

Okay, so why would I want to eat this way??  Well, for starters, I really want to drive home the idea that just because something is "food" doesn't meant that it is good for the body!!!!!!!!  The human body is not designed to eat and thrive on CRAP (carbonated drinks, refined sugar, artificial ingredients, processed food).  We are designed to eat fresh, whole ingredients.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole gluten free grains (like quinoa, oats, amaranth, millet, etc), and pasture raised meats (if this agrees with you).  There are more vegetables and fruits than we can ever imagine.  What you see at the grocery store is probably only 5% of what you could potentially grow in a home garden or see at the farmers market.  We need to start thinking outside of the box and become aware that just because it's sold in a store, doesn't meant that it is good for us!!  I am 100% medication free, and have been for over 3 YEARS because of the way I eat.  If I had remained on the Standard American Diet (SAD), there is NO WAY I would feel as good as I do now, and I would probably still be getting strep throat and bronchitis all the time (which I haven't had for at least 8+ years). 

This does not have to be done all at once!!  I started small and worked my way up.  It has taken me 7 years of progress to eat the way I do now.  And I am still changing all the time.  But I have my standards that I will not compromise.  I will not eat anything that is GMO and I stay away from conventional as much as possible.  I do not eat any meat unless it is grass fed and pasture raised.  I only eat wild caught fish, and even then I'm careful to make sure that it is sustainably caught.  It's tough, and it's worth every second that I can invest in making better choices.  I refuse to be a victim of the salt, sugar and fat trap that the food industry has created in this nation.  I refuse to be overweight, have high blood pressure, or have diabetes just because I don't "like" how healthy food tastes.  I'm going to say this, you are not doing yourself any favor by giving in to unhealthy food cravings.  Yes, we all have them.  I have them too.  You have to be stronger than your taste buds!!  Know that it is only harming you and contributing to ill health if you continue to eat processed, sugary, fattening foods just because you "have to have them".  You don't, you can live without them.  I used to think there was no way I could live without naan (Indian flat bread).  Well, of course I miss it, but I'm fine without it and I know how my body will react and to me, that's not worth it.  It's important to have an emotion and a feeling behind making healthy choices.  If you say you're going to do it just because you think you should, that won't stick.  You need a WHY so strong and immovable that it guides your decisions every day so purposefully that you don't even have to think about it.

I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad or guilty.  I just want you to know that you control what goes in your mouth.  No one else can make you eat what you do, and if you truly feel that you have a food addiction or an unhealthy relationship with food (intense emotional eating, anorexia, bulimia) then I am asking that you seek out a professional who can help you.  Know that it is not your fault, and you are strong enough to overcome anything!

Anyone can eat healthy.  I am proof of this.  I grew up eating Oreos, Hamburger Helper, peanut butter full of sugar and trans fat, fast food, soda (I used to be addicted to Diet Coke, now I can't stand the thought of it!!), pizza and milkshakes just like everyone else.  But then I woke up and realized that I wasn't giving myself nutrients.  The body cannot function properly without nutrients.  You have been given an amazing gift.  If you have a mouth and can chew, you can eat healthy. 

Give it a try, and you will surprise yourself!!  Go to the farmers market, order in bulk from Azure Standard, try a new vegetable a week by investing in a local CSA delivery box (community supported agriculture).  Your taste buds will start to change.  You won't want the crap anymore.  And you will start feeling better.  Isn't that worth it??  Who doesn't want to feel better?!?!  You don't have to be a victim of your circumstances.  You have the power to change how you eat and how you take care of yourself.  You CAN thrive!! Just give it a try :)

Savory Chickpea Pancakes

I love pancakes (and waffles too).  They are so delicious and are really the one food I miss the most since going gluten free and adapting a whole foods plant based diet.  I would take waffles over pizza any day!!  I make pancakes, but not that often, even though I have a killer gluten free recipe that uses home ground buckwheat and millet flour.  I do this in my Blendtec, couldn't live without it!

Anyhow, I was stoked when I found this recipe for chickpea pancakes that is gluten free, grain free, and vegan ... Woohoo!!    I had some dried chickpeas on hand, and I threw them in the blender to grind up in to flour.  If you do this, it's very LOUD, so I suggest covering your ears or putting in earplugs.  It's much louder than when I grind other flours. This recipe is so versatile, you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I adapted the recipe a little bit to my liking and to what I had on hand.    I'm always doing that, it's extremely rare when I follow a recipe to the T.  My husband says it's because I don't like being told what to do!  I say it's because I like to put my own spin on things, so I guess it's kind of the ego taking over so that I can say "It's Mine", lol!

The original recipe from Oh She Glows (FANTASTIC recipe blog, btw) has the pancake topped with avocado, tomatoes, hummus and cashew sauce.  That's too heavy for me, so I opted to top mine with sauteed veggies.  Really any combination will be delicious, and whatever you have on hand always works out best.  Zucchini, cauliflower, any greens like kale, chard or dandelion, bell pepper, cabbage, fennel, onions, garlic, mushrooms, whatever you've got!  I also added zucchini to the recipe of the pancake batter instead of green onions, since that was what I had on hand.  Instead of garlic powder, I used Costco's organic no salt seasoning and added Himalayan salt.  I also doubled the recipe and it turned out perfectly.  This is seriously my new favorite recipe, it's soooo good!

(Original Recipe: courtesy of ohsheglows.com)

Jumbo Chickpea Pancake

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, soy-free, sugar-free

This dense and filling savoury chickpea pancake is packed with protein and fibre. Feel free to change up the mix-ins and toppings based on what you have in your fridge. To prevent it from sticking to the skillet, be sure to spray the skillet liberally with olive oil before pouring on the batter. Also, I suggest chopping the veggies finely so they cook faster.

Yield
1 large or 2 smaller

Prep Time
10 Minutes

Cook time
10 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 green onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo flour or besan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • For serving: salsa, avocado, hummus, cashew cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the vegetables and set aside. Preheat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, baking powder, and optional red pepper flakes.
  3. Add the water and whisk well until no clumps remain. I like to whisk it for a good 15 seconds to create lots of air bubbles in the batter.
  4. Stir in the chopped vegetables.
  5. When the skillet is pre-heated (a drop of water should sizzle on the pan), spray it liberally with olive oil or other non stick cooking spray.
  6. Pour on all of the batter (if making 1 large pancake) and quickly spread it out all over the pan. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on one side (timing will depend on how hot your pan is), until you can easily slide a pancake flipper/spatula under the pancake and it's firm enough not to break when flipping. Flip pancake carefully and cook for another 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Be sure to cook for enough time as this pancake takes much longer to cook compared to regular pancakes.
  7. Serve on a large plate and top with your desired toppings. Leftovers can be wrapped up and placed in the fridge. Reheat on a skillet until warmed throughout.


Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/15/jumbo-chickpea-pancake-a-high-protein-filling-vegan-breakfast-or-lunch/#ixzz2xTa8uGJs

 

My Recipe:  Savory Chickpea Pancakes

Ingredients for pancakes:

  • 1/4 c zucchini, finely chopped with hand chopper
  • 1/4 c finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/8 c finely chopped onion (or green onion)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo flour or besan)
  • 1 tsp organic no salt seasoning or Herbamare
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt (omit if using Herbamare)
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water

Ingredients for toppings (the possibilities are endless!):

  • zucchini
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • onion/green onion
  • fennel
  • cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts
  • tomato
  • kale, chard, dandelion greens
  • olives
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • avocado

Prepare the pancakes as indicated in above recipe.  They can be made any size, large or small, and flip beautifully every time.  At the same time, add all chopped veggies to a saute pan with coconut oil, olive oil or ghee.  Cook until crisp tender, or until greens have wilted and onions have turned clear.

Top pancakes with veggies and avocado and enjoy!

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