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!

 


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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Coconut Curry Veggie Dish

Coconut is so delicious!  I have been experimenting with whole, young coconuts (Thai coconuts) lately and whipped up this quick and tasty dinner.  It was really easy, I promise!  I don't like spending a ton of time cooking, even though I do love being in the kitchen.  And making everything from scratch can be tedious and messy.  But this recipe wasn't, so I will be repeating it in the near future for sure!  One pan dinner with very little clean up, yes please!!

I opted to use a fresh, young coconut to make coconut milk instead of using canned coconut milk.  Once you know how to open the coconut, it's actually pretty easy and quick.  It's cheaper or the same price as canned coconut milk, but it's not processed, and it tastes sooo much better!

To prepare, you need a young coconut and a knife with a blunt edge.  If you're not sure how to open it, check out this video tutorial here.  If you have a Whole Foods nearby, they sell their young coconuts with the husk cut off and a hole already exposed.  So easy!

Coconut Curry Veggies

Ingredients (organic whenever possible):

  • fresh ginger
  • fresh turmeric
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • onion
  • sweet squash like acorn, delicata, kabocha or butternut (I used white acorn squash)
  • romanesco or cauliflower
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 2 carrots
  • coconut oil
  • 1 young coconut
  • curry seasoning

First, make coconut milk

Open the young coconut by puncturing a hole and draining the water into a jar, bowl, etc.  Scrape out the flesh with a small silicone spatula.  Add all the water and all the flesh/meat to a blender, and blend until smooth and frothy.  There's your coconut milk!  It should yield anywhere from 12-16 oz, which is about how much a can of coconut milk is.  You will use it all in this recipe.

Next, to make the dish

Prepare the squash first because this is the most time intensive.  Peel off skin and cut in half or sections, removing the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon.  Cut in to bite size pieces and set aside.  If your squash is really big, use only half or part of it.  I used an entire white acorn squash.  

Chop up onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric finely.  I used 1/2 thumb size of peeled ginger and turmeric each.  Add about 2 TB of coconut oil to a saute pan and add onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pan.  Keep on medium low.  Once they start to sauté, add a little bit of the coconut milk that you just made to the pan and continue sautéing.  Add curry seasoning to taste.  I probably used at least a TB of curry.

Now add the squash to the pan with more coconut milk and bring to a low simmer.  Cover with a lid and let it cook while you cut up the rest of the veggies.

Chop up romanesco or cauliflower (I used romanesco, I'm obsessed with it lately!), carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, and any other veggies that you think would be good.  Peas are also traditionally used in Indian food dishes, so you could add those as well.  

Add all veggies to the pan, stir and add the rest of the coconut milk.  Add more curry powder is desired.  Stir and keep veggies on a low simmer until they are done to your liking, 15-20 minutes.  I like the squash to be cooked soft, but the bell pepper and romanesco to be crisp tender.  You might like it different, so cook it how you want it!  

Let it cool for few minutes off the heat (the squash gets hot!!) before you dish out and enjoy!  This makes enough for leftovers for the next day (if you're only feeding 2).

 

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The Concept of Bio-Individuality ... part 1

Although we are all humans and have the same bodies inside and out, no two people are carbon copies of each other.  Even twins.  This is common knowledge, every single person has their own uniqueness, down the their fingerprints and DNA.  We all need food, water, loving relationships, a comfortable place to live, and clothes on our back.  But we do not need the same clothes, we do not need the same relationships, nor do we all need identical places to live.  This concept translates to food as well.  There is no one size fits all, everyone should eat this, perfect way to eat that transcends humanity.  It's just not possible.  

It's called Bio-Individuality.

Good for me, bad for you

If you live in the middle of Canada, eating a raw food diet consisting of a lot of tropical fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico does not make a whole lot of sense.  If you live in Costa Rica, and eat a diet heavy in starches like potatoes, corn, legumes and grains, that doesn't make sense either.  We should strive to eat foods that grow around us, or that would when the temperature and conditions allow.  We may be drawn to foods of our ancestral heritage too, even if geographically we don't live in that area anymore.  I LOVE beets, potatoes and dill ... very Eastern European.  Even though I don't live there, it speaks to my soul when I eat that type of food.  We are affected by our ancestry, climate and geographical region where we live, even the air quality around us can effect what food is good for us, and what food will actually be detrimental to our health.

Those who have weak kidneys may want to stay away from spinach and citrus.  Those who have weak joints may want to stay clear from nightshades, while someone else might say they feel amazing every time they eat a tomato or an eggplant.  This is Bio-Individuality.  Eat what suits you, listen to your body and pay attention to the signs that it gives you, and forget what everyone else is doing ... to an extent.

There are some basic concepts that we can all live by, no matter if we eat raw, high carb, high protein, choose follow the newest fad diet, etc.

Bio-Individuality Concept:  Acid vs Alkaline

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Our body wants to be in an alkalized state.  Foods that are acidic cause the precious mineral reserve in our bones to leech out and replace nutrients that we are not receiving through food. An acidic diet weakens the body.  High acid food is anything processed, wheat, sugar, dairy, corn, rice, soda, coffee, alcohol, and anything with food dye and preservatives.  If it's in a box, bag, or can, its acidic.  On the flip side, high alkaline foods allow the body to be at an optimal state.  Alkaline foods include vegetables/greens and fruit, most roots, herbs, almonds (the only alkaline nut), seeds, grain like seeds (buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth), sea vegetables and alkaline water.  Most herbal teas are alkaline as well.  Some foods are in the middle like legumes and nuts.  They might be slightly more tipped to acid or slightly more tipped to alkaline.

Aim to eat 80% alkaline foods.  One really easy way to do this is eat more vegetables!!  I highly recommend Donna Gates "The Body Ecology" for more information on eating on the alkaline scale.  The benefits of alkalizing the body is vitality, health, and wellness.  Less sickness, more energy, less pain, better moving lymph system and a healthier cardiovascular and nervous system.

 

Want to learn more about how to eat true to YOU??  Stay tuned for part 2 next week :)

 

 

Apparently this is turning in to a food blog ...

My intention for starting this blog was motivation and education.  I wanted to share articles, links, and post information on topics that brings awareness and knowledge about holistic health to all.  I figured I would share a recipe here or there, but more than anything I wanted to educate about the what's and why's (why not eat this, what are excitotoxins and why to avoid them, what can exposure to the sun do for our health, why are essential oils so good to use, etc)

And while those topics are constantly brewing in my mind, and are most likely coming in the future, it seems to keep turning back to food every time I decide to do a blog post! 

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