Savoury Pancakes! And they happen to be gluten-free...

Korean-style pancakes have been a meal staple in our house for years because they are so adaptable to whatever is on hand in the pantry or fridge and are especially great for using up leftover grains like cooked rice or quinoa. They are fun and impressive to make for guests but also simple enough to do for everyday.

The base is a batter of flour, water, egg and salt. Which flours you use is really up to you! Rice flour is common but if you only have wheat flour on hand, that works too. Recently, we've started adding chickpea or garbanzo bean flour to boost the protein and fibre content. The point being that these pancakes don't need the gluten content of wheat flour to have the texture you need so it's easy to make them gluten-free if you so desire (or require!).

All the other additions to the batter are yours to choose, whether you like your protein from tofu cubes, shrimp or perhaps some shredded leftover meat. The veggies are also adaptable--grated carrot and chopped green onion are classic, but grated zucchini, quartered mushrooms, bell pepper, finely chopped broccoli or shredded cabbage are all delicious! Just be careful not to add much more than the quantities listed below or you may end up without enough batter to hold it all together. Be aware though that once all the ingredients are added, it's not going to look like a breakfast pancake batter...it will be much more chunky! Once it starts cooking, the batter will do it's job of holding it all together.

The dipping sauce is pretty essential to make alongside! Good veggies to balance the meal are something like a coleslaw or kale salad...perhaps with a soy-based dressing and toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1+1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups flour (brown rice, garbanzo, sorghum to be GF and/or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
  • 1 package (340g) firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or 1/2 lb peeled shrimp)
  • 2 large carrots, grated (or zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, etc.)
  • 1 bunch green onions, both green and white parts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive or coconut oil

Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (choose gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch chili flakes

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture. Whisk slowly until well combined and smooth.

3. Add the cooked rice, tofu, carrots and green onions and stir well.

4. Heat a large, well-seasoned skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of the oil. Pour 1 generous cup of the batter in the middle of the pan then spread with a spoon.

5. Turn the heat to medium low and cook pancake for 5 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Flip with a spatula and cook on the other side for 5 more minutes.

6. Remove from pan and keep in a warm oven while you continue to cook the rest in the same manner, adding another tbsp of oil if necessary.

7. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together. Serve alongside the pancakes, cut into triangles.

TOFU 101

Tofu is one of those classic vegetarian foods that meat-eaters love to hate on. And I can't blame them, if they've only had lousy tofu. If cooked tofu tastes similar to it's raw state with maybe only a coating of sauce or a deep-fried crust on the outside and no inner flavour permeation, then tofu is not my favourite.

But, it has so much possibility for deliciousness. Tofu is literally a sponge for juicy flavours, if you just give it some time. And this versatile recipe for baked tofu produces a consistently delicious result and is dead simple--in fact, it's a signature dish of my 8 year old daughter! It only takes 5 minutes to put together but needs 45-60 minutes in the oven to soak up the yummy flavour.

We use it in all sorts of ways, primarily variations on a buddha bowl with rice, quinoa or buckwheat, an assortment of cooked and raw veggies and drizzled in some sort of sauce (think peanut or miso tahini). But it's also a great protein (and plant-based calcium source) to include on a salad--vegan caesar maybe? And once cooled a bit, it can be used as a snack or appetizer and dipped in a barbecue or peanut sauce. You can choose your citrus and herbs according to what you're using it for.

For a family of four who also need lunches for the next day, I usually double this recipe, but still cram it in the same size pan. Leftovers will keep for 3 days.

Tofu 101:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 350g package firm tofu (medium or extra firm will give a slightly different texture)
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, rosemary or cilantro, minced (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. water

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. 

2. In a 9x13 pan, combine all ingredients except tofu. 

3. Slice tofu in 4 filet pieces, meaning in half lengthwise and then half each of those pieces lengthwise again (or whichever shape you prefer--1 inch cubes, finger-size sticks, etc.)

4. Place in pan and cover with marinade. 

5. Bake for 1 hour flipping pieces halfway through. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving):   190 Calories;  14g Protein; 4.5g Carbohydrate; 2g Fibre; 14g Fat;  582mg Calcium; 2.5mg Iron; 51mg Magnesium; 167mg Phosphorous; 217mg Potassium; 145mg Sodium; 1.4mg Zinc

Baked Tofu, Quinoa & Green Beans

Baked Tofu, Quinoa & Green Beans

TOFU 101

TOFU 101

--Nicole Fetterly, RD