Image Slider

Speedy Lentil and Rice Dosa with Chickpea Flour

January 18, 2018


Speedy dosa with chickpea flour, what's this nonsense? Normally dosa is made with rice and black gram, and fermented before cooking. It seems like every time I try to make traditional dosa, with the overnight ferment, they spoil on me. About a year ago I started making them as a quick and dirty version with some chickpea flour mixed in, because I always have soaked rice and lentils in jars in the freezer, and they've become a staple for us. I shared on my instagram stories several months ago and have had readers asking me to share ever since - the trouble is, I find them almost impossible to photograph! I'm sharing anyway, and you can come back to the blog tomorrow see them alongside an easy (carb-heavy!) curry recipe. 

This is a very simple, easy protein-rich pancake recipe and I often make them to have with curry, obviously, but also falafel or other patties, roasted veggies, or salad. It's a bit of a different texture than plain socca, and the amount of chickpea flour is outweighed by the rice and lentils in any case, so I wouldn't call this a socca. The only thing is that you need an okay blender to make these. I tried in a blender my omi lent me and it didn't work at all, but that blender also leaves chunks of banana behind, so it's not to be trusted. Any others I've tried have been fine and I think even a stick blender might work! I haven't tried that yet but I'll update the recipe when I do. 

There are several different dosa varieties, and this falls somewhere in the middle of crispy and soft. The batter is thin so the edges are crispy and lacy, and they come out a beautiful golden colour. Like any pancakes, they take a little while to cook as you have to make them all separately, but they're easier to make than crepes at least in terms of flipping. The only slightly time-consuming thing is the overnight soaking, and a short resting time before cooking. I usually prepare the curry or whatever while the dosa mixture rests. I have tried this with the rice and lentils soaked in hot water for a shorter period and it didn't work, so you'll have to do the 12-hour soak. That's not a bad thing as it makes them easier to digest in any case- less gas for everyone involved.


Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin

Speedy Lentil and Rice Dosa with Chickpea Flour

Serves four


120 grams / 1/2 cup brown rice

100 grams / 1/2 cup lentils*
750 ml / 3 cups water
80 grams / 1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Coconut oil, for cooking

Place the rice and lentils into a large bowl and cover with water to soak overnight, or for at least 12 hours. When you're ready to make the dosa, strain the rice lentil mixture and rinse well.

Place the soaked rice and lentils into a blender and add the water, chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Blend at high speed for at least two minutes, or until fully combined. Depending on your blender it may not be completely smooth, but there should be no recognizable pieces remaining. Pour the mixture into a bowl.

Heat a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil and ladle about 1/4 cup of dosa batter into the pan, using the ladle to spread the batter into an even thickness. If you create a hole just fill it with a little extra batter. Cook for about 30 seconds, flip, and cook for an additional 30 seconds on the other side. Repeat until all of the batter has been used, and serve immediately.

Tips:
• If they're tearing when you flip then you might need to let the first side cook a little longer.
• Leftovers keep surprisingly well for a day, if you have any. I store them in a jar and eat them cold, but they're definitely not as good as fresh.

Notes:
1. I have made these with both brown and red lentils, both work well.

Chocolate Orange Tart

January 17, 2018

A chocolate orange tart that's both sugar free and gluten free! I know, I know, I'm really going crazy with chocolate and orange, but it's just so good! I got some half blood oranges at the grocery store hoping they'd be a pretty marbled red but they're just orange, hah. They taste great though. Although the tart is arguably healthy(ish) you'd never know it - but it means that I had some for a perfectly acceptable breakfast this morning. Maybe not the best breakfast but not the worst, either! 

The base is made with oats, seeds, and dates, and the filling is simple dark chocolate and coconut cream. The whole point is to let the oranges really shine, so use the nicest seasonal fruit you can find. I can see myself making this in the summer with raspberries or cherries. The tart is pretty basic, so any seasonal fruits that go well with chocolate are a good choice, but oranges are best at this time of year. This is another impressive looking dessert that's a snap to put together and I know some of you might be skeptical of a sugar and gluten free sweet, but it is without doubt a dessert. Just look at that silky chocolate! It's a press-in base and you just mix it up in the food processor, bake, and then pour the filling in. The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate filling to set but it doesn't take too long. I have a sneaking suspicion that you might be able to use the freezer but I didn't it to get icy, so I stuck with the refrigerator. 

I had some issues with the coconut cream getting as fluffy as I wanted it to be for the topping, so a note for Germans, Alnatura coconut milk is preferable to Dennree for coconut whipped cream. I can't remember what I always used in Canada, some organic type from Superstore. It still tastes good even if it's not perfectly smooth, so don't worry about it too much.

And the beautiful apron in the background of that pouring shot was a Christmas gift from Heidi of The Simple Green. She made it herself, and it's beautiful. 





Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin

Chocolate Orange Tart
Makes one 20cm tart

Oat, Seed, & Date Base

110 grams / 1 cup rolled oats
70 grams / 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
70 grams / 1/4 cup soft dates, packed*
30 grams / 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Juice of half an orange (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease a 20cm / 8 inch springform pan with coconut oil. 

Place the oats and sunflower seeds into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend on high for a minute or two, or until a coarse flour forms. Add the dates, coconut oil, orange juice, salt, and vanilla, and blend again until the dates are incorporated and the mixture holds together when pressed.

Place the oat mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to press it into the base and about halfway up the sides, about 1cm thickness. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the base, then bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Place onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan, then cool fully. 

Chocolate Orange Ganache Filling

400 ml / 1 can full-fat coconut milk, cream only
100 grams / 1 bar dark chocolate, finely chopped
Zest of two oranges
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
Tiny pinch salt

Bring the coconut milk to a simmer over low-medium heat in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate into a heat-proof dish, pour the hot coconut milk over it, and let it sit for one minute before adding the orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to fully incorporate, then pour the ganache into the cooled tart base. Place into the refrigerator and let it set for at least an hour, or up to overnight, until the centre is set.

Topping

400 ml / 1 can full-fat coconut milk, cream only
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
2 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
Shaved dark chocolate

To make coconut whipped cream, place the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator overnight. Once it's chilled, scoop the cream from the top of the can and place it onto a medium bowl along with the honey. Mix on high with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy, a couple minutes. Spread onto the chilled tart, making swoops with the back of a spoon. Top with the orange slices and dark chocolate, and serve. The tart will keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Easy No-Knead Honey and Oat Spelt Sourdough

January 16, 2018


I've been making sourdough for the past year and a half or so but haven't quite gotten the hang of the whole folding and shaping thing yet. I think it's partly because I use lower gluten flours like spelt and rye, which can be a bit trickier to shape and stretch. No-knead is ideal for people without a large breadth of knowledge about sourdough but who still want the health benefits, and ideal if you want fresh bread without the kneading time. I've started rotating between this honey and oat spelt sourdough and my overnight rye bread. For this loaf I used an old covered pyrex dish but a dutch oven is more effective if you have one, and I usually just use a plain old loaf tin. If you use a loaf tin it's more like sandwich bread in texture as well as shape, because it doesn't get as crusty on the outside. To make it fully vegan you just sub maple syrup or coconut sugar for the honey, no problem.

So why sourdough? This is a totally appropriate recipe for beginners, and sourdough has so many benefits. It's much better for digestion and digestive health, can help to reduce inflammation, has a better flavour, and it's ideal for people with some gluten sensitivity. This spelt sourdough is even better if you're sensitive to gluten, like I am, because it's an older grain variety and the longer fermentation time makes it much easier on your system. There was a study done a few years ago that showed that even celiac people may be able to consume sourdough - a true sourdough degrades the gluten enough to consume, and also reduces FODMAPs, and spelt is also low in FODMAPs. You can read more about that here. Regular bread gives me crazy bloating and stomach-ache but I feel good when I eat a proper sourdough like this. It's a good source of probiotics and although I can't prove it, I'm sure that eating sourdough and drinking fermented drinks like ginger beer and kombucha helped to clear my eczema along with other diet changes. There's also some evidence showing infammation may be a cause of depression, so eating foods that reduce inflammation can help with mental illnesses like depression, and that's been the case for me as well. 

The method here is laughably simple. You just toss everything in a bowl, stir, and leave it overnight and part of the next day. So mix before bed, then bake it when you get home from work. I've given a couple variations on cooking - for a really crusty loaf you have to heat the baking dish along with the oven, and in a loaf tin the bread rises for another hour. Either way, super simple with great results. The crumb is good, the flavour is phenomenal, and it's virtually impossible to find a homemade bread that's less work!


Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin

Easy No-Knead Honey and Oat Spelt Sourdough
Makes one loaf

500 grams / 4 cups whole spelt flour
130 grams / 1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon sea salt
500 ml / 2 cups water
50 grams / 1/4 cup rye sourdough starter*
3 tablespoons honey*
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Add the flour, oats, and salt to a large bowl. Mix and make a well in the centre, then add the water, starter, and honey. Stir until fully combined, at least 30 seconds. Cover (I use a plate) and let the dough sit for 16-20 hours at room temperature.

Once the dough has risen, place a heat-proof lidded baking dish* into the oven and preheat to 250C / 475F. Use a spatula to pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl. When the oven is hot, carefully remove the dish and place the coconut oil in it. The oil should melt instantly. Place/pour the dough into the heated dish, cover, and bake for 30 minutes, reducing the heat to 200C / 400F after 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes (45 minutes total) to achieve the gold, crispy crust.

Take the bread out of the oven and cool in the dish for 10 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack, and cooling completely before cutting. I know it's hard to resist warm bread but cutting it too early can make the texture gummy. This bread keeps very well for a week on the counter, but avoid wrapping it in plastic as that ruins the crust. It's best stored in the dish that you bake it in.

Tips:
• To make a regular sandwich bread, place the risen dough into a well-greased or lined bread tin. Sprinkle some flour over it, cover with a tea towel, and let it rise again for another hour. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F and bake for 40-45 minutes, then cool for another 20 before removing from the tin. Cool completely before slicing.
• If you're unfamiliar with a sourdough starter, Nataša over at My Daily Sourdough Bread has a great step-by-step tutorial that'll show you how to make your own. I started mine a couple of years ago using her guidelines and it's still going strong.

Notes:
1. You have to use a minimum of 1/4 cup / 50 grams starter, but if you have some to use up, I often use a 1/2 cup / 100 grams, or even a little more. I don't find that it makes a difference in this recipe as it's not as exact as many sourdough recipes.
2. I think that you can substitute normal yeast in this recipe, but I haven't yet tried it. I think 1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast or a pea-sized amount of fresh yeast in place of the starter will work. I'll update the recipe when I do try, but until then, substitute this at your own risk!
3. Maple syrup is an ideal substitute but you could also use date syrup, coconut sugar, etc.

Spinach Crepes with Roasted Root Vegetables and Tahini Sauce

January 15, 2018

Let's start the week with some green food! Socca, or vegan & gluten-free crepes made with chickpea flour, are a staple in our house. Since we're still deep in root vegetable season, I haven't been including as many greens in my meals as I'd like - but frozen greens are a great option during the colder months, often more nutritious than fresh. I blended some thawed frozen spinach into my usual socca recipe to make green crepes without eggs or dairy to get some more greens in and they turned out really well. I make variations of this meal all year round, with whatever vegetables are in season, but this is one of the best so far. We both loved it and I ended up making it three days in a row for "testing purposes". It's much easier for me (and most people, I think) to take a few cubes of spinach out the freezer than to remember to buy fresh and eat it before it spoils, so I think I'll end up making it with frozen greens year round. You can use fresh spinach too, if you have it! It's a good way to use up some that's a touch wilted. 

You can change up the vegetables for the crepe filling, but try to stick to root veg to keep some sweetness, and something fresh and crunchy like the apple. The best thing about socca is that it doesn't feel like you're eating a super healthy meal, since it's just pancakes! Sometimes it's nice not to eat beans and lentils, you know? It's still made out of chickpeas but it's the idea of it. For those days when you want to eat junky food but not fart the whole night through, it's not junk junk. Sorry to my German readers for writing that, hah. Sort of like healthy tacos, it still satisfies a craving without leaving you feeling like you're going to pass out/die. 

The secret weapon for these pancakes is the tahini dressing, adapted from Nina's pumpkin salad recipe. Lightly adapted, because I just made it how I remembered without checking the recipe. It adds to the whole creamy/crunchy/earthy combination going on in this recipe.




Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin

Spinach Crepes with Roasted Root Vegetables and Tahini Sauce
Serves 2-4 / makes ~8 crepes

Spinach Chickpea Flour Crepes

2 cups water
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup chickpea flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coconut oil, for cooking

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. Alternatively, place the ingredients into a large bowl and use a stick blender. Let the mixture rest for at least ten minutes while you prepare the filling, and roast the vegetables while you cook the crepes.

To cook the crepes, heat a large, flat bottomed pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil to the pan, followed by about 1/4 cup of the crepe batter, swirling the pan to spread out the batter. Cook for about two* minutes, or until it colours, then flip and cook for another minute. Repeat until all of the batter has been used, placing the finished crepes into a warm place.

Roasted Root Vegetables

4 small beets
1 small sweet potato
2 red onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 apple, finely diced
Pomegranate arils

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Cut the beets and sweet potato into small chunks, about 1cm by 2cm, and the onion into wedges. Place them onto a large baking sheet with the oil, salt, and pepper, and use your hands to mix. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are browned on the edges. Add the raw apple and serve hot with the crepes, topping with the tahini dressing and pomegranate arils.

Tahini Garlic Sauce

1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons (~1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar*
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and use a fork to whisk until combined. Top with pomegranate and za-atar (optional, but pictured). Store any remaining sauce in the fridge.

Tips:
• If you have a super blender you might be able to blend the spinach in while it's still frozen but I haven't tried that. It doesn't take long to thaw.
• Generally I don't have any trouble with these crepes breaking, but if they seem to be cracking when you flip, just make them a little smaller.

Notes:
1. If you're having trouble flipping, it's probably because it's not cooking on the first side long enough. You may need to turn the heat down to let it cook more slowly without browning as quickly. 
2. Stick with a non-liquid sweetener. Liquid sweetener can cause the tahini to seize.

Spicy Sweet Potato Pancakes

January 12, 2018


I grew up eating latkes, or potato pancakes, a few times a month. My mom would make them as a quick dinner after coming home from work and I was always happy to have them. Her grandmother used to make them, and I think she taught my mom, and then I started making them when I was a kid too. I think my Omi's diet is 90% latkes and müsli, so they're pretty popular in my family. The thing is, regular potato pancakes aren't exactly a healthy, balanced meal. I still make them every once in a while as a treat but for the past couple of years, I've been having these vegan spicy sweet potato pancakes instead. I had always been making them with eggs, but a few days ago, I tried them with just chickpea flour instead. I had been testing chickpea flour dosa and figured if they hold together, then latkes should too. There were eggs on standby just in case it didn't hold, but turns out chickpea flour really does the trick! I actually prefer the texture and found that they hold together better and don't get soggy right away like they do with eggs. Chickpea flour wins again!

Sweet potato latkes are super versatile, and I happily eat them at any time of day. If you're thinking potato pancakes are too time consuming or difficult, kick that thought out of your head right now. They take about ten minutes to make, and I promise that these are really easy to cook and flip without having them fall apart. They're probably easier than regular pancakes and everyone and their dog can make pancakes, right? The ingredients are simple, just with a few spices to make things interesting, and you can top them with apple sauce, the traditional choice, or yogurt, or even (gasp!) ketchup. I like them with all three, but not at the same time. I usually eat a full batch of these on my own but I suppose you could share with another person. Any more than that and you might want to double the recipe.

I wrote this recipe years ago but was never brave enough to photograph them until now! Potato pancakes are HARD.


Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin

Spicy Sweet Potato Pancakes
Makes about ten

1 1/2 cup sweet potato, shredded*
1/2 medium white onion, shredded
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika*
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
Coconut oil for cooking

Shred the sweet potato and onion into a large bowl, and add the chickpea flour, water, oil, vinegar, and spices. Use a wooden spoon or you hands to mix very well, making sure no streaks of flour remain. Set aside.

Heat a large flat-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil). Form a ball with about two tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture, flatten it between your hands to about a 2cm thickness, and place into the hot pan. Cook for about a minute, until golden, then flip and cook for another minute. Cook three or four at a time but don't crowd the pan. Repeat until all of the batter has been used.

You can place the finished pancakes into a warm oven, but they shouldn't really have time to cool down. Serve hot with your desired toppings.

Tips:
• Mixing well is very important here - I made one batch without mixing enough and kept getting mouthfuls of chickpea flour. It's not nice.
• When you flip the latkes, press them down with the spatula to flatten a little more. The more surface space the better.

Notes:
1. This is a medium sweet potato or half of a larger one, but be sure to measure, at least the first time.
2. Smoked paprika is great here but sweet is good too, just use what you have.