zondag 20 februari 2011

Veggie Might: Lazy Weekend Gluten-free Pancakes

Penned by the effervescent Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about the wide world of Vegetarianism.

Pancakes are the food of lazy weekend mornings with loved ones, be they boyfriends, friend-friends, or family. Breakfast, or more specifically, brunch, is the best meal of the day because lazy weekend mornings are the best time to be awake.

Brunch in New York is like church. Everyone has their preferred house of worship, and weekly attendance is compulsory. Congregants line up out front, no matter the weather, to say their prayers to the gods of maple syrup and challah bread.

After years of serving eucharist at one of Manhattan's most popular temples, I relish every Saturday and Sunday morning I get to have a leisurely breakfast at home. I'm nondenominational brunch eater, and I like to worship in my pajamas. Plus, it's way cheaper that way.

My pal and fellow brunch altergirl, Miss T is newly gluten-free. She recently spent the night at my pad, and the next morning, she, my boyfriend, and I contemplated venturing out for brunch. I told her about the whole wheat pancakes I'd been making for CB, and she wondered if I could come up with a gluten-free version for her.

"Sure," I said. "Let's try it now." Miss T was all smiles and agreement. Church bells were ringing.

We donned our aprons and cleared a space on the table. Starting with a recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, I had futzed around until I came up with a whole-wheat pancake that satisfied CB's morning sweet tooth and my fiber requirement. Making them gluten-free was as easy as substituting the wheat flours for a combination of chick pea, brown rice, and quinoa flours. We had a smashing success.

The alterna-flour gluten-free pancakes came out light, fluffy, and golden-brown?just like the wheat version. Miss T and I were so proud of our pancake improv. We looked to CB, our resident pancake connoisseur, for final judgment.

"Pancakes are just a vehicle for maple syrup and butter," he said. "These have the right texture, which is the important thing. They're good."

We took his praise with gratitude and laughter. These delicious, gluten-free vessels of maple and joy are worthy of lazy weekends and those you love.

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If this recipes warms your cockles, you may also enjoy:
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Lazy Weekend Gluten-free Pancakes
3 servings
Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking

1/2 cup chick pea flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoon safflower oil (half for mix and half for cooking)
1 cup nondairy milk (I used almond)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl or 4-cup measuring cup. Stir in 1 tablespoon of oil and milk until combined but don't overmix. It's okay if there are some tiny lumps.

3. Heat a small amount of oil in a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Spoon or pour batter into 3" to 4" pools in the skillet. Cook until bubbles form in the batter.

4. With a plastic or silicone turner, flip pancakes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Place pancakes on an oven-safe plate and keep warm in oven until all pancakes are ready. Repeat step 3 until you've used up the batter. The number of pancakes will depend on how big you make them.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings, like vegan butter and maple syrup, and enjoy with those you love.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
249 calories, 12g fat, 5g fiber, 6.3g protein, $.56

Note: Substituting 1 tablespoon of cooking oil with high-heat cooking spray will reduce calories to 209 and fat to 7g per serving. You can also substitute the quinoa flour for something a touch cheaper, like sorghum flour, to reduce cost.

Calculations
1/2 cup chick pea flour: 220 calories, 4g fat, 10g fiber, 12g protein, $0.32
1/4 cup brown rice flour: 130 calories, 1g fat, 2g fiber, 3g protein, $0.15
1/4 cup quinoa flour: 110 calories, 1.5g fat, 2g fiber, 4g protein, $0.50
1 tablespoon baking powder: 6 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.06
2 tablespoon safflower oil: 240 calories, 28g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.16
1 cup almond milk: 40 calories, 3g fat, 1g fiber, 1g protein, $0.50
TOTALS: 746 calories, 35.5g fat, 15g fiber, 19 protein, $1.69
PER SERVING (TOTALS/3): 249 calories, 12g fat, 5g fiber, 6.3g protein, $.56


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