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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Savory Vegan Pancakes!

Simpler to make than I would have thought.

Adapted (plagiarized, really) from here.  Honed to perfection with some expert pointers from Erin.

What you’ll need:

– 2 cups wheat flour

– 4 tsp baking powder

– 7 oz soft tofu

– 2 cups unsweetened soy milk (unsweetened almond milk would probably be even better)

– 4 tbsp nutritional yeast

– 3 tbsp ground sage

– 1 tbsp chili powder

– 1/3 package of pre-washed spinach

– 1/2 of a medium sweet onion

– 1/2 package of white mushrooms (about 5-6 average sized mushrooms)

– salt and pepper to taste (It’s hard to gauge if you’ve oversalted when it’s still in batter form, so err on the side of too little.  You can always sprinkle salt on top after they’re fried.  How salty you’ll want these will also depend on if you intend to eat them straight-up, or dipped in a soup or something.)

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Chop up the onion into tooth-size pieces, slice the mushrooms thin, shred the spinach in a blender, on the low setting.  Or with a knife.  Just get it small enough so you don’t end up taking a bit of the cake and have this huge strand of spinach leaf tug back at you.  That experience always ruins a meal for me.

3.  Press the water out of the shredded spinach in a strainer.  Get it as dry as you can.

4.  Sautee the onion over medium heat.  Add mushrooms about 3-4 minutes before onions are fully cooked.  Remove from heat.  Press in strainer to remove of excess oil.

5.  In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and baking powder.  Add tofu, soy milk, and seasonings.  Mix together with an egg beater until consistency and color are uniform.

7.  Fold in spinach, mushrooms, and onions.

8.  Reheat sauce pan at medium heat (if having your oven on makes the range hotter than usual, go half a notch lower than medium heat.  These burn really easily if you’re not careful).  Add a tablespoon of canola oil.  Wait about minute for oil to heat.

9.  Scoop out a half cup of batter.  Drop in pan, and lightly flatten with scoop.  Repeat until pan is full.  My sauce pan can only fit two cakes at a time without them all expanding into each other and becoming one giant cake.

10.  Wait about 4 minutes, then very gently prod the bottom of the cake with a spatula.  If the whole cake slides as a unit in response to your prodding, you’re ready to flip.  If you’re getting resistance from the batter, give it another minute or two.  This is the trickiest part, and you should just go ahead and expect that you’re going to fuck up the first couple cakes when you’re trial-and-error-ing the flip time.

11.  Allow the other side to fry for another 3-4 minutes.  Do the prod test with the spatula.  Once it passes, transfer to cookie sheet.  Repeat process with the remaining batter.

12.  Once you’ve accumulated a cookie-sheet’s worth of cakes, place in oven for 5-7 minutes.

13.  Remove from oven, and enjoy by themselves, or dipped in soup, or serve with a steamed vegetable.  (I bet they’d go really good with black-eyed peas).  Makes about 8-10 hand-size cakes.

What’s neat about these is that, while they’re not quite health food, they do contain both a grain and a legume (neither one whole, albeit), so you’ve got a complete protein.  And a green, thanks to the spinach.   A full meal, really.  I take two to work each day for a light & fluffy lunch that doesn’t make me sleepy.

I’d post pictures if I could hang on to a digital camera for more than 2 months at a time.  Instead, you get Erin’s pancake tribute song.  This plays in my head every time I sit down to eat these, which is a little bit of an issue; the thought of that giant growth on Aaron Neville’s forehead tends to diminish my appetite.