Continuing on the eternal theme of reinventing classic food with a healthier bent, I was interested by the idea of melding vegetables and pancakes after seeing a recipe in one of my cookbooks. Originally I had planned on making zucchini fritters, which are quite popular and similar to crab or salmon cakes. However when I saw how much oil was involved, I thought - what a way to kill the benefits of the veg! I ended up melding spinach and zucchini to procure something entirely different, and equally delicious IMO. By using chickpea flour it's not only gluten-free, the entire batch (2 generous servings) uses less than 1/4 cup of olive oil.
To serve, I made a balsamic salsa the first day. The second day I spread these savoury pancakes with Philadelphia cream cheese..yumm.
Zucchini and Spinach Pancakes
1 medium zucchini
3/4 cup fresh spinach
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup chickpea flour
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
1 medium tomato
2 - 3 t olive oil
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 t herbes de provence
- Grate the zucchini into a colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Using a spatula, press to squeeze out excess water and allow to drain for a little while. Meanwhile, chop the spinach into thin strands. Add grated zucchini and chopped spinach to a medium bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, beat together the eggs (FYI I had the yolk left over from a prior recipe and am useless at making my own mayo) with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add to the vegetables.
- Slowly whisk in the 1/2 of chickpea flour - thoroughly! Chickpea flour requires extra whisking. Allow the batter to sit for roughly 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by chopping the tomato and onions. Mix with the remaining ingredients (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, herbes de provence) and chill.
- When ready for the first batch, heat a teaspoon of oil and drop a tablespoon of the batter into the pan for each pancake. I did a couple at a time. Allow to cook for a few minutes on one side (less time as your pan heats up), and then flip for about one more minute.
- Remove onto a paper towel and keep warm. Continue until you run out (I made 8 largish veggie pancakes.
- Top with salsa and serve.
I look forward to adding more vegetables, such as onion, red bell peppers or perhaps a handful grated carrots. The salsa was delicious touch, and as they were not greasy at all I topped the the pancakes with a dollop of plain yogurt.
As a plus, all the protein was terrific brain food when I got to work :)