Sunday, January 23, 2011

Savoury Vegetable Pancakes

You're probably thinking that the title here is rather obvious. Duh, Megan, of course your pancake with vegetable filling is savoury. But, you shouldn't jump to conclusions just yet; if I ever get around to taking a picture of them before devouring them, my sweet pumpkin pancakes might yet make an appearance... unfortunately, they tend to only appear for a few seconds before they're hidden by my teeth, tongue and digestive system. They're that good. So today, I give you a different breakfast; one inspired by my insatiable green-veg cravings. I think it's the lack of sunlight that has been causing them, but there's only 8 weeks until I leave Germany, so that will all be solved in good time... Am I excited? You better believe it.

So, once again, I'll apologise for the lack of food styling and delicious pictures. You see, at 8am on a Sunday morning (my idea of sleeping late), I'm generally not at my photographic best... plus the sun isn't up yet, so my kitchen is dark. And I'm also not at my best when I was woken at 1am by the pig-squeals of the upstairs neighbour (and her boyfriend) who are up to the eyeballs on god knows what... that's another story for another time. We used to have such a quiet apartment, and I really don't know what happened... However, to get to the point, this isn't the best looking collection of veg in sauce you've seen lately. Normally I'd be making it creamier (see note later) but I'm watching what I eat at the moment, and so it probably looks a little strange. It was originally supposed to have whole baby spinach in it, but then I decided that the spinach was too good to be mixed with other vegetables, and saved it for lunch. Shredded, frozen spinach took its place... but I recommend the baby leaves. They're so much prettier.

Plain pancakes:

1 cup flour (I used half wholemeal spelt and half white; my spelt doesn't hold together as well as it normally does, probably because it's a different brand)
soymilk to bind
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed herbs, optional

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add soymilk slowly, mixing as you go, until it comes together into a thick but still pourable batter.
Heat a touch of oil in your frying pan, pour in half of the batter, and spread thinly with the back of your spoon or fork.
Fry until one side is golden (generally when it looks fully set on top, you can flip it) and fry on the other side until there is no more raw batter or pale spots.
Repeat with the other half of the batter.

Vegetable Filling:

1/2 small head of broccoli, sliced small (I quartered my florets so they'd cook quickly)
1/2 red capsicum, sliced thinly
2 generous handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup soymilk
2/3 tsp vege stock powder
1 Tbsp flour
2 tsp vegan margarine, optional*
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a frying pan, heat a touch of olive oil. Sautee the broccoli and capsicum until the broccoli is bright green, 2-3 minutes. Push to one side.
On the other side of the pan, add the margarine and flour, mixing to make a roux. Add soymilk and mix well to make a thick sauce. Mix broccoli and capsicum with sauce and season with stock powder, basil, oregano and plenty of pepper. (Salt only if you've used a really low-salt stock; generally you shouldn't need it.)
Add a touch of water as extra liquid if needed, and fold through the baby spinach. Allow it to wilt for a couple of seconds, and then serve immediately.

To serve: Place 1 pancake on a plate, top with half of the vegetable mix, and fold over to form a taco-like shape. Eat & repeat! ;)

Eat blood oranges for dessert. Yum. Now there's a food that will never be ugly!

*In regards to the creamy sauce: If you're being careful about what you eat, you might like to omit the vege margarine, flour, and half the soymilk, using instead 1 level tsp cornflour dissolved in 1/2 cup water to thicken.

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