Monday, July 16, 2007
Walking on the wild (grain) side
I am pretty unimaginative with my grains. Steady dates include brown rice, whole wheat pasta, flour of course, bulghur, and oatmeal. I know a few gluten-intolerant people, but I've always thought they were the only ones who ate the more exotic grains, like spelt. (Also, I'm not very interested in any food that can only be bought at Whole Foods, since it requires a special trip.) But my sister passed along the following recipe which is tasty and different. I've got some spelt flour now and who knows what grain madness will ensue next.
I found that spelt is "naturally high in fiber, and contains significantly more protein than wheat. Spelt is also higher in B complex vitamins, and both simple and complex carbohydrates. Another important benefit is that some gluten-sensitive people have been able to include spelt-based foods in their diets." (Link here.) Since the pancakes have scallions and regular flour in them, I didn't get a totally clear sense of the true flavor of spelt, but the pancakes were good and had a nice nutty flavor.
As an aside, I leave tomorrow for a short vacation in Guatemala. We'll see what the vegetarian/vegan offerings look like there. I'm bringing some Lara bars and mixed nuts just in case...
Recipe: Tofu & Bok Choi with Spelt-Scallion Pancakes
Pancakes (makes 4-5)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 c. vegetable broth + 1/2 c. water
2/3 c. spelt flour
2/3 c. white or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
6 thinly sliced green onions
Sesame or black sesame seeds
Whisk all ingredients except scallions together in a bowl. Heat a
small amount of veg. oil in 9 or 10" pan over med-hi heat. Pour 1/4 to 1/5 of
the batter into the pan, spreading it to cover the bottom of the pan.
Scatter scallions and sesame seeds over the top. When the top looks dry (about
2 mins), flip pancake and cook for 1-2 min on other side. Repeat with
remaining batter and onions. Keep warm while making tofu & bok choi.
8 oz firm tofu, rinsed, drained, & pressed, cut in bite-size pieces
8 oz baby bok choi, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons veg broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Heat veg oil over medium heat. Add bok choi and cook, covered,
stirring once (about 5 min). Push to one side and add tofu & broth;
cover & cook for 4 mins. Meanwhile, stir together soy sauce, rice
vinegar, and sesame oil. Add soy sauce mixture to pan and heat
through. Serve with pancakes, tearing off pieces to pick up tofu-bok