Let’s be creative….
I spoke with a friend yesterday who told me she was using the forced time at home to bake bread because it helped to keep her sane. I imagine many of us can identify – not necessarily with baking homemade bread, but with needing ways to keep our sanity during the COVID-19 circumstances.
In our house, we currently have five folks living life virtually – online classes, work meetings, church activities, music lessons, writing groups – all vying for time on our WiFi connection and requiring us to find privates spaces throughout the house where we will not bother one another.
Add to that I am cooking our meals with the staples I have on hand because we are abiding by our state governor’s “stay at home” advisory because we have a family of “at-risk” folks for whom getting the corona virus would not be good. Since I always keep a well stocked pantry, finding items to make is not the problem. The difficulty is being creative so we are not eating the same foods all the time.
A couple of days ago, I wanted to use up the leftover lentils I had in the fridge from a lentil curry I had made for dinner one night. I was “feeling like” pancakes for some reason, so I googled lentil pancakes to see if that was an actual thing. It turned out it is, but that the options weren’t quite what I wanted. Either I could make pancakes which were simply crushed lentils and spices or I could make a basic pancake recipe which just had about 1/2 cup of lentils added.
So, I had to go to work to create something of my own – a pancake which was chock-full of lentils but was still a pancake so my youngest wouldn’t turn his nose up to the idea. The result was surprisingly good. I made up a curry sauce of tofu sour cream, curry powder and soy milk which three of the family members dolloped onto the pancakes, while the other two chose to eat the pancakes with maple syrup. The recipe follows for anyone who also might have leftover cooked lentils in need of revamping, and as a bonus for folks who need it – these are grain free, too.
4 cups cooked lentils
1 cup dairy free milk (oat, flax, soy, etc….)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup liquid egg whites (can also just use whole eggs, which would be about 4)
2 cups garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
2 tsp baking powder
- Puree cooked lentils in a food processor until only slightly lumpy. You can puree them completely smooth, if desired, but I prefer a little texture.
- Add to the pureed lentils, your choice of dairy free milk, the cumin, garlic, onion, and cumin powders, salt and pepper, and green onions, and mix well.
- Add the liquid egg whites and mix well.
- Add the flour and mix until all the flour is completely mixed in.
- Add the baking powder and stir until completely dissolved.
- To cook the pancakes with a griddle, heat to 350 degrees. On the stove top, heat a skillet over medium heat. If you are not using nonstick pans, you’ll need to grease your pan in between batches with your preferred method.
- Use a 1/4 cup to scoop batter onto the griddle or skillet. The batter will spread. When the edges begin to look a bit dry and little air pockets surface in the middle, flip the pancake. Usually, this won’t take longer than a minute. The pancake will begin to rise. Allow it to cook until you no longer see hot air escaping and the sides are cooked through. This usually takes about a minute.
- When you remove the pancakes, you can put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the oven on your lowest heat to keep them warm or move them to a cooling rack to cool if you are cooking them to be eaten at another time.