Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Best and Fastest Breakfast with Lots of Protein

How did it take me this long to discover chickpea flour?? Mix it with an equal amount of water (and some oil if you like), add salt and pepper, cook a few minutes in a hot skillet, and you have an addictive, healthful, high-protein meal or snack. I especially like it for breakfast because it's so fast and easy.

This basic recipe is known, in slight variations, as socca in the South of France; farinata, cecina or panissa in Italy; karantita in Algeria (made with egg); fainá  in Argentina and Uruguay; pudla (chickpea flour crepes) in northern India; and chickpea flour omelette (or scramble if it gets messy) among vegans of the USA. Seems like everyone else in the entire world, for all of history, knew about it before I did.

Google any of the terms above and you'll find a thousand great recipes. Here's one easy way to make it for breakfast. It has as much protein as two eggs and no cholesterol.

Chickpea Flour Scramble

1/2 c chickpea flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c water
couple handfuls of spinach
oil for the pan

(optional: turmeric, chili powder, vegan parmesan . . . anything, really)

Put some oil in a skillet and heat it on medium high. If the spinach is frozen, steam it a couple of minutes. Mix all the other ingredients, and then stir in the spinach. Toss in hot pan. Cook a few minutes, stir, cook a few more minutes, stir a little more, cook another minute. Eat.

Felix Vallotton, The Estérel and the Bay of Cannes, 1925

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Green Pea Hummus

This bright, fresh hummus is perfect for a fall crop of peas, but you can try it anytime with frozen peas and it's delicious. Adapted from this recipe.

Green Pea Hummus

2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
1/2 t cumin
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 t salt
pinch or two pepper, to taste
1/2 T lemon juice
1 T tahini

Boil the fresh peas 5 min, or cook frozen peas in microwave till just done. Put the cumin in a dry skillet on medium heat for a few minutes, until it becomes fragrant. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

FélixVallotton, 1865 - 1925, Maisons et Roseaux

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Georgian Tomato Soup

Too many ripe tomatoes? Here's what to do with them. An absolutely amazing soup. You've never tasted anything like it. Adapted from The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein.

 Tomato Soup with Walnuts and Vermicelli
(Bostneulis Kharcho)

4 T Earth Balance or other margarine, or olive oil
2 med onions finely chopped
2 lg garlic cloves roughly chopped
1/2 t whole coriander seed (using whole rather than ground really makes it good--but if you only have ground, you can use that)
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 cup walnuts
1 quart water
1 cup broken-up vermicelli or spaghetti
3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
1/2 c chopped mixed parsley and cilantro

In soup pot, heat 3 T margarine and saute onions till golden. In food processor, blend garlic, coriander seed, salt and pepper and walnuts until walnuts are ground fine. Add to onions along with water and noodles. Simmer, covered, 20 min.

Meanwhile, separately heat tomatoes on low till softened. Then stir them into soup, simmer 5 more min. Add herbs and remaining 1 T margarine and cook a few minutes longer.

Paul Klee, Full Moon, 1919

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Palestinian Spinach Pies with Israeli Bean Soup

These go well together, maybe with a prayer for peace on the side.

Palestinian Spinach Pies from Food & Wine

Make the dough for the crust first and let it rise while you get the other things ready. Just before you bake the pies, instead of egg wash, brush the tops with Earth Balance (or other margarine) mixed with a little agave or sugar. For the filling, if you don't have sumac, add a little extra lemon juice and some lemon zest, to taste. (The zest makes a big difference.)

Israeli Bean Soup from a contributor to

I used two cans of white beans, instead of dry. If you do that, you don't have to simmer so long--only until the potatoes are done--and you can use four cups of water instead of six. Add some lemon juice and a little of the lemon zest you made for the spinach pies near the end of cooking.

Some interfaith prayers for peace from Project Ploughshares in Canada

Dr Jane Goodall's Prayer for World Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem

Agnes Martin, Untitled #15: Peace, 1996