We’ve got the perfect way to start your Monday; plus, it’s healthy!
This post comes from our FP Contributor, Lexie Smith!
There are certain things for which even the most thorough parenting and childhood experiences will not prepare you. Sometimes it’s the big stuff: how to break and how to be broken, the unshakeable permanence of nostalgia, or the disappointing myth of age-induced wisdom. But there’s one that I’ve found surpasses all of these in its ubiquitous presence and consuming distress — feeding oneself everyday is really difficult.
I’m saying this as someone who makes food for a living, who’s supposedly been gifted with a skillset and a brain that is specifically geared towards the alchemy of a kitchen and, still, I can open the refrigerator and stare at it with utter despair while realizing that, despite my hunger level, I can think of literally nothing I want to eat. Add exhaustion and a lack of ingredients and the situation can become truly dire. I’m left to wonder how I’ve made it this far, how I’ve possibly consumed an adequate number of calories each day of my twenty-seven years to still be standing. If left untreated, this condition results in popcorn or a banana for dinner, and an aching sense of defeat.
For me, the dilemma is more frequent in the colder months as my access to fresh vegetables and fruit decreases. This year, I could indulge it no longer — I had to wrangle the issue. My answer: chickpea rice flatbreads. Creating one component that can be used to springboard every meal from here on out ensures that I will be questioning my ability to survive as a human adult a bit less frequently. And luckily, I’ve wanted to eat these for every meal since their discovery. Let’s see how long I can keep that going.
I vary the toppings depending on the meal — for breakfast, I like olive oil and a runny poached egg, for lunch I prefer dressed greens and roasted vegetables and, for dinner, I throw all that on there plus whatever else is within arm’s reach. Hence, this is a perfect vehicle for any dwindling Thanksgiving leftovers that may be expiring in your fridge.
Depending on their thickness and baking time, these can be taco’d up and used like flatbreads (a more shallow pour and a couple extra minutes under the broiler), or topped and eaten like a custardy pancake, reminiscent of polenta. You could even leave out the garlic and finish with some fruit and honey and call it a sweet. This time around I used leftover green beans and Brussels sprouts and topped with a poached egg, in addition to a sweeter version topped with yogurt, pears, honey and black pepper.
If you’ve had socca or farinata, you’ll be familiar with the method and flavor. I’ve added rice flours for a mellower taste, crispness and flexibility. The pancake itself is both vegan and gluten-free, so accessorize according to your restrictions/take you liberties. Anything goes.
Chickpea and Rice Flour Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Yield: 2-4 servings (I like to split this batter into one larger and one smaller meal)
2 tbsp brown rice flour
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 ⅓ cup water (add up to 3 tbsp more if necessary — you want the batter to be quite runny)
¾ tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely grated (optional)
Mix all the above and let sit, covered, 1-24 hours (the longer, the better). You can keep in the fridge overnight or up to a couple of days.
Turn on the broiler in your oven and place an 8-9” ovenproof pan in there while it comes to temp. You can use a smaller pan if you don’t want to bake all of the batter at once.
After 5-10 minutes (you want the pan to be quite hot), remove from the oven and swirl a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the hot pan — make sure to rotate the pan to oil the sides.
Pour in the batter until it is about ¼” thick and top with a couple pinches of salt and place back under the broiler for around 8 minutes or until browning and blistered. Keep an eye on this — stronger broilers can toast these up in less than 4 minutes, and they burn easily. Make sure there are at least 6” between the heat source and the pan.
Once browned and golden all over, remove from oven and run a thin metal spatula around the edges and under the bottom. Gently slide the pancake onto a plate.
Top with just about anything. Eat while hot!
+What are your favorite breakfast foods?