Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spinach pancakes

How does one eat an entire bag of spinach in one sitting?  By turning it into pancakes!  When I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try.  I didn't realize I would eat the whole thing at once.  Not sure that was healthy, but I was hungry!  And all that spinach and chia has to be good for me, right?  :)

Okay they kinda look like little squashed aliens... my photography skills need help.

Making this recipe was definitely an exercise in one of those things that you will learn as you go - being able to trust yourself as a chef, trust your instincts, and know the food that you're working with.  These are things you won't have right away - but you *will* gain them.   These did not come out perfect for me, but they came out better than they would have if I had stuck with the way things came out from the recipe without adjusting at all. 

Think - pancakes.  Pancake batter is pretty thin.  The batter I got from this (using whole wheat flour instead of rice because I don't own it, so that could have been my issue) was thick and sticky.  I ended up adding a few tablespoons of water, adding them slowly to try and adjust to the right consistency.  I don't think I added enough in the end, but at least I got closer.  Trust yourself to know what you are looking for - a thinner, pancake batter consistency - and add what you need to get there. 

Other recommendations:
  • I think they could use some salt, just a teaspoon or less added to the mixture with the flour.  Mine didn't have any because I didn't think of it until it was too late, but I would give it a shot.
  • Without the salt for sure, but probably even with it - definitely to serve with something.  The original recipe recommends making them into sandwich "bread", but I think they work as pancakes, just need something to complement them.  I'm thinking a nice fresh salsa of some sort? 
  • Don't be scared of the chia!  This was my first time working with it, and I'm fascinated to try out more recipes that use it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Joy of Cooking Vegan

I was given this shirt for free at the Vida Vegan Conference earlier this year.  I thought at the time it was silly and something I would never wear, but maybe it would be useful just to throw something on at some point. 

Then I was asked to give a talk on the health benefits of veganism for my company, and about a week before I was supposed to speak, I did throw this shirt on, simply because it was comfortable and clean.  What I realized as I sat there planning my talk wearing this shirt was that I really wanted to wear it again for the talk - because I've come to really believe in what it says.  That moment was a really cool realization of how much living this lifestyle has changed me. 

Being vegan isn't always easy.  It *is* - in that having enough to cook is easy (I have a huge overabundance of things to make!), finding things to eat out is easy, it makes you feel physically amazing, and makes you feel mentally like you're really doing something right.  But it's still sometimes hard - you miss things you used to eat, you have to explain yourself, and you can't (don't want to) just eat anything that shows up in front of you.  I wanted to take a moment for today's post to acknowledge that fact, that it can be difficult sometimes, no matter how much you love it and how committed to it you are, so don't feel bad if you find yourself hitting a rough patch.  But I also pointed to take a moment to say just how amazing it is too.  Choosing to live a more compassionate life is incredibly rewarding, physically, mentally, and socially.  I love sharing this lifestyle with others who are just curious and with those who are way more expert than I.  Please let me know when you have questions or need a boost - that's what this blog is here for!