Archive for Vegan

Socca Pizzas {Vegan and Gluten Free}

Last summer, when I was writing my cookbook that’s essentially about chickpeas, I discovered the wonders of besan, or chickpea flour.

Now, it wasn’t like I was a total newbie to the concept of chickpea flour. I’d enjoyed it, primarily in Indian dishes, specifically in Pakoras–crispy, deep-fried chickpea fritters stuffed with vegetables.

There are a few great things about besan: first off, it’s gluten free. Secondly, it’s protein-y, unlike many flours. Thirdly, it has an interesting, yellowish colour.

I got to be curious as to what it would might be like as an egg substitute, and it ended up being in the book to make vegan omelets and frittatas.

Vegan, Gluten Free Socca PIzza

I had also played with it in pancake form. In South Asian cooking, there’s a dish called a dosa, which is, essentially, a crepe, or pancake, made with chickpea flour. They’re usually cultured, as well. These crepes are then stuffed with yummy ingredients inside, I recently had one with a chickpea curry.

So, basically, this stuff is amazeballs, if you’ve never used it! It’s got a million uses, it’s gluten free, and if you’re a veg head, it’s got 22g of protein in just 100 grams!

Which brings us to today’s recipe.

We’re at the height of Farmer’s Market season, and it’s seriously making me so happy to go on the weekends and buy up all the lovely, colourful, fresh ingredients. I also, this past week, got a new product to try: a ready-made, locally-produced balsamic reduction. I love, and I mean LOVE balsamic reduction. It’s got that sweet-tangy thing going on, and it’s so great on top of traditional stuff, like salads, but it also rocks on less traditional stuff, like, oh… say, pizza! And ice cream.

So, today’s recipe is an amalgam of all that inspiration this week.

This is a lovely, light summer lunch or dinner that comes together in basically no time at all. You can choose whatever toppings you like, and customize it.

Socca PIzza {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Socca Pizzas

{Vegan and Gluten-Free}

Ingredients for the base:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (basan)
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt

Toppings: I used caramelized onions, sundried tomatoes, arugula, radishes, and, of course, Nonna Pia’s Balsamic (I used the garlic one). You can use any kind of pizza toppings you like; olives would be great, as would fennel or artichoke hearts. A little vegan cheese (or a few dollops of chevre if you aren’t vegan) would also rock.

Method:

  1. Whisk the besan and water together well, along with the salt, ensuring no lumps remain. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a cast-iron pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of oil, and allow it to get hot. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of the pan, and allow it to spread out. Cook until the edges are browned, and the pancake is bubbly in the centre, then carefully flip. Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide off onto a plate. Top with whatever toppings you like, and finish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

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Corn Cakes with Salsa and Avocado Crema

Summer! Summah-summah-summah-time!

I’m off to “the continent” in a week, but in the mean time, I’m loving spending time in the Farmer’s Markets this summer. The inspiration for photography and ingredients is second to none.

Vegan corn Cakes with Salsa and Avocado Crema

This past weekend, I got some really lovely fresh corn from our local, West End Farmer’s Market. We ate a bunch of them for dinner with veggie burgers, but this would make a great way to use up fresh corn if you went a bit crazy buying at your local farmer’s market.

We had these as a side, but I think they would make a pretty filling meal on their own. Maybe serve with a few veggie sausages or hot dogs to up the protein of your meal? They really are a beautiful way to enjoy summer vegetables.

corn cakes with salsa and avocado crema #vegan

Corn Cakes with Salsa and Avocado Crema (Vegan)

(makes 6)

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (regular, coarse)
  • 1/4 cup corn flour (fine cornmeal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup corn, fresh, sliced off the cob (if you don’t have it, frozen corn that been thawed will work fine)
  • 1/4 cup non-diary milk
  • 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup water
  • fresh salsa, either your own homemade or store-bought
  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

Method

  1. For the corn cakes: place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Add the fresh corn and toss it in. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the non-dairy milk. Mix well until it forms a stiff dough. Now, begin to add the water, a little a time, until you get the dough to the right consistency. You want it to be relatively thick, like a muffin batter.
  2. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, and add a tablespoon or two of oil to the pan. Drop the corn cakes, 1/4 cup at a time, into the hot pan, and pat them down a little. Allow them to cook on one side, flipping them when they are caramelized and crispy around the edges. Continue with the rest of the batter until you’ve made all the cakes. Store in a warm oven on a cookie sheet to keep warm.
  3. Avocado crema: cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh out and into a blender. Add the cilantro, roughly chopped. Blend. Now, with the blender motor running, start to add the lime juice, until the crema becomes the consistency of a thick salad dressing, or a mayo.
  4. To assemble: place 1-3 corn cakes on a plate, and top with a dollop of salsa and another dollop of avocado crema. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
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