Vegetable pancakes


Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

Chickpea flour, veggies and a few minutes in the kitchen make for a light and yummy lunch!

A few months ago I was in the grocery store in our capital and found a sack of Gram flour. Of course I had no idea what that was, but thought “Why not?!” and bought the half pound bag.

Imagine my delight when I got home and discovered that it was chickpea flour! I love chickpeas. Hummus, chickpea salad, falafel. You can rarely go wrong with chickpeas!

After some more investigating on how to actually use the flour and I landed on this recipe. A vegetable pancake made with chickpea flour. It’s perfect paired with some yogurt/sour cream, tahini, or even ranch (because who are we kidding? Ranch goes great with everything!).  Meat eaters could throw some bacon or smoked sausage in the batter and some Worcestershire  for a rich smoky flavor! And it’s another gluten free recipe!

The pancakes make a great light lunch or afternoon snack and store well in the freezer too. I usually serve mine with a simple salad topped with two pancakes and some yogurt. Yum!!


Vegetable Pancakes
adapted from Calm Mind Busy Body



B gives it 4 out of 5 carrots

2 cups chickpea flour
¾ cup water
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed and chopped
3 small tomatoes, diced
½ cup frozen broccoli, thawed and diced
¼ cup corn, drained and rinsed
¼ cup lima beans, peas or fava beans, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamon
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground ginger
½  tsp chili powder
¾  tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Moroccan Spice Seasoning (here) ** optional
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for cooking


  1. Add all ingredients (minus the EVOO) to a medium bowl and stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Prepare your griddle pan or non-stick skillet with some EVOO and place over medium-low heat.
  3. Using a ¼ cup, scoop out batter onto griddle spreading the mixture out to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping when the first side is a golden brown.* Place on cooling rack when done to prevent sogginess.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*The longer you wait to flip, the less even the other side of the pancake will be because the batter cooks down leaving the vegetables higher. This means that parts of your pancake will remain more doughy than others. I found that on low-medium heat, a good 2 minutes was plenty of time.

** A note about the Moroccan Spice Seasoning: I accidentally dumped some of this in the batter thinking it was red pepper flakes 🙂 I ended up liking the slightly sweet hint from the cinnamon, so I was glad I had included it. I’ve made these so many times before without it and they are just as good without!

Millet with Broccoli and Walnut Pesto

Warm Millet and Broccoli

Millet. What? Isn’t that what we put in bird feeders? Yes actually there’s a type of millet that’s grown that Americans use for bird feed, but there’s also tons of other varieties of millet that are grown all over India, China and parts of Africa.

I can’t say that I ever ate millet in the US, but in West Africa it’s everywhere. The people eat it with yogurt, peanut butter, as a porridge and with any sauce they make. It’s cheaper here than rice, which actually makes it less preferable to eat J. In fact, a few years ago we took over 1000 lbs of millet to a village that had suffered a fire and people complained because we didn’t bring them rice!

Millet is one of those grains that most people don’t know about or at the very least forget about. It’s a shame too because it’s chock full of protein, vitamin B, iron, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients making it a very healthy alternative to rice. And it’s gluten free!

Most of the time when we’ve eaten millet here, it’s a less than pleasant experience with some unidentified crunchiness/graininess that always makes you cringe. You don’t know if you just ate was a bit of peppercorn, sand, dirt or husk. But I really want to love millet! I found this recipe for millet mixed with a walnut pesto and broccoli and knew that I’d found my solution! Toasting the millet brings out the nuttiness of the grain which pairs perfectly with the nutty pesto. Top it with some walnuts, some creamy avocado slices and a drizzle of a balsamic vinegar reduction and it’s the perfect way to add some millet to your diet.


Millet and Broccoli

Millet, walnut pesto and broccoli served with a balsamic vinegar reduction

Millet with Broccoli and Walnut Pesto
adapted from Eden Kitchen
B gives it 3 out of 5 carrots

1 cup hulled (pearled) millet*
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed *
¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped + some for garnish
1 packed cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
⅔ cup finely grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp  salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat place 1 cup of millet  and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until it smells nutty. Be careful to not let the millet burn. Add 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp of salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed 25-30 minutes*. Once done, turn off the heat and let the millet sit covered for 5-7 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

2. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender add walnuts, parsley, EVOO, lemon juice, parmesan, garlic, black pepper and salt. Pulse twice then process until well combined. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt as needed.

3. In a small saucepan of water, add broccoli and cook to warm up, about 2 minutes. Drain well.

4. Toss the millet with the cooked broccoli and 1/2 of the pesto. Taste and add more pesto if needed.

5. Serve topped with more walnuts, sliced avocado,a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or bacon if you’re a meat eater!

Super Easy Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, add vinegar and bring to a simmer.

2. Simmer until the vinegar is slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Or longer for a thicker stronger sauce.



*For the West Africans, the millet you buy in the market will take about 35-40 minutes to cook and you will probably need 3 cups of water. Make sure that it is well cleaned and hulled. I would recommend cleaning and washing it, letting it dry and then toasting it. OR you can have it ground and steam it and then follow the directions starting with the pesto.

*If using fresh broccoli (lucky you!!!), clean the florets and add to boiling water for 45 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.


Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

It’s rainy season here in our country and we are loving it! Not only does it mean cooler temps at night and sometimes during the day, but it also means we can enjoy eating hot meals more often!

Sometimes in the hotness of hot season we just don’t want to eat warm foods or drink hot beverages. Iced coffee, iced green tea, sandwiches and salads tend to take over. So when the temperatures are reasonable we rush to enjoy the warmer foods like soups, stews, and casseroles.

So one particularly cool evening it seemed like only some sort of soup would do for dinner. After searching Pinterest a bit, I remembered that my mom had sent me this recipe and I happened to have everything on hand (love when that happens!). 30 minutes later dinner was ready and it was delightful!

Quinoa and Sweet Potato ChiliQuinoa and Sweet Potato Chili Recipe
Recipe adapted from WellVegan
B gives it 4 out of 5 carrots

2 cans black beans
6 oz tomato paste
32 oz vegetable stock ( or chicken stock if that’s what you have)
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs chili powder
1 t dried parsley
1 t oregano
1 ½  Tbs cumin
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
1 cup quinoa
1 small can of corn
Avocado, cheese and sour cream for garnish

  1. Heat up EVOO in soup pot over medium heat and cook onion and bell pepper until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add tomato paste, chilli powder, cumin , parsley and oregano. Cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly, allowing the herbs to “bloom”.
  3. Add stock, beans, corn and sweet potato cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook for 6 minutes and then add in the quinoa, stirring to mix.
  5. Cook until potatoes and quinoa are fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes, and the chili is thick. Add water if needed or based on your thickness preference.
  6. Serve garnished with some avocado slices, cheese and/or sour cream.

Meat option: Brown and drain some ground beef and add it when you add the beans!