While I had planned on moving onto the next grain in my “Whole Grains Series,” I just had to sneak in another hearty quinoa recipe. If you missed the first one, I encourage you to check it out! It’s a good one ;). There are different colored quinoa – red, white, black – and they taste slightly different from one another. While I mostly use white quinoa (it’s what’s available at Costco and seems to be most economical), it’s fun to mix it up once in a while. Red quinoa tastes a bit bitter and seems crunchier to me than the white kind. What I love most about this variety is its brilliant color. When you mix it in salads, it def has that “wow” factor. Its vibrant color is sure to impress! I’ve never actually seen black quinoa, but from what I hear, it’s even more bitter than the other two.
So I feel compelled to reiterate the versatility of quinoa. Just when I think I’ve seen all of its various applications, I come across one that makes me wonder “now why didn’t I think of that?” Quinoa Crepes is one of them. As I flipped through the pages of Grain Mains and my eyes landed on this recipe (I wished there was a picture of it), I knew instantly that it was going to taste magical. And it did!
While it’s supposed to be a crêpe, I’ve never mastered the art of crêpe-making. One of these days… As you’re about to see, my version is a lot thicker, hence the name “pancake.” I don’t know about you but there are a lot of times when I follow a recipe, and it doesn’t come out the way it’s supposed to. However, somehow it turns out perfect and just how you like it. I guess this is what you call a fortuitous accident ;).
I loved the hearty, nutty flavor and the chewy texture of these pancakes. The original recipe also instructs you to fold the crêpe over the filling, but there was no way I could do that with mine. So on top it went. As far as the filling goes, the sky is the limit! Here’s one inspiration…
Quinoa Pancakes with Corn, Avocado Salad
- 1/2 cup red quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup almond oil, plus more for the skillet
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (you can use fresh ones)
- 2 large Haas avocados, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 Tbs cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs almond oil
- 2 tsp fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Filling: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- Crepes: Cook red quinoa. Reduce heat to low and cook until the grains have developed their halos and are tender, 10-12 min. * Drain in a fine-mesh sieve or a lined colander. Run under cool water until the grains are room temp. Drain thoroughly.
- Whisk the cooked quinoa in a large bowl with the milk, almond oil, honey, and egg. Whisk in ww pastry flour, baking powder, and salt to make a batter.
- Lightly grease a 12-in nonstick sillet with some almond oil on a wadded-up paper towel. Heat over med-low heat. Pour in 1/2 cup batter all around the skillet, not in a lump in the center. Quickly swirl the skillet to spread the batter out evenly. Cook until the bottom is set and bubbles throughout, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook about 30 sec more, until set and lightly browned. Transfer. Continue making more crepes. **
- Set crepe on a plate, spoon about 2/3 cup of filling.
* If you already have cooked quinoa on hand, use 1 3/4 cups.
** This is where you can make it into a crêpe or a pancake depending on how thin you spread the batter onto the skillet.
As I mentioned, you can make whatever filling you’d like. It can be savory or sweet. The star is the quinoa pancake. While it is an excellent vehicle for various ingredients, it tastes delicious all by itself. Just tear with your hands and devour. That’s what I did to about 2 of these while making them. It’s so filling too. It kept me full for quite some time. Tim thought they were mighty tasty as well! So give them a try and whether you turn it into a crêpe or a pancake, it makes for a one heck of a nutrient-dense and satisfying snack, appetizer, meal…whatever you make it to be!