Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spinach Pancakes

One of my fun activities is to look for recipes that incorporated any type of veggies in my cooking. Let's face it. My kids just don't like vegetables. Sure, they eat raw carrots and cucumber slices. But that's pretty much it.

While I was looking for recipes to make for the Chinese New Year's blog post, I came across chives pancakes recipe. I knew right away that my kids would not go for the chives. The strong onion taste and aroma would winkle their noses. They'd definitely look cute but nothing accomplish. Then I remember how I tried to add spinach into their diets, and they would eat it IF and only if the spinach was cooked softly with no taste. Talk about a challenge, right?

I decided to use my flour tortilla recipe but with the Chinese pancake style cooking method. The verdict??? The spinach pancakes are much thicker than the flour tortilla. But the crispy of the outer layer is the best part of the pancake. What did my kids think? They asked me, "what's that green thing?" See what I mean? But they ate them and asked for more. Serve them with any type of proteins, just like I would with flour tortilla. My kids actually have them for snacks too.

When finely chopped the spinach, make sure to remove the ribs. Only use the spinach leaves and save the ribs for fresh salad or other means of cooking. I choose to light brush the dough with oil then cook it on the griddle. Another option is to pan fry the pancakes. The pancakes are crispier when pan fry but they are also more oily.

Spinach Pancakes
makes 8 six-inch round

flour tortilla dough (click for recipe)
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, ribbed and finely chopped
1/4 cup of safflower oil, for brushing

  1. Prepare the flour tortilla dough as directed. TIP: Adding the ground flax seeds to the dough is optional. I add them in for the omega-3. If the ground flax seeds are omit to the recipe, the dough maybe wet. Add a little bit of all purpose flour between kneading. The dough is ready when it is no longer sticky and has a smooth texture.
  2. Heat the flat griddle on a medium low heat.
  3. Place the oil in a small bowl, and have a pastry brush nearby. TIP: Use a silicone pastry brush so it can tolerate heat when brush the dough with oil in step-13.)
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
  5. Flat the dough using a rolling pin.
  6. Spread chopped spinach leaves, about 1 teaspoon, and press them into the dough. (picture 1)
  7. Roll up the dough into a log. (picture 2 and 3)
  8. Coil the dough log into a spiral shape. (picture 4)
  9. With the rolling pin, roll the dough out again into a 6-inch disk. (Guesstimate this. Remember that these are homemade so the shape doesn't have to be perfect. Be sure the rolled out dough is on the thick side, not thin like the flour tortilla.)
  10. Brush the dough with oil.
  11. Place the oil side down on to the griddle.
  12. Cook until the pancake is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Brush the top side, flip the dough, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
  14. Cut the spinach pancakes into wedges and enjoy.
Allergy Info: These spinach pancakes are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.

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