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Category: chickpea

falafel

As the weather heats up, we find ourselves dreaming of quiet weekend afternoons and backyard dinner parties with family and friends. More social gatherings means new opportunities to share food, so why not bring something fresh that everyone will love?

Today’s recipe will help you branch out from the traditional “chips and salsa” appetizer with a dish that excites the taste buds. These no-fuss falafels are simple, fun, and pack a powerful nutritional punch.

polenta chickpea fries (4)

What do you think the most consumed vegetable in North America is?

…Potatoes! I don’t have anything against potatoes nutritionally, but they are likely eaten way to often and usually in their deep fried form.

A varied diet is something I always promote when I do my grocery store tours — it ensures you are getting all the nutrients you need and makes your meals more exciting! So, ditch the potato fries once in a while and make polenta chickpea fries!

 

masala flatbread 2

Us dietitians LOVE to get together and cook deliciously healthy food! The more recipes we have on hand to convince our clients that healthy food can be wonderfully tasty the better! So, UpBeet Nutrition and Wealth of Health teamed up (our idea of an exciting Saturday night ;) ) to make a popular traditional Trinidad dish, doubles!

masala flatbread 4

Doubles are a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a sandwich made with bara (flatbread) filled with chana (curried chickpeas). Toppings usually include mango, shadon beni (cilantro), cucumber, coconut, and tamarind. This dish is the most popular fast food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is usually eaten for breakfast, or sometimes lunch… although, we’d consider it more of a dinner food!

I was so intrigued when I first heard about socca. It seemed like something I would totally love, it’s healthy, easy to make and great for bringing to parties!

socca-4

This is such a versatile little flat bread, just think of your favorite flavor combo and add it in! I tried it plain first because I was curious about the base flavor but I recommend add ins to amp it up! Fresh and dried spices, cheese(s), olives, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded zucchini (drained), caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms – you name it!

One of my favorite combos is adding sauteed mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes to the batter and then serving the socca cut into strips with a truffle oil dip (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt mixed with 1.5-2 tsp truffle oil and a dash of salt).

socca2

For my first attempt I made it a little thicker, kind of like an unleavened pancake, but I prefer a thinner crispier (and cheesier) socca now. You can use it as a wrap, pizza crust, flat-bread, savory crepe or use it in place of naan or a pita.

1 cup of chickpea flour has 21g of protein, 10g of fiber and 25% daily value for iron (for men, women have higher needs) and as an added bonus this flatbread is gluten free for all those with sensitivities and allergies out there!

upbeet.ca socca

Socca – Chickpea Flatbread

-1 cup chickpea flour (I found it at superstore labeled Besan)
-1 cup lukewarm water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Add Ins and/or topping ideas

-red pepper flakes, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika ….
-3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
-1 cup shredded zucchini (make sure to squeeze out all of the excess moisture)
-caramelized onions
-sauteed mushrooms
-shredded cheese
-olives/olive tapenade
-sundried tomatoes
-1.5 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
-sauteed greens
-shredded potato
-chutney
-fried/scrambled eggs

Instructions

1. Sift the flour and whisk together with the water, olive oil,  salt and any other preferred dried spices in a small bowl. Let rest for 1/2- 2 hours or up to 12 hours (in a pinch I have skipped the resting). Then stir in any other desired add ins.

2. Set an oven rack six inches below your oven’s broiler and turn it on. Heat a cast iron skillet or oven proof frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

3.  Coat the bottom of the pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Whisk the chickpea batter and then pour 1/3 – half into the hot pan. Tilt the pan to help it spread evenly if needed.

4. Cook the socca a few minutes until set and browned on the bottom. Then pop under the broiler until you see the top of the socca begin to blister and brown. The socca should be flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges (or however you like it… it depends on the use how crisp or flexible you want it- I prefer it crispier)

5. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Top with any desired toppings or use for your favorite dip. Repeat with any remaining batter.

Best served immediately while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to a week.

(Socca can also be baked in a 450 F oven. Pour batter into a hot, greased baking dish and then broiled to finish. You really can’t go wrong, experiment and cook it however you like it best!)



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