Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not Your Traditional Latke

I've always wanted to try a potato pancake. But I never have run into an opportunity. This traditional Jewish dish is something I have heard about since I was a child. I never understood what all the hype was about but was always curious.
That time of year is almost upon us again and once again my curiosity was peeked. Now that we are eating a plant based diet, potato pancakes don't seem like a stretch for a meal. I had to give it a whirl. I looked up a basic recipe at and went from there.
This is certainly not a traditional recipe, but I'm not Jewish either. Not only was this recipe off the hook but it was great being able to introduce my kids to a tradition from a different culture.

Makes about 24 pancakes:

6 russet potatoes, peeled
1 yellow onion
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsps water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 cup mixed frozen corn, carrots, and peas

In a small bowl mix flaxseed with water. Set aside.

Using food processor (or grate), pulse potatoes and onions. Drain as much liquid as you can.

Mix all ingredients into the potato/onion mixture, including flaxseed mixture. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other heavy frying pan) with a small amount of oil (I use safflower oil) on medium heat. If the oil starts to smoke, lower the heat. Shape pancakes (about 3 inch circles) and cook about 3 minutes each side, until browned.

I put brown paper bags on a plate and between layers of the pancakes to soak up as much oil as possible. It was also helpful to  keep the first 12 in the oven at 200 degrees. They stayed nice and hot while I made the second half.

Now I've heard that there are quite a few different toppings that people like with their Latkes. We tried applesauce, sour cream (vegan, of coarse), and Joseph's Sugar Free Maple Syrup. The applesauce did nothing to compliment the taste. Sour cream was better. But the maple syrup sealed the deal! I am a Latke fan for life! Would it be wrong to adopt this awesome Jewish tradition on my Christmas day?

Who's this skinny woman in my kitchen?

Well, Latkes rounded out an all star week!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I don't have a photo to share with this recipe. But this has become a weekend treat for Roque and I. At 130 calories per serving, who needs Starbucks? These are a great compliment to the Pumpkin Scones recipe posted last week.

Makes two lattes:

4 Tbsp of coffee grounds
1 Tbsp of pumpkin pie seasoning
2 1/2 cups water
4 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin (optional)

Mix coffee grounds with pumpkin pie seasoning. Put in coffee maker and add 2 1/2 cups of water (according to your coffee makers user directions).
Meanwhile, heat almond milk in microwave. In two large coffee cups, add 2 tbsp maple syrup to each. One tbsp pumpkin puree to each. Stir well.
When coffee is done brewing, add 3/4 cup almond milk and 3/4 cup coffee to each cup. Stir well and enjoy!