Socca is a popular dish in and around the area of Nice, France and province of Genoa, Italy. In Italy, where it originated. It is a simple and savoury flatbread made with chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour) making it gluten-free, grain-free and a good source of protein and fibre.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup warm filtered water
1 Tablespoon sauerkraut, pickle brine or sourdough starter, miso (optional)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. dried rosemary (or oregano, or sage)
¼ tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Additional olive oil cooking if needed
4 Tablespoons sweet potato puree, hummus or anything you like
10 – 12 olives, sauerkraut, etc.
2 spring onions, finely chopped
4-6 tablespoons sautéed kale, purple cabbage or Chinese greens
Other vegetables, capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli, snow peas
Coconut yoghurt mixed with a few teaspoons Shiro miso (optional)
Thinly sliced purple onions Yield one- 25 cm. round or about three 10 cm. rounds
Combine the chickpea flour with warm water in a medium bowl or mason jar, and mix well. Add in one tablespoon sauerkraut, brine, miso or sourdough starter if using.
2. Cover and allow to sit overnight or for at least 8 hours. When ready stir in the olive oil, herb, and salt & pepper. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Heat the oven to 450F/220 C. Put a cast-iron skillet (Solid Teknics* is best) or pizza pan in the oven to warm or on a cooktop.
3. Remove the pan, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into it and swirl. Stir in the rosemary.
4. Add the rosemary into the batter, then immediately pour the batter back into the pan. Sprinkle on some thin onion strips. Bake or cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is firm and the edges set.
5. Heat the grill** and brush the top of the pancake with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry. Set the pancake a few inches away from the grill and cook just long enough to brown it in spots. (optional step)
6. Put on toppings, cover with coconut/miso mixture and put under the grill a few minutes.
For another idea, you can make a thicker base with the chickpea flour, cover it with pumpkin or sweet potato puree and just top it with any leftover greens, cauliflower, beans, walnuts, cabbage and ferments too ! Just don’t cook the ferments!
**If cooking on a stove, just flip over and follow instructions to finish.
Solidteknics cookware are made in Australia and are the healthiest, and more sustainable pans you can buy.
Why not put a ferment like miso in your pancakes to make them more yummy and lighter. Filled with healthy probiotics- those lovely microorganisms will nourish your gut and boost your immune system and are sugar-free.
1 teaspoon Shiro unpasteurized fermented miso
1 cup finely chopped banana
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour or ground almonds
2 tablespoons arrowroot or sago powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
1 ½ cups or more almond or soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flax or chia seeds
¼ cup applesauce (optional)
Strawberries or other berries
Blend the miso and banana until creamy and smooth, then place into a large bowl. Now whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients ( buckwheat flour, rice flour, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the plant milk and ground flax or chia seeds. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. Pour this onto the dry ingredients and whisk the batter until no lumps remain. (Adjust liquid content as needed) You can set this aside for a few minutes or hours. It will just keep fermenting.
Heat a skillet and then lightly oil it. Scoop a heaping 1/3 – 1/2 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet and quickly spread the batter out into a circle. Cook until some bubbles appear and the edge looks darker in colour and firmer.
5. Flip and cook for another couple minutes until lightly golden. Adjust heat as needed. Repeat for the other crepes.
6. Stack and serve with Coconut yoghurt or Coconut Whipped Cream* and fresh chopped berries or simply serve with pure maple syrup.
If using frozen blueberries, thaw first and drain excess liquid.
If at any time your batter is too thick or if you want thinner pancakes, simply thin it out with plant-based milk.
Coconut Whip Cream
11 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside-down for 24 hours
1-tablespoon arrowroot flour
1-tablespoon maple syrup
½-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Open the can of coconut milk from the bottom and scoop the layer of white, fatty goodness into a mixing bowl (save the coconut water for a curry or drink.)
2. Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns to liquid. Add the maple syrup and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy.
3. Whipped cream is best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. It will harden in the fridge, so when ready to serve, simply blend with a hand mixer on high speed until creamy again.
Use Organic and BPA free ingredients when available
This Sugar-free and high protein snack is loaded with nutrients and great for lunch boxes or a great protein pick me up for morning or afternoon tea.
2 ½ -3 cups chickpeas
1 cup goji berries and/or sultanas ( ½ – ½)
¾ cup ground almonds or walnuts
¼ cup cacao
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown rice or almond flour as needed
3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
½ cup soy, coconut milk or other plant milk as needed
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup tahini or other nut butter
½ cup maple syrup or 1 cup rice syrup to taste
2-3 teaspoons Shiro Miso
Organic Paleo Museli (apple and cinnamon) *
Organic Buckini (activated buckwheat) Deluxe*
Organic goji berries, coconut, ground nuts, puffed amaranth or quinoa, cinnamon, dried fruit, coconut
maple syrup or rice syrup for brushing on top after baking
Strain off liquid from beans and reserve. Use chickpea juice (aquafaba) for a whipped cream topping.
Toss all dried ingredients together. Set aside,
Stir together ground flax seeds, milk, and vanilla and set aside.
Oil pan and preheat oven to 175C. Combine nut butter, sweetener, and miso together slowly incorporating the beans till chunky.
Fold in the dry ingredients. Adjust liquid content with plant milk as needed till it drops with difficulty from a mixing spoon.
Spoon into baking pan. Bake in oven 30-40 minutes or until the centre is set and the edges pull away from the pan.
Remove from the oven place on a wire rack to cool then remove it from the pan and cut into desired shapes.
Brush with sweetener if desired and Dip into one of the toppings before serving.
Choose whatever organic seasonal vegetables you find at the market this week if you don’t have the ones listed. You can also use leftover cooked vegetables from the night before. Freshen them up with some chopped parsley or coriander before folding into the tofu mixture.
¾ cup oat flour
½ cup ground activated almonds
½ cup rice or buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon Sea or Himalayan salt
3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
Water as needed
300 grams blanched regular tofu
1-tablespoon organic olive or coconut oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon dried herbs or 1 tablespoon fresh seasonal (rosemary, oregano, basil)
1 cup chopped onion or spring onion
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated beetroot
½ cup chopped kale or other green vegetables
2-3 eggs free-range and organic or Vegan Egg substitute **
1 tablespoon unpasteurized Shiro Miso
¼ cup almond, sesame, other nut butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1-teaspoon mustard
1cup cooked sweet potato
1-2 Tablespoons Shiro Miso
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut yogurt
1-2 teaspoons ginger juice
a few wild fermented vegetables*
* If you don’t have any ferments, try goji berries, grated coconut, ground nuts or seeds, grated lemon or orange rind, rosemary and dollops of yogurt. If you have ferments any will be fine. I used Wild fermented turmeric cauliflower, carrots, red cabbage and lemon sauerkraut, olives and fresh rosemary from the garden.
In a bowl, mix together all the crust ingredients. Preheat the oven to 200C (180 C fan assisted) 400 F.
Press into an oiled pie dish, and poke a few holes using a fork then bake for 10 minutes or until it looks light brown.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Cut the tofu and drop into boiling water 2-3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Heat skillet, add the oil and sauté the garlic and ginger 1-2 minutes. Then add the dry herbs and sauté another 30-60 seconds. Add the onions and continue to sauté until they are transparent.
Add the rest of the vegetables cover and cook a few minutes. (if using cooked vegetables cook the onions till soft then add the cooked vegetables.
Blend the tofu in a food processor and slowly add the rest of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add a bit of water if needed till the consistency is droppable from a spoon.
Fold in vegetables. Spoon into prepared base and bake 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend or mash the topping ingredients. Taste and adjust to your taste. Remove pie from the oven, cool slightly then spread with topping and top with ferments. if you don’t have any ferments, top with crushed almonds, goji berries and grated lemon and orange rind. Serve warm or cool.
** Vegan Egg Substitute: Use one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Freshly grind the flax seeds into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder. Whisk in the water until it becomes gelatinous.
Try a hearty Slavic vegan, a gluten-free fermented flatbread mostly made with potatoes and it is usually served, in the fall and winter when potatoes are at their best,
My friend Paula and I shared brunch the other day during a workshop planning session. I brought over freshly made flatbreads, a miso dip with fermented mirin rice wine and grated fresh ginger to spread on the bread. She prepared a delicious omelette with lots of vegetables and mung bean sprouts served with fermented ginger pickles, wild fermented red cabbage, and fresh coriander. What a feast!
1 kg (2.2 lb) white potatoes
300 g (2½ cups) rice or chickpea flour
½ tsp miso
extra flour for rolling
1. Boil potatoes whole with skins on for about 15 minutes, depending on size. When soft, drain and cool. The potatoes are then easy to peel with a paring knife ahead of time The older the potatoes and the colder the better, as the dough will be less sticky.
2. In a bowl or on a well-floured surface, grate potatoes on the small holes of a grater or mash.
3. Mix in flour, miso, and potatoes and knead until it forms a not-too-sticky dough, adding extra flour as needed. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a log about 60 cm (2 feet) long.
4. Cut the log into 14 pieces about 5 cm wide. Once the dough is mixed, work with it right away and don’t leave it to sit, otherwise, it will get more sticky.
5. Start warming up your frying pan over medium heat.
6. Liberally flour a flat surface. Toss a piece of dough around in the flour and roll into a circle with a rolling pin. They can be any shape you like. If the rolling pin gets sticky, scrape it off right away otherwise it will build up more dough. You want it to be fairly thin, but thick enough so it doesn’t fall apart and so that the final bread has some bite to it.
7. Carefully transfer the flatbread to a dry frying pan (no oil on it). When one side starts to bubble, you can flip it. Use a butter knife or fork to poke large pockets of hot air (although not necessary). It takes about 2-3 min on each side.
8. While one flatbread is cooking, roll out another.
9. When finished cooking, put the bread on a plate and brush one or both sides with melted oil or other fat.
10. Serve warm. Can also be refrigerated or frozen, but warm up in oven or steam before serving. Spread with various fillings or just brush on melted oil and serve with various toppings rolled or folded into quarters.
Enjoy Your Holidays without Feeling Tired and Sick
It’s always best to cook your own Organic, Plant-based, Gluten-free meals, especially during the holidays. That isn’t always possible with all the numerous luncheons, dinners and other social events that you are attending.
It’s really hard to know what’s actually in all the food that restaurants provide so do the best you can with these tips in mind. Eating out often leads to too much of the food that you don’t eat every day, but as more and more awareness grows and the demand for gluten-free and plant-based health-conscious foods continues, menus are changing and healthy options are becoming more of a thing of the present.
Don’t make healthy food a source of anxiety. Make a conscious effort, logical choices, then relax and enjoy your time with family and friends.
Here are a few tips to keep in your pocket that will help you survive the holidays and a few holiday suggestions for plant-based food to cook at home when you have the time to relax and enjoy with family and friends during the festive season.
Drink water before you eat. This will cut down your appetite when you are going out to eat.
If you have Gluten or other intolerances be sure to let the restaurant or your friends know before you go.
Eat a bit before you go.
Milk thistle protects the liver cells from alcohol by preventing toxins from entering them and helps to remove existing toxins. Take two capsules before you drink and then 2 capsules for the next 5 days.
In Chinese medicine, kudzu is credited with reducing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, preventing blood clots, and relieving chronic migraines. Recent research from China and the US indicates that kudzu can reduce the craving for and effects of alcohol.
Before Breakfast or Brunch have a glass of hot water with lemon to get your metabolism going and clean out your liver.
Recipes for Plant-based Holiday Meals – All ingredients should be Organic whenever possible
Brunch – Olive, Walnut and Basil
2 Tablepoons Tamari soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablepoons Mirin rice wine
1 teaspoon toasted whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kudzu or arrowroot
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup bok choy or kale
½ cup pitted black olives
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup water
sea salt to taste
1-2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Toast, Quinoa or Pasta
In a small bowl, combine the water, Tamari, and Mirin. Toast and crush black peppercorns and add to mixture.
In a separate small bowl, stir the Kudzu or arrowroot into the water. Keep both bowls near the stove.
Heat wok or skillet, add the oil and quickly stir-fry the vegetables 4-5 minutes. Once the vegetables are stir-fried, push the vegetables to the sides of the wok.
Give the sauce a quick re-stir and pour it into the middle of the skillet or wok. Bring to a boil.
Mix together the kudzu and water and pour into the skillet, stirring quickly to thicken.
Stir to combine the vegetables with the kudzu sauce.
Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve sprinkled with walnuts and basil on top of toast, quinoa or pasta or just on its own.
Optional Serve sprinkled with shallots and sprinkle with Dulse sea vegetables for extra minerals and protein.
Brunch – Italian Tofu Frittata
1 cup chopped spring onions or shallots
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup finely chopped capsicum
2 cups finely chopped bok choy
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup stock or water
2 TBS red wine vinegar or mirin
125 gr. light tofu, drained
1 TBS dried Basil or 2-3 T. fresh chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt and white pepper to taste
2 T. fresh coriander
Prepare all the vegetables.
Purée tofu with eggs, basil, and turmeric until creamy and smooth (add more liquid if needed)
In 10-inch stainless steel pan, heat 2 TBS. water or stock
When broth begins to steam add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, bok-choy, and tomato and sauté for about 1 minute over medium-low heat, stirring often
Add 1/4 cup stock and red wine vinegar or mirin
Pour tofu mixture over vegetables, cover and cook over low heat until mixture is completely firm and cooked about 8-10 minutes
Serve with fresh chopped coriander.
Lunch – Moroccan Tofu and Vegetable Kebabs with Sesame Summer Stir Fry
350 Grams tofu cut into cubes
1 cup chopped capsicum
4 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
180 gr. Organic Pasta sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground paprika
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon lime juice
few tablespoons water
sea salt to taste or tamari to taste
½ cup Goji berries
1-2 teaspoons paprika
1-2 T. kudzu or arrowroot+ 1 cup water or stock
1-2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup chopped zucchini or yellow squash
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped bok-choy
½ cup pitted black olives
1 T. flax seeds
2 T. black toasted* sesame seeds
1-2 T. lightly toasted* sesame seeds
Cut tofu into cubes and thread onto soaked skewers alternating with the capsicum. Combine the marinade ingredients and soak the tofu skewers in it. Add more water or pasta sauce as needed
Set aside for a few hours or overnight
Heat skillet, add the oil and sauté the vegetables with the olives till tender. Toss in the flax seeds and sesame seeds. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Place the tofu and vegetable skewers into a medium-hot skillet or grill 4-5 minutes on each side.
For the sauce combine the ingredients together. Place in a saucepan and keep stirring until the mixture thickens adjusting liquid until the desired texture is reached. Season with Tamari soy sauce or salt.
Spoon over the kebabs and sprinkle with the white sesame seeds.
*To Toast sesame seeds place in a dry skillet and move around the pan with a wooden spoon until they begin to pop.
Raspberry and Strawberry Chia Delight
1- 1/2 tbsp. agar flakes*
2 cups Organic Raspberry and Apple juice
2 cup organic blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or cherries; sliced or slightly mashed
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
1/2 cup Organic Goji Berries (optional)
2 teaspoons Organic Chia seeds
1/4 cup Organic desiccated coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups fresh or frozen Organic Blueberries
1/4 cup water or Organic juice
2 teaspoons arrowroot or kudzu powder
1 Tablespoons water or juice
2 Tablespoons Organic coconut sugar or syrup
Place the berries and 1/4 cup water or juice in a small saucepan cook 4-5 minutes and slightly smash some of the blueberries.
In a small bowl stir together the arrowroot or kudzu and water and sweetener. Stir into a saucepan with blueberries and cook till thickened.
Pour the agar flakes into a medium saucepan and pour the juice over the flakes.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat without stirring.
Stir the mixture and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered for 5 minutes or until the flakes dissolve.
Add the fruit, sugar, chia seeds to the mixture and bring to a boil
Lower heat, cover and simmer the mixture 5 minutes
Remove from heat, add the coconut and the vanilla
Pour the mixture into a mold and set aside to set.
Spoon blueberry sauce over the set jelly
* Agar comes from seaweed that grows on the rocky areas of tidal waters of Japan, China and Sri Lanka. It is used as a thickener for soups, jelly and ice cream, a binder in puddings and custards and as an appetite suppressant that promotes weight loss.
I remember sitting at the dinner table watching my mother brew fermented black tea and then ever so delicately pour it into a glass with a spoon to stop the glass from cracking. Then she would wrap a napkin around the glass so she could hold it and not burn her hand, pop a sugar cube into her mouth and slowly sip the tea savoring each taste.
These days having a cup of tea is a bit different and really not that simple. Today there are so many varieties to choose from and we are not only concerned with taste and flavor but whether the tea is Organic, pesticide-free, where it is grown, what conditions is it grown under and if it can be used medicinally as well.
Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Root Tea: A True Organic Tea for Health
1 cup water or 1 cup Organic Tea
1 inch slice of ginger root
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
3 mint leaves
Bring the water and ginger to a boil in a saucepan or tea pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Place lemon juice, and mint leaves in tea cup. Add hot water and enjoy. Can be used in warm or cool weather.
Choice Magazine found that out of 55 Australian tea brands tested, nearly 40% contained pesticide residues, of which a few were much higher than the maximum residue limit. The study also found residues of 17 pesticides not registered for use in foods in Australia.
All brands claiming to be organic were pesticide-free.
Sit down with a sustainable cup of…
Pukka’s wide range of Teas was created with the purpose of benefitting the health of people, plants and the planet. When they began in 2001 the science was already clear that business needed to operate in a way that regenerated the environment and society. These are the values that Pukka was built upon; organic farming, fair trade and conservation through commerce.
In Ayurveda: The tulsi plant has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, a form of traditional Indian medicine. In Ayurveda, tulsi is considered an adaptogen, a natural herb that helps the body adapt to outside stressors. The herb is used in many forms—fresh, dried, powdered, herbal tea, essential oil—as an Ayurvedic remedy for a variety of common ailments.
Varieties from caffeine-free Original to exotic-sounding Pomegranate Green are all made with the anti-stress Indian herb, tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).
Planet Organic.com.au teas are Australian Certified Organic, come in oxygen-bleached paper and some varieties, including the Green and English Breakfast teas, are also Fairtrade certified.
Scarborough Fair teas, grown in Sri Lanka, are all certified Fairtrade, and the green tea varieties, including a particularly yummy blend with lemon and lime, are also biodynamic and organic certified.
Mighty Leaf’s organic teas come in handcrafted bio-degradable pouches, or loose-leaf, in blends from Breakfast to Mint Melange. The leaves are Swiss Certified Organic and the final products certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture.
Roogenic is a family-owned all-natural health food company specializing in Australian Native Plants. They are a premium supplier and market leader of Australian bush teas, spices, infused honey and other products that are individually made with care in Australia.
The range of Australian products are packed full of organically grown and wildly harvested ingredients and are carefully selected for their natural properties.
Pu’Er (Pu-erh) Tea has long been identified in Chinese medicine as a daily medicinal essential as well as assisting in weight loss and digestion. Having pu–erh tea on a regular basis may help relieve symptoms of metabolic syndrome. It’s been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce obesity, and boost immunity. Plus, it lowers cholesterol and prevents free radical damage. In other words, it helps tackle all five of the syndrome’s factors.
The origins date back 1700 years and by the Tang Dynasty this tea was traded with more populated areas like Beijing, Tibet and Burma. Due to the remote high altitude the tea was compressed, aged and transported along a vast network of trails known as the Tea Horse Road.
Pu-erh is an aged, fermented tea. Pu-erh tea is unique because it’s made from a natural fermentation process. This process oxidizes the plant’s leaves, amplifying its antioxidant benefits.
Matcha Green Tea
Providing small amounts of vitamins and minerals, matcha is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging.
One of my favorite Organic Green teas is Kukicha, sometimes known as Bancha, is a Japanese Organic green tea made from the twigs and stems of the tea plant. Kukicha is made from stems and branches that are separated in the refining process of Sencha (Green Tea).
They are then roasted in cast iron cauldrons to reduce the bitterness and decrease tannin and the roasting aroma and mild flavour are its main characteristics. Japanese folklore says it aids digestion and helps neutralize an acidic digestive system. Kukicha has been the most popular kind of tea because it has less caffeine and can be enjoyed by all tea drinkers, including children.