Ja, so sometimes my mind goes strange places, and the title is probably sufficient to convince anyone of that. I usually try and steer clear of artificial vegan meat products and reserve such things for when there really is no alternative or when Man-thing whines hard enough. He’s truly a sucker for soya chunks (probably because, as an omni, it’s as close as he gets to “the real thing” in a vegan household. Luckily I’ve taught myself to make my own burgers, and will soon try out some tofu nuggets, and such things are satisfying enough that one needn’t buy soya products in such shapes. One thing that one can’t really “replace” is seafood, just because it’s so varied in its form and textures. I can’t say I miss seafood itself, but rather the types of dishes it represents. I guess I can’t go large on this topic, however, since I’ve honestly gone and paired prawns and pancakes. This was for yesterday’s lunch, because weekends are a time to indulge in experimentation.
For the pancakes I used Chocolate Covered Katie’s pumpkin pancake recipe with fine wholewheat flour and 1/4 cup applesauce. I also splashed paprika and cinnamon rather liberally, along with some tumeric and oregano. I finally managed pancakes! I cannot expressed how chuffed I am, even though it took an hour or more to make them (gr!), but I’ve found the trick is adding water to the batter as needed and actually cooking them with the lid on, then forgetting they exist for five or so minutes a side. Huzzah!
Ingredients (serves 2) – minus pancakes – please visit Katie’s wonderful blog for the recipe, and see whether you also feel like adding bits and bobs at your own risk!
- 1 package vegan crispy prawns (Fry’s Vegetarian brand)
- 1 cup steamed pumpkin (if you want an extra bulky stack of pancakes or won’t be using vegan prawns then double the pumpkin and hummus)
- 2 TBSP hummus
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into strips and steamed
For my sauce to cook the vegan prawns in I decided on a “sweet n sour” effect to maximize the nomness. For a more realistic sweet n sour you can add in 1/4 cup chopped pineapple (alas, I am allergic) or mango and 1 or 2 TBSP more soy sauce, but I like to keep my flavours tempered, especially when there’s spices to be splashed on afterwards.
- 2 dates, soaked
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/8 cup leftover date-soaking water
- 1 TBSP milled poppy seeds
- 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP tikka sauce
- cayenne, paprika, tumeric
- Bake your prawns at 150C for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Prepare your pancakes in advance and set them as aside under a cover.
- Blend or finely chop the soaked dates until mushy.
- Soak the poppy seeds in the date water for 10 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat and add the pre-baked vegan prawns.
- Let them sit in the heat for two or so minutes, turning occasionally.
- Turn the heat down to low and pour half of the sauce over the prawns, making sure to jazz them around the pan to get them all coated.
- Let them simmer on the low heat for 4 or so minutes, splashing very little water, wine or lemon juice if your non-stick pan is failing to live up to its name.
- Add in the rest of the sauce and the bean sprouts, stirring to coat and let it simmer slightly for another few minutes.
Assembly for one:
- Mash together 1 TBSP hummus with 1/2 cup steamed pumpkin. Add smoked paprika, white pepper, or whatever grabs your fancy. Perhaps even some black pepper with apricot jam.
- Smear the mixture atop each of your portion of pancakes.
- Layer your strips of steamed zucchini across each layer and stack the pancakes accordingly.
- Spoon out your portion of prawns on the side or atop the pancake stack (depending on how high it is and how l33t your skills are!) and pour the remaining sauce and bean sprouts over or next to the pancakes.
- Serve hot! 😀 😀
This combination is an absolute win in my books. Of course, one can easily exchange the prawns for other tidbits, such as baked tofu or roasted brussel sprouts and other veggies (hom nom). I’m just infatuated with savoury pancake lunches! I’m usually at a loss as to what to put on my sweet pancakes without overdosing on sugar, especially when it’s tempting to layer on the peanut butter and bananas. I might do that one of these days for energy after a jog, but on a study-intensive day where one’s nose is crammed in the books and there isn’t much physical exertion to be had, it seems a rather grand waste of resources.
My favourite part is, of course, the pumpkin-hummus spread with the thin slivers of steamed zucchini. It makes for such a rich and satisfying filling, and one can easily drizzle a balsamic reduction over the top of it with cranberries for an uber-decadent version. The spicy sauce, of course, just brought the whole thing to another level of taste and intrigue for the tongue, added to the crunch and bite of the bean sprouts. Next time I might add some slivers of roasted carrots between the pancakes, or grate some carrots or beets to add to the spread.
All in all, much cheer was had! It certainly tided me over til 16h00, when we went to the in-laws and share some zucchini bean brownies (based on the beet brownie recipe) to make my FIL feel better after a recent bout of illness. I honestly don’t know what I’d do with an entire tub of those things in my fridge – I have to share them just to minimize the temptation, though they are actually ridiculously healthy, all things considered! In fact, we made some soya custard to go with the brownies just to satisfy the sweeter teeth in the family (i.e. everyone but me).