So basically if you are even vaguely interested in food or have picked up a Sunday supplement or read female aspirational magazines or don’t live under a rock, you will have heard of the new wave of health food bloggers.
There is Deliciously Ella (whose instagram is basically a kind of food porn to me and I actually love)
Then there is Hemsley + Hemsley, two sisters who have the best clothes and the swishiest hair and a flask of homemade soup about their person AT ALL TIMES.
I want to be these people.
Except, well, I don’t.
I’m happy enough living in suburban East Belfast, with my husband and my temping job.
Scrap that last bit, my life goal is to have a job I actually enjoy.
I remember reading an article with Ella, where she said to the interviewer that ‘even Pret sell kale salad’.
Which is true, and faboulous, and healthy, and extremly Instagrammable and all.
But I live in Belfast.
The lunch option closest to aforementioned temping job thinks all salad needs to come with three tones of mayonnaise.
I got excited when I relaised the garage nearest my new house sells coconut milk.
I’m all for clean, fresh, healthy cooking, but I’ve got that job to rush to.
I make a lot of soup, but I don’t always remember to have a flask of it about my person.
And then there are all of these amazing ‘healthy’ ingredients.
Some of them are delicious.
Some of them are nasty.
And some of them just need a teeny tiny bit of help to make them taste like something you actually want to eat for your dinner.
And, bloody hell, you will want to eat these pancakes for your breakfast and lunch and dinner.
I served them at the last breakfast club and they went down a TREAT.
(You can get tickets for the next breakfast club here).
They are based on quinoa, a grain that is packed full of protein and full of fibre.
I highly recommend that you try them.
Healthy choices for, well, normal people.
Take two small sweet potatoes or one medium sized one and prick them all over.
Now, if I was a proper health blogging type, I would tell you to roast it or something.
But a sweet potato can be cooked in five minutes in the microwave.
So no prizes for guessing which method I chose.
Measure out your quinoa.
I am supremely lazy about things like this but it really does stop the cooked grain tasting like soap.
Put it in a saucepan with some cold water.
Bring to the boil.
Then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel your potato and put into a bowl.
Mash with a fork.
Don’t worry too much about lumps.
Chop some spring onions.
Add to the sweet potato.
Throw in some hot smoked paprika and cumin…
As well as some baking powder.
Add some flour and some salt.
I used buckwheat flour because I was making these for a gluten-free person but standard plain flour works as well.
BTW, this is not an attractive part of this recipe.
The proper health types would probs put a lovely filter on it or something.
Crack in an egg.
Add some milk. I like milk from an actual cow, but soy milk works well too.
Mix it all together.
What was that about a lovely filter?
I need one of those bad boys.
Add in the zest of a lime, keeping the rest of the lime to serve.
By now, the quinoa will be cooked and look like this.
Tip it into the bowl.
And mix well.
Heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat.
Drop in spoonfuls of the mixture.
Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. They are SUPER hard to flip if you don’t wait.
So do try and be patient with them.
Flip over and cook for 4 minutes on the other side.
Transfer to a warm oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
Bacon, wedges of lime, avocado, roast peppers and poached eggs work really well with this, but they are also good on their own, or with ketchup.
AND they reheat well, making an excellent lunch.
Sweet potato and quinoa pancakes
Serves 4. Cooking time 30 minutes.
2 small sweet potatoes
125g plain or buckwheat flour
3 spring onions
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
1. Prick the sweet potatoes all over and microwave for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2. Rinse the quinoa and place in a pan with 250ml water.
3. Bring the pan to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Peel and mash the sweet potato in a bowl.
5. Chop the spring onions and add to the potato
6. Add the flour, baking powder, spices and salt to the bowl, mixing well.
7. Add the egg and milk to the bowl.
8. Grate in the lime zest, reserving the rest to serve.
9. When the quinoa is cooked, mix into the batter.
10. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add dollops of the mixture to the pan, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.