You just can’t beat the colour green, it’s life for us, it’s health, its presence is calming and invigorating, and stimulating for the mind. Standing in my local wood this summer, I was overcome with how beautiful it was, so much luscious green, what a beautiful vibrant moment.
And that’s what life is, a string of moments, they don’t all have to be beautiful, many are far from, but those that are sustain. And such moments are so good for you, and for your happiness on every level.
food is beautiful.
It can provide us with those real moments, and nourish us in so many ways. It can offer the same purity of nature as a wonderful view, and a real connection. That microcosm of beauty and connection is available to everyone, we just have to slow down and eat mindfully, and when we do we start to really appreciate food, and the plant life we are consuming.
I recommend ditching supermarket veg for an organic veg box, and grow your own where you can, and then you’re getting the best food available. Have a go at photographing your fruit and vegetables too, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful they are, and I have found that it makes you appreciate them so much more. My camera’s pretty basic, and you can do it on your phone, you don’t need any fancy equipment, just a few moments. The clarity it gives is so worth it.
Today’s recipe, buckwheat pancake with olives, yeast extract, chives and fresh peas, or whatever salad you fancy or have to hand, is a quick and easy nutritious meal. It’s fun to make, to share, it’s colours are sumptuous and lovely. I just adore everything about kalamata olives, they’re so beautiful, to eat, to look at, and I love their smell too, they’re a strong, fortifying and deliciously salty food.
Buckwheat pancakes are great because they’re so versatile, so easy to make and so quick. A pancake, with or without a salad (I recommend with, always make sure you’re maxing out on veg to make a meal alkaline and anti-inflammatory) is a meal, and a delicious one at that. If you like it soft, have it soft, if you like your yeast extract grilled, and the pancakes edges really crispy, grill it. It’s such straightforward versatile food, and that’s how I like food best.
Savoury buckwheat pancakes are a perfect weekend breakfast or lunch; read the paper, eat a pancake, have a ‘nice cup of tea’ or whatever your favorite drink is (mine is rooibos earl grey and coconut milk). Relax (RELAX! ha ha). Enjoy your food. Pancakes are something you can have frequently, or as a treat instead of your usual breakfast. I love the combination of olive and yeast extract, it’s right up my street, but if you don’t like yeast extract (it’s a love/hate thing, or so they say) you can have vegan cheese, tahini, or anything you fancy. Let me know your favourite combinations, everyone does things a bit differently, I love that!
The batter wants to be fairly loose, stir it until there are no lumps. Small bubbles should appear in the surface as the bicarb activates. For the best results do leave the batter to sit for at least 20 mins, or more, but if you’re short of time, or impatient (like me) it’s fine to use straight away.
You can also add buckwheat flakes, or oats if they are a part of your diet, to the batter, instead of some of the flour, they make a really good pancake, with a lot of substance. I’ve added chives as a garnish to mine, their peppery onion bite is fantastic with the olives and yeast extract, and they’re so good for you.
- 6 heaped tbsp of buckwheat flour
- 1 large pinch of bicarbonate of soda
- Large pinch of salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup of filtered water
- Oil for the pan, to taste, I use 1/2 tbsp of mild coconut oil per pancake
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Olives, I use kalamata most regularly, but choose your favourites
- Yeast extract
- Chives for garnish
- Handful of peas
Make the batter mixing the flour, water, salt and bicarb. Leave IT to sit for 20 mins or more, which improves the texture, but if you are in a hurry it is still good used straight away.
Heat the grill to hot.
Add half the 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil, or oil of choice, to a hot pan, when heated pour in half the batter, spreading to the sides. Allow to crisp, and then using a wide spatula, flip and brown the other side.
Take the pancake from the pan and spread with yeast extract, and sprinkle on the olives, pepper, chives and peas, and grill for five minutes or so, or until browning.
Peas are optional, but really make it nice and add freshness. Cucumber or radish would be good too. Also you can add the chives before or after grilling but be careful not to burn.
If you're in a hurry, make the batter and cook the pancake straight away, it's great, but if you have time, leave it for at least 20 mins and the texture will be even better. I make a jug and keep it in the fridge, it keeps for days, and then is there when you need it for a super easy and fast meal.
You don't need as much oil, if you want it lower fat then reduce the oil content, with a good non-stick pan it will come out fine, just a little dryer, so some juicy salad would go really well.
You may prefer a looser (or a firmer) pancake mix, in which case add more (or less) water and it will make more pancakes too.
A tasty tip from my Dad was to add the olives, podded peas and chives to the pancake mix achieving a paratha style pancake!