Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vegan Zucchini Pancakes and Green Tomato Chutney


Please don't think I'm complaining about my tomato plants this year because I did get a bunch of large, firm tomatoes.  However, it seems that while the plants were quick to set fruit, it took forever for the fruit to ripen on the vine.  And of course there were squirrels involved who took the opportunity to sample a few for themselves.  I got into the habit of picking the fruit when, by my best guess, it had reached it's full size but before it started to ripen and become squirrel fodder.  

Needless to say I ended up with quite a few green tomatoes on my hand, even after many had ripened on a sunny windowsill.  There are only so many fried green toms a person watching their pants size can indulge in.  I had to find another way to enjoy my green bounty and this green tomato chutney was the perfect answer.

I viewed several recipes and this one seemed representative of the species.  I liked that it wasn't a weird green color.  I added and subtracted ingredients to my hearts desire and came up with a sweet and spicy condiment that made a perfect accompaniment to my savory vegan zucchini pancakes.  Because tomatoes aren't the only thing going bananas in the veg garden! 

Yes, a zucchini or two every couple of days ain't bad.  I'd already done zucchini cake and Moroccan ratatouille but I really liked the sound of zuccihni  pancakes.  I went the vegan route, as some folks in my life right now are cutting out animal products and I don't want them to be alone on that band wagon.  

I started with a standard zucchini pancake, subbed the eggs with chia seeds, the milk with soy milk.  I also snuck some chickpea flour in there.  They turned out fabulous, the dairy and eggs aren't missed at all!  Topped with green tomato chutney they're a hearty breakfast or healthy light lunch and in between something to munch on while contemplating what else to make with my bumper crops.
green tomato chutney (adapted from here)

6 cups chopped green tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup minced red pepper
1/2 cup flame raisins
1/2 cup muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook for 1 to 2 hours or until liquid is absorbed and mixture is thick.  Cool before using.  Store in refrigerator for up to a week.  Makes about a pint of chutney.

vegan zucchini pancakes

2 medium zucchinis
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon fresh herbs
sea salt and black pepper to taste 
1/2 cup soy milk
oil for frying

Grate zucchini, place in strainer over a bowl.  Cover with a paper towel and weight the zucchini down with another bowl or similar heavy object.  Let sit for an hour, occasional pressing down on the weight to release moisture.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a cookie sheet.  Combine chia seeds with water and let sit until thick, about 5 minutes.  In a medium bowl whisk together chickpea flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, cumin, fresh herbs and salt and pepper.

In a large bowl whisk together chia mixture and milk.  Fold in flour mixture to combine.  Add zucchini mixture and mix well.

Heat oil in large skillet or flat grill on medium-high heat.  Measure 1/4 cup of batter for each zucchini pancake onto hot, oiled skillet; flatten with the back of spatula to about 4 inches.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then flip and cook for 2 minutes more, or until pancakes are cooked through.  Transfer to cookie sheet and keep warm in oven.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.   Serve hot with a side of green tomato chutney.  Makes 8 pancakes.

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