Wraps! Part 4 – Sesame Flatbread with Recipe (Vegan, GF, Soy Free)

I hope you have enjoyed my series on low-carb sandwich alternatives, and hopefully tried one or more of them? If not check out Part 1 (Mountain Bread), Part 2 (nori sheets), Part 3 (raw chard leaves).

But here is one more, and I saved the best for last. This one is closest to actual bread-based sandwiches that I crave often. It’s so good I’ve been eating this for many days in a row for breakfast.
low carb flatbread toastie

Homemade flatbread toasted sandwiches! This comes together in about 20 minutes, all from pretty basic pantry items. Plus each bread only has about 4g of net carbs – now that’s a good (carb) bargain, I say. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

(a) Super low-carb. Based on my recipe below, each flatbread has about 4g of carbohydrate. You can easily have two per meal, with all kinds of fillings you desire, and you are likely to go well below the 30g-carb goal.

(b) Gluten free, soy free, and oil free (well, the dough itself is oil free – cooking oil is optional).

(c) Quick and easy to make at home. The dough only takes a few minutes to assemble and roll. And you can roll it out and cook them right away. No resting or rising necessary.

Rolling out the bread is pain-free and mess-free as well, because you’ll be rolling it between two sheets of baking paper. Just don’t skip the arrowroot starch.

If you are feeding a few people, just double or triple the batch, and put multiple frying pans on for quick production.

(d) The ingredients are readily available at most supermarkets -and while I haven’t done the cost analysis, they are all inexpensive. Craving a hot, cheesy toasted sandwich in the middle of the night? No need to drive to the shops and spend money on stale bread.

(e) Full of nutritious goodness and no nasties added – flaxseeds, almond meal, and sesame seeds are packed with nutrients. Use organic when possible, and you’d feel much better than eating anything wrapped in plastic in supermarkets.

(f) Incredibly delicious. Seriously. The flavour of toasted sesame seeds and almond meal is amazing. Most importantly, the bread has just the right amount of fluffy, bread-like texture (thanks to the baking powder).

(g) If you make a toasted sandwich, you can make it right there in the same pan you cook the flatbread (see below).

(h) The recipe is versatile. You can use it as a pizza base, or for sweeter fillings like peanut butter. You can also cook it in the oven till a bit crunchy, and use it like a cracker to scoop up hummus and other dips.

Cons

(a) Although quick and easy to make, you’ll still have to make it yourself.

(b) Being homemade, and gluten free, my flatbreads tend to end up looking a little, well, “rustic” around the edges. But is this a problem? Not in my aesthetic realm.

(c) The bread won’t last forever. It’s best to eat it straight away, though it’ll probably keep for a few days in the fridge, and longer in the freezer.

low carb sesame flatbread toastie

How to: Melty Cheesy One-Pan Toasted Sandwich

(1) Make the flatbread dough from the recipe below. Heat up a frying pan, and when hot, spread a little olive oil (olive oil adds so much to the flavour and texture of the sandwich, but you can use a nonstick pan without oil if you like).

(2) When the oil is hot, cook a flatbread for about a minute or two. Flip to the other side, and on one half of the bread, place your fillings. Here, I used vegan cheese, mustard/mayo, and spinach and radish leaves.

(3) Fold up the bread in half with a spatula, so the filling is covered up inside like a sandwich. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and gently cook the sandwich until the cheese melts and greens wilted.

low carb sesame flatbread toastie

low carb sesame flatbread toastie

Enjoy right away – perhaps with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or hot sauce.

low carb flatbread toastie
low carb flatbread toastie

Quick Sesame Flatbread (GF, Low Carb, Vegan)

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October 25, 2017

Quick and easy, low-carb flat bread that is super tasty! Great for satisfying your bread cravings without the guilt (and high blood sugar). Great on its own, as a toasted sandwich, or as a pizza base. Don't skip the arrowroot starch here - despite the high carb content of the starch, you only need a tiny bit, and it helps to make the dough more workable.

  • Yields: 2 flatbreads

Ingredients

2 tbsp almond meal

2 tbsp flax meal (linseed meal)

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for rolling

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/4 cup water

pinch salt (to taste)

1 tsp olive oil, for fying

Directions

I love the flavour of toasted sesame seeds, but experiment with other seeds and nuts - like hemp seeds, fennel / cumin / coriander seeds, coarsely ground hazelnuts and walnuts, pine nuts, and so on. Also try adding herbs and spices for variety!

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Chickpea Flour and Corn Pancake with Sauteed Greens (with Recipe)

Mornings are hard for me. It’s cold, first of all – so I struggle to even get out of bed. And while I’m doing my best to get out of bed, I dream of breakfast – sweet breakfast. Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, for example. Or hot toast slathered with real butter and marmalade…. or just a handful of chocolate chips to begin my day….

Oh no no no no. I might give in (and I sure will) to sweet temptations at some point during the day, but these days, I try to start the day right – with healthy, wholesome, savoury breakfast. So eventually I do struggle out of bed and grudgingly start prepping in the kitchen.

Here’s today’s winning concoction: Chickpea (besan) flour and corn pancake with sautéed medley of leek and greens, with avocado, chopped red onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice (and a drizzle of soy sauce – just because I’m Japanese and I love soy sauce with everything). Yum and yay! A Mount Everest of morning sweet temptation conquered. Pat on my own shoulder et al.

But see, the hardest part is deciding to make savoury breakfast. Once I get up in the kitchen to make it, my sugar-addict part of the brain switches off (well, temporarily). And I love the wonderful aroma of herbs and spices, the sizzling of leek cooking in the frying pan, and crispness of freshly chopped onions. And sitting down to eat this breakfast – with a steaming cup of almond milk coffee – is totally satisfying.

Here’s a recipe for the pancake in case you’d like to try it. Chickpea flour is very low in carbohydrate, so it’s super diabetes friendly. It’s also gluten free. A bit of fresh corn for texture doesn’t hurt you, either, but you can also omit it if you are on a very low-carb diet. Or use other vegetables like frozen peas or shredded carrot.

besan and corn pancake
besan and corn pancake

Chickpea flour and corn pancake with sautéed greens (GF, Vegan, Low Carb)

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September 19, 2016

Sky is the limit when it comes to the topping choices. I used sautéed leek, beetroot greens, and cabbage (because that's what I had in the fridge), with avocado slices, fresh chopped red onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Other suggestions are: (1) sautéed mushrooms, capsicum, and onions (2) sprinkles of vegan cheese with salad greens (3) chopped tomatoes / cucumber / avocado salsa, with coriander and lime juice (4) cooked and fried potato cubes, vegetarian sausages, with ketchup (my kids will LOVE this).

  • Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

1/3 cup chickpea flour (besan flour)

1 heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1/3 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup nondairy milk or water (I used unsweetened oat milk)

1 tsp oregano, or other chopped herbs (optional)

1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil (for frying)

Directions

1Get your dry ingredients plus corn ready, and mix them in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping - ingredients

2Add optional herbs - fresh or dry.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

3Add milk or water, and mix to make a smooth batter.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

4Here's what the batter looks like.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

5Make sure your frying pan is HOT, and spread a bit of of oil in it. Pour the pancake batter. We are making one giant pancake! But you can of course make a few smaller ones, too, instead.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

6Cook on a medium heat until the edges of the pancake is well and truly dry and cooked. It can be a bit tricky to flip a giant pancake, so make sure the other side is well cooked first.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

7And flip! Oops mine came out *slightly* on the scorched side, but no matter.

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

8Cook the other side for another minute or so, and plate with your choice of healthy, wholesome topping. Enjoy!

Chickpea flour pancake with green topping- how to

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Springtime Smoothie – with Pineapple, Greens, Mint and Lemon

Yay, Spring has come to the Blue Mountains.  Winter was fun and games, too, what with scraping frozen car windshield in the morning, or scavenging for twigs and tree branches in the bush to light my slow-combustion stove. But after months of it, I’m ready for Spring.

And just like that, with the warm rays of sun smiling on me in the morning, I am in the mood for green smoothies again.

Fresh greens from the garden

What happiness is it to harvest fresh greens from your backyard in the morning! Here’s kale, silver beet, Vietnamese mint, and celery – full of juicy goodness.

Here’s my favourite springtime smoothie recipe I’ve been enjoying for the last couple of days. It’s so refreshing, and still pretty low in sugar. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

The recipe makes about 3 cups of the green goodness – which might be enough for two people. But this morning I drank all of it in one go. It was that delicious. So what I’m saying is, you might want to make a double batch for two people.

PS. To crush ice and kale into oblivion, you’ll need a fairly powerful blender. I love my new (well, second-hand new) Optimum 9400 blender. I also have a Nutri Ninja, which works really well for smoothies.

Springtime Smoothie
Springtime Smoothie

Springtime Smoothie

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September 15, 2016

The ingredients are of course flexible. The key elements for the "freshness" of the smoothie are: pineapple, greens, lemon/lime, mint, and ginger. A bit of kombucha or coconut water will add a bit more subtle sweetness and freshness, too. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients though.

  • Yields: about 3 cups - enough for 1 to 2 people

Ingredients

1 cup water

0/1 cup kombucha or coconut water

1/2 peeled lemon or lime, but with the membranes intact.

1/2 cup pineapple, peeled but with the core

1 cup green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and lettuce

1 stalk of celery

1 small handful of mint (I used Vietnamese mint)

1 cm piece of ginger

1 cm piece of tumeric

1 tbsp chia seed or ground flax seed

1/2 cup ice cubes

Directions

1Gather up all the ingredients, and put them in a blender jug.

spring smoothie ingredients

2Blend everything together at high speed for about 1 minute, or until all smooth. That's it!

smoothie in blender

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