Tomato Basil Socca Pizza

A bunch of bloggers whose work I adore have come out with cookbooks lately. One such blogger is Erin Alderson of the blog Naturally Ella. Her brand new book is called The Homemade Flour Cookbook: The Home Cook’s Guide to Milling Nutritious Flours and Creating Delicious Recipes with Every Grain, Legume, Nut, and Seed from A-Z.

The Homemade Flour Cookbook | healthy green kitchen

This book is based on the very cool concept that you can easily make your own fresh and nutritious flours at home. As much as I love to cook and bake, making my own flours isn’t something I’ve delved into much before (apart from blending oats to make oat flour), mostly because I assumed you needed special equipment (like a grain mill). While Erin does recommend investing in a grain mill, it turns out that you can do quite a lot more than make oat flour with a high-powered blender (which I already own). You can also mill some flours in a coffee grinder!

In this book, Erin not only delves into all the different ways you can make your own wholesome flours from different grains (including gluten-free grains), legumes, nuts and seeds, she also shares 100 very yummy-looking recipes that utilize the various fresh flours. The photos in the book, taken by Erin, are beautiful.

The Homemade Flour Cookbook | healthy green kitchen

Because I have a big stash of dried chickpeas, I decided to try my hand at grinding chickpea flour in my blender. I was pretty skeptical about it working at first: chickpeas are so hard! After a minute or two the flour still looked like small rocks, but I played around with a few of the settings on my Blendtec and found that at #3, the chickpeas turned to a fine powder after another few minutes. Hooray!

chickpea flour in blender | healthy green kitchen

I used my chickpea flour to make Erin’s recipe for Tomato Basil Socca Pizza. Socca is a flatbread that’s a specialty of Nice, France. I’ve never had socca but I know it has a reputation for being very tasty. I was happy for the inspiration to make it (I’d been meaning to try it ever since seeing this recipe on David Lebovitz’ blog ages ago).

Socca is so simple to make: all you need is the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt. You soak these together for an hour, then you cook the batter in a hot oiled skillet under a broiler.

chickpea flour soaking | healthy green kitchen

I’ve purchased chickpea flour in the past and used it in gluten-free baking. It always had this odd, very bean-y flavor to me, which I didn’t love. I have to say that my fresh chickpea flour didn’t taste “off” at all: I really loved it in this base for an easy pizza. So while you can definitely use store-bought chickpea flour in this recipe, I recommend trying to make your own if you can because it’s fresher and really does have a different, milder flavor.

socca pizza | healthy green kitchen

Many thanks to Erin for turning me on to making my own flours. I really look forward to seeing what I can do with ancient grains, legumes, nuts, etc. I cannot wait to try out more of the recipes in this book: there are so many incredibly creative and healthy savory and sweet recipes to choose from! And I have one extra copy of the book from the publisher to give away to one of my readers…the directions for entering the giveaway are below the recipe :)

socca pizza from the homemade flour cookbook | healthy green kitchen

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Chickpea, Fennel, and Broccoli Rabe Soup

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

Soup. I make it all the time and yet I rarely make it the exact same way twice. Soup is often an exercise in thriftiness…a way for me to use up vegetables, etc. that are “on their way out”. At other times, it’s just an easy way to combine various ingredients into a nourishing meal.

Chickpea, Fennel, and Broccoli Rabe Soup | Healthy Green Kitchen

This Chickpea, Fennel, and Broccoli Rabe Soup is both thrifty and easy/nutritious. It’s not quite vegan/vegetarian due to the pancetta (and the chicken stock, if you use it), but these can definitely be left out if you don’t do meat. The recipe come from Alice Waters’ new book The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden.

The Art of Simple Food II

I love this book: it’s a wonderful volume of recipes spotlighting seasonal produce. There’s also an extensive section on starting or expanding a garden…reading through it has me already longing for next year’s garden. If you have a vegetable lover in your life, you should gift them with this book (or gift it to yourself…you will adore it!).

Chickpea, Fennel, and Broccoli Rabe Soup | Healthy Green Kitchen

Broccoli rabe can be a little bitter, but there’s nothing wrong with bitter! In fact, many of us would do well to include more bitter foods in our diets. Bitter foods are excellent for your digestion :)

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Chickpeas with Delicata Squash, Kale, and Coconut Milk

coconut chickpeas with kale

I had such a nice weekend: it finally snowed so I was home most of the time hanging out with my family, and had a chance to clean and organize a bunch of areas in my house that desperately needed attention. I also got to cook a couple of delicious new dishes. These wonderful Chickpeas … Read more