Salmon & "Eggs" Breakfast Scramble (gluten free, egg free, ACD)

Hello readers!  Thanks for following me over to my new format and new domain!  I'm excited to have expanded to the wonderful world of Squarespace; you'll see I have a lot more to offer in this space.  So, take a look around and get comfortable.  Things might be changing a bit over the next few weeks as I get settled in; new graphics, more content, and other information will gradually be showing up.  But I won't go offline again, I promise!  I'm really excited about all the options that Squarespace has to offer and how it will allow me to make the website what I really want it to be.  That means more great information for all of you!  And please use the Discussion Board - I'm really excited about having an interactive element to the blog.

 Of course, I couldn't start the page without a new recipe.  And today, I wanted eggs.  Sadly, eggs and I are no longer friends.  But I have a trick: scrambled chickpea flour.  Last summer I saw a recipe for scrambled chickpea flour curry in the book 660 Curries, and I made it for dinner one evening.  I was shocked - it was just like scrambled eggs!  Since then, I've taken the basic idea of scrambled chickpea flour and made a variety of breakfast "egg" scrambles.  

I am a total breakfast girl.  Back in my gluten-dairy-egg-etc-eating and alcohol-drinkin' days, going out for a Bloody Mary and coffee-soaked brunch of vegetable omelettes and home fries was one of my favorite weekend pastimes.   Minneapolis has a really good breakfast/brunch culture, and there are tons of amazing places in the city to get breakfast.  Never mind that I usually had a killer stomach afterward; the social and cultural element was something I loved,  something I miss dearly to this day.  Oh well; now, at least, I can have some kind of scrambled "egg" dish if there is breakfast made in a kitchen!  And best yet, no stomachache.

This morning I spiked my scrambled "eggs" with salmon, and an assortment of fresh vegetables.  Protein-packed and super tasty, it just might hit the spot for any of you who are egg-deprived like me.  I'm working on making an omelet and a quiche/egg-bake thing using this same basic idea of chickpea flour-as-egg, so stay tuned.  Serve the scramble as-is, or pair with toast, a greens salad, Tarragon Roasted Turnips, or sweet potato fries for a hearty breakfast.  I've even wrapped it in a collard leaf before and eaten it like a breakfast burrito - rock!

One thing: scrambling chickpea flour is a little tricky until you get the hang of it.  It burns easily, is really sticky, and can be a little awkward.  Sometimes I still screw it up and have to make some new "eggs".  don't let this intimidate you - you just need to be patient and persistent.  So, here's a couple suggestions about this recipe before you get started:
  • I never really recommend using non-stick pans, but this is one of the rare occasions I use it.  The chickpea flour tends to stick and burn quickly; a non-stick pan makes this a non-issue.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir the chickpea flour batter when cooking it.  Again, it helps with the sticking issue.
  • LOW HEAT.  Seriously.  I can't stress this enough.
  • Bean flour can be really hard to digest for some people.  If you've never had it before, try eating it in a small amount, and see how you feel.  And for heaven's sake, don't eat it uncooked - it is like eating an uncooked bean.  It tastes terrible and isn't so easy for your body to handle either.  

Salmon & "Eggs" Breakfast Scramble

serves 2-4
6 oz cooked salmon (either fresh or canned) or smoked
1/2 cup chickpea flour/besan
3/4 cup water
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup packed chopped dark leafy greens (collards, spinach, kale, chicory, arugula, etc)
2 Tbsp fresh minced dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
freshly cracked pepper
extra virgin olive oil
optional: red pepper flakes
If cooking salmon fresh, cook per desired method.  I like to wrap mine in parchment or tin foil and broil for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.  If using canned, drain.  Break cooked salmon into chunks/flakes,  or if using smoked salmon, cut or tear into bite-size chunks. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together chickpea flour and water until smooth, adding garlic powder and Herbamare/sea salt.  Mix thoroughly, and set aside to rest.

Chop vegetables.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan on high, adding mustard seeds and sauteeing until they pop.  Then turn down heat and add chopped onion.  Saute on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, until onion has softened.  Add green pepper and saute for an additional 7-8 minutes, adding greens half way through cooking, until vegetables are softened and still slightly crisp.  Remove from heat, but leave vegetables in pan.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet with sides or frying pan over medium-low heat.  If you pan is not non-stick, oil WELL.  Whisk chickpea flour water mixture, then pour into heated pan.  Turn heat down to low, let cook about 1 minute to set, then stir, using a rubber spatula.  Flatten out mixture as much as possible on pan.  The chickpea flour will become very sticky and thick, and form a ball - do your best to flatten it onto pan, and break up the chunks.  If it starts to burn, turn down heat and add a little more oil.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring and flattening out as much as you can, gradually breaking up the chunks, until mixture is dry and chunks form - like scrambled eggs.  Remove from heat and let cool 2-3 minutes.

Add cooked/smoked salmon chunks to saute pan with vegetables, add chickpea "eggs", and heat over medium heat until warmed through.  Add fresh dill and additional garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  If you like a kick, add some red pepper flakes.

Serve hot.  Keeps in the refrigerator 2-3 days.