Happy Pancake Day! Not to be confused with National Pancake Day, sponsored by IHOP, where you get a free stack of pancakes. No, it’s Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras’ less risqué and over the top cousin, where you load up on pancakes instead of booze and beads. Shrove Tuesday precedes Ashe Wednesday and like Mardi Gras, symbolizes the last day to indulge before the fasting period of lent begins.I honestly didn’t know much about celebrating Shrove Tuesday until a business trip to London a few years ago happened to fall over the holiday, and my British colleagues quickly filled me in. Today people celebrate all over the UK, Canada and Australia by indulging in pancakes all day long – truly my kind of holiday! These are not the super fluffy, sweet and decadent pancakes of American breakfasts, but instead a thinner version with sweet or savory fillings, much like a crepe. I guess that makes it a tad more wholesome, right? I’ll take any excuse to chow down over a tall stack for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
In honor of the holiday, I made Zoe Nathan’s amazing recipe for hearty pancakes full of whole grains and protein. Even though they are not as thin as their British counterparts, their healthy contents make them appropriate for any meal of the day. Today or any day!
Rembrandt’s popular 1635 etching, Pancake Woman, features an elderly woman serving pancakes to a crowd, many of which look like they are already stuffed from overindulging. At the bottom of the picture, a small dog tries to steal a pancake from a child. Another figure is shown to the right, either passed out from eating too much or about to. Here Rembrandt is warning the viewer not to be too glutinous.
For a more politically-relevant nod to pancake day, check out the work of Dan Lacey, the self-proclaimed “painter of pancakes.”
Brown Rice Quinoa Pancakes
½ cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon millet
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown rice, cooked
½ cup quinoa, cooked
coconut oil, for cooking
To make the batter:
Combine the flour, cornmeal, oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, millet, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs and add the buttermilk and melted butter. Whisk until incorporated. Add the wet mix to the dry and stir in the brown rice and quinoa.
Heat a large skillet over a medium flame and evenly coat it with a thin layer of coconut oil. When the pan is hot enough (dropping a few drops of water on the pan and waiting for it to hiss will let you know!) use an ice cream scoop to drop batter on by the 1/4 cup-fulls. Wait for tiny bubbles to form around the edges of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes, and flip. Cook for another 2 minutes and serve immediately. Top with butter, maple syrup or peanut butter.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Huckleberry, makes about 15
Featured art: Rembrandt, Pancake Woman, 1635, etching
Dan Lacey, Smiling Bernie Sanders, 2016 (via here)
Dan Lacey, Triple Hillary, 2015 (via here)