More broccoli recipes, they cried! Blanched broccoli is something I always have on hand. With a tub in the fridge I’ll never go hungry for long, but plain ol’ broccoli can get a bit tiring after a while, which is why, when I spotted Heidi’s great recipe for cottage pancakes on 101 cookbooks and her little note, I was instantly inspired to make my own. My version is somewhere between Heidi’s, my cauliflower pancake recipe and the crowd pleasing favourite from the Healthy Helpings- fast food for fit physiques book, Spinach Pikelettes.
Grilling any sort of cheese gives such a lovely golden crust, the kind that wouldn’t normally fit in a healthy eating repertoire. However, the secret here is cottage cheese. Low in fat and high in protein (and cheesiness) it’s the perfect binder for these pancakes. Sneaking in the broccoli adds a pesto sort of flavour. The Mediterranean aspect is further accentuated by the addition of oregano. I’ve kept the recipe gluten-free, by using quinoa flour, but if you don’t have quinoa flour, buckwheat flour or a 50/50 blend of white and wholemeal flour would also work.
- 1 head of broccoli, blanched (about 1½ cups)
- 1 cup (250g) low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ cup (120ml) skimmed milk
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 cup (200g) egg whites, at room temperature
- ¾ cup +1tbsp (105g) quinoa flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sumac or lemon zest (optional but adds extra zing!)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- cooking oil spray or to brush
- If you don’t already have some broccoli cooked, blanch some for 2 minutes or microwave with a little water, covered for 3 minutes and allow to cool. Spread on a chopping board and chop into breadcrumbs using a large cooks knife. Place in a bowl with the cottage cheese, milk and egg yolk. Stir to combine.
- Preheat a heavy based omelette or frying pan to a low-moderate heat.
- Place all the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside.
- Fold the flour, baking powder, sumac, salt and oregano into the cheese mixture. Then scoop one third of the cheese mixture into the egg whites and using your whisk pick the mixture up and gently fold it through the whites, repeat the process twice more to incorporate the remaining cheese mixture.
- Lightly spray your pan and scoop in the about ⅓ cup of mixture. Allow to cook for several minutes until bubbles start to form on the surface. A low heat is best for this recipe, and only a small sizzle noise should be made when the mixture hits the pan. Flip the pancake and cook for a further few minutes until golden on both sides.
- Serve straight away or keep warm in a oven set to 120ºC/250ºF until the remaining pancakes are cooked.