One thing I’ve noticed in my travels is people love their diner food. It’s a food craze you could say opposite of gourmet fancy pants food. We love our greasy spoons in America. Thankfully, as vegans we have some tasty and healthier options available to us across the nation. Spiral Diner right here in Central Texas comes to mind, as well as the very popular Chicago Diner and Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz and Berkeley.
Diner food doesn’t have to be boring or greasy. Julie Hasson’s new cookbook Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body & Soul has your favorite comfort diner foods like lemon cheesecake, the alluring Reuben, BBQ ribs, sloppy joes, onion rings, donuts, and mac n’ cheese. But also some modern options like chai pancakes and a brown rice hazelnut burger. If you are a fan of not-so-greasy comfort food than this is a must have book. Don’t worry, it still has your greasy favorites as well!
Julie has kindly let us share her recipe for Chai Spelt Pancakes which I made as part of the cookbook project I have going on at my personal blog. I’ve made it my mission this year to cook one recipe out of every one of my cookbooks. This recipe caught my eye because I love pancakes and chai tea is in my top five favorite kinds of tea. Match made in heaven!
Chai Spelt Pancakes
Makes about 7 pancakes
1/2 cup boiling water
4 chai tea bags (I used herbal)
1/2 cup soymilk or almond milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 cup light spelt flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour (I used all whole spelt which made for a heartier pancake)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon oil, light or flavorless
Canola oil, for cooking (I used coconut oil spray)
Combine the hot water and tea bags in a heat proof measuring cup. Let steep 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out extra water from tea bags and discard. Add milk so you wind up with 1 cup of liquid. In medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add liquid ingredients and oil, stirring just until combined. Do not over mix.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and grease lightly with oil. Scoop batter with a 1/4 measuring cup onto hot skillet, spreading out to about 4 inches if needed. Cook until bubbles appear on surface, bottom is golden and edges look firm, about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet as needed. Serve right away.