How to make Socca

Socca is a flatbread made from chickpea flour and is one of our favorite weekday suppers.  Grain and gluten free and rich in protein and fiber. You can top it however you like or just eat it plain.  Here’s a quick video tutorial.  (Instructions below.)

 

Instructions

Combine 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 cup water, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper.  Whisk until blended and let sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice 1-2 onions, toss with olive oil and and place in a cast iron or ovenproof skillet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Pour the batter over the onions, turn up the oven to 500 degrees and return the pan to the oven. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until it’s starting to brown at the edges.

Slide the socca onto a cutting board and gently flip it over. At that point, you can cut into pieces and serve as an appetizer or with soup or salad. Or, slide it back onto the pan, top with veggies and cheese and run it under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Protein Content of Common Foods

This table shows the amount of protein per serving of several common foods.

Note that the standard serving size for meat is 3 ounces, which is considerably smaller than the portions you may be used to seeing.   A 3-ounce serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.

Click here to see a table of protein density (how much protein various foods provide per calorie).

FoodServing SizeProtein (g)
Chicken breast3 ounces25
Pork tenderloin3 ounces22
Hamburger, lean (broiled)3 ounces22
Ground turkey (broiled)3 ounces22
Salmon3 ounces19
Shrimp3 ounces19
TunaSmall can17
Cottage cheese, lowfat1/2 cup14
Plain yogurt1 cup12
Greek yogurt1/2 cup11
Tofu, firm1/2 cup10
Lentils, cooked1/2 cup9
Peanut butter2 tablespoons8
Black beans1/2 cup8
Chickpeas1/2 cup8
Spaghetti, cooked1 cup8
Edamame (soybeans)1 cup8
Oat bran, uncooked1/3 cup7
Egg1 large6
Hummus1/2 cup6
Egg white1 large4
Quinoa, cooked1/2 cup4
Brown rice, cooked1/2 cup3
Whole wheat bread1 slice3

See also:
Quick Guide to Complementary Protein Sources

New Ways to Use Whey Protein Powder

 

How to make homemade corn tortillas

Photo by Amber Engle

Making your own corn tortillas is fun and easy. With just three basic ingredients, a tortilla press, and a hot skillet, you’ll be on your way to having gluten-free, delicious, soft corn tortillas in less than an hour. You can use them for enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, nachos, and more.

How to make tortillas

Here comes the fun part. Although it is easy to do, you will need to be patient if this is your first time making homemade tortillas. There are times where the dough will feel dry or soggy. All you have to do is add more water or add more masa. As you make more homemade corn tortillas, you will quickly learn and enjoy the tortilla-making process.

Ingredients

2 cups of Masa Harina (not regular cornmeal or corn flour)

½ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ to 2 cups of warm water

Important: Masa harina is different from regular corn flour or cornmeal. In order to create masa harina, the corn goes through a process called nixtamalization, which involves soaking it in an alkaline solution (usually lime). This changes the structure of the grain which enables it to form a dough. It also adds calcium and makes the nutrients in the grain easier to absorb. Continue reading “How to make homemade corn tortillas” >

Is collagen protein safe and effective?

Naomi writes:

When opening a new container of Vital Proteins Collagen I saw a warning about possible lead content. Should I change my choice of collagen or stop using it altogether?  I am 65 and thought it would be beneficial for my hair and skin.

It’s hard to know for sure without a chemical analysis, but this warning may just be a corporate cover-your-hiney thing. I don’t think you necessarily need to throw away your new (and probably fairly pricey) container of collagen protein. But I’m also skeptical about its benefits for joints, skin, hair, or nails. Continue reading “Is collagen protein safe and effective?” >

Should you throw out your nonstick pans?

 

I’ve been getting lots of questions relating to the documentary Dark Waters.

For example, Dannette wrote:

“I just  watched the movie “Dark Waters” which makes the case against Teflon.  I immediately threw away my nonstick pans. I’m concerned about ALL nonstick surfaces now. I’m not sure if I need to be. I’d love it if you watched it and then let me know what you think. I love having a good nonstick pan, but it isn’t worth my family’s long term health. I just want to figure out what my best options are for being completely safe cooking for my family.”

7/5/20 UPDATE: In my original response (posted here on June 25th), I disclosed that I had not seen the movie Dark Waters.  Unfortunately, that did not keep me from making some false assumptions about it.   In response to valid criticisms, I’ve removed my original comments about the movie Dark Waters, which included some inaccuracies.  (See the comments for several thoughtful descriptions of the movie).

This doesn’t change my answer to Dannette’s question. Although I don’t personally use it, I don’t think users of modern nonstick cookware need to be concerned about chemicals leaching into their food.  But let me add some additional context:

Although PFOA persists in the environment,  it is no longer used in nonstick cookware.  And even when it was used in Teflon cookware, the primary threat was not due to exposure from use of the pans but from industrial dumping of the chemical into the water supply.

Although I’m not afraid of poisoning myself or my family by using nonstick cookware,I prefer to use stainless steel, cast iron, glass, and silicone. I use a little oil or cooking spray when necessary.  I sometimes have to clean a pan.

But the choices that we make individually about which products we use do not necessarily protect us from industrial chemicals that may be harmful to the environment in which we all live.

There are ongoing, legitimate concerns about the process by which industrial chemicals are tested and approved for safety and impact on the environment, including downstream effects on wildlife and human life.

Thank you to all who helped clarify this issue.