Sesame Cashew Chickpea Dip


My roommate just started work and it’s making me reminisce about the early days at my first job–or rather, the first days spent outside of my first job.

I had an incredible amount of time on my hands. A lot of my friends had moved away, Erik was in Wisconsin for the summer, and I wasn’t sure what to do with myself–the typical post-college wanderangstlust. I poured a lot of my extracurricular energy into learning how to cook, experimenting with pancake recipes of all types and starting this blog. It’s hard to believe this blog is going on 3+ years of existence; it’s become a habit that’s sometimes overwhelming, but hard to shake. Kathryn wrote oh-so-eloquently about the struggles of the modern food blogger in a post that I loved; I so identify with it. And yet I miss it, now that I’m in school with not enough time for anything.


This year has already wrought an incredible wave of change–for the good, for the mysterious. It feels good to channel all the crazy new energy into something simple, like this chickpea dip.

This dip is for the times when you don’t have tahini in your pantry–it’s just a simple blend of chickpeas, some acidity, seasoning and a creamy fat to bring things together. In the early days, all I had was peanut butter and flour; no time for tahini, especially since I didn’t know what I would use it in aside from hummus (until these came along). But now I guess we’re making time for cashew butter? You can use whatever nut butter floats your boat here (I personally like subtler ones like cashew, macadamia or even almond), but the toasted sesame oil–guh. If you don’t have it already, buy it: I promise you’ll want to use it on everything.

Felicia first inspired this hummus–after her description of it as “almost mousse-like,” I couldn’t NOT make it. And then I didn’t not make it three times after that. It’s really addicting in a subtle, umami-maximus way.

hummus4v2 hummus3v4

It’s also really great for nonstop dipping of all those healthy crunchy vegetables in preparation for SPRING BREAK!!!

Sesame Cashew Chickpea Dip


  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas (or: 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • additional water to thin, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • pepper


Soak chickpeas overnight, or up to ~3 days (if you soak them for a shorter amount of time, you may need to cook them for longer).

Drain and rinse chickpeas. Boil for about 1 hour over medium heat until tender along with a pinch of baking soda to reduce general gassiness (they should double in volume to 1.5 cups after cooked). Drain and let cool, then shell chickpeas by gently pinching one side and pulling off the skin (optional, but highly recommended for ultra-smooth hummus).

Blend chickpeas to a powder in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend and add additional water if needed until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste.


Inspired by this hummus.


Quinoa Breakfast Enchiladas


Enchilada sauce




{If you’re a Houston reader, scroll to the very bottom for an exciting giveaway!}

It wasn’t until today, when I was talking to one of my b-school friends that I put my finger on why business school has thrown me into such turmoil.

“Here’s biggest difference between business school and undergrad,” he said. “The people who are doing ‘the best’ now aren’t focusing on class.”


And that, for all my budding business-school-applying readers out there (I support you; stay strong), is my piece of advice for today.

I consider these breakfast enchiladas to be the offspring from this lasagna and from these chilaquiles. Like the lasagna, these enchiladas rely on a simple batter of quinoa, water and herbs cooked up into tortilla or crepe-like discs–though slightly spongier and breadier than your average toothsome flour tortilla. They’re dunked in some enchilada sauce–a la the lightly sauced chips from the chilaquiles–before being filled with a vegetable-heavy egg scramble and topped with cheese. I think they’re fun–a little homage to saucy breakfast tacos in a very dinner-worthy dish made extra inviting if you’re liberal with the melty cheese on top.

Quinoa Breakfast Enchiladas

Yield: about 12 enchiladas

Serving Size: ~6 servings

The quinoa "tortillas" or crepes require a little extra work, but they make pleasant, springy wrappers for the kale/onion/red pepper egg scramble that absorbs enchilada sauce extremely well. Use regular tortillas in place if you like.


  • For the quinoa tortillas:
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon each: dried basil, oregano, garlic powder (optional, use whatever spices you prefer)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • few grinds pepper

  • For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1 8 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped finely
  • 3 cups of prepared enchilada sauce or homemade sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese


For the quinoa tortillas:

Soak the quinoa in hot tap water for at least an hour or up to overnight. Rinse and blend with 1 cup filtered water in a high-powered blender with spices, salt and pepper until very smooth.

In a 6-inch greased pan, pour batter into pan and swirl to coat. Flip once bubbles rise to the top and a spatula can easily slide underneath. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until done. Remove and repeat with the rest of batter (should make about 12 "tortillas").

For the filling:

Saute the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat until golden and soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the bell pepper and kale and saute until wilted and bright green. Add eggs and scramble until set.

To assemble: Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce. Add a few spoons of egg to each tortilla, roll and place into a 9x13 or 7x12 baking pan (9x13 was a little roomy, so I would go with 7x12 if you have one. No need to grease the pan). Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted.


I topped my enchiladas with garnishes of spinach, chopped almonds and pickled onion mostly for looks, but they were delicious if you have some lying around.

GF Breakfast Enchiladas // The Pancake Princess

On a completely different note…

HOUSTONITES! If you are interested in attending the 13th Annual Menu of Menus, listen up.

The Menu of Menus® Extravaganza, presented by Stella Artois, is one of Houston’s largest food and wine events featuring over 40 area restaurants alongside wine, beer and spirit sampling.

Basically, it is super fun! The feature event will be the 4th Annual Iron Fork Chef Competition presented by Whole Foods: two up-and-coming Houston chefs face off in a competition judged by local celebrities. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy cocktails, live music and food sampling from some of the city’s best restaurants. Ticket price includes food and drinks for the evening.

As one of the awesome readers of The Pancake Princess, you have an exclusive opportunity to purchase presale tickets before they go on sale to the general public (noon on February 7).

Presale tickets run from February 3 @ 10 a.m. - February 7 @ 10 a.m. Enter promo code PANCAKE to purchase.


For more info:

But wait there’s more! One incredibly lucky winner will win a free pair of tickets to the event. There are two ways to enter:

  • Share this post on your social media of choice: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest and tag a friend in Houston (also tag me so I can see your post).
  • Tag a Houston friend on any of these social media posts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

Good luck! One winner will be chosen by next Monday, February 9, 2015.

Winter Harvest Salad

Winter Harvest Salad // The Pancake PrincessNothing about winter really screams “salad!” to me. At least, nothing about this toe- and finger- killing frigid winter, which, naturally, is why this post is devoted to salad.


One of the greatest things about being back in school is the time off. We got nearly 3.5 weeks off for winter break!! I flew back to northern California for a gloriously peaceful break at home where I did nothing except eat, sleep, rehab my ailing right knee, play too many games of Settlers with my cousins and develop an unfortunate affection for this show. All in all, an amazingly healing hibernation that allowed me to unwind, reflect, and plot out the coming year, which feels like a big one. Do you feel that?

All the eating of family-cooked meals and eating out dominated most of break, so I spent surprisingly little time cooking over break (not complaining). Except for Christmas dinner, when we had twenty-ish family members over and I made these rolls, this pie, this cake, these brussels sprouts and this salad (which explains the giant serving size). Then I made this salad again for a blogger potluck hosted by the lovely Alanna, where I promptly undid any good this salad might do you by eating all of her luscious banana cream tart (or maybe that was a dream…). It was such a fun event, where I got to meet the lovely and insanely talented bloggers Pang, Sarah, Ana and Lukas!

The point is, it’s been awhile since I’ve been really excited about a salad, but this one is current dream food: crunchy almonds, juicy pomegranate seeds, the sharp feta, creamy squash and citrusy dressing. This salad does make enough to feed a swamp monster (or, like, 20+ people as a side dish as demonstrated by Christmas), but all the toppings refrigerate well, so this doesn’t have to be reserved for a huge gathering–it makes for a great prep-ahead, eat-all-week type of meal.

Winter Harvest Salad

Yield: 2 gigantic salads (each salad can easily serve at least 10-12 people as a side, perhaps 4-6 as a main dish)

A bountiful, flavorful winter-inspired salad for a crowd.


  • For the salad:
  • 1 medium butternut squash + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2-3 cups chopped broccoli
  • organic mixed greens (I used about 2 lbs for 2 giant salads)
  • toasted slivered or chopped almonds, to taste
  • feta cheese, to taste

  • For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • handful parsley
  • salt and pepper


For the salad:

Peel and cube the butternut squash into 3/4" cubes, reserving the seeds for roasting if you like. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.

Meanwhile, harvest the pomegranate arils (I highly recommend this method) and steam the broccoli: heat a pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil. Once hot, saute the broccoli for a minute, then add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and steam until tender (around 10 minutes). Set aside and let cool.

Toast and chop almonds and crumble feta cheese, if needed.

For the dressing:

Blend the first three ingredients together in a small food processor or blender. Add the parsley, salt and pepper and pulse until incorporated.

To assemble:

Toss cooled vegetables, pomegranate seeds, almonds and feta with mixed greens. The toppings refrigerate well for a few days, so reserve half of everything if not serving a big crowd. Top with dressing to taste. Serve immediately!


Dressing adapted from Pinch of Yum; salad inspired by Local Foods.

Chilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessAs the clock ticks down to 2015, it’s hard to believe that 2014 is over. It’s all flown by: leaving my first real job to start business school; traveling to London, Paris, Portland and Wisconsin; cooking and shooting tons of food. Most importantly and relevant-ly to the blogging world, I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to meet a handful of truly fun and talented bloggers this year–Izy in London, Michelle in Portland, Kylie in Houston, Alana in LA, and Alanna in San Francisco!

Chilaquiles // The Pancake Princess

Chilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake Princess
Chilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessChilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessIt feels fitting to end this year with a post with photos from a collaborative shoot with one of my favorite bloggers. Alanna, an insanely talented recovering pastry chef, graciously invited me over to her gorgeous San Francisco apartment to cook and shot these chilaquiles. I first fell in love with Alanna’s blog after making these insanely delicious flaky goat cheese biscuits–and full further in love with each successive post. Basically, getting to hang with her, nose around her beautiful prop cabinet, and watch her prep her shots was like a dream come true.

These chilaquiles turned out to be an accidentally perfect dish, given the ubiquity and popularity of this crunchy, cheesy, savory breakfast dish in Texas. Houston met San Francisco in this serendipitous brunch dish, complete with an array of creamy avocado, lime, salsa, queso fresco and cilantro.

IMG_9499_LR IMG_9505_LR IMG_9528_LR Chilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessIMG_9538_LR

Chilaquiles // The Pancake PrincessWishing you all a happy, healthy, delicious new year! I so appreciate you coming to read, comment and hang out in this little space of mine <3

To get this recipe, head over to The Bojon Gourmet!

Chilaquiles // The Pancake Princess

Chickpea Gingersnaps

gingersnap1Awhile back, I had the opportunity to develop some recipes for the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council. I was so excited to partner with them since I’m already fully in love with all things chickpea flour. This was my favorite recipe that I developed and I’ve had quite the time sitting on it–but now that holiday cooking baking seems in full swing, this seems like the perfect time to share it!

gingersnap2 Continue reading

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