Ready for another round of confusion about what can and can’t be eaten during Passover? I wasn’t planning on providing that day, but as luck would have it, this is now the case.
I wanted to tell you that no one would disagree about today’s main ingredient, quinoa, and its status as a Passover-friendly food. Because quinoa, a grain-like crop hailing from South America, is a newcomer to North American and European diets, arriving on the scene in the 1970’s or so. Quinoa is not a grain, but rather a member of the goosefoot family, bearing a close relationship to spinach and beets. And because of that, the rabbis deemed it permissible for Passover.
Genius that I am, I set my heart on sharing a fun new quinoa recipe to get you ready for Passover. Besides, I know a lot of you like quinoa simply because it is healthy and gluten-free, and no one is arguing about that! But we Jews, apparently we like to argue. Because for the first time, I came across a slew of controversy regarding quinoa’s status as a Passover-friendly food. Some argue that there is no reason to ban foods that were introduced for human consumption after the original rules were set, as long as they haven’t come into contact with the forbidden grains. Others argue that since Jews never ate these foods during Passover (because, remember, they weren’t around!) that we should not either. Yet that leaves the question as to why two of the most popular and universally accepted as kosher-for-Passover food items are potatoes (which were not cultivated in Europe until later times) and flourless cakes made of cocoa (ground from a bean which also didn’t exist in Medieval Europe).
My head. It spins.
One thing I learned for certain, though, is that even rabbis who accept quinoa as a kosher-for-Passover food do not extend this right to quinoa flour. Why? Because it is often, if not always, milled in facilities that also process the grains we are forbidden to consume during Passover.
Of course, I figured this all out after I decided that tortillas made of quinoa flour would be the latest and greatest addition to my Passover repertoire. After I had already made two batches and sworn off ever buying another packaged flour tortilla, because they don’t hold a flame to this hot-off-the-skillet goodness. And after I realized how easy it is to make your own tortillas. (It really is, I promise.)
In any event, you could still make these during Passover if you are like me and not overly concerned with the rabbinic rules about cross-contamination. Or, perhaps, if you grind your own quinoa flour, in your very own mill (I hear this is the next big rage in kitchen appliances), preferably a mill that hasn’t seen wheat, barley, oats, spelt or rye. (And you might want to save some room for grinding your own coconut flour if you, like me, had the genius idea to bake a Passover cake with it! Despite the fact that shredded coconut has been a staple in Passover desserts for years, I’d be willing to bet that coconut flour is the next thing to be banned!)
One final note about this recipe: See the ragged shape? Obviously these tortillas don’t look like store-bought, because they’re not! Their rustic character didn’t stop us from stuffing them with the guacamole and roasted vegetables you see here, and scrambled eggs and cheese the next morning. Hey, do you think Moses’s matzoh looked like this? I certainly do not.
Quinoa Flour Tortillas (Gluten Free and Vegan)
Yield: 12 small tortillas
If I can roll out my own tortillas, anyone can! The addition of psyllium husk powder to this recipe for gluten-free and vegan tortillas makes for a tender and chewy final product.
These tortillas are incredible when served straight out of the pan. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and refrigerate. They will keep well for a few days and can be reheated on a hot skillet.
1 1/2 cups (6oz) quinoa flour, plus 1/4 cup (1oz) for rolling
3 tablespoons (30gm) psyllium husk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
In a medium bowl, whisk together the quinoa flour, psyllium husk powder, and salt. Add the water and stir with a fork until everything comes together. Turn onto a clean surface and kneed until smooth. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for one hour.
Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Working with one piece of dough at a time, toss it around in the flour a bit to coat, and then roll it as thin as possible. Place it on the hot skillet for about 30-45 seconds per side, until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining dough.
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 55.1 mg
Potassium 21.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 2.3 g
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
This recipe is shared with Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.