Gluten Free, Korean Mung Bean Pancakes (Nokdu bindaetteok)

Zoe and I made lunch together today. Okay, really… she mainly napped on my back while I cooked after valiantly attempting to whip her head around to be able to see what I was doing. She loved watching me as I chopped and prepped everything. I made these Korean mung bean pancakes (otherwise known as Nokdu bindaetteok)) for her, as I knew she might be familiar with the flavors. The pancakes are often made with pork inside but since we didn’t have any and she’s not really a huge meat eater, I just skipped that all together.

“True” Korean recipes for these pancakes vary, but the reality is, they are quite simple to make and very tasty. You can vary the ingredients you put inside of them to include other vegetables (like red pepper strips, julienned carrot, etc) or meat (typically only a few ounces of ground pork added to the batter before cooking).

(NOTE: Nokdu bindaetteok) *CAN* be made with wheat flour inside. Please do NOT eat these pancakes at restaurants, etc unless you are certain that they are GLUTEN FREE and made with rice flour if you, too, adhere to a gluten-free diet.)

While called “pancakes”, they are really an appetizer (although we combined these “appetizers” with a simple cucumber salad for lunch yesterday. I wanted to give this recipe a test run to see if it would work for the Tol Party (Zoe’s first birthday) that we are planning for Saturday. And while I think these would be well received, the truth is that they taste MUCH better warm/hot and fresh off the griddle than cool. So… unless I keep them in the oven warm while the party starts, I will be in the kitchen cooking during my daughter’s birthday party. (Umm.. yea… I don’t think that will work either.)

I hope you give this recipe a try. It really is easy and quite delicious. While the ingredients *can* be typical (like including kim chi – the cabbage version), you can also make it with just napa cabbage or in a pinch, that shredded cole slaw mix from the grocer will do. Use what you have for the vegetables and you will be pleased.

Even Zoe ate about 1/4 of a pancake!  Kid-tested, but no photo this time to prove that it’s kid-approved.  You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.  She forewent her yogurt for this pancake.  Gotta love an adventurous eater!

Gluten Free, Vegetarian Mung Bean Pancakes

Nokdu bindaetteok
Korean Mung Bean Pancakes

Recipe makes 6 – 6 inch pancakes

1 cup split mung beans
1 2/3 cups water
1/3-1/2 cup rice flour
2/3 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup approximately (about 1.5 ounces) thinly sliced cabbage OR cabbage kim chi OR shredded cole slaw mix
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar (optional)
1 teaspoons chili powder (omit if using kim chi; use if just using cabbage)
olive or vegetable oil (for frying pancakes)

For dipping sauce:
2 parts Gluten Free soy sauce
1 part white vinegar
sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Soak the mung beans in the water at least two hours or until soft. (They can be soaked overnight as well. We soaked ours overnight – easier for us new parents…LOL)
  2. Finely slice the onion and the cabbage (if not chopped already). Add to a bowl with the salt and set aside to sweat for 15 minutes.
  3. Finely chop the green onion and garlic.
  4. Transfer the beans and some of the soaking liquid to the bowl of your food processor (or blender) and process to a fine, smooth paste/batter. Add 1/3 cup of rice flour and process again. The batter should become a thick pancake batter that easily drps in clumps off a spoon. If the batter is too thin, add a bit more rice flour. If the batter is too thick, add more of the soaking liquid.
  5. Mix together the batter with the onion/cabbage mixture. Add the garlic and green onions. Stir well.  (If using pork, add the ounce or two of ground pork at this stage.)
  6. Add the sesame oil, chili powder and agave nectar. Mix well.
  7. Into a hot frying pan, add 1 teaspoon or so of your chosen oil. Heat. Scoop about 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of the pancake batter into the hot oil/pan and fry about 2-3 minutes on each side. (Flip when the edges become a deep, golden brown color around the entire pancake.)
  8. Serve the pancakes hot with dipping sauce (2 parts GF soy sauce mixed with 1 part white vinegar).

Happy GF Eating!
~Kate & the Chicklet

The Gluten Free & Healthy Bon Bon

Feast your eyes on these nutritional details:

Sugar Free.
Casein Free.
Transfat, Saturated Fat Free.
(Possibly nut-free, if you so wish.)

A fudgey, delicious bon-bon.
Oh, your taste buds will thank you.

So, my friend Ginger has been on my mind. (And a little sweet birdie named Steve reminded me that tomorrow (2/11) is her birthday!).

I was thinking of all of the dietary challenges people face and how they are (or are not) accommodated by loved ones, friends or even the service industry. I started to think about Ginger and my wishes for her success as she follows her new diet.

And then I started thinking about MY diet. No, not the gluten-free version, but the healthy-living, gluten-free lifestyle. We’ve done a lot of changing in my house since the beginning of the school year in order to get our lives more organized and healthy. We’ve given up soda, drink more water, eat more fresh, raw veggies and fruit – OH! Fruit! I eat much more fruit. I think I used to be a bit of a fruit snob. Really. If I had one bad, untasty bite of fruit, I was unmotivated to eat the rest of it. Now I let my love pick out the fruit we eat. It’s genius. He picks out the fruit. I pick out the veggies.

But for sweet things?
Well, this is where the large bowl of fruit satisfies my Love usually. Sometimes it works for me too. But there are a few occasions when I really have to have some chocolate. Like *now* when I want it, not tomorrow when I can “get” it. (Okay, not really this moment because I had a wonderful fruit/yogurt/granola parfait for lunch and I am feeling quite satisfied, thankyouverymuch. LOL)

This weekend while thinking about Ginger and my cravings for sweets, I decided to make something she and I could both enjoy. It’s easy to make – and healthy too!

Those little bonbons you see? They are fudgy, delicious and unbelievably satisfying. And what makes it even more satisfying for me? It’s 3 ingredients and together they blissfully lack (1) sugar; (2) saturated fat and (3) sodium.

Go with me, now, those of you who are ready to bail. Trust me. You have to try these treats at home. I served them to two students who had no idea what was in them (they have no food allerigies/issues). They were convinced that they were eating fudge balls. Oh yea. They were shocked when I told them that they were eating dates. 😀

I hope you give these bonbons a whirl.
And if you get the chance, swing on over to wish Ginger a Happy Birthday.
Her little package of bonbons should be arriving about now too.

Gluten Free & Healthy Bon Bons
Recipe makes 36 teaspoon sized bon-bons

1 pound, super moist medjool dates
3/4 cup walnut halves (optional, but they add great Omega 3s!)
1/2 cup unsweetened, dark cocoa powder (+1/3 cup for rolling)

1. Cut the dates in half and remove the seed.
2. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until it comes together in a large ball. (This takes a little while (3-5 minutes), but be patient – it works.)
3. Scrap the dough ball in to a bowl. Using your hands, squish it together into one large ball (if necessary).
4. Form teaspoon size balls of dough and roll them in more dark cocoa powder (to prevent them from sticking to each other) OR roll them in pulverized dark chocolate – but NOTE: this adds sugar to your recipe!). Go easy on the cocoa powder that you roll them in – you just want a light dusting or it can taste a bit dry/bitter at first bite.
5. Store in a cool, dry, airtight container until consumed (or about a week – 10 days.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  (Per bonbon with walnuts)
Calories:  46
Total Fat:  2g (from walnuts)  0 Saturated Fat; 0 Transfat
Cholesterol 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates:  9g
Dietary Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  7g
Protein:  1g

Happy Birthday, Sweet Ginger!
Happy Fudgey-bonbons, All!

PS.  If your dates are not moist, try adding a squeeze of fresh OJ to the mix.  It might make it a tad sticky for forming the balls, but the flavor will be great!

GF: Curried Pumpkin and Corn Soup

Oh yea. I have a wicked cold. It’s not too fun, all things considering. I was going to grade tests today, but my focus is somewhere lost in the haze that resides around by brain at the moment. Oh… I hate having brain fog.

So what works for me?

While we were out running errands after the gym yesterday, I saw a huge pot of navy bean soup in a deli. Oh – it looked good! I thought it sounded like a great treat from my throat and cold, so I asked the deli counter worker where the ingredient list was for this soup. (The other two soups had it out on the counter with the soup pot and both of them contained wheat gluten. YUCK) After a few minutes she came back and told me the navy bean soup was made with wheat protein AND wheat gluten. Good grief! UGH! My soup fantasy was busted with that knowledge.

Bummer! Wheat, wheat …everywhere.

Today I finally had enough energy to make something better. Something homemade.

I don’t know about you all, but I am finding that the food I make at home tastes so much better than food we can get out of the house (never mind the no worry about cross-contact either). Do you find this to be true too?

So today I pulled out of the fridge whatever was would work for a curried soup. Lo and behold, I had a perfect small sugar pumpkin.

This soup is vegetarian, casein free (uses coconut milk), gluten-free and perfect for brain fog. 🙂

It’s also quite easy to add thinly sliced chicken breast or tofu cubes, if you wish to bump up the protein too. Consider adding more vegetables or more color, too. I wish we had some red bell pepper – that would have been delicious and colorful. But nope. No red pepper.

What is your favorite harvest soup?

PS. I roasted the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin to make a great crunchy topping for the soup. To do this, reserve the seeds from your pumpkin and rinse them well. Pat dry. Toss with a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  (I seasoned mine with creole seasoning.)  Roast in the oven at 325F for about 20 minutes – stirring every 5-10 minutes until golden.

GF, CF Curried Pumpkin and Corn Soup
Serves 6 (small bowls) or 3 as a main entree

1 sugar pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 shallot, diced (about 1/3 cup) or 3/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (14 ounces)
2 Tablespoons GF/CF curry powder
1/2 Tablespoon (or 1 1/2 teaspoons) agave nectar
1/2 Tablespoon (or 1 1/2 teaspoons) GF fish sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Peel and slice pumpkin in half. Remove and reserve pumpkin seeds for roasting, if desired. (See note above.) Scrap out any remaining pulp and slice the pumpkin halves into 1/2 strips. Cut each strip into 3 or 4 pieces (or smaller, if desired).
  2. Prepare and chop garlic, shallots and ginger.
  3. Preheat 3 quart pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add shallots and fry for 2-3 minutes while stirring until slightly golden.
  4. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
  5. Add pumpkin and corn. Sauté for 3-4 minutes while you season.
  6. Add curry powder and stir well.
  7. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce and agave nectar.
  8. Taste. Adjust seasonings to your taste – add pepper, more curry powder, etc.
  9. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer until the pumpkin pieces are fork-tender – about 10-15 minutes. (Time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin pieces.) Stir frequently while it simmers..
  10. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds on top for an added treat.

Happy Fall GF Soups, everyone!

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