the taste space

Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Sides by janet @ the taste space on February 6, 2012

Most food bloggers have non-foodie day jobs. Tell me, do you share your blog with your co-workers, with your supervisors? Would you include it on your CV?

I work in the medical field. I am a doctor, although still in training during my residency.

Suffice it to say, I work in a very conservative field.

I recently applied for a fellowship after I graduate. In about 16 months. My applications went in 21 months before the position started (I think it is just as ludicrous as you). I polished off my CV, highlighting my clinical and research experience. Thankfully I didn’t have to follow a resume template, so I debated whether to include my “other interests”. One of my mentors told me casual hobbies/interests like “cooking”, “cycling”, etc should be excluded unless you earn medals. Telling me you love to cook, tells me you love to eat, he said. And what is special about that?

In the end, I decided to highlight extracurricular achievements. I highlighted that my recipes had been included in Canadian Living; I currently maintain this blog promoting healthy recipes; and I listed the supported cycling trips that I have done over 300 km.

While I tend to keep my blog on the down-low from my supervisors, I have shared it with other residents.

Including this information wouldn’t hurt me as an applicant (right?) and if anything it would give them something to talk about, other than my very interesting research.

At one hospital, I was interviewed consecutively by 10 people. As you are probably thinking, this could be pretty intimidating! However, the group was really approachable and open, and they relished talking about my research and non-research interests. More than one had my blog on their computer screen!

Sharing your blog with co-workers can be such a nerve-wracking experience. I absolutely adore the food blogging community I have joined, but I know that my food preferences are in the minority. Especially in Texas. In fact, being someone who blogs about said food seems even more ludicrous, eh? I would have thought the same thing three years ago, but really, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Food blogging is something special. A place for me to express myself, both through writing, photography and culinary creativity. It also exposes my vulnerability, hence my shyness with co-workers.

But please do share with me how you share your blog.

And… so about these pancakes. I bookmarked them after seeing them on Joanne’s blog, but she kindly she reminded me of them after I posted about Besan Chilla.

Sometimes I find vegetable-based dishes that scream “I need some protein!”. Instead of adding a bean or grain to the dish, this time I opted for a side of beans in pancake form. ;)

These pancakes have a similar texture to the potato pancakes I ate as a child due to the shredded carrot. However, the flavour is anything but bland as they are spiced with ginger, garlic, onion and garam masala. Other than veganizing the recipe by substituting the chia for egg, I also decreased the garam masala from Joanne’s original recipe and found them great as-is. They could be eaten as a simple pancake with a side of chutney, or a nice salad, or with a mild curry.

Rob and I ate them with the Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Eggplant and Pineapple to beef up the meal. We found that when we smothered them with the curry sauce, it almost tasted like schnitzel. Texture-wise. I know, so weird, but true.


This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Astrid.

Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes

1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight and drained
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 large carrot, finely julienned or grated
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp garam masala
salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Put the lentils in a food processor and add about 1 cup water. Puree until a smooth and thick batter is formed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ground chia seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, scallion, carrot, ginger, garam masala and salt and pepper, to taste. Thin with additional water if necessary.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Ladle in the batter to form several smaller pancake. Spread approximately 1 cm thin. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the bottom is browned, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes.

Makes 8-10 pancakes. Serves 4.

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28 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on February 6, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    This is one of the most creative ideas I’ve seen in a log time. Pinning to try – I cannot wait!!!

    Most of my co-workers know about my blog, but I didn’t tell them until I’d been at my job for nearly a year. Work and personal life is such a fine line now days.

  2. Cara said, on February 6, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I think you did the right thing sharing your blog, something you are so very proud of. Most of my coworkers know about my blog but I tend to keep quiet about it because I have career aspirations surrounding it and they don’t really need to know about that right now.

    I love the sound of these pancakes. I’ll have to remember to pick up some red lentils soon!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      That is wicked awesome, Cara (about the career aspirations with the blog/cooking). I have no plans to quit my day job, so it is just a super fun hobby at the moment. :)

  3. Jane said, on February 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I really don’t like to talk to people at work about my blog … everyone knows I love to cook, but I’m kinda shy about it … even to my family! Guess it is that whole being afraid of rejection thing. It’s different over the internet than with people you actually know! Love the pancakes!

  4. Ricki said, on February 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    First: this recipe sounds incredible. I want to make them right now!

    And I’m so glad you shared! And a doctor–ooooh, will you be in Toronto? Can you be my doctor?? :D

    I do share that I have a blog with colleagues, but generally not with my students–I don’t want my managers to think that I’m using that platform as promotion for my personal blog. I think perhaps three of my colleagues have actually looked at my blog (that may be a generous estimate), so it’s not really an issue for me. But even if they were regular readers, I’d be fine with that. It’s an expression of who I am, and I am happy for people to know about it. :)

  5. Joanne said, on February 6, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    This really is my endless struggle…to share the blog or not, that is the question? that being said, my coworkers do know about it. It inevitably comes out when I bake for them religiously, every week, on the dot. And bring crazy weird food for lunch every day. And never repeat a meal. Ever.

    And they love it.

    I try not to think about them when I write about my weight or my struggles with eating, but it’s hard. And I do it anyway, because who knows? Maybe they’re struggling too and it’ll help them.

    My boss doesn’t know about it though…not that I’m keeping it from him, he just hasn’t picked up on it when it’s been mentioned in lab meeting. Anyway, you’ve made me crave these again. So glad you liked them!

  6. Dawn said, on February 6, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    I sort of throw it out there and if I get a bite I give them my blog site. I can’t imagine anyone not being intrigued by yours.

  7. Ashley said, on February 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Ooo I don’t think I saw those lentil pancakes on Joanne’s blog! They sound amazing and like a legume dish I would love. :) Your recipes were in Canadian Living?? That’s awesome! I had no idea. :) What recipes?? I have an “interests” section on my resume where I list general interests including having a blog. But I love the way you highlighted your achievements related to your hobbies!

    I usually tell coworkers about my blog but not until I’ve worked there for a while, and I tell friends but not all my friends. And I usually only tell them if it would come up naturally in a conversation or they want a recipe for something. I guess I’m kind of shy about sharing it but I think a lot of people in my life know about it. Though the people closer to me are probably the ones who read it the least except for my mom haha. E has told people about it at his work. Though the fact that a lot of people in my life do read it makes me self conscious about what I post.

  8. Zoa said, on February 7, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    At my job, I’m responsible for organizing certain meetings and ordering food for them…I didn’t realize this when I accepted the position and I found myself in the uncomfortable position of having to order omni food as a vegan. This was, to put it mildly, a problem for me, and almost caused me to quit. But unfortunately/fortunately, in other ways it’s such an ideal job for me that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I order food for them and not for me (being, ahem, an awesome cook, even of packed lunches). But I’m very open about why I’m not eating what they do, and interestingly enough have caused several vegetarians and vegans among my co-workers to “out” themselves just by being forthright about my preferences and offering to order special food for them.

    I’m a paralegal, not a doctor, so the stakes are less high for me, but I do mention that I have a blog to anyone I get into a conversation about food with. I’m considered a “foodie” in the office because I’m so familiar with sometimes “unfamiliar” ingredients and techniques. I tell them “Just google ‘airy way’ and my blog comes up first,” but I don’t know how many actually do…and I started blogging after I started my current job, so never thought of putting it on my resume or anything. An interesting idea, though.

  9. Sarah said, on February 7, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    I do sometimes share my food blog with business connections as a sort of “this is the personal side of me, it is one of my interests, etc.” So far it has seemed to be a nice way to let people get to know me a little bit.

    I didnt know you were into bicycle tours, too, by the way! I did a one year 17 country self supported tour in 2007 (as my honeymoon). That is definitely something I put on my resume…I tell myself it shows a lot of positive qualities, and it is definitely a good ice breaker in an interview!! :)

  10. [...] loved hearing how you decide to share your blog with your friends and co-workers after my last post. As Joanne said, sometimes there are clues that a blog may be lurking in the background, or at [...]

  11. Ranjani @ Four Seasons of Food said, on February 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    This recipe looks really interesting, such a creative way to enjoy lentils!

  12. Marillyn@just-making-noise said, on February 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Yum! Saving this one for sure :)

  13. Alex in Leeds said, on January 22, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Bookmarked to try this weekend!

  14. Ricki said, on February 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I can’t believe how easy these sound–and how delicious! I have to try them. And love the combo with the eggplant curry, too (haven’t had schnitzel in a while, but who knows. .. !) ;-)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 9, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Thanks, Ricki! They take a bit of pre-planning since you have to soak the lentils but it is worth it. I’d love to know how you enjoy it. :)

  15. Sarina @ Earthgiven Kitchen said, on February 10, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    I will make these soon for sure! So creative. Way to go!

  16. Katherine Natalia @ Green Thickies said, on February 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Wow, another one of your recipes I’d love to try!
    That’s great you shared your blog. I kept mine to myself for a long time until I got more confident before I started sharing with others. It usually comes up in conversation now. I am the only person I know who drinks green smoothies and I only know a handful of vegans but people do seem very interested once they have a look and quite a few people I know have tried my recipes which is really encouraging!
    Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back on Friday to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again this week. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:
    http://www.greenthickies.com/healthy-vegan-fridays

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Thanks, Katherine. I don’t talk much about my blog at work, but it is amusing that I added to my CV, so now my new co-workers will know all about it. :)

  17. Alaine @ My GF & DF Living said, on February 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    This is such a fun idea! I have never seen a recipe like this. I love this. I wait to try them ASAP!

  18. Kris said, on July 21, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Hey Janet! Quick question–is it 1 cup of SOAKED lentils, or 1 cup of unsoaked lentils? (As in, when do you measure the lentils?)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on July 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      I measured them dry as 1 cup and then soaked them. Hope that helps! :)

      • Kris said, on July 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Thanks so much, Janet! Just wanted to make sure before I started cooking :) They were absolutely delicious, btw! FANTASTIC recipe, girl!

      • janet @ the taste space said, on July 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        Thanks, Kris. Thank you for the feedback. I am happy you liked them! :)

  19. wiaw #13 | Plants & Pages said, on July 24, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    […] kale salad alongside two more dishes from Janet–Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes and Martinique Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Eggplant and […]

  20. R is for… | Coconut and Berries said, on September 25, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    […] Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes […]


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