Changing your relationship with food may make you to think you need to throw out half your pantry and say goodbye to your favorite family recipes, but that isn’t always the case. Take a careful look at grandma’s old coffee-stained recipe cards, and you may find that a few clever swaps can transform your childhood faves into dishes that are healthy enough for everyday eats.
That’s what wellness chef Charles Chen accomplished with his flourless spin on scallion pancakes. While capturing the authentic flavors of the dish he ate during his childhood in Taiwan, Chen managed to overhaul the dish into a low-carb, wheat-free recipe.
Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”
The secret to these gluten-free scallion pancakes? A corn tortilla. Instead of creating a traditional pancake batter, Chen takes an approach more similar to french toast: a tortilla dipped in a scallion-flavored egg batter. The tortilla also helps the scallion pancake get its telltale crispy exterior without having to use a ton of oil.
The result: a savory scallion pancake with just a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates as the original recipe, so you’ll still have room in your meal for a great veggie-packed spring roll or a hearty soup, like these coconut lime noodles.