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Substitute soy sauce

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Substitute soy sauce

Some of us gave up soy for health reasons. It was pretty easy for me; I don’t like tofu and fake milk. But… I do love soy sauce. Well guess what? You can make your own soyless soy sauce. Sure, it won’t taste exactly the same, but it’s pretty close. This recipe requires only 7 ingredients and the result is sweet and salty with the same color and texture as soy sauce, except it’s healthy!

See, it looks very similar!


  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 3 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoon dark molasses
  • 1.5 teaspoon fish sauce

The recipe is very easy. Pour all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Some of the liquids will evaporate, so the recipe yields a little less than a cup.

Everytime I make it, I pour it in an empty container or tupperware and store it in the fridge. I only make a little bit at a time, because I really don’t eat all that much soy sauce, but it’s nice to have the option of having it if I want it.

Buckwheat pancakes

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Buckwheat pancakes

I remember when I was little, my dad would make “crêpes de sarasin” on weekends for lunch. It was a meal that I always thought looked terrible, but tasted delicious. It basically looks like a grey pancake with a bunch of little craters in it. And we would eat it with cheddar cheese and molasses, two ingredients that I wouldn’t normally think to put together, but trust me, it really is a tasty combination.

Here's my version of one of my childhood's favorite meal.

Here’s my version of one of my childhood’s favorite meal.

I had no idea what “sarasin” was in English and I was curious to know if it had gluten and if I could eat it. So I looked up the latin word and was able to translate in English: buckwheat. I’ve heard of this grain before, but I dismissed it without even looking into it, just because of its name. But it turns out, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all and it’s gluten free.

So, the very same week of my discovery, I went to WholeFoods, bought buckwheat and made flour from it. I called my dad to ask him for his recipe and I was surprised at how easy it was. Buckwheat flour and water. That’s it. I’m not proud to say, but I failed at my first try *sigh! I greased my pan with a little butter and my pancakes completely fell apart. So I called my dad again, explained what happened and he gave me more instructions, which I’ll share with you.

The batter should feel light and smooth.


  • Buckwheat flour
  • Water
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Molasses

Mix buckwheat flour and water together. How much of it? Well… I would say that 1.5 cup of flour will be enough to feed two people. For the water, add enough to get a good consistency for the batter. Not too liquidy, not too pasty. Let it sit on the counter for 2 hours. This is one of the magic steps that I skipped on my first (failed) try.

Even with no oil or butter, the pancake did not stick.

Once the batter has been sitting long enough, it’s time to get a pan out. Do not grease it. No butter, no oil, no nothing! This is the second magic step that I did not follow. Heat the pan on medium-high heat. You may want to have a window opened or the stove fan on for this. Pour the batter in the pan. It will bubble and smoke a little. Let it cook for a good two minutes on each side. Put aside and do the same with the rest of the batter.

Cheddar buckwheat pancake assembly.

For the last step, get a cookie pan out, put a pancake on it, cover it with cheddar cheese, cover it with another pancake and broil it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. The cheddar will get in all the little craters and be really tasty. Pour molasses on top and serve.

This meal may not look like much, but it’s very filling, easy to make and incredibly inexpensive, especially for being gluten free. What’s not to love?

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