Tag Archives: quick

Quick Whole Wheat and Oat Pancakes for 2

16 Feb

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I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day, but I do care about pancakes!

I can whip up a small batch of pancakes on a weekend morning in no time. Most days, I like a sweet and carb-filled breakfast (oats, cereal, toast, fruit…). These Whole Wheat & Oat cakes make the morning extra special and sweet, but still manage to pack in some healthy ingredients to start the day.

The recipe below is my idea of a perfect portion for 2.

I folded in some Qi’a cereal mix (you could also use chopped nuts or chia/hemp seeds) into my batter, and I loved the slight crunch they provided.

I’m the kind of lady who likes to eat a little of everything, so pile as many toppings onto my pancakes as I can–fruit, jam, syrup, nut butter. All so delicious, I can’t just pick one!

If you are looking for a slightly lighter “pancake” for 1 that packs more of a protein punch, check out this recipe.

Whether you’re a V-day fan (raspberry jam on top makes these ‘cakes festive) or a just a pancake fan, or both, get out your skillets and spatulas and start flipping. You won’t be disappointed with the end result!

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Quick Whole Wheat & Oat Pancakes for 2

adapted from Cast-Iron Skillet Blueberry Pancakes

serves 2 (about 3 pancakes each) **if you want more, double the recipe or triple it, etc…

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup 1% cow’s milk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

optional: 1 tablespoon chia seeds or Qi’a cereal mix

1 tablespoon of butter, divided, for frying the pancakes

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and chia/Qi’a seeds, if using.

3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and whisk until just combined. Let the mix sit for 5 minutes while you heat your griddle or cast-iron skillet.

4. Heat the cast-iron skillet over medium to get it warmed up, about 1-3 minutes. Drop in a small amount of butter, enough to coat the skillet. I used a 1/4 cup measure to portion my pancakes. Drop the batter into the hot buttered skillet (I dropped 2 pancakes at a time). Let them cook for about 2 minutes, flip, then cook about 2 minutes more. Re-butter the skillet as needed and cook the remaining pancakes the same way (they will start to cook quicker now that the skillet has been on for a while, just keep an eye out).

Enjoy with your favorite toppings.

Ellie Krieger’s Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta

3 Feb

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Even though I enjoy cooking, life is busy and sometimes, I just want a big (healthy!) plate of food in front me me without having to work too hard for it.

I’ve talked about grain-based salads before, but I always come back to them because they are an everything-in-one meal. More on them later…

Last week, I went to a book talk for Ellie Krieger’s latest cookbook, Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less. Krieger, who is very much a pragmatist, focuses on quick meals that can be prepared from chopping to eating in less than 30 minutes. During the recipe development process for the book, she even purposefully cut the onion slowly to be sure that the recipes would be within her time limit.

In the book, instead of listing “1 onion, chopped” in the ingredient list, she lists “1 onion,” and then later in the methods section, she gives directions to chop the onion. Things get prepared in the little pockets of time during the course of the recipes because that is how most people cook.

Krieger is a nutrition educator at heart, and that is what drives her personally and professionally. She sees a recipe as the perfect nutrition education tool. People want food that tastes good, and tasty food is a powerful motivator. Recipes can also bridge cultural gaps because everyone eats, and often times many cultures have similar foods prepared only slightly different (i.e. we all have some kind of taco-like dish…). Furthermore, recipes can create self-efficacy, or confidence in people when they try the recipe, they feel they can do it and they share it with friends.

It’s true! Sometimes, I am afraid to try a new recipe because it looks intimidating on the surface or I fear the new. Once I try it, though, I often like it, and then I share it with all of YOU.

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Besides being full of ideas and knowledge, Krieger is so down-to-earth and personable, and she truly loves food.

After the way she described this Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta at the book talk, I knew I had to make it right away. The warm grain delicately wilts the spinach, and the burst of sweet grapes complement the slightly melted and salty feta cheese. What a lovely, simple salad.

Bulgur is a quick-cooking whole wheat that is often the basis for a Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad. Did you know that bulgur has twice the fiber of brown rice?! We reap different benefits and flavor profiles from different grains, so keep mixing it up! But as I always say, if you want to use another grain that you have on-hand, go for it.

Note that you can buy pre-washed spinach for this recipe. I used to think that I needed to do most of the work in the kitchen from scratch (which is I nice ideal), but sometimes “healthy shortcuts” like pre-washed greens, quick-cooking whole grains, and frozen fruits and vegetables, can make the difference between preparing dinner at home versus ordering in.

Krieger says, combining grain and vegetable in this dish does double duty as a side that pairs well with simply grilled or roasted meat or poultry. Or tossed with some walnuts, this would be a great vegetarian entree.

I know what I’m eating for lunch the next few days!

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Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta

recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders

makes 6 servings

1 cup quick-cooking or fine bulgur wheat

2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves

1 shallot (or 1/4 large red onion)

a few sprigs of fennel fronds or dill fronds (I used fresh fennel fronds and dried dill)

1 cup seedless red grapes

3 ounces feta cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 large lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bulgur according to the directions on the package.

While the bulgur is cooking, chop the spinach, finely dice the shallot, and chop the fennel fronds. Place them into a large bowl. Cut the grapes into quarters, and crumble the feta cheese.

When the bulgur is done, fluff it with a fork, then add it to the bowl with the spinach and herbs. Toss well until combined, then let sit until the spinach is slightly wilted and the grain is no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add the oil, lemon juice, and the salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Add the grapes and feta and toss to combine.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding (Vegan)

4 Jan

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I’m on winter break. My last winter break as a graduate student. Nuts! It is always a strange feeling to go from being super insanely busy to having a bunch of time on my hands.

So far, I’ve spent an embarrassing number of hours watching the videos on Catherine McCord’s website, Weelicious. McCord’s recipes were developed with the intention of educating kids and involving them in the cooking process. Kids love food that looks cute, but so do adults, right?!

I’m smitten by McCord’s emphasis on short ingredient lists and easy prep methods.

While this vegan pudding is not as cute-looking as rice crispy treat balls or banana dog bites, the rich, creamy taste makes up for it. I added peanut butter to the recipe because there’s nothing like a good ol’ pb + chocolate combo to make my heart melt out of my body.

It is so fun to woo non-vegans into enjoying vegan foods. I tend to say this a lot: “You would never know it was vegan if I didn’t tell you…” But really, it’s true. Silken tofu acts as the custard in the recipe, and the flavor and punch come from good-quality cocoa powder, vanilla, peanut butter, agave and salt. I’m serious, you would never know there was tofu in the pudding…if I didn’t tell you.

Six ingredients in a blender create a quick and healthy dessert. No stove required (this would be a great dorm-room recipe!). You can even eat it right out of the blender if you want to. I won’t tell. 

Brownie points: protein from the tofu, sweetness (and possibly antioxidants, depending who you talk to…) from the cocoa, and healthy fat/fiber/protein from the peanut butter. 

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Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding (Vegan)

adapted from Weelicious

1 package of silken tofu

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 big pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until combined. Scrape down the sides and blend again to make sure everything is smooth. Sprinkle with an extra few flakes of salt and serve immediately or chilled.

Anyway Icebox Cake

25 Dec

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Who knew whipped cream and cookies could become cake and frosting overnight?! The cookies soften as the whipped cream works it’s magic. Amazing.

This is now my secret-weapon-cake for when I’m short on time (aka I have a party to attend immediately after a big final).

You could mix in some jam between the layers, or some pudding, or Nutella or peanut butter. I just kept it simple with cookies and cream. Ginger cookies felt right for the season.

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This would be a great summer cake, too, because there is no need to turn on the oven. *Imagine* Berries with shortbread and whipped cream, or peaches with a drizzle of bourbon-caramel and cream. très bon!

Anyway Icebox Cake

Wafer cookies (I used Anna’s ginger thins), about 40 wafers, or 1.5 5.25-oz packages

Heavy cream, about 2 cups

Powdered sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons

Vanilla (Citrus Zest would be nice, too!), about 1 teaspoon

With an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the cream until it begins to thicken and the whisk leaves a trail. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the cream is thick, nearly doubling in volume, and forms medium-firm peaks.

On a flat plate, arrange 5 cookies side by side in a circle, and place 1 cookie in the center.

Spread with about 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making about 7 layers of cookies. You can choose to end with a layer of cream or end with a layer of cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, the cookies will have softened, acting like regular cake. So easy. So good.

Oatmeal “Protein Pancake”

22 Dec

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I made a mini batch of (black pepper) ice cream last week that required three egg yolks. But what was I to do with the leftover whites?

Pondering my options, I remembered my friend Amy making this peculiar “protein pancake” for herself in college. I finally decided to investigate.

This is not your typical pancake. There’s no flour; just oats, egg whites, baking powder, and spices. Add some mashed banana (or any other kind of fruit) to the “batter” for a little more body.

I made this twice for breakfast last week. The first time (see the picture below), I did not put any fruit in the batter and cooked it in a tiny dash of coconut oil.

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My first attempt came out a bit pale and dry, but after lubing it up with a hefty amount of maple syrup and sunflower seed butter, I was very happy.

My second attempt…

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…came out just right. I added half of a banana, mashed, to the batter and sautéed it in butter (I used just shy of 1/8 of a teaspoon, so not that much at all). The edges were golden, and the fruit gave the pancake a little more oomph.

This oatmeal “pancake” is full of protein, whole grains, fruit, fiber, and healthy fat. A great way to use up leftover egg whites, but really just a great way to kick off the day.

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Prepare the batter the night before to save time and soften your rolled oats. Or, prepare the batter first thing in the morning, set the water to boil for coffee and get yourself dressed. When you come back, the batter will be ready to cook.

Note that you can change the ratio of ingredients. If you want a smaller portion, use 1/4 cup oats and 1/4 cup egg whites. Or you can go bigger and use 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup egg whites. After making the pancake once or twice, you will easily get a feel for portions and you can be looser with the measurements.

Oatmeal “Pancake”

adapted from Kath Eats and Carrots ‘n’ Cake

serves 1

Ingredients

1/3 cup oats, rolled** or quick

1 large or extra-large egg, or 1/3 cup egg whites (from about 1-2 eggs)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

cinnamon, to taste

optional: 1/2 mashed banana, or 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, or orange zest

optional: 1 teaspoon chia seeds (helps to thicken)

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. **If using rolled oats, you can mix together the night before so the oats soften.

Spread a touch of butter or oil onto a heated skillet, and pour the batter in while shaping it into a large disc “pancake.” When you can shake it around in the pan, it’s time to flip. ++You can also do two mini pancakes instead of one large one. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Once cooked through, top with syrup, nut/seed butter, jam, yogurt, or fruit…endless possibilities.

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Oatmeal Protein Pancake, prepared the night before. In the morning, just pop the pancakes in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, place them back into the to-go container, add toppings and fruit, and run out the door! Yum.