Posts tagged ‘pancakes’
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and arguably one of the most important. Starting your day with wholesome grains and fruits sets the tone for your day’s meals, and wakes up your metabolism. I am never one to skip a meal, but it looks like hot breakfasts might be a luxury for me over the upcoming months! I am starting a new chapter in my medical school career: clinical rotations. This means I get to don my white coat and stethoscope, follow around the interns, residents and attending, and learn how to take care of patients. This also means that I have to be at the hospital at ungodly hours for rounds, at least for my first few rotations. Even this oatmeal loving girl might have to find some on-the-go options for the next few months!
In the meantime, I hope you all at least get to enjoy this pancake recipe! I made it for brunch last weekend, and despite a few cooking time and temperature problems, I think it turned out well! I adapted the recipe from How Sweet Eats to incorporate oats, since they are my breakfast staple. The pancakes are dense, but are hearty and filling and go great with fresh fruit toppings. If you are looking for a healthy pancake alternative, give this a shot!
Question: What is your favorite grab-and-go breakfast?
Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Pancakes
adapted from this recipe, serves 4-6
1 cup oats, processed roughly into flour in food processor
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup soy milk
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp honey
Mix together dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Pour wet into dry ingredients and stir until well combined. On a very hot griddle coated in cooking spray, drop 1/4-1/3 cup batter per pancake. Once bubbles form, flip. (Note: these pancakes take slightly longer to cook per side than traditional pancakes.) Serve warm with jam and fresh fruit.
Figgy pudding. Fig Newtons. That used to be my only understanding of figs. And I was not a fan. That all changed when I ate my first fresh fig this summer in Bosnia. Azra had green figs, and Melissa and I were weary of them at first because you could pretty much just grab one and eat everything but the tiny stem at the top. Inside, the pink fruit was unique and like nothing I had ever seen before. There, I learned to love figs. They are sweet, not to juicy, and easy to eat. I definitely ate my fill while I was gone, in everything from sandwiches to gelato!
I thought my fig season was over when I returned, since they are usually quite expensive in the States when you can find them, not to mention that I had never even seen them at my grocery store. Costco, however, was selling figs when my mom went shopping for Amanda’s rehearsal dinner. Remembering how much I loved them, she bought a case of them and split them between us. Now my fridge is was filled with figs! I ate probably about half of them plain, but had fun finding other flavor combinations. Some good breakfasts:
Question: Have you tried fresh figs before? What is your favorite way to eat them?
Fig, Goat Cheese, Cucumber and Hazelnut Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette
for 2 lunch salads
small head of lettuce
2 oz goat cheese
4 figs, quartered
2 pickling cucumbers, sliced and quartered
2 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted and slightly chopped
4 tbsp balsamic viniagrette
Toast the hazelnuts in a toaster oven for 5-7 minutes until warm. Rip lettuce into bite sized pieces. Top each bowl with half the cucumbers, goat cheese, figs and hazelnuts.Drizzle each salad with 2 tbsp balsamic viniagrette, or simply dress with oil and vinegar.
You already know how much I love breakfast… nothing is better than a steaming bowl of oatmeal and cup of hot coffee, maybe except for pancakes! Pancakes are definitely my favorite weekend treat, and were especially great to carbo-load the Saturday before my big race! The recipe is adapted a little from my homemade pancake mix, with the addition of a little more flour and baking powder to make them a little fluffier. You can leave the banana out if you want an alternative to the silver dollar pancakes I last posted!
The weekend before starting school, I competed in the NYC Triathlon. Crazy, I know. That’s what my mom said when I told her I was signing up more than 6 months ago. “But you’re not an athlete!” was her first reaction. Thanks for the support, Mom! It is true – I was not always so into health and fitness. I grew up taking dance classes my whole life and was generally interested in health and nutrition, but my passion for exercise and healthy eating didn’t really take off until junior or senior year of college. Since then, I have run a 10k and a half marathon, and have been continually looking for ways to push myself just a little further.
Well, this really pushed me! An Olympic distance triathlon is a 1.5-k swim, a 40-k bike, and a 10-k run. In miles, that sums to be 31 in all. Since I already bike around Boston for transportation and run pretty regularly, I figured the only really hard part would be the swim. I trained a lot while I had regular access to a pool, and made a few feeble attempts at swimming during my time at home and abroad. I kept up pretty well with biking and running, and felt mostly prepared going into the race.
Conditions on the Sunday morning of the triathlon were not the greatest – rainy, with chances of thunderstorms that threatened to cancel the swim. We had to wait an hour for weather clearance (and for a car accident to be cleared from our bike route) before starting the swim, and my nerves definitely began to build. To top it all off, I was walking blindly, since my glasses were safely with my bike at the transition zone! Luckily, my roommate and fellow tri-racer was there to guide me, and we spotted my parents and sister cheering us on from the sidelines right before walking down the
gangplank to the start dock.
Seconds later, the whistle blew and I was off, swimming down the Hudson River. I took a few strokes and was immediately panicked by how dirty the water was. I was terrified of getting it in my goggles, and soon had to flip over to my back to calm down. Luckily, I had practiced my back stroke, knowing this would be a good option if I became anxious during the swim. Every time I would return to freestyle, my panic would return, so I ended up making it down the whole way on my back. Not the fastest, but at least I could stay calm that way, I reasoned.
After a 700m barefoot run to the transition zone and a quick change under a towel, I was off on my bike. The climb onto the course was really steep as we were warned, and I immediately ran into problems. I couldn’t muster enough strength to get up the hill, and my foot knocked the chain off as I struggled to unclip from my pedals. Luckily, the chain was an easy fix and I was soon on my way for the 40K ride along the West Side Highway. The bike ride was pretty smooth. I played “chase the rabbit,” constantly trying to catch up to and pass the cyclist in front of me. It downpoured twice, but otherwise stayed relatively cool for most of the ride. The rain made me a little more cautious, since I was afraid of brake failure and hydroplaning, but it overall felt really great! It really helped to spot my fan section twice!
The final leg was a 10-k run, the part I was least worried about. I have run road races before and figured that this would be an enjoyable way to end the race. It turned out to be really hard, both mentally and physically! My legs took about 2 miles to fully transition from the bike ride, and I had to talk to myself for the entire first half of the run to keep myself going. After getting some water and hitting a stride, the next 3 miles were a lot smoother. I was beat by mile 5, though, especially exhausted since the sun decided to shine in full glory, making it now both humid and hot. The final mile was hilly and curvy and the finish line seemed nowhere in sight. I finally spotted the flags in the distance and began to sprint, only to find out that it was the beginning of the finish zone and not the end! I finally passed through, clocking in for a total time of 3 hours and 33 minutes. The swim took me 28 minutes, shorter than it felt, and the bike ride was 1:48, longer than it felt. The run was 58 minutes, and the rest of the time was spent transitioning.
I am really proud of finishing my first triathlon. It proves to me that I am an athlete, even if I am new to it. I am also sad to know that two people didn’t finish. Although deaths in triathlons are rare, there were two casualties during my race, both in the swim portion. Researchers claim that pre-existing heart defects are often the cause of sudden athlete death, but it does not make the news any less sobering.
If I can swim down the Hudson, bike the West Side Highway, and run through Central Park, covering 31 miles of Manhattan, the next year of med school, even with the dreaded board exams looming in the distance, should be a
pancake walk, right?!
adapted from my pancake mix
1 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose or mix of all-purpose and whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
2 bananas, sliced
Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk in wet ingredients until well incorporated. Spray a hot griddle or pan with cooking spray, and pour desired amount of batter for pancakes. Immediately add banana slices. When bubbles appear, flip to brown the other side. Serve with pancake syrup or jam.
Imagine this: the day of your best friend’s bridal shower is finally here. You have spent two days cooking and baking and preparing for her Bridal Tea Party. Your friend and another bridesmaid spend the night before at your house, watching girly TV and talking about wedding plans. To get rid of nervous energy, you wake up early for a quick run, despite a poor night of sleep. You get back to make a pancake breakfast for your friend, only to find that the pancake mix has run out! OH NO! What do you do? My family was perplexed. Make french toast or scrambled eggs instead? No, sillies! Pancakes from scratch are simple!
Now to a lot of you, this may seem like no big deal. If you are lucky, you may not even have thought of pre-made pancake mixes when I mentioned a pancake breakfast. I have begun to think outside of the box (pun intended) when it comes to pancakes, but still turn to Bisquick, the mix my mom turned to for Saturday morning pancakes, when looking for instant gratification. It’s not the healthiest, but it never leaves me disappointed with its fluffy pancakes in minutes.
This recipe, which I found in the archives of my computer, might be even easier than a mix. Scratch that, you can mix up the dry ingredients and put it in a jar as your own quick mix. And the resulting pancakes are fantastic. The batter is thin, but leads to perfect flapjacks. Or silver dollar pancakes. Or whatever name you might like to call them. They aren’t fluffy or cake-like, but I liked that even more about them. Some keys to cooking great pancakes: cook them on a really hot griddle that is well coated with cooking spray, flip them when the surface is fully filled with bubbles, and keep them in a covered dish or a plate wrapped in foil so they stay warm while you cook the rest. Serve them with maple syrup, or try them with a little jam. My grandma always uses this fruity alternative to cut down on the sugar in her breakfast, and I love it! It adds a different flavor to the pancakes without too much sugary syrup. Whatever your preferences are, a pancake breakfast is a great way to kick off a bride-to-be’s day! More to come on her shower…
Question: Are you a from-scratch pancake person, or do you turn to a mix on a lazy weekend morning?
Homemade Pancake Mix
each 1 cup mix makes pancakes for 3-4 people
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
Mix the dry ingredients together and store in a jar. When you are ready for your pancake breakfast, add 1 egg, 1 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Do not overmix, stop when the ingredients are combined. Heat a flat griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Spoon drops of 2-4 tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle and when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, flip them over to until golden brown on both sides.
NOTE: You can make multiples of the recipe for the dry ingredients for storage, and simply measure out 1 cup on the morning you want your pancakes. For fluffier pancakes, check out my updated version here (with or without the banana slices!)
Good morning world! It is a good day to not have to study, and even the rain cannot dampen my mood today! In celebration of finally having a true morning off, I slept in (sad that 8am feels like sleeping in…), made myself a delicious breakfast, and enjoyed it as I reflected on the upcoming Easter holiday. I was particularly convicted by this passage in Matthew, and felt painfully aware of how often I, like, Peter, deny or attempt to hide the work that Christ has done in my life. Hope you, too, can find some time for reflection on this Easter weekend!
I have an enormous amount of sweet potatoes (courtesy of an unfulfilled craving for sweet potato fries the last time my mom took me on a Costco shopping spree) and need to use them up before they whither and mold in my closet. My roommate made sweet potato pancakes yesterday, and I knew I had to try them (my recipe, below, is a little different than hers, but similar in its idea). These were even more delicious than I expected, after getting mixed reviews from my roommate’s experiment! They are made slightly healthier by using whole-wheat flour, less butter than the original recipe calls for, and more natural sugars. Also, you get some veggie in your breakfast! Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, which makes them a superfood, linked to clearer, healthier skin. (Read more here or here or here!) Even still, this is a pretty filling breakfast and is definitely a special occasion treat.
Some tips for this recipe: steam the sweet potato for about 5 minutes with the skin still on, and then run it under cold water. This will make it ridiculously easy to peel, even using a dull hand-me-down kitchen peeler like I have! Then throw the sweet potato back in to steam until it is very soft. I used a food processor to mash the sweet potato, but if you do not have this tool you need it to be very soft to mash by hand. Also, pancakes come out best when your pan or griddle is very hot, so let your pan heat up for a minute or two before adding the batter. This batter is a little on the thick side, so spread it out with a spoon or a spatula in the pan as soon as you pour it, so you get fully cooked pancakes instead of crispy crusts and doughy centers.
I have a lot of upcoming posts lined up (I tend to cook A LOT when I have a little free time on my hands) so here are some things to look forward to: Boston family Easter dinner (with my dessert contributions), sweet potato gnocchi, Southwestern scramble, stuffed peppers, my first experience at Whole Foods, and some thoughts on when and why to eat organic. Let me know which post you would like to see first!
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon-Pecan Butter (makes about 8 pancakes, enough for 3-4 people)
Ingredients: (adapted from a recipe at The Food Network)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk (soymilk works fine!)
1 tsp canola oil
1 small sweet potato, steamed until tender and pureed
For pecan butter:
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
2 tbsp Light Smart Balance spread
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp agave nectar (can substitute with more honey)
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp soymilk
For pecan butter, toast pecans in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until light brown and fragrant. Let cool while making pancake batter.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Mix in wet ingredients, and finally add in pureed sweet potato. Mix until smooth.
Finish pecan butter by adding all ingredients to a food processor. Should be a slightly runny but still nut-buttery consistency, so adjust with soy milk to get this just right.
Cook pancakes in batches on a hot skillet until golden brown. Serve drizzled with pecan butter and sprinkled cinnamon.