Posts Tagged pancakes

Beet Hummus, Lots of Veggies, and Pancakes for One

I’ve been pretty busy lately, and I realized tonight that I’m going to be even more busy for the next two or three weeks, so I wanted to make sure to get a post in before I go haywire!

Here’s a CSA delivery I got way back at the beginning of June.

broccolini, rosemary, lettuce & bok choy

blueberries, peaches, beets, potatoes, cantaloupe & cauliflower

With the beets and lettuce, I decided to make beet hummus lettuce wraps, even though I had never had beet hummus before.  It just sounded good.

I topped the wraps with shredded carrot and daikon radish, which was a great idea.  Right around this time, I started counting calories and making an effort to lower the fat content of my meals and include more veggies, so you’ll see a lot of meals like this from me for a while.  That’s why this hummus is low-fat, with no tahini or oil.  I went back and forth trying to decide if I should include at least a little tahini, but in the end the beets made the texture and flavor so nice that it didn’t need any added fat.  I meant to include a clove of garlic but forgot, so that would be a nice addition.

Low-Fat Beet Hummus

1 bunch beets, about three large
1 15.5-oz can chickpeas, or 1 1/2 cups cooked
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 dash cayenne
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp minced fresh dill
3 Tbs water

1. Trim the beets, but do not peel.  Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add beets to water, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until beets are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and let cool.  Once cool, peel the beets with the side of a spoon and chop.

2. Place beets and all remaining ingredients, except water, in a food processor.  Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary.  Add water, 1 Tbs at a time, to reach desired consistency.

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 102.58
Calories From Fat (7%) 7.04
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.84g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.09g <1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 311.27mg 13%
Potassium 334.15mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 20.61g 7%
Fiber 4.61g 18%
Sugar 4.72g
Protein 4.11g 8%

Lunch the next day, with leftover risotto and dried pears.

This is kidney bean and broccoli stem ragout.  I meant to use the broccolini in whole for this dish, but by the time I got around to cooking it, the poor broccolini was looking pretty bad, so I just used the thin stems.

With the ragout, I served rosemary-potato-cauliflower mash.  Adding the cauliflower was a nice way to still have potatoes but cut the calories a little.

Lunch the next day, with persian cucumbers and blackberries.

Next CSA delivery:  lettuce, carrots, zucchini, chard & cauliflower.

Tomatoes, strawberries, plums, cantaloupe, blueberries and nectarines.

With the return of summer and fresh zucchini, I returned to my spiralizer.  This is soba and zucchini noodles with carrot-ginger sauce, mung beans, long beans, cilantro and green onion.  I adapted the carrot-ginger sauce from this recipe, but to be honest I didn’t like it very much.  I think I just don’t like fresh carrot juice though, so if it sounds good to you, give it a try!  One great tip I did learn from this meal is that when you mix cooked soba noodles and raw zucchini noodles, you can barely tell the difference texture-wise.  It’s a fantastic way to extend the volume of soba noodles without adding a ton of calories.

Along with the noodles, I sauteed some purple kohlrabi.  I wasn’t going to have a side dish, but when I saw the kohlrabi at the farmer’s market that morning, I had to have it.  I love kohlrabi.

I had leftover carrot-ginger sauce and mung beans, so I combined them with short grain brown rice, arame and steamed broccoli for another meal.

One pot meals rule my world!  This is tempeh with leeks, carrots, swiss chard, mushrooms, capers, tomatoes, white wine and quinoa.  Delish.

To use up the last of the CSA veggies, I turned to Vegan Fire & Spice.  This is the Kashmiri Vegetable Soup.  Simple yet tasty, I really enjoyed the emphasis on cardamom in the spice mix.  You could add protein and greens to this soup and call it a complete meal.  And, because the veggies are cut into chunks, the prep was really fast.

Soup close up!

To go with the soup, I made Many Bean Salad, also from Vegan Fire & Spice.  This certainly lived up to the cookbook title – it was spicy!  I really liked the combination of beans and the addition of peas, which gave the salad a lovely texture.

A few Sundays ago, Dave left the house ridiculously early to attend a Nascar race up in Sonoma, and when I finally got out of bed I had a mad craving for pancakes.  Seeing as I’m doing this calorie counting thing, I wanted to make filling, relatively low-cal pancakes without having any leftovers.  I googled pancakes for one and came across this Buckwheat Pancakes for One recipe, which turned out fabulously.

I didn’t have any buckwheat flour though, so I used half whole wheat pastry and half quinoa flour.  They were a little gummy in the middle, but I actually like my pancakes that way.  Because I only had to cook one batch, these pancakes were much more quick to make than my usual recipe.  And, my entire breakfast was less than 350 calories, including the 2 tsp of blueberry agave nectar on top.  I will definitely be adding this to my weekend repertoire!

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The Search For The Perfect Pancake Ends, & Laptop Lunches

My quest has come to an end.  You may recall that I’ve been trying in vain to make what I consider the perfect pancake.  Well, I finally did it.  In a stroke of what might be called utter genius,  I used the recipe my mom uses.  And since that is what I’ve generally been going for all along, it’s a little disturbing to me that I didn’t just try that in the first place.  Doh!

Look how nice and thick!  And you don’t have to feel guilty at all, because these are relatively good for you.  They stay just a bit moist and almost undercooked in the middle, which is just how I like ’em.  And I bet cooked on a proper griddle they’d look even nicer.  I’m working with a new griddle and still having some griddle issues.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook.

1 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar
scant 1 c soy milk
2 Tbs flax meal
3 Tbs warm water
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs canola oil
1 c white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, or all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat griddle to medium heat.

Put lemon juice or vinegar in a cup measure. Add soy milk to equal one cup. Stir and set aside to curdle.

Put warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add flax meal and whisk very well. Add sugar and canola oil to flax mixture, and stir to combine. Add the soy milk once it has had some time to curdle, and stir.

Add remaining ingredients (flour through salt) to wet mixture, and stir just until combined. Some lumps are okay.

To test the griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around before evaporating, the heat is just right. Grease griddle lightly with oil or Earth Balance if necessary.

For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around the edges. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Yields: 12 small pancakes.

On to the lunches…

2-9 curried noodle, veggie & edamame stirfry, salad (leaf lettuce,
sesame shiitake dressing & sunflower seeds,
and a salted papaya candy that’s waaaaay too salty

2-10 roasted veggie quiche, wheat bread, steamed brussels, orange wedges

2-12 green curry tofu & veggies, brown rice, vanilla soy yogurt with kiwi

2-13 clean-out-the-fridge stew, multigrain everything crackers, steamed brussels, pistachios, an apple & raisins

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Farmers Market Roasted Veggie Salad

Last weekend I had some free time Saturday morning, so I went to the farmers market.  I don’t think I can say enough how much I love the farmers market.

On a tangent of sorts, bf and I always laugh about how whenever someone is walking with groceries in the movies there are carrot tops or a baguette sticking out the top of the bag.  Always.  Even though in real life you never see it.  So I chuckled when my bag looked like this.

For less than $19 I got all this:

broccoli, swiss chard, carrots, golden beets, fingerling potatoes, salad greens

persimmons, kiwi, navel orange, apples, asian pear, sourdough bread

I’ve been thinking about how I never eat salads anymore because it’s so darned cold all the time.  So I figured, I’ll make a warm salad that’s still healthy and chock full of good stuff.  I roasted the potatoes, beets, broccoli, carrots and some leeks I had in the fridge.  I made a sweet triple mustard dressing from yellow, brown and dijon mustards, agave, and a dash of white wine vinegar.  No oil, salt or pepper in the dressing since the roasted veggies already had them.  Toss the dressing with the warm roasted veggies and serve over greens, and you’ve got a happy tummy.

I also sprinkled chopped carrot tops on the salad.  I found out that they’re totally edible and pretty nutritious.  They taste good – just a little bitter, which was a nice counter to the tangy, sweet dressing.

The next morning, I continued my quest for the perfect pancake.  I picked up some of Bob’s Red Mill buckwheat pancake & waffle mix, and gave it a whirl.

I used egg replacer and subbed applesauce for the oil.  They looked very nice and pretty fluffy, but the texture was a little gummy and they tasted “healthy”.  I’m definitely okay with making these for myself, but they’re not that exact perfect pancake I’m looking for.  On with the search!

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Magical Roasted Fall Vegetables

I finally got around to using some of the veggies I picked up Saturday, and I decided to make some magic.  With a snap of my fingers, I turned this:

into this:

Okay, just kidding.  Between the chopping and the roasting it took about an hour.  But there was something magical about the flavor, and I’ll tell you what it was.  In addition to the olive oil, kosher salt and copious black pepper that I normally add to roasted veggies, on a whim I mixed in just a bit of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, and I tell you what…it was a good call.  The combination of fall vegetables with the hints of sweetness and tang was so good.  I love the colors too.  They don’t come through too well under the yellow lights in my kitchen, but the colors reminded me of autumn leaves ready to fall off the tree.

Along with the veggies, I made Millet Mash from You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith.  I first saw her on the TV show by the same name on BBC America a couple months ago.  I really enjoyed watching her change people’s lives through diet and exercise, so I picked up the book to learn more about her program.  She has a lot of really good ideas about how to be healthy and lose weight, but it’s almost too much, for me at least.  I’m big on everything in moderation, and her plans and recipes have a very plain jane cleansing aspect.  For me it’s a good reminder of how I should be eating, and a jumping off point to expand upon.

I added leeks to the mash just because I could.  The directions tell you to mash with a potato masher.  I don’t know if I have a bad masher or if it’s just me, but after what felt like 20 minutes mashing it was still chunky, so that is how I ate it.

I liked it alright, because I like all the ingredients.  But it was definitely on the bland side.  So tonight when I had leftovers I added nutritional yeast and dill and whizzed it in the food processor.

Much better.  It’s still not the most flavor-packed side dish, but it’s healthy and I know it and sometimes that’s enough.  I don’t usually give out recipes from cookbooks, but I seriously doubt anybody reading this has the book, so here it is with my additions.

Millet-Cauliflower-Leek Mash

Serves 4.

1 cup millet
1 small head of cauliflower, finely chopped
white parts of 1 to 2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups water
pinch of sea salt
nutritional yeast, parsley and dill to taste

Put water and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the cauliflower, millet and leeks, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add seasonings and mash well, or blend in a food processor, adding water if necessary.

BF’s cousin stayed here last night, and this morning we all woke up hungry.  I’m calling this my big brown breakfast.

I pretty much always want to make pancakes even though I have yet to find the perfect recipe.  These were very tasty but still flatter than I want.  BF went to the store and I asked for some sort of potato product that wouldn’t take too long to prepare, and he came back with these hash brown patties that I always see in the freezer section and wonder who buys them.  Well, now we have them in our freezer!  I must say, they were pretty good.  Not exactly healthy, but as long as you bake them instead of re-frying they’re not too bad.

I’m off to enjoy a glass of warmed Silk Nog before bed, definitely one of the best parts about this time of year.

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Party Food & Searching for the Perfect Pancake, Part 3

Last weekend was bf’s birthday, and one of his cousins invited a whole lot of people over to his place to celebrate.  We were going to order the UFC fight and watch some college football, and wanted to keep the food simple and on the cheap side since we were expecting quite the crowd.  As usual, I contributed because I like sharing, and also to make sure I didn’t starve.

Layered bean dip:  refried beans, avocado mashed with lime juice, salsa, better than cream cheese with taco seasoning, lettuce, green onion and olives.  I guess technically it was a seven layer dip.  This was a hit, gone by the end of the night.  Many people asked me what the ingredients were and were surprised to hear there was a vegan cream cheese.

I also brought the ubiquitous veggie tray, with Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing.

BF doesn’t really like cake.  I mean, he’ll eat it sometimes if it’s there, but I wanted to make something I knew he would like a lot, so I went with a cookie cake.  Since my kitchen is still packed in boxes I used storebought frosting and didn’t go crazy decorating.  It wasn’t nearly as nice as the one I made for the superbowl (buried somewhere in this post…bf’s birthday cake from a couple years ago is at the very bottom too, that one was impressive.  and time consuming.), but it tasted great just the same.

It’s just the VWAV chocolate chip cookie recipe with a tad extra liquid, pressed onto a cookie sheet, baked and covered in icing.  It couldn’t get much easier.  People go nuts for cookie cake.

On Monday I started my new job in San Francisco, which unfortunately involves up to three hours of commuting every day.  It also involves staying in people’s spare rooms and on their floors since we don’t have a place to live yet.  This situation may or may not change in the near future, but for now my food during the week is mostly prepared due to time constraints, tiredness, and not wanting to mess other people’s kitchens up.  I took my camera with me and meant to document a few of the meals, however boring, but when it came down to it I just didn’t have the energy to take pictures.  When I finally got “home” at the end of the day I just wanted to eat ASAP.  So unfortunately I have no pictures of canned split pea soup, Amy’s roasted veggie pizza, salad from a salad bar, or a taco salad from Whole Foods hot bar that cost me over $11.  You know what all that stuff looks like anyway.  The food highlight of my week was a vegan blueberry donut from Whole Foods.  I LOVE blueberry donuts.  I used to buy blueberry and cherry donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts back in the day.  This one wasn’t quite the same, but it definitely hit the spot.  Blue frosting and all.

Having not been able to cook all week, yesterday I woke up with the urge to make something.  Lazy Saturday mornings equal pancakes to me, so I continued my quest to find the perfect vegan pancake.  Refer to these postsfor my first two attempts.  This time I went with the recommended Diner Style Pancakes from the Candle Cafe Cookbook.  I don’t have any of my normal egg replacers here though, so I had to tweak the recipe a little and use a tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water in place of the egg replacer the recipe calls for.

I put chocolate chips in some of them just because I could.  These reminded me of my results using the VWAV pancake recipe – they tasted great, but were still flat.  I’m not giving up on this recipe completely though, since I did change it up a little.  I’ll try it again, maybe with a bit less liquid for a less runny batter.

BF and two of his cousins were making breakfast too, since football starts at 10AM over here.  They were planning chorizo and egg burritos, and I was going to stick with pancakes for simplicity’s sake.  But bf called me from the grocery store asking if I wanted some vegetarian chorizo that he had spotted.  He’s become really great at looking out for me and my food needs.  So while they cooked up theirs, I “scrambled” my veggie chorizo with tofu and spices.

Not exactly picturesque, but it was tasty.  Very similar to tvp or tempeh sausage crumbles that I’ve made before, a little spicy.  Except the chorizo comes in a casing like the real stuff, and you squeeze it out of the casing into the pan.  It seems to me it would be easier to just package it without the casing, but I guess they’re going for authenticity.  The soy flavor was a little overwhelming since it was TVP and tofu, so I think next time I would maybe try it with beans or on its own.

We also roasted home fries.  Here is my resulting delicious breakfast that kept me stuffed for a very long time.

Very early tomorrow morning I’m back to the grind, commuting and eating from a can.  Until next weekend…

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Searching for the Perfect Pancake, Part 2

A couple weeks ago I made my first stab at perfecting pancakes.  Jennifer of Give Peas a Chance recommended the recipe from Candle Cafe Cookbook, and so I went to the library and got it.  Or so I thought.  It was definitely on my list of books to grab, but for whatever reason I don’t have it now.  A lot of times the books at our library that are supposed to be on the shelves either aren’t there or are out of order, so I suppose I didn’t see it and didn’t remember that it was imperative to my pancake progress.  If I was thinking this morning, I would have tried this recipe recommended by Vegan Addict.  In the wake of the incedent of the missing cookbook, I was not thinking, and so I just made up a recipe and hoped for the best.


These guys tasted okay and are certainly edible, but again not even close to what I’m looking for.  For starters, my batter was way too thick.  I was worried they’d be thin like last time and I guess I went too far in the other direction.  Also, I used water because I’m out of milk, and I think that affected the texture.  They were too heavy and a bit chewy.  Also, I added cinnamon like so many recipes dictate, and I think I just don’t care for cinnamon in pancakes.

Look how thick!


I’m not sure what my next step will be.  I can either get the Candle Cafe Cookbook, try Vegan Addict’s recipe, or try to improve on mine.  In the name of science I may just have to do all three.

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Searching for the Perfect Pancake

I have an idea in my mind of what I consider to be the perfect pancake.  It’s probably close to everyone else’s.  Fluffy and light yet substantial.  And I actually like mine a little undercooked in the middle.  I have yet to create this perfect pancake, but that’s okay ’cause I’ve got plenty of time to keep trying.  For a long while I used a whole wheat pancake mix and added applesauce and milk, and that sufficed but got me no closer to my pancake goal.  So this morning I tried the pancake recipe from VWAV.

Here’s an unintentional heart-shaped pancake.


These pancakes turned out more crepe-like for me, and I used the lesser amount of liquid.  They didn’t really puff up either.  I don’t think it’s a bad recipe, but for me it didn’t exactly work.  I’m going to try it again with a bit more flour for a thicker batter.  I topped my stack with blueberry syrup and a dollop of vanilla soy yogurt for good measure.


And here’s my plate about 90 seconds later.


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