Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pumpkins, eggs, and oil in the mix makes for a moist, flavorful pancake with a crepe-like texture.  Credit is due to the wonderful book Practical Paleo for the recipe.  Easy, healthy, and delicious, these pancakes have become a Sunday morning staple in Veggie Wonder-land.  They're also grain-free and paleo, with lots of fiber and protein to boot.  

Most pumpkins and squashes will do, and the recipe works especially well with a butternut squash base.  The brand and texture of squash mixed in does influence the taste - the Kroger organic brand I tried this morning resulted in a thicker, more substantial pancake than the standard Libby's brand version.  


You will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned squash (pumpkin or butternut squash work very well)
  • 2 spoonfulls of melted butter or oil
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash vanilla
  • equal amounts of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, to taste
  • sweetener to taste (maple syrup recommended)
  • chocolate chips or chunks (optional)
  1. Mix wet ingredients, and then stir in the dry ingredients.
  2. Fry in greased or nonstick skillet on medium heat.  A 2-3'' diameter cake works well.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.  Flip after a few bubbles appear.
  3. Enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Frozen Pear Mocha

This is good stuff.  Sweet, creamy, and super healthy to boot!  I enjoyed this coffee drink much more than a standard Starbucks Frappuccino, and I'll definitely repeat the combination of frozen fruity pears infusing my blended coffee beverages.  It's so easy, and most things you'll have around the house anyway.  If you chop and freeze the pears yourself, you can freeze and blend with skin (frozen fruit is often already skinned) for an extra fiber boost.

You will need:
  • Chopped frozen pear
  • Milk of choice (I used unsweetened Silk Almond Milk)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder to taste (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • Instant coffee or espresso, 1-2 servings worth
  • Optional: cinnamon to taste (I used it), additional sweetener (I didn't include)
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender.  I used my Magic Bullet.
  2. Pulse until blended.
  3. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Super Fudgy Steel-Cut Oats

Nutty + chocolatey +... healthy?  Yes!  Cocoa + coconut oil work so well with the steel cut oats here.

Steel cut oats have a wonderful nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch.  While I generally prefer them to the standard rolled variety, I would avoid them because they were too much work.  That is, until I realized I could make steel cut oats easily in my single serving rice cooker (stay tuned for some more details in a future post!).

To make these chocolate oats, you will need:

  • Plain oats of choice, cooked as you like them and warm (steel cut oats are wonderful!)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, to taste
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (I used Splenda)
  • Coconut butter, a small dab for richness or to taste
  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary.
  3. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hard Breakfast Oatmeal

 This morning I used up the last bit of my beloved almond milk to make oatmeal.  There wasn't enough milk left to put in almond milk in the usual ratio of 2 parts milk to 1 part oats, so I improvised and just used what I had on hand.  I think the ratio was 1 to 1.5 parts milk to 1 part oats.  The result was a delicious oatmeal, in which the oats were nicely cooked and somewhat moist and yet I could taste each oat separately.  What a tasty textural variation on the standard breakfast oatmeal!  I will definitely be making oats this way again!

To follow suit, you will need:
  • rolled oats
  • milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  1. Mix rolled oats and milk in a ratio of approximately 1-1.5 parts milk for each part oats.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until oats achieve desired level of doneness.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wild Rice Pilaf with Goldenberries

 Mmmmm...  Salty, tart and yet slightly sweet, chewy, wholesome, original, filling, and beautiful, this wild rice pilaf is truly a keeper recipe.  The addition of dry goldenberries to the dish makes it just that much more delicious and unique.  The goldenberries plump out while cooking but intensify in flavor, becoming sweeter and nicely complementing the savoriness of the rice.  The pilaf comes out tasting like you've spent hours slaving over a hot stove.  Who knew it could be so easy to prepare it?

To make the pilaf, you will need:
  • 1-1.5 cups of wild rice
  • 2 oz. or so of dried goldenberries
  • sweetener to taste (optional, I used one packet of stevia)
  • 1-2 cubes of vegetable bullion
  • 3-4 cups milk of choice (I used almond)
  1. Put everything into a small (1.5 qt) slow cooker.  Be sure the cooker is 2/3 full.  If you want to use a different size cooker, scale your ingredients accordingly.
  2. Cook on low until the wild rice achieves a desired level of doneness.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Strawberry Mocha!

Sometimes it's the most brilliant of ideas which remain hidden in plain sight.  Such is no doubt true of the strawberry mocha.  Chocolate is of course polyamorous, and we've always known it to pair well with strawberries and with coffee.  Raspberry lattes have been en vogue for ages.  Why do we not, then, fancy strawberry lattes?  And so it was with a sudden epiphany that I read that a strawberry latte was available at local cafe, and I ordered it.  Instant, sugary and caffeinated bliss!

I will certainly make another one for myself later, using SF strawberry syrup (such as Torani), unsweetened almond milk, instant coffee granules, and unsweetened cacao powder.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simple Italian White Bean Stew

I was craving a good old fashioned bowl of paste e fagioli, the Italian pasta and white bean soup with tomatoes that is so very good and served at most Italian joints.  Having no pasta on hand and limited prep time, I came up with this healthy slow cooker dish, which turned out to be quite tasty, satisfying, and much healthier than the original.  To make the soup you will need:

  • 1 cup Dry white beans (I used fava, I think)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used frozen chopped tomatos)
  • Garlic powder, salt, oregano, and black pepper to taste
  • 1 spoonful of oil of choice (olive oil works well here)
  1. Rinse and sort the white beans and add them to the slow cooker (I recommend a 1.5 quart cooker here - if you wish to use a larger crockpot, you'll want to scale the quantities of everything else accordingly).
  2. Add tomatoes and a few shakes of the salt and spices, going a bit heavier on the garlic than on the others.
  3. Add the oil and 3 cups or so of water to the pot.
  4. Cook on low until the beans are tender.
  5. Adjust the seasoning to taste.  You will probably want to add extra garlic, salt, and pepper.
  6. Enjoy!