No Whey Pancakes!

Sooo I’ve began a love affair with ricotta cheese. Not just any ricotta cheese, but home made ricotta. I’m new to it and never knew how easy or delicious it could be! I just always thought it was that gross spongy stuff you added to lasagna to give it its density. Turns out, it’s amazeballs. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it. Here’s the post to help you out.

Ok ok ok… why all this talk of ricotta cheese on a pancake post?! Well, there’s a WHEY you can make pancakes with a cheese bi-product. Hehehe, get it? The whey! When you make even a little ricotta, you get a lot of all natural, no fat, high protein liquid whey! I just save it in a jar and use it in smoothies and pancakes etc. And you can’t even tell. Here’s the pancake recipe I use:

Dry Ingredients:

2.5 c flour of choice* (I’m always playing around with my flours, but I’m a huge nerd that way. I typically grind up a mixture of whole wheat, steel cut oat, flax, almond and chia in my Vitamix, but you can use any flour)

1tsp baking soda

*except coconut flour… that would be one DENSE pancake

** Feel free to also add protein powders here. I don’t for these pancakes because I use the whey in the liquid base!

 

Wet Ingredients:

3 medjool dates, pureed with about 2 tsp warm water and

¼ c Coconut oil (I just LOVE the way coconut oil tastes, but you could use any oil)

½ banana (optional, for a little added sweetness)

2 eggs

½ c Cottage Cheese*

1 tsp ACV

3/4c Liquid Whey

*Could also sub greek yogurt, but I like the way the cottage cheese reacts with the baking soda and ACV and makes them a little bit fluffier

Blend/mix all the dry ingredients.

Blend the first two ingredients until pasty. Add the rest and blend until well incorporated. Pour wet into dry. Fold until all the batter is well mixed.

Spray and heat a large skillet. I use Trader Joes sprayable coconut oil. When pan is hot, use a 1/4c to pour batter onto skillet. Flip after about 30sec-1min.

 

These were so tasty my kids didn’t even eat these with syrup. Just hot off the plate, just about as fast as I could make them for a while. I topped mine with figs and Coconut Cult yogurt and HAD to go back for seconds. I absolutely could NOT help myself.

They’re also really tasty topped with an egg!

Wait for it…

It’s a hearty, but delicious pancake. Gives you energy for family hikes like these:

And shenanigans like these:

Punkin Peanut Butter and Blackberry ‘Jam’

This was AMAZING. And so easy, I almost feel bad posting as a recipe, but it’s just too good not to share. I almost titled this post “Never Buy Jam Again” but it was fall so I opted for the whole Pumpkin thing. The latter has a nice ring to it though, don’t you agree?

BTW, this is super good for you with very little calories. SH, don’t tell anyone, they’ll never know.

All you need is:

2 tbsp PB2
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
dash cinnamon
Blackberries
1 tsp agave (can use honey or sugar too)
2 slices bread/english muffin

I cheated and did this with photos to make it look more complicated. HA!

 The set up:

For Pumpkin PB: Mix pumpkin and PB2 with a little bit of water

For Jam: Mash Berries and Agave with a fork

Spread on bread/English Muffin
I’m a little nuts for jam… normal people probably don’t use this much. Or do they?!

That’s it! Now all you have to do is eat it! Don’t let the photos fool you, I promise it will probably take you less time to make than it did to look at all these photos. But at least you’ll be glad you made it!

Peach Dutch Baby with Cherry Compote (vegan)


I subscribe to Bon Appetite magazine and I absolutely love it. Many of the recipes are on the more difficult end of the cooking scale and there ingredients I have to google in almost every issue, but there are some recipes that are doable, some recipes I think I could tweak and some recipes I aspire to complete one day, but all are delicious (or at least look delicious)!


I stole this idea from the July issue of Bon Appetite and decided to tweak it to see if a Vegan version would work. The real version is a lot fluffier and a bit sweeter, but the Vegan version was delicious as well.


I absolutely LOVE Dutch Baby pancakes and they seem so complex at restaurants (traditionally apple); coming out all bubbly, carmelly, gooey and crunchy I didn’t think they were this easy to make. The peach in this recipe was almost a no brainer, considering it is peach season in the South!


I was mad I didn’t think of it first… I would have to say that with these super sweet peaches, this Dutch Baby was even better than the traditional apple version (for me).
I will post both the Bon Appetite recipe and mine so you can try both out for yourself! I am not a huge fan of cherries, but the tartness of the cherry was so good with this pancake.
Bon Appetite:

Ingredients

Compote

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 3″ strips lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) cherries (about 1 lb.), stemmed, pitted, halved

Pancake

Peach Dutch Baby Pancake with Cherry Compote

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 peaches, halved, pitted, cut into 1/4″-thick wedges
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Preparation

Compote

  • Bring honey, lemon peel, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Add cherries and simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until sauce is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Transfer cherry compote to a medium bowl and chill. DO AHEAD: Compote can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Remove lemon peel just before serving.

Pancake

Bake pancake until puffed and golden brown all over, 17–20 minutes (it will deflate as soon as it’s re

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan; scrape into a blender. Add eggs, flour, milk, 1 Tbsp. sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend batter until smooth; set aside in blender.

  • Heat a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add peaches to skillet; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Briefly reblend reserved pancake batter. Pour evenly over peaches and transfer to oven.

  • Bake until golden, about 17-20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

    My Recipe:

    (compote stayed the same)

    Pancake:

    • 2 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 2 tbsp chia seeds
    • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
    • 3/4 cup fresh ground spelt flour (if possible, organic or Bobs Red Mill WW flour would work too)
    • 3/4 cup regular almond milk
    • 3 coconut sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 peaches, halved, pitted, cut into 1/4″-thick wedges
    • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

    Mix the chia seeds and flax with 1/2 cup water and let sit for 15 minutes. 

    Preheat oven to 425.

    Blend (in a blender) milk, flour, apple sauce, chia/flax/water mixture, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp coconut sugar and salt until well combined.

    Heat a 12″ skillet to medium heat and melt 2 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil. Add 2tbsp sugar and stir until caramel-like. Add sliced peaches and cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.

    Pour pancake batter over pea mixture (I spread the peaches out a bit so they were all over the bottom of the skillet). 

    Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and dust with powdered sugar if desired. 

    The Vegan Dutch Baby isn’t as puffy as the BA recipe, but it was still really good. I didn’t tell my husband I “Veganized” it and he went back for seconds.


    Hahahaha.


Crock Pot Chicken Soup

I think I am falling in love with my crock pot all over again! I cooked a whole chicken in there the other day with some potatoes and onions and it was amazing, and so simple. We couldn’t finish an entire chicken in one dinner and I didn’t really want to throw the leftovers in the fridge because I knew the remaining broth, potato, onion and bone remnants would congeal and it wouldn’t be to appealing the next day.

I had just done some reading on the benefits of leeks (and as a result, obviously bought some) and decided to channel my inner Bridget Jones and make some soup. There was no blue to be found on the leek, so felt safe in so far as my soup turning blue went ;). So this is my left over crock pot chicken leek soup:

Ingredients:

1 leek, green husks removed, cut in half and washed
4 large carrots, peeled and diced into discs
4 stalks celery, diced
Chicken meat from 1 breast and 1 thigh (leftover from crock pot, roughly 1/2 a young chicken
Left over liquid from crock pot chicken for stock
garlic salt thyme, rosemary, oregano and parsley to taste
1/2 package rice noodles
Before you get started, here is a quick little video I used for preparing leeks, since I had never done it before! I just you tubed and liked this one because she gives you suggestions on what to do with leftovers and other ideas to use leeks for :).
Thinly slice leeks and saute on the bottom of stock pot in a little olive oil and garlic salt. Add carrots and celery. Sweat these vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add your cooked or left over chicken. Add spices to taste and your left over liquid from the crock pot chicken or about 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour (or longer, ie until your next meal!) to let all the flavors combine. Right before serving, bring soup to a boil and add your rice noodles. They will finish cooking in about 2 minutes, so you can reduce to a simmer and serve! I recommend serving this soup with a little avocado on top, it’s delicious!


Delicious… and not blue!

Butternut Squash Spoonable Cornbread!

I adapted this recipe from an October 2011 issue of Southern Living. The Original just sounded SO good and intriguing. I mean, what makes a bread spoonable? What kind of texture is that for a bread? Is it spongy or bread pudding-ey? Was it sweet or savory?! The Southern  Living picture made it look like a cornbread. Anyhow, I had to try it, and then do a little adaptation on it, of course.

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 Cups whole milk
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
4 large eggs, separated
1 medium size butternut squash (or 2 12-oz frozen, thawed packages)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup white or yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. At the same time, mix milk and vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes. Once milk mixture is ready, heat over medium heat for 4-6 minutes (until bubbly, but not boiling)
2. Lightly beat egg yolks in a large bowl; stir in squash and cheese. Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Stir cornmeal mixture into squash mixture. Pour warm milk over squash mixture and whisk until smooth. Let stand until luke warm (about 15 min).
3. Brush a 2.5-3 qt baking dish or 12 in cast iron skillet with butter or spray. Stir remaining melted butter into squash/cornmeal mixture.
4. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into squash mixture. Pour into baking dish.
5. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

This is best when eaten immediately. The texture is real light and springy and it really is a bread you can eat with a spoon! Wild!

This is definitely more on the savory side, than sweet. But there is a faint sweetness to it, because of the butternut squash. It’s really neat.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Aaahhh these were so good! I had never mixed pumpkin with chocolate before, but the combination is really really good. Especially with dark chocolate. I was craving chocolate chip cookies, but it was fall, so I figured I might as well also add some pumpkin to the mix!

I healthed these out a bit too, just because… well I wanted to be able to eat more! There, I said it.

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats, blended to flour
1+1/2 cups rolled oats plain
1/2 cup honey
dash salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup water+1tbsp flax seed+1tbsp chia seed
1 tsp vanilla
1+1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp safflower oil
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix water and seeds. Let sit for 15 minutes until it makes a gel.
2. Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Mix wet into dry. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Chill dough for about 10-15 minutes
4. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. They are done when they are slightly brown on the bottom.
Nice and moist and gooey.

And a little orange 🙂

Happy Fall Y’all

Figs, Not in Newtons

I really need to get better dish naming conventions. I mean, how do you name a dish, make it sound good, and hint at the main ingredients all in one. I mean this has caramelized onions, figs, goat cheese and flatbread which are all yummy, but “Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese and Fig Flatbread” just doesn’t have a great ring to it. Or maybe it does and I am just weird. I guess everything doesn’t have to be cute. I mean, what would you call a dish with those main ingredients?!

I have to admit, this posts title makes me laugh because up until I was, oh, in my mid twenties I had no idea, really, exactly what a fig was. The only thing that mattered was that they were in those delicious Fig Newton cookies. So imagine my surprise when I was navigating the grocery store and saw Strawberry-like containers with different variety’s of these seasonal fruits called Figs! I scooped up a pack of the purple figs to try! The texture weirded me out a bit at first. The outside is black and leathery, but the inside is subtely sweet, soft and seedy. After a couple though, I got used to it and really enjoyed them. I even gave one to my 18 month old and he LOVED them and ate  inhaled about 4 before I decided it would be a good idea to stop him and move on to something else. He just took it and popped the whole thing in his mouth (minus the stem I took out for him).
Anyway, I thought these Figs would be really good either grilled or roasted to bring out more of their natural sweetness. The texture indicated to me that they might caramelize a bit too, which is perfect on warm bread. I had some leftover flatbread and this bread called Naan from dinner and decided to try and make a pizza dish out of these Figs. And here is what happened (plus recipe to follow):

Ingredients:
7 ripe figs
1 Naan or packaged Flatbread (you could even use those Flat Out breads to make it super healthy)
1 very large Vidalia Onion, thinly sliced
1-2 tsp butter
Olive Oil spray (I use olive oil that I pour into a Misto sprayer)
Goat Cheese (to taste)

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions. Add salt and spray onions with olive oil. Cook onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. If the pan gets too dry, just pour a little water in there.
Sidenote: I like to caramelize this way because you don’t need to use a ton of butter/oil, but you still get the same effect. I have been doing it this way for quite a while, but never said anything because I thought people would think I was weird or “doing it wrong.” However, this months issue of Bon Appetite featured a restaurant called Rouge Tomate in Manhattan that uses this same method and boasts healthy, yet delicious food!
Anyway, I digress. While the onions are caramelizing slice the figs into a mixed group of halves and quarters, lengthwise. When the onions are done caramelizing, spread them out over the flat bread. Sprinkle the figs on top and “plop” little chunks of goat cheese in the little nooks and crannies. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes. You could also broil it, but you really have to watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn!