four-grain peach pecan pancakes

31 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

Honestly, what’s not to love about pancakes? Golden and delicious, they’re probably one of the fluffiest, most filling breakfast foods I can think of. Usually, there are two things that people worry about in pancakes: the health-conscious are concerned about nutrition, and the rest are thinking, “How long until I can satisfy my growling stomach?”

Friends, I’ve finally found a pancake that tackles both: it’s quick and easy to make, without sacrificing any nutrients (or the yumminess factor). Don’t thank me–thank Jacqui from Good Things Grow, it’s her recipe. I made very minor changes to it based on ingredients I had on hand, as well as my experience cooking them (three mornings in a row, I might add.) I almost threw in chocolate chips instead of peaches, but I resisted temptation and didn’t regret it. Actually, the juicy slices of peach nearly made me forget my craving for chocolate.

For the past three mornings, I’ve eaten two of these pancakes topped with a little I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Light and a sprinkling of Splenda, for a salty-sweet contrast. Just the two kept me fully fueled til lunchtime, but if I’d been stuck with a third, you certainly wouldn’t have heard any complaints.

Jacqui recommends a thin slice of the whole pitted peach for fruit in every bite, but I keep organic slices in my freezer and they worked beautifully. Call me crazy (or lazy, or both), but I think my pancakes tasted a little bit better having skipped the part where I pitted the peaches myself. Hey, at least I chopped my own nuts!

4-Grain Peach-Pecan Pancakes Makes 6 pancakes
Adapted from Good Things Grow

1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or non-dairy equivalent
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 tbs honey (I used buckwheat honey)
1/4 cup egg substitute
Ripe peach slices, frozen or fresh

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, except for the pecans.
In another bowl, combine the milk, butter, honey, and egg. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Heat griddle or frying pan.

Pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Place two or three 1/8-inch thick peach slices in the batter. When bubbles form on top, flip. Cook other side until golden brown. Serve with toppings and condiments of your choice.

Notes
For those of you who are wondering, in case the photo is too small to see, I use organic frozen peach slices from Woodstock Farms that I slice thin. I used buckwheat honey because I had some in my cupboard that I thought would blend into the earthy, hearty taste of the batter nicely. I used 1% milk because I prefer “real” milk, but Jacqui’s original recipe calls for almond milk. Also, you may know by now that I’m a huge fan of salty-sweet things, so I used 1/4 tsp light sodium salt and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt to make my 1/2 teaspoon. Lastly, as I mentioned, I ate these pancakes across a three-day period, and the batter kept perfectly in the fridge.

beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts + cranberries

20 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

I used to hate salad. I mean, hated it. Wouldn’t go near the stuff. Nowadays, salad and I are becoming better acquainted, and this particular one is my not-so-new borderline best friend.

Beet salad is an unoriginal idea, I’ll admit. But if I told you that this particular beet salad is inspired by Sahale Snacks’ delicious Valdosta pecans and that it pleases even picky salad eaters, I must have done something right, right? You have to understand that this is a little nerve-wracking as it is the first recipe of my own to go up on my blog.

I prefer no-nonsense, 100% pure baby spinach for this salad, but I’m sure you more adventurous herbivores could make use of many other greens with great success. The beauty of this beet salad is in its versatility–there are a lot of interchangeable parts, which I love as I don’t always have every single ingredient on hand. That being said, the recipe below lists my most-loved, most-portable version. Feel free to tweak the measurements to your preference and let me know how it turns out! There’s only one thing I ask: don’t make this as a side salad. This is meant to be a big, green stuff-your-face-with-it salad that can only be tackled with a large fork and a larger appetite.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts + Cranberries Serves one

Baby spinach (depending on how leafy you like your salads)
1-2 large baby beets
Scant 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Black pepper, preferably freshly ground
8 walnut halves, preferably raw
2 tablespoons goat cheese
Balsamic glaze or vinegar

Transfer desired amount of baby spinach to container you plan to eat your salad from. Add baby beets sliced into 1/2-inch cubes or strips, whichever you prefer. Pepper the cranberries generously (trust me on this one) and add, making sure the pepper sticks. Add walnuts in odd pieces, breaking them with your fingers. Cut desired amount of goat cheese off a log and crumble in. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or vinegar, mixing with a fork as you go to ensure that all ingredients as well as the glaze is incorporated–leave no leaf behind.

Enjoy!

Notes & Product Recommendations
The measurements and ingredients above are, as in most salads, completely tweak-able. Pecans would be fine in place of walnuts (though I would toast them, so you don’t miss the crunch.) I never found the need to toast the walnuts; they lend appropriate crunch without it. The pepper brings out the cranberries’ flavor, a trick I learned from the Valdosta pecans mentioned above. In fact, if ou can find the Valdostas, you could sub those in for both the walnuts and cranberries, they’re just less cost-efficient. Normal beets would work just as well, I just choose to use baby beets as they’re easy to work with–the same reason why I use a log of chèvre–and occasionally come in fun flavors (I highly recommend all Love Beets products, if you can get them). Now, for my last recommendation (promise!), Blaze. I think this is carried in most grocery stores. It literally changed my life–it has the texture of delicious, fine quality aged Italian balsamic without the $$$ price tag. Plus, its packaging makes it a snap to use. Apparently there is a range of Blaze flavors as well, but I’m a simple girl when it comes to salad dressing.

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