Dec
30

Healthy banana waffles made incredibly fluffy and light with quinoa flour. They’re crispy on the outside and nice and light in the middle – the way a waffle should be. Best of all they’re good for you, and filling!

It’s been a while! How was your Christmas? Did you eat  too many Oreo balls? Consume too much cheese? Stuff your face with finger food until you just couldn’t anymore? Make a cake with over 6 sticks of butter?

Okkayyyyyy maybe that was me. Oops!

I’m so ready for 2014 you guys! Not just because I feel like it’s a fresh start but because I like getting back to the root of things and into a routine. Each new year I like to take a little bit of time to reevaluate what’s important in life and to find a little inner peace.

Oh and I think I forgot to mention that I turned 25 last week! Each year I’m feeling more appreciative. My boyfriend flew in from Chicago to help me celebrate. When I picked him up from the airport, he had a bouquet of lilies (my favorite) to give me; we try and keep things romantic as usually our time together is short and sweet. Now I’m writing to you from Chicago, where we celebrated his birthday. We plan on seeing a few good movies, going ice skating, and relaxing until the New Year.

But of course, I had to take some time to blog about these incredible waffles. I wish you could see how serious I am about them; they are SO easy to make. To keep them light, I used bananas, egg whites, and almond milk. There’s no butter or oil, and they’re gluten free, too! I love chocolate chips in my pancakes and waffles so I added a few, but you can always leave them out if you aren’t a fan.

I shared a few with my Mom because I wanted to get her opinion. She said they were the BEST waffles everrrrrrrrr.

Read more.


Nov
04

Apple Cider Cornmeal Pancakes made with touch of maple syrup and sausage — a great breakfast!

In the realm of comfort food, there is one thing that dominates breakfast: pancakes.

I remember when I was little and my Dad used to make me the thinnest pancakes — it was such a treat to wake up to! Later in life, I was a huge fan of thick and fluffy chocolate chip pancakes. To this day, every time I visit my best friend’s house from high school, I always request that her mom make her famous chocolate chip pancakes — they’re still my absolute favorite.

To be honest, I really love all pancakes because I only get to have them once in a while. And when I do, you better believe I load them up with creamy, warm peanut butter AND maple syrup. That combo CAN’T be beat… unless you’re throwing bacon into the mix. Then OMG, just stop it!

I was all set to make some apple cider donuts, but had a craving for pancakes and happily stumbled into this recipe.

Since it’s November and we’re in full Fall season, I decided to use Apple Cider in my pancakes for a sweet pancake with a bit of tang and spice. I didn’t use just any apple cider though, I used new SweeTango Apple Cider, made from SweeTango apples. It’s sweet and full of citrus notes with a touch of spice — basically unlike any apple cider out there. MAJOR!

Have you had a SweeTango apple before? I LOVE them. I find them a lot in Minnesota during the fall; they’re a cross between a Honeycrisp and Zestar, so you know they’re good!

Anyway back to pancake chat…

For some weird reason, I had a craving for breakfast sausage. Usually I stick to turkey bacon, but I was feeling like some chicken maple breakfast sausage and thought it would be fantastic in the pancakes.

I mean, just imagine biting into a pancake wrapped sausage. Dreamy, right?

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Aug
01

Why are pancakes so yum?

Maybe because similar to cake, you can make a million versions and they always taste incredible. Sweet, savory, melt-in-your mouth, hearty, and always lovely.

These particular pancakes were actually a happy accident. Last weekend I was babysitting and was experimenting with different pancake recipes for the kids. After cooking them, I realized that I had forgotten to add the egg to the batter! But no worries, these pancakes totally work without any eggs… they’re fluffy, moist, tender, and slightly sweet.

I love recipe success.

1-Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Read more.


May
20

Monday’s here! Don’t cry… I made you waffles.

Man, I love waffles. They remind me of when I used to go to the diner with my Dad; I always ordered the giant, crispy Belgian waffle with strawberries. Mmmmmm.

I’ve been hoping that waffles make an epic comeback for years. Instead I’ve watched cookies-stuffed-in-cookies, cupcakes, mini pies, and baked donuts take over. So I need you to get on the waffle train with me. If you need convincing, these waffles should do the trick.

Read more.


Apr
15

Healthy oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes packed with 20g of protein to give you boost. The perfect after workout meal full of healthy carbs and protein! Taste like banana bread pancakes.

I recently caught up with one of my best friends from college; we hadn’t seen each other in over a year! How does time pass that quickly? I’m not sure, but life does happen and as I’m hurling my way through my twenties, it has increasingly become more difficult to maintain the relationships I once had.

I feel like this should be an article on Thought Catalog.

college

Anyway, Callie (pictured in the middle) and I lived together throughout college, which reminded me of our absurd obsession with oatmeal. WE LOVED IT. I can’t tell you how many times we ate it for both breakfast AND dinner; it was just SO filling, good-for-you, and comforting! Big bowls of cinnamon oatmeal bliss for dinner topped with anything we could find. I miss those days.

In fact, I MISS ALL OF MY FAVORITE COLLEGE GIRLS! Life slow down for just a minute please. At least so I can find the time to make some oatmeal.

Read more.


Feb
27

There are usually only two things on my mind when I roll out of bed in the morning: coffee and checking emails. However, this morning I woke up with a huge craving for a stack of fluffy blueberry pancakes.

Wait, that’s not a big surprise is it? My Instagram account is populated with pictures of pancakes plus I even had them for dinner last night. Don’t judge, you know Brinner (breakfast for dinner… duh) is pretty much the best thing ever.

My pictures really don’t do the pancakes any justice so I’ll have to annoyingly describe to you just how perfectly good these are. Brace yourself for an overload of adjectives…

Thick. Fluffy. Melt-in-your-mouth. Unbelievable. Crispy edges. Perfectly golden. Outrageous. Awesome. Fantastic. Lick-your-plate good.

There, now do you get my point?

Read more.


Nov
02

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I always look forward to it, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal or a slice of peanut butter toast.  But the best breakfast? Pancakes. Obviously.

When I was little my Dad used to make me his famous pancakes; they were the size of a skillet pan, thin, and yet incredibly fluffy. I remember drenching them with rich maple syrup and devouring it in pure bliss. Every single bite would melt in my mouth. I loved waking up to those.

These days I eat breakfast for dinner about twice a week because really, who wouldn’t want to end their day with pancakes? Plus, I love to having fun with flavor combinations! Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa. Lemon Blueberry. Blueberry Chocolate Chip. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. And now these.

Yeahhh pancakes… I’m just a teeny bit obsessed. 

Since I’m trying to eat healthy while still enjoying my favorite breakfast, I’d thought that I would create a pancake recipe that’s tastes just like banana bread… because in case you hadn’t noticed, smashing bananas in baked goods is kinda my jam.

And besides putting hearty amounts of love into this recipe, I wanted these to be good for you, without sacrificing that amazing pancake taste.

Read more.


Jul
29

In my dream world I’d live on the beach, have a Whole Foods salad bar in my kitchen, and eat magical zero calorie banana cream pie every day for dessert.

I’d enjoy every sunrise with a continental breakfast and buy a German Shepard just because I think they’re really cute. I’d visit Machu Picchu, bungee jump daily, and make s’mores for a bedtime snack. I’d own a banana bread only bakery that serves wine. Oh and I certainly would NEVER spill wine on my white jeans (it happened this weekend).

But that’s all just in my dream world.

In real life I’m making big batches of pancakes on Sundays, chasing dogs around the neighborhood when they run away, and convincing myself to exercise daily.

Lately I’ve been testing out recipes. Usually on kids because they never lie to you; they either like it or they don’t.

Here’s Ava testing out a layered cake I made. I think I need to start renting kids for recipe testing.

Next week I’m headed out to California again! From the moment I first visited, I fell in love with it. And now I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll take a million photographs and update my about me page soon. There are so many things that I can’t wait to share with you.

For now, I made you some healthy pancakes. Wait… are they healthy if they have chocolate chips in them? That’s up to you! I try to keep them lower in calories by using egg whites, high protein greek yogurt, and quinoa. I also recommend using whole wheat white flour.

But first let’s just eat some feel-good super romantic and always delicious pancakes.

My only problem with pancakes? Deciding if I want blueberry or chocolate chip. Since I love both, I added them to my quinoa pancake batter. Yeah my brain is pretty weird; however, my taste buds are not. These are a gift from the universe.

Aren’t you a little intrigued? Maybe puzzled with the combination?

Whatever your thought, I assure you that these pancakes are a whole lot of deliciousness. Blueberry chocolate chip pancakes are kind of just an essential life experience. Something you need to try at least once.

Or a million times. Whatever!

Juicy, warm berries plus über creamy chocolate chips packed in a healthy little pancake. Take it over the top by serving them in pure maple syrup (or peanut butter!) and chasing with a glass of ice-cold milk.

It certainly is a little part of my dream world come true.

 

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Quinoa Pancakes

Makes 8-10 pancakes

1 cup cooked quinoa

3/4 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

3 large egg whites

1/4 cup plain or vanilla nonfat greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, coconut)

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (optional), for serving

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, yogurt, milk, and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add vanilla and whisk again. Next gently fold in blueberries.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter.
Notes

Jun
26

I’ve always wondered why I am in love with everything that’s breakfast related…or you know, just obsessed with food in general.

I think I finally found the answer after visiting my Grandmother and spending time in the kitchen cooking with her. I’m now quite convinced that a love for food has been passed down to me. I know that it’s something that will be apart of me forever. In fact, cooking for others is absolutely my favorite thing in the world.

My future husband is one lucky man.

Kidding.

Wait… no I’m not.

My grandmother is Puerto Rican, so much of the food she cooks tends to be Spanish inspired; my Nana (Great Grandmother) taught her how to cook everything from scratch when she was a young girl. Ever since then, it’s been one of her favorite things to do. When my Grandma isn’t making homemade pozole, empanadas, and arroz con pollo, she is usually baking muffins the size of my face or throwing together a ridiculous continental breakfast for my Grandfather. Seriously give her a half hour and she’ll make you an incredible meal, but provide her with a couple of hours and you’ll have a masterpiece to eat.

She treats every meal she makes with affection, putting the utmost love into her creations — it’s an extraordinary quality. She pours her soul into stews and she throws her spice for life into spanish rice. Cooking is like an expression to her, and everything is always made with love.

My Grandma and I are two peas in a pod. I admire her in every way. I love her best though when she’s making me brunch, which often includes her famous buttermilk waffles. Crispy on the outside, warm and perfect on the inside.

When she made these incredible buttermilk waffles my Grandpa and I joked that this was probably the healthiest thing she made for us during my stay. I even specifically remember that she once asked me if I wanted waffles and ice cream for dinner. Another day she tried to feed me this pile of pastries for breakfast.

So wrong, but soooo good.

I think I’m still trying to burn off those calories, but hey, you only live once, right? I just have to teach my Grandma about the term ‘everything in moderation’. I mean, at least for my Grandfather’s sake.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might remember when I mentioned that he’s had a couple of heart attacks. He’s still going strong though!

Did I mention they love each other like crazy? I mean, they are the ultimate romantics. Here’s a picture of my Grandpa attempting to fix my Grandma’s watch after it suddenly broke while we were out. He made it his mission to repair it immediately himself, walking to every shop nearby to see if they had a special pin for the band. Sure enough, he found one!

They both love and take care of each other. I think that’s pretty incredible to be going strong for nearly 60 years.

Cuties.

As I’m writing this, I’m fondly remembering the morning my Grandmother made these waffles for us, partly because they are the best waffles I’ve ever had. It was Mother’s Day and we all enjoyed a breakfast full of eggs with green chile, pastries (ugh, SO MANY PASTRIES), waffles and of course, coffee. As I was spreading peanut butter on my waffles and drenching them with syrup (best combination ever), I looked around the table and thanked God for my amazing family. They’ve taught me so much: to cook, to be determined, to laugh, to love, and to absolutely never give up! 

Now I’m the one pouring my heart and soul into the food I cook: whipping up pancakes with such care, crafting a skillet chicken (with pepperoni sauce) that only kids could adore, and browning lots of butter for the best chocolate chip cookies (the way to win anyone’s heart).

Cooking is my romance and I’m bringing it to you. I hope you’ll stay awhile and eat some ridiculously good waffles with me.

With butter, syrup, and whatever else your heart desires.

Grandma’s Buttermilk Waffles

Cooking Spray

1 3/4 all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat waffle maker. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar (if desired) until blended. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients; mix well.
  3. Pour batter into a preheated prepared waffle iron; cook according to manufacturer’s directions or when steam stops.  Top with maple syrup, peanut butter, honey, or fresh fruit preserves

Notes

  • You can add in additional ingredients such as: 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, dash of cinnamon, or whatever you’d like
  • I always spray my waffle iron with cooking spray before cooking each batch, I recommend doing the same
  • Makes 4 cups of batter or 5 waffles

Apr
29

Mmmm banana pancakes. With quinoa.

Oh yes I did.

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I mean what’s not to love? It’s versatile, gluten-free, protein packed, and the nutty flavor delivers every single time. Remember my lemon blueberry quinoa pancakes?  They’re my absolute favorite. I devour them in 5.6 seconds everytime I make them. Can you tell I’m a fan? I could be the quinoa spokeswoman.

Quinoa queen?

Nevermind.

I wish I would have had these pancakes today before I did three hours worth of yoga this morning. I was aching for these through every downward dog and warrior two.

Then guess what happened? I got pulled over (for the first time ever) after leaving class. Apparently I went through a red light. Seems I was distracted with the thought of delicious quinoa pancakes in my belly. Thankfully the police officer didn’t give me a ticket. He was surprisingly nice – I’m guessing because I looked like a hot sweaty mess who was about to eat her own arm.

Once I got home and I devored these like I was a contestant on the biggest loser who hadn’t eaten in weeks. A little absurd. I even paired each pancake with different flavor toppings because who doesn’t love a little variety? One had maple syrup and bananas (classic), another had raspberry jam and toasted coconut (so so so goooood), and finally my favorite: mini chocolate chips with peanut butter (love the banana, chocolate, and peanut butter combo). I recommend trying out some different toppings.

But SERIOUSLY, these pancakes are actually good for you. If you’re trying to eat more whole grains, or if you are looking for a healthier breakfast, then I think you should give these a try. I love making pancakes and then throwing them in the freezer. They’re incredibly easy to heat up in the microwave and take to go. Just spread with a little healthy topping and devour!

Okay… one last bit of news! I’ve decided to restructure my blog a little bit. I will now be focusing on healthy, creative recipes. Of course you’ll see the occasional cupcake and brownie, but generally less sweets and more good eats. In my own life, I try to eat healthy and balanced and love sharing my passion for health with others.

Now let’s eat!

Whole Wheat Banana Quinoa Pancakes
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Pancakes, Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy, Whole Grain
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 large egg whites or 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (you could also use honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, pureed
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add pureed bananas and mix until just combined.
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter.
  3. Makes about 10 pancakes. Top with peanut butter, maple syrup, fruit, or chocolate chips.
Notes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's quinoa pancakes
If pancakes are too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk to the batter. If pancakes are too thin, add 1 tablespoon of flour to the batter
Sub gluten free flour for whole wheat if you'd like
Adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to batter would make great chocolate banana pancakes
 
 
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