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

Apr
26

 

Since April is almost over, I wanted to take the time to talk about the things that I’ve really fallen in love with over the past month.

Facebook and Twitter. I use them a lot and it’s the easiest way to ask me questions or just to say hi! Make them your favorite. 

Let’s get into it. I’m nuts for coconut. Head over heels in love with it and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I can put it in banana bread and still keep it healthy.

Coconut flour is AMAZING (more coconut love). It makes gluten-free waffles taste like candy. Especially when you add vegan coconut whip cream on top of them. Any coconut lovers out there?

I purchased Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Wow… it is completely fantastic! I want to cuddle with it everynight and dream about all of the recipes. The gorgeous, vibrant images will blow your mind. Even though the recipes are vegetarian, they are entirely unique, easy to follow, and above all, delicious!

I finished up the second Hunger Games book too. Sadly it wasn’t as good as the first which means I probably won’t read the third. I will however go to all of the movies and bring my own popcorn from my house. That’s what big purses are for.

I started reading Women, Food, and God again. Basically it’s about not opting out of life when things get difficult. I enjoy reading it when I’m in a stressful situation. If you are a woman and in love with food (like me), I suggest reading it!

The beach is always a favorite. And California. So pretty.

I’m very much in love with the blog Bakeaholic Mama. I found it through Tastespotting. Carrie takes some great photos and makes fun meals for her family including Red Velvet Oreo Cake and amazing looking Broccoli and Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I drool like a puppy dog over her recipes!

Mmmm Mexican. I want it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll never get tired of it. I’m especially excited for Cinco de Mayo. Sometimes I call it Cinco de Drinko. Maybe that’s after a few margaritas though? I dunno. I might have to whip up something special for my favorite holiday. Any requests? Get in my belly enchiladas!

THIS SANDWICH. It’s incredible. Eggs and avocados complete me sometimes. They make a good food marriage. I think I eat eggs at least once a day. I hope I don’t end up having an egg shaped head like Adam Sandler.

Figuring out how to do this yoga move has become an obsession. Can someone please teach me? Either that or I’ll just continue to fall flat on my face and entertain others in class.

Strawberries are in season! My Mom’s favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. I’ve never been a huge fan but it was practically the only dessert she made when I was growing up. (My Dad was the baker in the family.) If you haven’t noticed, I’ve made Strawberry Bruschetta and even Strawberry Buttercream lately. I’m full of berry love.

Okay, my ABSOLUTE favorite thing this month is the Dairy Queen Banana Cream Pie blizzard. I had it a couple weeks back when I was feeling indulgent, and I’m smitten! I actually want to combine it with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to make it even more out of this world. What’s your favorite blizzard flavor? Or if you could create one what would it be?

I think I’ll probably do favorites every month, so if you have anything you are loving be sure to share!

Let’s chat soon. I’ve got some healthy breakfast recipes coming!


Apr
22

Ahhhhhhhh! I’ve been so completely busy lately.

Today I competed in a Chinese take-out cook-off. It was amazing to see the turn out and all of the creative dishes.

We were required to make 250 samples. I know… that’s a lot of freakin’ samples! I spent my Saturday night chopping, dicing, and listening to Bon Iver. I was totally in the zone. There is something about the combination of music and food that leaves me feeling completely content. I mean, I LOVE creating dishes more than anything in the world. Music tunes out everything else. I end up being happiest in my brain thinking about flavor combinations.

Read more.


Apr
18

 

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best.

Simple pretty things that dance around in my head.

Like the summer flavors brought together in this salad. Juicy ripe watermelons, creamy avocado, annnnnddd lime + cilantro? Holy. I took one bite and I knew I had fallen in love.

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Apr
11

I have some very important information to share with you.

I’m on a no pie diet. The importance of that statement can’t be questioned.

Does this mean you won’t see sweet recipes? Nope, it just means I’m going to bake and eat brownies, cookies, and homemade pop-tarts instead. Pie baking is saved for special occasions only (otherwise my thighs would hate me). Wait, my half-birthday is coming up! That’s a special occasion… right? More pie please!

Focus Monique. Obviously we’re not taking about anything sweet here. What we are talking about is a Sweet Potato & Chicken Mexican Stir-Fry that you’ll want every day for the rest of your life. Facts only.

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Apr
09

What do you do when life hands you lemons?

I don’t know about you, but I make pie. Then I eat half of it, decide it’s too good to share, and say I forgot to bring it over for Easter. Oops. Good thing my Mom made a lemon meringue pie for the family or there would have been tears. Seriously, they’ve got mad love for butter and sugar.

Baking lemon pie brings memories of my Grandmother back to me. She made an incredible lemon pie with sky-high meringue. It was sensational, just like her. She was also very snippy and demanding at times. I think she mostly lived off of coffee and buttered toast, and the occasional chili from Wendy’s. I remember once she put a pizza  in the oven and asked me why it looked so funny…  it was upside down. True story. I miss her humor, attitude, and that lemon pie.

I really like pie. Like reallllllllyyyyy like it.  I made this pie out of memory of my grandmother but also because I had this insane craving for lemon, sugar and butter. I’m convinced this pie is a complete breakfast, I mean… there are eggs in it. Counts for something.

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Apr
07

You are who you choose to be.

I know this to be true.

I’m the girl who gets up early Saturday mornings to bake and cook. I could spend an entire day doing it. There is no doubt that waking up every day to do something with food would make me happy. It’s becoming evident that it’s so much more than a hobby.

Which is why I am choosing to leave my current job.

Yeah, this just got serious.

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Apr
03

I seriously need a vacation.

A place where I can go to have both a delicious experience and a delicious time. I just want to eat all day and bask in the sun. Hmmm… Mexico? They may have Cartels, but that won’t stop me. Homemade guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, cheese on everything. Yes please! But wait, I can’t forget about those warm salty tortilla chips. Note to self: warn dates of obsession with tortilla chips so they don’t touch the bowl.

There’s just so much comfort in the simplicity of good Mexican food.

My obsession with fish tacos began last summer when my Godfather and I went to the local Minneapolis food truck, Barrio. They happen to be known for their tacos & tequila. (Hell yes!) We spent nearly a half hour waiting in line under the beating sun. I can tell you that it was absolutely worth sweating for. The fish was beer battered, fried crisp to perfection, then wrapped between a corn tortilla and topped with a creamy slaw. I put a little habanero salsa in mine too. Such a delicious experience.

 

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