Pancake Party!

I get into breakfast ruts a lot. For most of my life, I ate cereal with skim milk and possibly a side of waffles for breakfast basically every single morning. I’ve never been a savory breakfast kind of girl, because I’ve always hated eggs, bacon and sausage. Within the past year, though, I’ve moved away from having cereal for breakfast. First, I was on an overnight oats kick that started about a year ago. I was obsessed and came up with a million different combos. I still love overnight oats, but now I’ve been having them for snacks more often than for breakfast. Just a couple of weeks ago, I started having a smoothie-in-a-bowl basically every single day, topped with fruit or crushed cereal. So good. But since I’ve been home for the summer, there’s been only one thing on my mind–pancakes.

Before a week ago, I don’t think I’d ever made pancakes from scratch. Sometimes on the weekends I’d whip my family up a batch made from an Archer Farms mix. While they have tons of awesome flavors, they aren’t super healthy (or vegan–why do so many things have to have milk in them?) Earlier last week, I made my first homemade, single-lady pancake batch and I was hooked!

If you’re intimidated by making your own pancakes completely from scratch, fear not. They are super simple to make, take practically no time at all (maybe 10 minutes at the most, if you make a batch for just yourself) and are totally customizable. Here’s the basic formula I’ve been using…

3 T to 1/4 cup flour (I like peanut flour or oat flour)

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 to 1 T flax seed, ground and made into flax egg

2-4 T unsweetened almond milk (any flavor) plus extra water to thin

sweetener (I’ve been using Truvia packets or flavored liquid stevia)

Stir flour and baking powder together in a small bowl until combined. Add in liquid ingredients until mixed well. The batter should be thin enough to drip off a spoon but thick enough to hold together. Makes 3-4 small pancakes.

The baking powder is really the only thing you can’t substitute. You can use any flour you like, gluten-free or whatnot. If you’re not vegan or don’t have flax on hand, sub in egg whites or chia seeds. You can use all water, or all almond milk, or any kind of milk you want. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can leave out the sweetener or you can use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey. And of course, any add-ins  and toppings you like! You can even play around with the texture. I love mine really thick and fluffy, so I make tiny, pillowy pancakes.

I’m sharing some of my favorite combos that I’ve made so far–all of them have been amazing and so much better than pancakes made from mixes!

Carrot cake pancakes made with oat flour and shredded carrot/fresh pineapple chunks/cinnamon/raisins, topped with peanut flour sauce and raisins.

PB&J pancakes made with peanut flour and topped with homemade strawberry jam and sunflower seed butter.

Cookie dough pancakes made with oat flour and chopped vegan chocolate chips, topped with honey vanilla agave syrup.

Tiramisu pancakes made with oat flour and Starbucks instant coffee powder, topped with homemade cashew ‘mascarpone’ cream, dusting dark cocoa powder and honey vanilla agave syrup.

Cashew ‘Mascarpone’ Cream (vegan, gluten-free, no added sugar)

1/4 cup cashew pieces, soaked in water overnight

2-3 T unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain)

5-6 drops liquid vanilla stevia, to taste

Drain water off cashews and pour into food processor or high powered blender. Add in almond milk and stevia and process until mostly smooth and creamy. Serve on top of pancakes/waffles, as a dip for fresh fruit or as sandwich filling. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Do you prefer pancakes, waffles or crepes? What are your favorite toppings for pancakes?

WIAW: Free At Last (Almost!)

Well girlies, I am so close to being completely done with my first two years of college! I’ve just got one final bright and early tomorrow night and then I am done done DONE! I’ve already been home since Friday afternoon, but getting this over with means that summer can officially begin.

Being home has been awesome so far! Of course, I went on a huge grocery haul my first full day back–does anyone else love grocery shopping? I could literally do it every day and not get bored, especially at Whole Foods. There’s always some new product and I’ve always gotta try it! So this week’s WIAW will be featuring a few of those new finds, and a couple of recipes.

The ginger root beer variety is almost as good as the cream soda.

The 6-packs of Zevia were on sale at my WF, so I had to try out a new-to-me flavor. It was really good, but I was expecting a little more ginger flavor. I love ginger anything so it was a little disappointing, but I’m sure it’ll make the perfect healthy root beer float! I’ve been on the lookout for Zevia’s newer flavors (lime cola and strawberry) but no luck yet. I think I’ll be hitting up all the Whole Foods in CO… 😉

Whole Foods guacamole (aka the best guac ever) and amazing locally-made mango salsa, in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo wasn’t too exciting for me or my family (my dad was more excited about the Kentucky Derby) but we did ‘celebrate’ with salsa and guacamole. WF has the  best guac, but unfortunately it’s super expensive. We got a tiny container of it for $4.99, a total rip-off but so worth it. The mango salsa was a much better buy, and also delicioso (had to get some Spanish in there somewhere!). I am in love with fruity salsas and really want to make my own this summer. I made a strawberry jalapeno pico de gallo last summer but the recipe never made it to the blog–I’ll be making it again soon and sharing the recipe this time!

What season is this?!

So Monday morning, I woke up to snow. Yes, snow in May. Crazy Colorado! We’ve had warm, dry weather for 2 months straight and now this. At least it was only a dusting, and didn’t stick around for long.

A Cinco de Mayo snack plate: crushed sweet potato and blue corn Late July chips, kettle corn, stuffed Medjool date, chili and jalapeno olives, guacamole and mango salsa.

I don’t think I will ever get sick of snack plates. They are perfect for indecisive people like me who don’t like to commit to one huge thing. I’d rather sample a bunch of small things and please all my cravings. Plus each snack plate is completely different, so I never get bored.

I’m always down for seasonal flavors!

You know you’re a foodie when you practically pee your pants upon seeing brand new Larabar flavors. Especially ones that you haven’t even heard about, and that sound as amazingly delicious as these. I am so glad I am no longer a Larabar snob because I will be hoarding these seasonal flavors like nobody’s business. I love anything and everything limited edition, especially summery things. I’ve only tried the pineapple upside down cake one and it’s so pineapple-y! I can’t believe it’s only made of almonds, dates and pineapple. If you see these near you, buy the whole box some! You won’t regret it.

[Pancake] breakfast of champions: peanut flour pancakes topped with homemade strawberry vanilla stevia jam and drizzle sunflower seed butter.

I couldn’t come home and not make pancakes, right? I haven’t had any in months, and this was my first time making them completely from scratch–no boxed mixes for this girl anymore! These pancakes are super easy to make, taste just like a gooey PB&J sandwich and have 15 grams of protein in the entire batch! P.S. Both recipes are adapted from here.

Peanut Flour Pancakes (vegan, gluten-free, high protein)

3 T peanut flour (or PB2)

1 T ground flax seed (I used golden flax) or mashed banana/unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 T water

1/2 t baking powder

2 packets Truvia or stevia (can use liquid stevia drops)

4 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)+ water, to thin

Stir together ground flax and water to make a flax “egg”. Set aside for a few minutes. In a bowl, mix together peanut flour, baking powder and Truvia. Add in flax egg, almond milk and any additional water needed to thin the batter. On a skillet or small pan heated to medium, scoop batter in small spoonfuls (I used a melon baller) or form into a larger pancake, cooking two at a time. Flip pancakes once the batter bubbles up. Serve pancakes topped with nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter), caramelized bananas, real maple syrup or homemade jam (see recipe below). Makes 5 small or 2 large pancakes.

Homemade Microwave Strawberry Vanilla Jam (vegan, gluten-free)

strawberries, sliced (I used 3 large berries)

4-8 drops liquid vanilla stevia, to taste (you can use any flavor)

Stir berries and stevia together until combined. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 min. Can serve warm or chilled. Spoon over pancakes, on toast or on top of nondairy ice cream. Makes 1 serving.

So spicy, so good.

Continuing with my love for all things hot, I picked up this gem at WF this past weekend. Like a lot of new-t0-me products, I hoped that it would live up to the hype that I put on it. Well, this definitely delivered! Spicy with just a hint of ginger, it’s perfect as a marinade, sauce and dip.

Having Mexican food a few days after Cinco de Mayo still counts, right? Black beans with mango salsa, crispy kale tempeh taco on sprouted Ezekiel tortilla topped with guacamole.

I am usually a fan of tacos. Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a taco every once in awhile. In the past, I’ve used beans as a filler but this time I went for ground tempeh and it was a winner. In fact, it was probably the best taco I’ve ever had.

Crispy Kale Tempeh Tacos (vegan)

1 oz crumbled tempeh (I used Lightlife organic flax tempeh)

marinade of choice (I used the Ginger People Hot Ginger Jalapeno sauce above)

handful kale

salt and pepper, to taste

nooch, to taste

tortilla (I used a small Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla)

taco toppings (guacamole, vegan sour cream, Daiya cheese or cashew cheese, salsa)

Marinade tempeh in sauce for 5-10 minutes. Place tempeh in a pan on the stove over medium high heat and let cook until browned and somewhat crunchy. Add in kale, salt, pepper and nooch and cook until crispy. Spoon kale and tempeh onto tortilla and top with more sauce and whatever toppings you love. Makes 1 taco.

PB&J smoothie in a bowl (unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, peanut flour, Truvia) topped with fresh strawberries and crushed PB Puffins.

Apparently I’m on a PB&J for breakfast kick right now! I’m just loving the combo of peanut flour and fresh strawberries right now–I may have to make a wrap or open-faced sandwich with these two ingredients soon.

Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Have you spotted the new Larabar flavors yet?

It’s Okay…

Hey guys! I want to take a little bit of a different approach with this post, so I hope you enjoy (and relate)!

It’s okay…that I prefer almond butter to peanut butter–hands down!

Sorry, PB, you aren’t it for this girl!

 It’s okay…that I like to mostly eat healthy foods, even supposedly disordered “diet food” like veggies and nonfat yogurt. Just because I’m in recovery doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these things.

I love salads (even without dressing)…no shame!

It’s okay…to eat a mostly-vegan diet but still have Greek yogurt (a lot!) and froyo/gelato every so often.

You can’t say that doesn’t look delicious…

 It’s okay…that I can’t live without Whole Foods. I’d probably be broke if I was spending my own money 😉

I love the salad bars especially! This delicious mess was Asian kale salad, curried tofu, roasted sweet potato and curried quinoa pilaf.

It’s okay…that I’ve never made oats on the stove. Overnight oats are where it’s at for me!

One of my favorite overnighters combos to date: PB&J remix oats, topped with black grapes and PB Puffins.

It’s okay…that I LOVE carbs!

Nothing beats cereal and dried fruit!

It’s okay…that this is my lunch when I’m on-the-go–and I love it!

Quick, easy & good: Pink Lady and Clif Mojo bar!

 

It’s okay…to sometimes have breakfast for dinner–with some squash on the side.

I love breakfast so much…so why not?

 

It’s okay…that I’ve never had a Lara bar. Because I love Pure bars instead!

They’re almost as simple as Lara bars, but they’ve got way more protein!

 

It’s okay…that I can take way better pictures at home than I can at school.

This is one of my favorite pics ever, I actually got a pretty good closeup of this salad. Compare this to my lame photos now with crap lighting.

 

Answer your own “It’s okay…” question!

WIAW: The Bucket List

Let’s start with a shout-out to all my new (and old!) readers and commenters! You ladies rock my world 🙂

A lot of my WIAW posts include a survey, or random facts about me. Here’s another one: I can’t do a WIAW straight-up. Okay, I can, I just don’t want to. It’s more fun this way, right? Right 😀

Peas and Crayons

This week, I decided to share my “bucket list in progress” with you all. A lot of these I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but they slipped my mind and I just thought of them again, and decided to create a bucket list. Some of these are more realistic than others (and are more likely to happen in the nearish future) but I think it’s just a fun way to share my dream goals!

Attend a New York Fashion Week. If you know how obsessed I am with fashion, ’nuff said. Plus I’ve never been to NY, which is just pathetic.

You can never have too many versions of PB&J Remix oats. This one included organic grape jelly (my new love!), fresh red grapes and PB Puffins. So. Good.

Adopt a child from a third-world country. I would love to someday adopt a little girl from Asia or Eastern Europe. I know the process must be ridiculous, but I’d really love to do it…when I’m married, of course!

Own a greyhound. Gosh, these are my favorite doggies ever and I’ve wanted one for a few years. As soon as I move into a pet-friendly apartment, I’m getting one! Plus it might motivate me to start running more often 😛

Lunch on-the-go = story of my life this year. Today's was my first Cripps Pink apple of the season (second fave kind after Pink Lady) and a Clif Mojo Mountain Mix bar. I'm dying to find the White Chocolate Macadamia Mojo bar though...

Visit every U.S. state. This one, I’m not sure how specific I’ll be with it. I’ve driven through a lot of states, but I’m not sure if it counts as visiting it. I think it does, considering how many hours I spent in the car, and it’s not like I just flew over in a plane. So far I’ve been to Colorado (duh, I live here), California (3 times I think), Arizona (first two years of my life, and then again for spring break last year), New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin (several times since my grandparents live there), Florida and Illinois. So that’s 10 down, 40 to go…

Eat at a vegan restaurant. This one is def realistic and I hope it happens very soon! I’m jealous of all the bloggers who regularly dine at these kinds of places because the food looks so darn good.

I'm rediscovering my love for cereal, and it's loving me back, clearly. Kashi Honey Sunshine and PB Puffins (can I go a day without these? I think not.) topped with freeze-dried cinnamon apples. Bring on the fall.

Have a beach wedding. I could go shoe-less 😉 Oh, and preferably a beach in Cali or Hawaii.

Meet a U.S. president. How cool would this be, especially if they were an awesome prez?

A cozy, almost-fall outfit of the day: burgundy cardi (Hollister), grey lace tee (Hollister), owl pendant (American Eagle), burgundy floral skirt (Hollister), sparkly blue tights (American Eagle). I'm a bit obsessed with the tights and sweater combo, can ya tell? 😉

Go to a Lady Gaga concert and meet her. I think I’d die right on the spot if this happened 😉

Appear in a movie. Of course, I’d love to star in a movie, but getting any kind of part where my name would be in the credits would be le-git.

Dinner and the Denver Post food section? Yes please! Mini EVOL veggie fajita burrito (vegan!), leftover salad greens with guacamole, red grapes. I love salads, but this one was unfortunately lame since it's been in the fridge since Sunday. I hate when salad greens get slimy.

Go snorkeling. I’m scared to go scuba diving, but snorkeling just seems so relaxing and fun.

Be in a flash mob. Come on, I’m not the only one who wants to, right?

Me + dried fruit = BFFs. Raisins and freeze-dried cinnamon apples. Love in a (tiny) bowl.

What’s one thing on your bucket list (if you have one)? What’s your favorite apple variety (mine is Pink Lady!)?

WIAW+Facts of Life

Hey lovelies! I loved all your responses to my weekend update post. I honestly had no idea that everyone would be so in love with my glasses! I think they’ll be making a more regular appearance around here 😉

It’s that time again–WIAW! I can always gauge how quickly a week is going by if I find myself scrambling to gather pics for WIAW. That’s a good thing, though; I hate when school weeks drag on forever. Especially when I have something to look forward to on the weekend. Oh well, that’s life. This week has been going by decently fast, which is great, because I can’t wait for this weekend–or more specifically, Saturday. I’ll get to that soon! For now, just enjoy some foodie pics and a little blogger questionnaire that I found on Alexis’ blog.

Peas and Crayons

How could I start a morning without overnight oats? I couldn't, of course, you know me. Today's lovely creation was dark chocolate oats topped with a spoonful of Whole Foods chocolate apple crunch trail mix. Alongside a spicy veggie sausage and gummy vitamins. A heart bowl makes it that much better. And cuter.

 Fact 1) I have never been to the East Coast, except for Florida. Yes, I realize that’s pretty crazy, especially to all you (many many) East Coast-based bloggies out there. But hey, I’m a Western girl at heart. Born and raised out here, baby. And I don’t plan on ever moving out of this region. I ideally want to move to California (either San Diego or San Fran, but I’m not too picky), Phoenix (my birth cit-ay) or Denver. In that order.

Quickie lunch between classes is always fun. Strawberry Oikos Greek yo' cup, all mixed up with Bear Naked Fit triple berry crunch granola. So good for a super-fast lunchie.

 Fact 2) I go to the school that had the major pool party over the weekend that’s all over the news and YouTube. I mean, really, guys, The Huffington Post covered it. Way to take away CU’s party school status, CSU. Go Rams?????

Ahoy matey! Okay, I'll stop trying to be cool. Outfit of the day, inspired by all things nautical (and nerdy): royal blue striped tee (Hollister), navy culotte shorts (Abercrombie & Fitch), ultra cool nerd glasses.

 Fact 3) I collect rubber ducks. Oh yeah, you know you wanna be friends with me now. Seriously, though, I’ve gotten 2-3 every year of the past 5 years or so (from an annual Labor Day rubber duckie race in a ski town near me) and I’ve got quite the collection now, from a cheerleader duck to a Mardi Gras one.

Snackplate time! Literally, on a plate. Kashi TLC crackers, agave/almond butter dip, frozen banana slices. Sweet, salty and cold all in one. But mostly just yum.

 Fact 4) Lady Gaga is my favorite. Despite her weirdness at the VMAs the other night (what were you thinking dressing like a dude, LG?), I will forever be a fan of her music. She is just so chill and I love that she isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself with her outfit choices. Most of them I approve of (but Sunday night’s choice? Not so much.)

More outfit footage. These glasses are becoming a go-to for me. I blame you guys for your love of them 😉

 Fact 5) I really LOVE spicy foods! Seriously, give me spicy over salty any day, I can take it. Some of my favorite spicy foods include: Indian curries, fresh jalapeno peppers (especially on veggie burgers), really hot salsas, chile powder and the spicy veggie sausages I have every day for breakfast.

Overnight oats making their first (hopefully not last) appearance at dinner time! These were my PB&J Remix oats: 1/3 c. thick rolled oats, mixed with raisins and topped with PB Puffins and fresh black grapes. Heaven in a bowl, I tell ya!

Fact 6) Yearbook nerd alert! Yes, I was on my school’s YBK for 3 years in high school. I was a section editor, went to yearbook camp twice and even traveled three hours three different times to go to a yearbook conference at the school I’m going to now. Yeah, I was a hardcore yearbooker.

I like to make a mess when I eat. Plain 0% Fage mixed with chocolate whey protein powder and 2 duplex cookies. Who said yogurt messes couldn't include cookies?

Fact 7) I love Mediterranean/Greek cuisine. Falafel, hummus, tabouleh, vegan gyros, pita, baba ganoush, olives–it’s my favorite cuisine, hands-down. I think I could totally live in that area and be completely happy.

Tell me one fun fact about you! Oh, P.S., I changed my blog design once again. What can I say, I’m kinda obsessed with changing it every time there’s a new layout that looks cool. Change is good, right?