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Pumpkin [Chocolate Chip] Pancakes

13 Oct

This morning, I woke up bright and early and started on my chores and decided that we needed pancakes. I was going to attempt to come up with a recipe for more protein pancakes and then realized that I have  pure pumpkin puree- hooray! (ha!)! Pumpkin pancakes it is!

Not only is pumpkin delicious but the health benefits make me wonder why I forget about it all year long! The only other times I use it is if I’m ever making store bought cake mixes which is extremely rare…but I just substitute all the additioanl ingredients for a can (for chocolate cake)! It has thousands and thousands units of Vitamin A (which is good for your vision, immune system, babies in the womb -ahem-, & bone health); it has more potassium than a banana & a bunch of other minerals; fiber!!!; & it’s an antioxidant!

Guys, these were AMAZING! Like a crispy pumpkin pie or cookie or scone or…pancake! haha! So delicious! Since I made it vegan, I was able to taste the batter and adjust measurements to my liking. In the end, I decided they needed more sweetness and added a little bit of mini chocolate chips which really made these pancakes, in my opinion. You can definitely omit the chocolate chips and add carob chips or none at all to make this fully vegan!

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Yummy pancake stacks; fluffy goodness; Honey Munster silently and awkwardly begging.

Ingredients

-1 1/14 whole wheat pastry flour [I’m sure regular whole wheat would be fine]
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2 tbsp. brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-1 cup Pumpkin Puree
-1 1/2 cups almond milk
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp.-1 tbsp. of chai seeds
-1 tbsp. flax seed*
-3 tbsp. warm water*
*egg substitution

Optional:

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or carob chips or none at all!

Directions

1. Start by mixing your egg substitution (warm water + flax seed) that way you can keep your recipe vegan and taste/adjust as you go. Set it aside. Heat up a griddle or pan and lightly spray it with EVOO.

2. Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl (whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, & pumpkin spice).

3. Add your wet ingredients to the mix (pumpkin puree, almond milk, flax seed/water, & vanilla). Mix.

4. Taste! Here is where I thought it needed more oomph (as in sweetness). I wanted it to taste more pumpkin-y (yup, that’s a word), so I added more puree (originally I had only added 3/4 of a cup). I don’t like adding sugar so 2 tbsp. of brown sugar was enough. I considered honey and then remembered I had mini chocolate chips! My favorite! I added 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, gave it a quick stir and voila! Perfection!

5. To make the same size (or similar sized) pancakes, I use the same measuring cup or ice cream scooper to scoop & serve. Use whatever size you want- I think I use 1/4 of a cup. This gave me enough for 8 pancakes! Cook your batter on medium high heat and flip when you know they’re ready (usually about 4 minutes or so or depending on how you like your pancakes). Cook the other side and serve immediately! So delish!

Enjoy! Can you believe how amazingly HEALTHY these are?!

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With my leftover pumpking puree, I’m thinking of a pumpkin smoothie later for a healthy dessert or if it lasts til morning, I’ll add it, along with cinnamon & almond milk, to oatmeal for a sweet, low-calorie breakfast. Yum!

Quinoa Burgers

26 Mar

It’s no lie when I say that I’m slightly obsessed with quinoa. It is such an amazing teeny tiny little seed that is sooo easy to cook and packs an enormous amount of protein and happy healthiness! I just love it! A couple of weeks ago, we were looking for a place to eat by the hotel we were staying at in San Diego. We randomly discovered this little fast-food burger joint called “Burger Lounge.” It is this amazing restaurant that prides itself in providing fast yet healthy burgers from products that are produced in a sustainable environment. Their cows are grass-fed (yup, that means no chemicals, grain, corn, etc…just green grass)! We were so happy to see that they offered a vegetarian burger: the quinoa burger! I was so excited to try it as my obsession with all things quinoa is in full effect! Let me tell you, it was great! Even our meat-eating homies thought it was great (FYI they absolutely loved their juicy burgers, too, and said there was a noticeable difference in their meat experience). We highly recommend you guys trying out the Burger Lounge!

Needless to say, I have been inspired to recreate it. Yesterday, we were all hanging out and drooling over our two week old memories of these burgers that today I couldn’t get it outta my mind. So I came up with my own quinoa burger inspired by Burger Lounge’s. And…it’s pretty amazing!

Ingredients

(these are rough estimates as I don’t really measure when I cook):

-1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
-1.5 cups of garbanzos
-1/2 cup panko crumbs
-1/2 cup of defrosted spinach
-2 carrots
-1 clove of garlic
-dash of salt and pepper
-1 tsp. cayenne pepper
(next time I will definitely add an egg to keep the mixture together)
*this makes 4-5 patties, of course depending on thickness and width.

Directions
1. Ideally, your food processor won’t stop working when you have everything packed into it 😦
And you will be able to simply add all ingredients to it, pulse and voila! If this unfortunate event doe happen to you or you don’t happen to have a food processor, don’t worry! You’ll just have to mash! I was planning on leaving aside 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/2 cup of garbanzos aside anyway to make it more textured, but alas, ’twas not necessary.

2. Spray your pan with EVOO. You can either form your patties by hand or use an ice cream scooper and flatten with a spatula. Once your patties are on your pan, resist temptation to move and flip. Wait until browned and flip!

3. Optional: I made a Greek yogurt dressing for our burgers and I looooved it. (About half a cup of Greek yogurt, juice of 1 lime, a bit of chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and some green onions). We used this to top the burgers (in lieu of mayo on the bread, too). Top your burger anyway you’d like: we did romaine, tomato and cucumbers and lots of that yummy Greek yogurt sauce!