Whole Wheat Applesauce Greek Yogurt Pancakes

29 Jun

It’s hard to beat a lazy pancake breakfast on a nice weekend morning. Different from the hustle and bustle of a weekday, it seems like I have all the time in the world when the weekend hits. French press coffee or a perfect cup of tea, hearty homemade breakfast, and usually something nerdy on the TV = my ideal Saturday or Sunday morning.

Whole Wheat Applesauce Greek Yogurt Pancakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

A healthy breakfast is still the key, no matter what day of the week it is. These pancakes are made with a combination of whole wheat flour and ground oats; applesauce and Greek yogurt give them a tangy punch; cinnamon lends a nice spice factor; a touch of molasses sweetens the pot, without destroying the flavor. Top with honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter, fresh fruit, or even some homemade jam! Bonus: keep the leftovers in the fridge for a quick and indulgent breakfast once work hits again on Monday.

Whole Wheat Applesauce Greek Yogurt Pancakes, adapted from Healthy Recipes Blogs

Makes 12 pancakes

  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1 C ground oats
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 C milk C warm water
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk. Whisk in the applesauce, yogurt, molasses and vanilla.

Pour the wet into the dry and whisk until just combined. The batter will be nice and thick.

Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high. Spray with olive oil PAM, or other fat, such as butter or coconut oil.

Drop batter onto the hot pan using a 1/3 C measuring cup.

Let cook 2-3 minutes and flip when bubbles begin to form on top; press down and cook another 3 minutes.

Transfer cooked pancakes to a serving platter. To keep them warm as you finish cooking, simply turn the oven onto its lowest setting and put the oven-safe platter (or use a cookie sheet) in the oven to hold finished pancakes.

My First Race + Southwestern Veggie Mac and Cheese

26 Jun

I recently participated in my first ever 5k race! This is a big deal for me, and I’ll explain why.

My First Race + Southwestern Veggie Mac and Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Up until January of this year, I never ran. Ever. Zumba, yoga, weight lifting, walking…those were my exercises of choice. I did not WANT to run, but more importantly, I did not THINK I could run. It sounded scary: I’d hurt myself, look stupid, or just plain fail. In elementary school when we were forced to run “the mile,” I’d always finish last, huffing and puffing and bright red in the face.

But something got me onto a treadmill in January (a machine I previously loathed). I tried it out – admittedly there was more walking than running at first. I still didn’t enjoy it, but also didn’t quit. I had no idea what I was doing – I knew nothing of form, appropriate pace or use of inclines. I slowly increased my distance, while also trying to increase speed.

There was finally a day nice enough to run outside, which was a totally different experience than being in the gym. By this point, I began not only enjoying the sport, but also looking forward to the day’s run. I’d diligently check the weather forecast, and realized I was bummed whenever conditions were not nice enough for an outdoor run, forcing me back to the gym.

Then I signed up for a 5k. The Summerfest Big Gig 5k. By now, I had become accustomed to running outside and taking different routes. I learned it’s best to mix it up when training, or your body becomes complacent.

The experience was something brand new to me! It was cold and rainy for a June morning…not ideal and certainly nothing I had chosen to run in before. I didn’t know exactly where the start line was and quickly became nervous as the race start neared. Chris came with to watch (thankfully) so I wasn’t totally alone. Well, with 1400 people running a total of three races in this event, there’s no way I could be alone. I took my place at the starting corral, waited for the signal to begin, and was off!

The run was a hard one for me. The route was rather flat, but with all the newness of this experience, I felt figuratively lost. I didn’t have my best time. I didn’t run for the entire distance. I didn’t have a smile pasted to my face for the whole 3.1 miles. But I did enjoy it: the challenge of something new, the obstacle of crappy weather, and being surrounded by complete strangers all looking to achieve the same end. I did the best I could and was damn proud when I crossed the finish line.
My First Race + Southwestern Veggie Mac and Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I want to now train for a half marathon on November 1, sprinkled with another 5k and 10k in between. This is a challenge I want to conquer, so here’s to more running! If you have any tips, tricks, or words of encouragement, I’d greatly appreciate it! As singular a sport as running is, I need all the help I can get :)

So, onto a tasty recipe. This Mac & Cheese is loaded with all things healthy! Tons of veggies, healthy pasta, and a sauce made primarily from Greek yogurt and milk, this dish is only made better with the addition of some cheese. It’s a perfect dinner post-race, or any day of your busy week.
Southwestern Veggie Mac and Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Use whatever veggies you have on hand. The cheeses don’t have to be Edam and aged cheddar, but I do suggest you use a combination of mild and sharp flavors. The creaminess of the Edam adds to the texture of the mac overall, while the sharpness of the cheddar gives it an insane flavor punch – without using too much!

Southwestern Veggie Mac and Cheese
Serves 6

  • 12 oz whole wheat or other healthy rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 C skim or nondairy milk
  • 6 oz Edam cheese, cubed
  • 2 oz aged cheddar cheese, cubed (I prefer 5-year aged)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 glass casserole dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return cooked pasta back to the pot. Set aside.

While pasta cooks, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high and saute all the veggies and black beans, 7-10 minutes.

In the meantime, make the sauce. Combine yogurt, milk, cubed cheeses and spices into a blender. Puree until smooth. This will essentially create a cheese milkshake, which is the texture you’re looking for (gross, right?). Taste it and adjust seasoning as desired.

Once veggies are sauteed, add them to the cooked & drained pasta. Pour the prepared sauce on top and stir to coat everything. Stir in the raw chopped tomatoes.

Transfer mac and cheese to prepared glass pan. Spread out evenly. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

Curried Scrambled Egg and Chickpea Wrap with Cilantro Yogurt

11 Jun

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

What do you make when you want a quick, healthy, tasty and fresh dinner? This question plagues me often. My evenings are usually packed, so meals need to meet all those requirements. Toss in an innovative mind, a stocked pantry, and some pasteurized eggs, and the ideas start flowing!

This meal is like a warm veggie curry, but in egg form. Coconut oil lends that distinct coconut flavor we love in a good curry, a blend of spices warm it all up, and a dollop of fresh cilantro yogurt pulls it all together in this tasty wrap.
Curried Scrambled Egg and Chickpea Wrap with Cilantro Yogurt | xtinaluvspink. wordpress.com

Using Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs, you can make this SUPER FAST! These eggs don’t need long to cook, so dinner – or breakfast or lunch – can be ready in under 20 minutes (I think it even took me 15!).

Warm spices, fresh herbs and cool yogurt makes this the perfect dish.

Curried Scrambled Egg and Chickpea Wrap with Cilantro Yogurt
Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can chickpea, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 multi-grain 8″ wraps

Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high. Cook chickpeas until browning and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in all the spices and cook another minute.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Pour into the hot pan. Turn heat down to medium and let the eggs scramble slowly.

In the meantime, mix cilantro into the yogurt.

Remove pan from heat once eggs are just scrambled. Stir in the sliced green onion, to warm.

Lay wraps onto two plates. Spoon the curried egg and chickpea mixture into the middle of each wrap, like you would a burrito. Top with spoonfuls of cilantro yogurt. Fold together, and enjoy!

Curried Scrambled Egg and Chickpea Wrap with Cilantro Yogurt | xtinaluvspink. wordpress.com

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles

10 Jun

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Ah, breakfast. My absolute favorite meal of the day, and one which I would happily enjoy for every meal of the day! The options are endless…sweet, savory, pastry, eggy, cheesy…I could go on.

One of my newest favorite breakfast meals are waffles! I’ve posted about the quick & easy dish before, but once is never enough. Besides, with a nice basic recipe, it’s easy to let the mind wander into more creative variations. Which is where this recipe comes from. Combine a craving for PB&J, a healthy breakfast, and the time to make something really amazing, and you get Peanut Butter & Jelly waffles!

But wait! There is neither real peanut butter nor sugary jelly in this breakfast. A heaping scoop of powdered peanut butter, creaminess from coconut milk and quick-stewed strawberries gives the illusion of something indulgent and naughty without actually being bad for you. Add in some protein powder and keep the flour whole wheat, and there’s a balanced breakfast ready to go!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

While we’re on the subject of breakfast, let’s talk about eggs. Given that waffles require so little time to cook, the egg in the batter might be off-putting to some people. But with Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs, there’s nothing to worry about! Pasteurization means that their eggs are safely and slowly heated in warm water to kill any potential germs, negating the risk of Salmonella. If you stick with pasteurized eggs, you’ll have nothing to worry about!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles
Serves 4

  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 serving of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 C PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • 2 tbsp nondairy powdered milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 C canned coconut milk (shake well before opening)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pasteurized egg, separated
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed and quartered
  • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup

Turn on the waffle maker to its highest setting. 450° is good.

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together. Whisk in the milk, oil and egg yolk. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until light and fluffy.

Carefully mix the egg white into the batter.

Grease waffle iron with PAM or coconut oil. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into the center and close the lid. Cook for 2 minutes, transfer to a plate, and repeat with the rest of the batter. Note: this makes nicely small waffles. If you want large ones, use 1/2-2/3 cup of batter per waffle.

Optional: keep the plate of finished waffles warm in the oven, turned to its lowest possible temperature, until all have been cooked.

While the waffles cook, combine quartered strawberries with the maple syrup in a microwaveable bowl. Zap on full power for 2 minutes. You may need to stir and microwave another minute – you are looking for a stewed consistency, the flavor of which will be strawberry jam.

To serve, place two waffles onto a plate and spoon the strawberry mixture on top. Add any other toppings you desire: more maple syrup, a dollop of nut butter, sliced banana, etc.

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna

2 Jun

I have never made lasagna.

Now, I should say that I’ve helped my mother make panfulls of lasagna. In fact despite our German heritage, lasagna was almost always the birthday dinner menu of choice – paired with salad and garlic bread and finished off with an amazing layer cake.

In fact, when I called my mom asking her just HOW to layer a lasagna properly, she promptly asked “what’s the occasion?” “Dinner” was my response.

I’ve taken on the mindset that every meal with a loved one(s) should be considered an occasion. This was a simple dinner to be enjoyed with my boyfriend – the leftovers of which will feed us for lazy days and lunches this week. But why save the “fancy” or time-laborious dishes for special occasions when you can enjoy the little things in life?!

Well, here’s a relatively easy lasagna to indulge in on a Tuesday or save up for a family birthday. Either way, it’s healthy, loaded with flavor, melty cheese and savory veggies. Adjust the spicy level to your tastes (as is, this recipe has just a bit of a kick – nothing crazy here) and you’ve got yourself a fabulous meal!

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna

Serves 8

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 15-oz can diced stewed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 28-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 C shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with PAM.

Chop the onion, celery and peppers. Toss with oil and spread onto the prepared sheet. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

While that roasts, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain thoroughly and separate the noodles to lay over the sides of the empty pot and/or sieve (so they don’t stick together!).

As the veggies roast and the noodles boil, prepare the sauce. Combine the two cans of tomatoes, garlic, sugar, spices and S&P in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with PAM. Spread 1/3 C of the sauce into the bottom of the dish.

Now add the drained black beans and roasted veggies to the sauce.

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Lay three cooked noodles into the pan to make your first layer of lasagna. Spread about 1 1/2 C of veggie sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella on top. Repeat: lay another three noodles on top, cover with veggie sauce, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat once more to use up the last three noodles, whatever sauce you have left, and the rest of the mozzarella. Top with sliced tomatoes.

Spray a sheet of foil with PAM and cover the lasagna. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 10-15 minutes. This will allow it to cool off AND let the sauces thicken a bit so it’s not all runny upon serving. Slice the lasagna into 8 pieces and serve hot.

Keep leftovers in the fridge up to five days.

Triple Pepper and Black Bean Lasagna | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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