Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin Pancake Flavor Face-off

Fall is in full swing and I've been having an apple moment for the last month ever since we went apple picking in early October. But after making apple-everything, it's all about pumpkin now. This is my pumpkin moment.

It's the first weekend in November that we've been home to enjoy the crisp, fresh, Fall air and so I took advantage to do exactly what should happen on a perfect Saturday morning: homemade brunch.

The tricky part about cooking anything when it comes to the hubby and I is that we eat completely differently.  He's all about flavor, and I'm all about how healthy it is. My argument of course is that the two can, and do, go hand-in-hand.  

However, when it comes to pancakes, he wants the old-fashioned flour, milk and sugar kind, while I'm left scouring Pinterest for a hemp seed, flourless, protein-packed version.  And so today I ended up with a flavor face-off of pumpkin pancakes.  I'm happy to report that BOTH were delicious!


Traditional Pumpkin Pancakes for Him:

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Pumpkin Pancake recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com


Healthier Pumpkin Pancakes for me:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oatmeal
6 egg whites
1/4 cup pumpkin
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
a splash of vanilla extract
2 tbs hemp seed (optional)
1/4 cup crushed walnuts (optional)

Grind the oatmeal first by using a coffee grinder, magic bullet or a blender (I used my new Ninja blender, which worked amazing).  Stir the rest of the ingredients all together. 

Set a non stick pan to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook each side for about a minute. Depending on the size of your pan it could make from 3 large pancakes to 5 smaller ones (which is what I did).

Recipe courtesy of fit-fun-delish.com

Like I said, both of these recipes were delicious.  I would say 'his' were a bit sweeter (even before adding maple syrup!), and did have a very nice, spiced pumpkin flavor.  I loved mine for the nuttiness of adding the walnuts against the sweetness of the pumpkin, and ended up topping with raspberry jam for a fruity kick.


Feel good!




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mashed Cauliflower with Jalapeno and Cheddar Recipe

I made mashed cauliflower a couple of weeks ago and I've been a bad, lazy blogger about sharing it with you. I had just received my Ninja blender in the mail, one day before my final CSA (AKA huge bag-o-veggies) arrived, and I just wanted to blend everything. Realizing that would be unwise, and likely unappetizing, I took to the CSA bag to find something that made sense to blend, and that is how I landed on mashed cauliflower.

I had never mashed cauliflower before, so I did what every normal 27-year-old girl would do - I spent a half hour on Pinterest looking at pictures of it. But the pictures made me think of grits, which made me crave jalapeno grits from The Smith, and I did have one last jalapeno left from my summer garden, so I decided I would switch things up and treat my mashed cauliflower like loaded grits.

And that is how the following recipe came to be. The final product was so rich and creamy. The spicy jalapeno gave it the perfect kick, and the sharp cheddar added just the right cheesy flavor to counter it. You can take out the jalapeno and cheddar for a more traditional mashed potato taste, which I might try for Turkey day, though I worry that it might be sacrilegious to forgo real mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.

Oh, ONE ANNOUNCEMENT before you read this delicious recipe: Alycia and I are both proud new owners of the Nutri Ninja I Ninja Blender DUO With Auto-iQ. We'll be conducting a 'blend off' over the next few weeks to put them to the test! This blender was the star of the show at IFBC, and the nice folks at Ninja are letting us try them out for the blog, so expect smoothies, soups and sides in the near future!


Mashed Cauliflower with Jalapeno and Cheddar
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets 
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • fresh chives, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)

Fill medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Place cauliflower florets into water and boil for about 10 minutes, until fork-soft.

Drain the cooked cauliflower and place in Ninja blender (or any blender/food processor). Add chicken broth, butter, salt and pepper; puree until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in jalapeno and cheddar, leaving some aside to use as garnish. Top with remaining jalapeno, cheddar, and chives, and serve.

Feel Good,
Christina