It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a recipe. Truthfully I’ve been living off pimento cheese and spinach. At least they balance each other out?
This pancake recipe came from a cookbook I picked up in Disney World. The original is based on a breakfast dish out of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, which is where we actually stayed for the marathon.
Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle
for pancakes (adapted from Chef Mickey)
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 flax eggs
3/4 c rice milk
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp butter/Earth Balance
for the drizzle:
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Make the pancakes: mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
- Slowly mix in flax eggs, milk, oil, extract and butter. Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth.
- On an electric griddle, nonstick pan or cast iron griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter and cook until bubble appear on top surface and bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook until bottom is golden brown. Repeat until all batter is cooked.
- Make the drizzle by whisking cream cheese, syrup and sugar together. Add rice milk until the consistency is slightly runny.
- Top pancakes with drizzle and garnish with any toppings you’d like, including strawberries.
These pancakes freeze beautifully and make a perfect, quick morning treat.
I’m thinking I’m going to need to make another large batch of these babies tomorrow….
Who saw this one coming?
About a week ago, I decided to give veganism a go. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I decided to just take the plunge and try it. It might pan out, it might not. We’ll see.
Two main reasons for this decision: 1. just to see if I can do it and 2. health. I never thought I would stick with vegetarianism. I never thought I would be training for a marathon. I never thought I could be vegan.. but maybe I can? Sometimes I forget that vegetarian, to me, does not simply mean without meat. It means plant-based. I’ve grown way too dependent on cheese and Jimmy Johns and it’s not healthy.
One of the main reservations I had when contemplating this decision included eating out. It’s very easy for me to eat vegan at home, but when I’m traveling or at a restaurant, challenges pop up. That being said, I’m not going to freak out if I eat a roll made with butter or eggs. I will not go out of my way to analyze every ingredient of every morsel of food that crosses my lips. Maybe this means that I should eat vegan 95% of the time and have a bit of cheese every now and then? This is a little experiment, I suppose.
It’s been going pretty well so far. Six days in and I’m feeling cleaner, healthier, lighter.
However, I can’t promise I won’t have one of these babies in Disney World:
28 days to go. Aaaaand.. cue freakout.
What do you do when you’re craving macaroni and cheese but have no cheese?
Vegan mac + “cheese”. Easy. Fast. Nutritious. Somehow I didn’t have cheese but I did have Angela’s cheese sauce. I had made a huge batch a few weeks ago so I tossed it together with some noodles. I threw some breadcrumbs on top and baked it for a few minutes. Crispy, southern perfection.
I do enjoy my real cheese though, as evidenced by the multiple grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve eaten this week. More on that later.
I’ve also been obsessed with these little delectable treats. Pumpernickel + onion pretzel twists. I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, and these hit the spot. MMmmm. They’re almost gone.
For some reason it’s always freezing in my office, so I brought a sweatshirt to work, even though it was 95 degrees outside. I love this fun Mickey sweatshirt! It’s warm too. Y’all think I should wear it during the marathon? Don’t forget we’re raising money to benefit my SLOS and you can donate here! Every dollar counts!
Also, I think I need some new sunglasses.
Living in the south, I’m constantly surrounded by delicious dishes like pulled pork and shrimp and grits.
Honestly, before I went vegetarian, those were two of my favorite foods. I let the craving for pulled pork get to me tonight and indulged.
Vegetarian, of course!
Vegetarian Pulled “Pork”Sammies
1 block extra firm tofu
additional toppings; slaw is highly recommended
- Slice the tofu into long strips. Bake at 350F until it just starts to brown. You don’t need to press the tofu if you’re baking it this way. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes to bake.
- Put the tofu in a food processor. Gently pulse 3-4 times, until the tofu crumbled but isn’t pulverized.
- Mix the tofu crumbles with your desired amount of barbecue sauce. If you like it saucy, slather it on. If you’re a bit more conservative, use a little less. It’s up to you!
- Spoon tofu + barbecue mixture onto hamburger buns, dress with toppings and enjoy your sloppy southern meal.
I used store bought light barbecue dressing and it was freaking delicious. I had Annie’s organic barbecue the other day and while it was good, there was something a bit off. This version hit the spot and wasn’t too terrible on the ingredient list.
While I was researching vegetarian pulled pork, I found this ridiculous thing called a jackfruit, which apparently makes a pretty decent substitute? It’s supposed to have a mild taste and a similar texture to pulled pork. I’m a little skeptical but Greenville does have an Asian market, where I can supposedly find said jackfruit. I might need to take a little gander and see if I can whip up a better version.
I’ve also seen some versions made with seitan, which I have yet to try (!!).
Now if someone could just figure out how to veg-ize low country boil and shrimp & grits, I’d pretty much love you forever.
We’re in day four of my little detox experiment and it’s still going well.
I’m going strong avoiding caffeine (wah!), dairy, soy, beans and gluten. I have to admit, I am getting a bit bored with my food variety. I miss coffee, crunchy bread, froyo, a good goat cheese and veggie burgers. If nothing else, this detox has truly made me appreciate the foods that I “can’t” eat right now.
Lunch today was a huge quinoa salad, topped with cauliflower (love!), cherry tomatoes, green beans and carrots. I whisked up a quick dressing of olive oil, balsamic and grainy dijon to pour over it. It was delicious.
I slipped up yesterday and had some sunflower butter, which has some added sugar and salt (which I’m also trying to avoid), but I didn’t beat myself up about it. Some salt is essential and sunflower butter is freaking good.
In terms of how I feel, I feel most excellent! On Tuesday I ran a slow but steady three miles nonstop! I know walking doesn’t make me any less of a runner, but I always feel accomplished when I can go the distance without walking. I also feel more focused at work, which is always a plus.
I also started reading 50/50 this week (I have a slight Dean Karnazes obsession), and the back of the book has a beginner’s marathon training guide, which I’m going to incorporate into my training.
I knew back when I started my first plan it was unrealistic for me to run up to ten miles on a weekday. I just don’t have time! I think I’m also going to bump up running to four days a week, instead of the planned three, with one day of biking, one day of swimming and one rest day. However as anyone who took high school english knows, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.
Anyway, I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday! This week has absolutely flown by. Time for me to snuggle up in bed with my nerdy book of the week.
Long run days call for two breakfasts.
This is a rule.
On Sunday I ran six miles. I had the usual smoothie in the morning and I was hungry a few hours later. I bought some buckwheat for my detox this week, so I decided to try out Ashley’s buckwheat bake. I followed her recipe exactly and added some chopped pecans. I also microwaved for 2 minutes instead of baking for 30 minutes.
I was hungry, okay?!
Buckwheat is an interesting little thing. Contrary to it’s name, it’s gluten free and quite tasty. I bought the groats from the bulk section at WF and used my food processor to grind them into flour.
The bake had a muffin-like consistency and was delicious topped with some maple syrup, coconut and pumpkin seeds. Mmmmmm.
I can’t wait to try out some fall varieties. Pumpkin puree, applesauce, chopped apples, raisins. The possibilities are endless!
Second breakfast never tasted so good.
So. Let’s talk about what I’ve been eating lately.
It’s been looking a little like this:
and less like this:
which left me feeling like this:
So I’ve decided to do a seven-day detox of sorts. My body has been all out of whack for a little while, and I want to get to the root of the problem. There is very clearly something that is causing me distress. I have a good feeling it’s caffeine and something in Sabra hummus (tear!), but I want some more solid proof.
For the next seven days I will be abstaining from caffeine, dairy, gluten, soy, beans, and most added sugar and salt. What does that leave me to eat? A multitude of things!
Breakfast today was a banana and a brown rice cake topped with peanut butter.
Mid-morning snack was a Larabar + delicious detox tea. I’m not a huge fan of tea in general, but this one tastes sort of like chai. I’m not really sure if ‘purifies my liver’ as it claims, but it sure is tasty!
Lunch was a hugh jass salad: spinach + mushrooms + carrots + sprouts + tomatoes + Angela’s cheezy sauce.
Afternoon snack was half a honeydew and two dates. Dates = candy.
Dinner consisted of roasted sweet potato, rainbow chard roll ups packed with millet, nutritional yeast and pepper plus cherry tomatoes on the side.
I didn’t feel hungry or deprived at all during the day, which is good because that’s not what I’m going for at all. I’m cleaning up my eating and will slowly be adding the above off limits back in, after seven days of clean eats. Hopefully I can get to the root of the problem and health-ify myself on the way.
One day down, six to go!
Sunday is, hands down, my favorite day of the week.
Sundays always remind me of the Maroon 5 song, and I’ve had it in my head for the past couple days.
Such a good song. I love Maroon 5! I saw them in concert in 2004 or 2005 when they went on tour with John Mayer (swoon!). My friends and I bought lawn tickets but ended up in the third row because of some people who only came to see Maroon 5. It was an amazing concert. Adam Levine + John Mayer = total hotness.
Anyway. This Sunday was both relaxing and productive, which is the best kind of day. Things accomplished today:
run/walk/limp 5 miles because it’s hot outside and I recently agreed to run a marathon
immediate ice bath afterwards while sipping a green monster
watching Disney-related documentaries on Netflix
making my own granola and enjoying it for breakfast/midnight snack
Homemade Granola (adapted from Oh She Glows)
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds, slivered
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tbsp flax meal
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sunflower butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Mix the oats, almonds, quinoa, flax, chia, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, syrup, sunflower butter and extract.
- Microwave the wet mixture for just about a minute, until warm and easily incorporated.
- Mix the wet into the dry and stir to coat.
- Spread the mix on a baking sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 25 minutes, just until the batch is slightly golden. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
This granola ranks high on the “best granolas I’ve had” list. It’s crunchy, crispy and not overly sweet. I enjoyed mine both with a cup of rice milk and atop a green smoothie today. I also eat it straight up, but I end up eating all the granola chunks before the rest of the batch.
I can’t believe this weekend is already over. Anyone else agree weekends go entirely too quickly?
Mmm. Indian food.
When I saw Jenna’s recipe for baingan bharta, I knew I had to make room for it in my menu. I subbed the jalapeno for some ground cayenne pepper, real ginger for powdered ginger and cumin seeds for ground cumin, even though it explicitly says not to do that.
The food gods were shining down upon me though, because it worked out.
I bought some turmeric awhile back from a cute little shop in Asheville, The Spice and Tea Exchange. There were dozens and dozens of different spices in this shop, and if you’re in the area, I encourage you to go. I wish I could have brought the whole store with me, but alas, I only walked out with a little baggie of bright yellow gold.
Saute some onion, throw all the seasoning on top while the eggplant roasts away in the oven.
Blend everything up in the food processor or blender (not like you’re trying to make butternut squash soup) and you’re left with creamy, spicy deliciousness.
I seriously can’t believe how creamy this is for a vegan dish. The eggplant gives it an amazingly thick, rich consistency that absolutely melts in your mouth. I enjoyed this dip with local pita bread but I imagine it would be delicious on lentils, rice and definitely garlic naan!
This batch went way too fast (two days, anyone?) and I’m thinking I might need someone to hook me up to an IV of this stuff.
Spicy, creamy, delicious. What more do you need?
Bitchin’: (as defined by Merriam Webster): slang : remarkably good or cool.
Let me point out some things that are NOT bitchin’:
Taking a two hour nap instead of running like your training plan dictates
Waiting for two hours in the Toyota dealer while your oil gets changed
Making plans to run a marathon with your BFF in Disney World in January
Having to work on-call this weekend
And some things that are bitchin’:
Mama Pea’s Book
Making plans to run a marathon with your BFF in Disney World in January
Coupons in the mail
Let me back up a bit.
Yes, I did take a nap today instead of running which turned out to be a super silly thing to do because my BFF and I decided we’re going to run the Disney Marathon in January. Yes, we’ve officially lost it and yes, I did fall asleep in my running clothes so at least I had the right intentions?
Yes, I did get my oil changed today and I was sitting in the dealership for longer than I had anticipated but I did have a beautiful magazine to read and it was highly entertaining and now I want to move to Italy.
Yes, I FINALLY got Mama Pea’s book today and yes, I am absolutely loving it so far. It’s her blog in print form and it’s hilarious and glorious and delicious all rolled into one.
Yes, I did get around to re-creating bitchin’ sauce. I first discovered it in San Diego and it was basically love at first taste. (If you live on the west coast, GO FIND IT. So worth it.) It is a vegan, gluten free, almond-based sauce that goes with literally anything. I dumped some almonds, grapeseed oil, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, vinegar, garlic, chipotle chili powder and soy sauce into my food processor and blended it up. It’s not perfect, still a little thick, but it’s getting there. A little more tinkering here and there and it will be close enough for my taste. I think I need to blanch the almonds or maybe soak them a bit longer?
So far I’ve eaten this sauce in several wraps, atop salad, with a veggie burger and with rice. Versatile, I’m telling you.
Have I mentioned I’m going to Disney World in January? And while I’m there I’m going to run 26.2 miles?
I’m going to go pass out now.