Saturday, August 15, 2015

Oat Bran Pancakes

Hello readers! It has been a while. I've missed you.


As I am sure many of you can relate, this past winter and spring were a blur. Then summer seemed to fly by and all of a sudden I sit here on August 15th realizing seven months have passed at the blink of an eye. At the risk of sounding cliché - time goes by too fast.


I hope to update you with all of my goings-on in successive posts; I have lots of recipes and news to share. Today I thought you might enjoy my Oat Bran Pancakes recipe, because honestly, who doesn't want another pancake recipe?


This recipe is actually the result of a rather unfortunate incident - it is the silver lining, if you will. Last Wednesday I had an unexpected stint in the ER that resulted in surgery, so the past several days I've essentially slept and read in various rooms throughout the house. Today, however, my appetite and energy have returned a bit, and the first thing I craved was (of course) pancakes.


After making, photographing, and eating said pancakes, however, my energy was drained and I returned to my chair for another nap. This is where I sit now as I write my post. It feels good to be writing again.


So let's talk about these pancakes. To put it succinctly, they are incredibly delicious and nutritious and the perfect comfort food.  The oat bran provides a slightly nutty flavor and chewier texture, and they brown up beautifully in the skillet. Throw in your favorite berries or a handful of chocolate chips for an extra special treat. Enjoy!


Thank you to everyone who has sent me their love, support, and prayers this past week, it means the world to me.





Oat Bran Pancakes

Yield: 3 large pancakes (or 6 small)
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Scant 1/2 cup oat bran (40g)
  • 1/4 cup flour (30g)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbls. brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbls. melted butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup milk of choice (add until you reach desired pancake batter consistency)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat skillet over medium-low heat
  2. Whisk together oat bran through cinnamon
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together until just smooth and combined - be careful not to overmix
  4. Let batter rest 5 minutes
  5. Spray skillet with cooking spray
  6. Drop batter by 1/3 cup onto skillet
  7. Wait a few minutes until the tops of pancakes are bubbly and the bottoms are golden brown (see pictures above)
  8. Flip pancakes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  9. Transfer to plate and top as desired (butter, maple syrup, jelly, etc.)
  10. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stuffed Cucumbers

You know that old famous saying, “When life gives you cucumbers, make stuffed cucumbers”? No? Me neither...


This week I went to the grocery store to pick up some zucchini to make zoodles (recipe coming soon), and upon returning home, realized I bought four cucumbers instead; don’t ask, it has been a rough week.


Now I love cucumbers as much as the next person - they are so cool and refreshing. Four cucumbers, however, without meaning to buy them is a bit much. I can only eat so many cucumber slices dipped in ranch dressing.


Therefore, this afternoon I decided to get creative and whip up a quick snack. Filled with protein-packed, garlicky cottage cheese, and topped with a sprinkling of green onions, these stuffed cucumbers are a perfect pick-me-up for any time of the day. Enjoy!


What are you favorite cucumber recipes? PLEASE let me know below - I have a few more cucumbers to use up!

Stuffed Cucumbers

Serves: 1
Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (Lactaid makes a lactose free variety)
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl combine cottage cheese, garlic powder, sliced green onion, salt, and pepper.
  2. Using a small spoon, scoop out the inside of each cucumber slice; be careful to leave the bottom of each slice intact as you don't want to cottage cheese to fall through.
  3. Generously fill each cucumber slice with cottage cheese mixture and enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

It has reached that time of year when all I want is a giant piping hot bowl of soup for dinner. As you are likely all aware, it is freezing outside. Technically, it is way below freezing, but you get the idea.


After bundling up tight with Bruno and heading out for our evening walk, I can't wait to get back, ladle a big bowl of soup out of the crock pot, and warm up from the inside out.


Minestrone is the soup du jour, and let me tell you - it's delicious. If you have ever had the minestrone from Olive Garden...it tastes like that, but even better.


Packed with veggies, beans, and pasta, this hearty vegetarian soup is the perfect savory dish to serve on a chilly night. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Yield: 6 generous servings
Time: 6 hours

Ingredients:
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (substitute vegetable stock if you want to make this vegetarian)
  • 1 cups water
  • 14.5 oz. can Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced sweet vidalia onion
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup shell pasta
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz. can Italian green beans, drained
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped fresh spinach
  • Salt, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional) 
Directions:
  1. In a large slow cooker, combine chicken broth through 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Add in zucchini, pasta, kidney and cannellini beans. Cook on high heat for an additional 30-40 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Stir in spinach and green beans and cook until heated through.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Dish into bowls, top with Parmesan, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy