My Favorite Pancakes

Growing up, pancakes were one of my favorite breakfasts. My mom would make them as a special Saturday morning treat, filled with chocolate chips and topped with Stonewall Kitchen’s now-retired Strawberry Piggy Sauce. Pancakes at Sarabeth’s in Manhattan or my favorite diner in Connecticut were my birthday brunch treat, and my first year in college, the meal I ate before I went off to the airport for school each term to say goodbye to the US for a few months. (The UK one-ups the US by having a Pancake Day, but their pancakes are actually more like what we consider crepes). I’d have them topped with strawberries and bananas and drizzled with maple syrup, because I liked blueberries and chocolate chips, but why change a good thing?

When my wheat allergy was diagnosed, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy pancakes in the same way ever again. Part of why I liked pancakes was the way they conjured up happy memories of childhood meals, before any of my struggles with food began, and the special feeling of having a treat on an ordinary morning I got whenever a plate was set before me. It wasn’t that I thought gluten-free pancake mix would taste bad. I just thought the pancakes would taste different. Which is true, of course. But that meant I didn’t really eat pancakes for a few years, until I started learning to cook for myself and coming up with new recipes. Pancake perfection was a distant dream, but I began to try anyway. Remember that saying, shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars? Well, I’ve taken that to heart, because the pancakes I’ve arrived at might not be perfect, but they sure do make me feel all warm and fuzzy the way I feel pancakes should. They’re sweet, fluffy, and gluten-free, and more than good enough for me!

 

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March Recap + Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Recipe

First things first – happy last day of March! I woke up to the sun shining and birds singing, and though rain is predicted later today, I’m just soaking up these rays of spring as long as they last.

 

IMG_0597

 

I can’t believe March has come to an end. Literally up until yesterday, I thought this month was going to have arrived and be leaving like a lion, but it might just be a welcome lamb! And in between the bouts of wacky weather, my March seemed to slink by while I wasn’t looking. I celebrated the first anniversary of my first half marathon with a second stab at the New York City Half Marathon, Which also meant my second anniversary of running!

 

At the finish line - it's not sweat I'm covered in, it's pixie dust!

At the finish line – it’s not sweat I’m covered in, it’s pixie dust!

 

I conquered another challenge (much smaller in scope) without really noticing by making good on my February promise not to buy any new clothes, and doubled the time – it’s been about 9 weeks, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but the funny thing is I’ve been tempted very little (except that suddenly I’m noticing all these holes in my admittedly well-worn running gear that seem to be telling me I should splurge on a pair of Wunder Unders…)

 

Seriously scrumptious side

Just one scrumptious dish

 

I got to share my feelings on food and its place in our culture, and with those a plethora of recipes that I have created and cooked in my journey to enjoying food as fuel for life. Some are old standbys and some new experiments. In the mood for a sweet and filling breakfast or snack? Try one of my oatmeal cakes, in flavors like Pumpkin Spice or Blueberry Muffin. Want a savory vegetarian main dish? Baked Garlic & Thyme Tofu is here to help, unless you’re in the mood for a Savory Goat Cheese & Vegetable Tart. Want a more classic brunch? Go for Smoked Salmon & Quinoa Quiche. Need some more vegetable inspiration? Just keep reading for my last recipe of March, and keep on cooking!

 

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Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal Cake

This rainy start to spring has put a damper on my mood recently (bad pun, no apologies) and I’ve been wishing and hoping that the sun will break through and May flowers will bloom even when it’s supposed to be April showers. After all, March went out like a lion instead of a lamb, the weather should mix it up a little! To get in the spirit of spring, I’ve been making meals with lots of spring fruits and veggies like asparagus, artichokes, baby lettuces and berries. Since I already have classically autumn apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice oatmeal cakes, I came up with a lovely Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal Cake for this season. It’s a little cakier than my other oatmeal cakes, and worthy of the muffin name for that reason. Go ahead, whip one up and take a bite bursting with berries!

 

Ingredients:

Essential ingredients

Essential ingredients

1/2 cup gluten-free quick-cooking oats (using these instead of rolled oats results in more of a muffin-y texture – I went with Chex Gluten Free quick-cooking oats)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt – plain, vanilla or blueberry

1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar

Pinch salt

For topping: 2 tsp each of Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and blueberry jam or preserves

For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)

 

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Miniature Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

I enjoyed my pumpkin spice oatmeal cake so much, I decided to whip up another – but since I’d finished the pumpkin, I needed a new flavor palate. Enter apples and cinnamon, one of the best combinations for a warming winter treat known to all mankind! Perfect for these days when silver-white winter is supposed to turn into spring, but spring seems a little shy to come out and play…

 

Ingredients:

Bake in a ramekin...

Bake in a ramekin…

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup milk of choice (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt (I recommend using 2% or full fat for the creaminess)

1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)

1/2 small apple, cubed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)

 

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

...flip into a dish to ice and serve!

…flip into a dish to ice and serve!

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add in wet ingredients (only use 1 Tbsp of yogurt here) and cubed apple and mix well.

3. Melt butter in 1-cup (8 ounce) ramekin to coat inner surface. (You can also use olive oil or cooking spray, but I found that butter worked really well in this recipe to give the cake a yummy buttery crust).

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then set oven to high broil for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Use a knife to carefully pry the edges of the cake from the ramekin (easy as long as it was greased well!) and flip upside down into a dish.

6. Top with 1 Tbsp of yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

 

 

Eat up!

Eat up!

 

This is a perfect post-workout breakfast – you can come home, whip up the ingredients, and stick it in the oven while you shower and get ready, then eat before you leave. It’s also a perfect lazy morning dish, because you can just lounge around reading the newspaper and slowly waking up while the oatmeal cake bakes. Basically, it’s great for everyone! And it’s completely gluten-freeWhat’s your go-to breakfast?

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Smoked Salmon & Quinoa Quiche

Like any native New Yorker, I love a good lox n’ onion omelet. But I wanted to serve something a little snazzier for my Breakfast-for-Dinner Party, so I came up with the idea of making the smoked salmon and eggs into a quiche. The crust is made from quinoa, so it’s naturally gluten-free, and adding spices to the mix lets you flavor it to any taste. It’s also a little different, sure to surprise and delight your guests! And while the recipe makes 8 servings, you can halve everything for a smaller version and a make-ahead breakfast for yourself for a few days.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup white quinoa

2 cups broth (mushroom works great, but chicken and vegetable are also good options)

Quinoa crust before baking

Quinoa crust before baking

6 whole eggs

3 egg whites

1 Tbsp olive oil + additional for greasing pan

1/4 cup milk of choice

4 oz nova smoked salmon

1/4 cup cream cheese (omit for dairy-free option)

1 small clove garlic

2 tbsp scallions

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp dill weed

1 Tbsp parsley

Salt and pepper

 

 

Instructions:

Quiche with egg mixture poured in

Quiche with egg mixture poured in

1. Bring 2 cups broth to a boil in a pot on the stove, then add quinoa and 1 Tbsp olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook 12-15 minutes until quinoa is fully cooked. While cooking the quinoa, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Remove the pot of quinoa from the heat and mix in 3 egg whites and 1/2 Tbsp each of garlic, basil, dill, and parsley. Mix thoroughly so the spices are evenly spread throughout the mixture.

3. Grease an 8″ pan well with olive oil. Using a large spoon, transfer the quinoa mixture to the pan and press down to create a bottom crust and edges. Smooth out as necessary.

4. Bake quinoa crust at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Be sure to let the quiche cool before slicing!

Be sure to let the quiche cool before slicing!

5. In a separate bowl, combine 6 eggs with remaining spices, scallions, and garlic. Pour mixture into crust, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Remove quiche after 15 minutes, just before the egg mixture is cooked through. Arrange slices of smoked salmon on top and cook for another 15 minutes. (If you want to use cream cheese, add it in here).

7. Let cool for 30 minutes (you can re-heat in oven before slicing, but it’s best to let it cool down first!)

8. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Breakfast-for-dinner is served!

Breakfast-for-dinner is served!

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Cocoa-Chocolate-Chip Cuppins

I am very particular when it comes to chocolate. I only like dark chocolate (I will tolerate good milk chocolate if it is accompanied by something else delicious, like caramel or berries) and I do not consider white chocolate worthy of the name. And usually, I only enjoy chocolate when it is actual chocolate – in a bar, as a truffle, or chopped into chips. I throw dark chocolate chips into yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal, and sometimes I snack on a few straight from the bag! But I generally don’t delight in anything that is “flavored” with chocolate, like chocolate cake or cookies. When it comes to that stuff, I’m a classic vanilla girl.

These Cocoa-Chocolate-Chip Cuppins are an exception to that rule, the result of accidentally tossing in some unsweetened cocoa powder instead of brown sugar when I was making vanilla chip “cuppins” one day. If a muffin and a cupcake had a baby, the result would be a cute little cuppin – similar to my Marvelous Muffins because I use gluten-free whole rolled oats, but blended with white sorghum flour for a more cupcake-like texture. They’re delicious, with the cuppin tasting definitively of cocoa and the bittersweet chocolate chips adding a deep dark chocolate flavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do – they’re the perfect chocolate kick for a breakfast or snack!

 

Dark chocolate chips and sorghum flour

Dark chocolate chips and sorghum flour

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp gluten-free sorghum flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF sorghum flour)

4 oz vanilla Greek yogurt

1/3 cup milk of choice

2 large eggs

1/4 cup brown sugar or preferred sweetener

1 tbsp melted butter

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp applesauce

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 large chocolate chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips)

Olive oil or cooking spray

 

 

Cuppins before baking

Cuppins before baking

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Add egg, yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract and mix well, ensuring a uniform color and consistency (the batter will remain thick – they’re cuppins, not just cupcakes!)

4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake wrappers. Grease each wrapper VERY well with oil or cooking spray, otherwise your cuppins will stick to the wrappers.

5. Pour batter evenly into each wrapper. Place a dark chocolate chip on top of each one.

6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

7. Let cool.

8. Enjoy!

 

 

Cocoa-Chocolate-Chip Cuppins

Cocoa-Chocolate-Chip Cuppins

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.