Saturday Morning Pancakes

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, let’s make it a good one!

This pancake recipe is adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/. It’s completely fool-proof and quick- perfect for you non-morning people. These pancakes will be ready faster than you can brew your pot of coffee.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour

3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 1/4 cup Lactaid milk

1 egg

3 tbsp. melted Earth Balance natural buttery spread, soy-free (found at Whole Foods)

(optional) 1 cup fresh blueberries

(optional) 100% pure maple syrup (no added flavorings)

(optional) a pinch of powdered sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Throw an oven-safe dish into it- a sheet of aluminum foil will also suffice. This is where you can keep the finished pancakes warm until the entire batch is ready.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix milk, egg and melted butter.

Slowly pour the liquid bowl contents into the dry ingredients while stirring. Mix until smooth.

Heat a dab of butter in frying pan. Scoop about 1/3 cup of the mixture into the pan. Push a few blueberries into the top. (I prefer this to adding them to the mixture in the bowl- better distribution).

When the pancake bubbles start to pop, it’s ready to be flipped.

Once you’ve finished your whole batch, sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar and dig in!

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast is served!
Breakfast is served!

 

Middle Eastern?

I’m a mixer. The way I see it, everything on your plate is headed to the same place. So, why not mix it? Nothing beats getting a little bit of everything in one bite! This dish is definitely one for the mixers.

This is an incredibly easy and quick recipe for busy weeknights. My family refers to this as middle Eastern- it isn’t. My guess is the name stemmed from the pita. Whatever you opt to call it, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

1 pound ground sirloin

1 red bell pepper

a handful of cherry tomatoes

a bunch of chopped green onions

1 cucumber

1 pita – Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have a few options for soy-free pita.

Ranch dressing – Annie’s Naturals Organic Cowgirl Ranch is SOY FREE. It is not, however, dairy free. If you’re lactose intolerant, I suggest Lactaid pills.

Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

Tear up your pita into bite sized pieces and spread on your plate.

Chop all of your veggies into bit sized pieces (I typically cut the tomatoes in half). Spread your veggies onto your plate. If you’re serving for company, spread them out on a cutting board and let your guests build their own plates.

Brown your meat with some salt and pepper.

Toss some of the meat on top of your veggies and pita. Pour ranch on top.

What I love most about this meal is the variety of temperatures (cold veggies/hot meat), textures (pita, veggies, meat, ranch), and flavors. Feel free to add your favorite vegetables!

And you thought we couldn’t eat chocolate…

I am two things for certain: a dog person, and a chocolate person. I don’t believe you can be indifferent about either. So, the prospect of eliminating chocolate from my diet killed me. Luckily for us, we don’t have to! Below is a quick and simple recipe for a delicious chocolate dessert.

Ingredients:

Strawberries

Soy-free, dairy-free chocolate chips (http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/chocolate-for-baking/?cat=chocolate_for_baking -Whole Foods carries them!)

1 spoonful of Earth Balance natural buttery spread -Also Whole Foods

Directions:

Rinse and thoroughly dry strawberries.

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Boil a small pot of water.

Put your chocolate chips and butter into a glass bowl.

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Once the pot of water has boiled, turn off the heat and place the glass bowl on top of it. Stir with a spoon until all of the chips and butter have melted.

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Hold the strawberries by their leaves and dip.

Place them on parchment paper to harden and enjoy an hour or two later!

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In the case that you have a chocolate craving you’d prefer to satisfy with less work, buy a chocolate bar! Trader Joe’s carries a milk chocolate candy bar that is soy-free and organic. It is not, however, dairy-free.

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Pizza Night

I grew up having a weekly family pizza night. Every Sunday entailed pizza, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Married with Children, and on the late nights, X-Files. The idea of life without pizza was unfathomable. I now make my own pizza. It’s easier than you’d think!

Trader Joe’s has a pre-made pizza dough with no soy. Whole Food’s (my typical go-to) does not! T.J.’s also has a fresh sauce that’s safe (kept in the refrigerated area next to the dough).

For most of you, regular mozzarella should do the trick. For those of you (like myself) who are also lactose-free, Whole Foods does carry a brand of rice cheese by Galaxy Nutritional Foods.

I suggest purchasing a pizza stone or pan. I love mine from Crate and Barrel. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/pizza-grilling-stone/s104322 The best part- you’re not supposed to wash it!

Let the crust sit out for about twenty minutes prior to rolling out (it gets much bigger). Toss some corn meal on the stone. Use flour to role out the dough. Put it on the stone, toss on your sauce and cheese. Add whichever toppings you like. I love tomato and fresh basil! Bake for about twenty minutes at 425 degrees.

A tip if you’re a pesto person- Williams Sonoma has a safe pesto sauce. It’s pricey, but I love it! If you’re really daring, you can make your own. Toss some pesto, pine nuts, parmesan, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. That’s the simplest way I know- but Rachael Ray offers some much more tasty options.

Enjoy your pizza night!