Chocolate Protein Pancakes!!

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I’ve been craving sweets lately (which sucks when you’re avoiding carbs, since everything sweet is carb-laden). Liquid stevia has become my best friend; we get it at Trader Joe’s, and one bottle will last both of us a couple of months.

I’m also prone to “food tantrums” (where nothing sounds good or what does sound good is an irresponsible choice). They used to be terrible and resulted in plenty of fights between Joey and me. I’m much better now (probably from a combination of being older and wiser and having some great medication), but I’m still prone to getting frustrated when I don’t know what I want or want something I can’t have.

Anyway, this morning, I was in desperate need of some pancakes. We’d already tried protein pancakes a few days ago, but Joey wanted to try making a chocolate version.  I looked over a few recipes out in the blogosphere, but I didn’t follow anything close enough to reference, so this is mostly a result of trial-and-error.

Makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2.5 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop of Protein powder (We used MHP Paleo Protein in Vanilla Almond flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5-7 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (start with a quarter cup and increase as needed)
  • butter (to grease the pan)

Directions:

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat
  2. Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Whisk until thoroughly blended and lump-free
  4. Use butter to grease non-stick skillet or griddle
  5. Pour batter onto skillet (we cooked them three at a time based on our skillet size)
  6. Cook on first side until you begin to see the bubbles on the surface of the pancake pop without re-forming.
  7. Flip and cook until done throughout

This recipe makes six pancakes that are about 3″ in diameter.

We had ours topped with peanut butter. They’re also good with freshly whipped heavy cream and/or sugar free syrup! To make them without the chocolate flavor, just omit the cocoa powder and increase the coconut flour by 1/2 tbsp.

Enjoy. Today, we’ve conquered the bedroom closet.  Another two garbage bags full of clothes off to Goodwill, and we were able to whittle the contents of a very large closet down to this:

clothesTonight, we’ve got a huge bag of our socks to match up and put away (or toss).  We’re getting there, little by little.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve gotten a few requests for the recipe for those spring rolls we made a couple of days ago, and to be honest, I didn’t really use a proper recipe. I will, however, give you some basic guidelines…the rest is up to you.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

* 2 cups, cooked protein of choice (we shredded some leftover pork roast that we made using this recipe)
* 2 cups thin rice noodles, prepared via package instructions
* 1 baby bok choy, julienned
* 3 scallions, thinly diced
* 2 carrots, peeled and grated
* 12 sheets rice paper spring roll wrappers
* one large, shallow-bottomed baking dish (9×13 will work)
* warm water (in said dish)
*plates and wet paper towels (to keep the prepared rolls moist)

1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix first five ingredients. Run a knife through the mixture a few times to break the noodles into small pieces.
2. Fill baking dish with 1-2 inches of warm water. You may want to go ahead and set up an assembly line this point. Start with the stack of rice papers and the pan of water. Have a clean work space next and the bowl of filling, followed by a plate covered with wet paper towels.
3. Take one rice paper and gently lay into the water, fully submerging for ten seconds. Carefully remove the paper and lay on a clean work surface. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling about one third of the way down the paper. Fold down the top, keeping the filling together. Fold in the sides and roll until filling is completely sealed.
4. Place on plate and cover with wet paper towel until ready to serve.

This made twelve rolls. Keep in mind that these are served cold, so there’s no need to heat anything.

Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari to be gluten free)
* 2 tsp molasses

Heat peanut butter in microwave. When easy to stir, add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let cool and serve alongside spring rolls.

Most of these ingredients are pretty easy to find; I did have to go the local Asian market to procure the rice papers.

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Enjoy!

Recipe, Cat-Quirks, Smelly Office Fish, Insanity, and Panini

First, check out my Crockpot Taco Soup Recipe!

I’m all about easy recipes.  I tossed the stuff in the crock pot on Tuesday, let it go all day, and we had a super-easy dinner when we got home.  Can’t beat that.

Check out Her Highness getting the spa treatment from Daddy:

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Shelli-quirk factoid:  she doesn’t really like to be combed, but she LOVES to be brushed (which does nothing to remove hair).  What you can’t see in the pic is the brush in the floor that she’s rubbing her head on; it’s a bribe tool…she lets us comb her as long as she can roll around on the brush, and then when she gets irritated with the comb, she gets brushed as a reward.  Cats are weird.  But wonderful:).

So, someone brought fish into the office today for lunch.  Talk about breaking one of the foundational rules for maintaining harmony among coworkers.  If you’re going to funk up the office, expect to be talked about.  And Office Karma will get you.  I’m certain of that.

I was forced to take desperate measures to maintain my productivity…

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After an amazingly deadly Insanity workout, we noshed on chicken-and-feta paninis on na’an.  I used a skillet as the weight.  I did wipe off the bottom first so we didn’t ingest skeevy incinerated-burner-dirt.  The sandwich was awesome.

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I ate it with some cucumbers.  I turned in my paper.  And so commences the night of MST3K and The Smoking Gun Presents:  World’s Dumbest.  Peace out.

“Pushing Thirty” Ramblings and Recipe Link

Check out my recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Red Peppers, over at my food blog, Eating Back to Good!

Sunday was my birthday.  I did not get a tattoo (*gasp*, I know).  I turned 29.  I’m having some emotional issues with it, really.  I don’t know…maybe I just continued to feel like I was really just a kid since I was still in my twenties.  That’s all going to be over soon.  Thirty.  It’s so…grown-up.  I know, you guys are laughing because I’m already crotchety enough to be Sophia from The Golden Girls.  I’m a skeptic, a cynic, and I’m sarcastic and grumpy.  If I’m already that way, I’m a little scared of what I’m going to be like in another thirty years.

But it’ll be on paper that I’m grown up.  It was also interesting to me this weekend hearing my parents and grandparents reminisce about their childhoods.  Both of my parents worked in the peach sheds when they were kids.  My grandma (Dad’s mom) did too.  They were doing hard labor, working with sometimes dangerous machinery.  I don’t really have anything interesting like that to reminisce about.  I have Rainbow Brite, My Little Ponies, He-Man, The Smurfs and about a zillion other pop culture references to look back on, but I really don’t have stories about what I accomplished.  I went to school.  I got made fun of in middle school because I was white.  I was smart and graduated near the top of my class.  But I worked as a receptionist at Weight Watchers.  It wasn’t particularly challenging or physically taxing.

I don’t know…I just feel like I kind of missed out on something.  On “Real Life?”  Maybe?  I don’t know.  I don’t really know how to process the feeling, but it was a little weird…like, really proud to be a part of a family with such an interesting and hard-working history, but a little sad that society had changed so much by the time I was born that I don’t have a lot of history to speak of.

Anyway…just some rambling, near-thirty introspection.  I now return you to your regularly-scheduled jocularity:

Recipe Link and Introspection

Recipe can be found here, on my food blog, Eating Back to Good! .  The exclamation point is part of the title…I’m not really that hyped;).

For the past several months, I’ve been pretty pissed about my life circumstances, and I’ve been blaming everything around me but myself.  I’m stuck, not able to pursue my dreams…I want to be a writer, but I don’t have time to write and, when I do, I don’t really feel like writing…I’m overweight, but I can’t muster up the motivation to do anything about it…and so it goes on.

Additionally, our social calendar has been virtually non-stop for the past year.  I’m not saying that we’re super-popular or anything…actually, our circle of friends is pretty small and close-knit.  The problem is that I can’t say “no.”  Will you come to this group meeting and bring [insert food item here]?  Sure.  Will you be able to make this extra rehearsal this weekend/stay late to practice?  Yep.  Will you come along with me for my pap smear? eh….ok?  (totally made the last one up).

This month, I’ve tried to make sure that we don’t have any more than one thing on the calendar per week (with the exception of a few friends who are family and are welcome at the house any time).  We just need to slow down.  It’s funny how much more time there is to write/knit/cook/exercise when we’re not running from place to place like a hamster on crack.

I’m reading Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin; it was written in 1980, but thus far his views have been pretty timeless.  It’s interesting to me how much further society has gone down the path of consumerism/materialism/waste; Elgin’s concerns have been the same.  I don’t know if he’s still alive, but I’m sure he’s shaking his head if he is.

It’s time for another purging of stuff at chez Weaver.  There’s too much stuff in this house..stuff creates stress, clouds the mind, builds an environment of angst and frustration.  Trying to find underwear in a laundry basket that’s piled four feet high with clean laundry makes a weekday morning particularly unpleasant.  Trying to find the knitting project I want to work on among the pile of half-finished objects and tangled-yarn really pisses me off.  We’ve GOT to get rid of stuff.

The problem is the “getting off my arse” part.  I love to plan, write out lists, dream of how things will be when they’re simple and less stressful, but when it comes to folding the four-foot-high pile of laundry….well, it just doesn’t sound like something that I really want to fit in my day.  And thus, the underwear search soldiers on.

But, my belleh is full of quinoa-stuffed red peppers (recipe and photo coming soon) and I’m ready to knit some more…so I’m out.  If I don’t blog tomorrow, it’s because I’m lying at the bottom of the pile of laundry, without clean underwear.  *sigh*.

Recipe: Simple Roasted Root Vegetables (+ Brussels Sprouts)

I’ve had some turnips in the fridge since…well, Christmas.  I squeezed them a couple of days ago and they were still firm, so I decided that we should do some simple roasted Root Vegetables for easy meals.

First, I know Brussels Sprouts aren’t root vegetables, but it needed something green.

Ingredients:

  • 4 turnips
  • 5 carrots
  • 5 red potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bags of frozen brussels sprouts

Instructions:

  • A couple of hours before cooking, thaw the brussels sprouts in a colander in the sink.  The colander will allow excess moisture from freezing to drain.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425*
  • Cut vegetables into medium-sized chunks (probably around the size of your thumb).  Leave the onion chunks together (rather than separating the layers)
  • spray a baking sheet (you may need two or three depending on the size)
  • lightly salt the veggies and spread out onto one layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but have some dark “roasted” spots.
  • Serve warm with whatever seasonings you’d like!

The first time I had them this week, I added ketchup.  For lunch today, I added a little garlic powder, onion powder, basil and oregano, salt and pepper, and some parmesan cheese.  Yum!

Recipe: Mel’s Kickin’ Fajita Scramble

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg + 2 whites, beaten together
  • fresh peppers and onions (I used green and red peppers)
  • leftover fajita vegetables (super-easy…sautee peppers and onions with taco seasoning until charred to a crisp..hehe)
  • diced or sliced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • taco sauce

Instructions:

  1. toss fresh peppers and onions in a pan with leftover fajita veggies on medium heat.  Add fresh tomatoes after a minute or so.  They don’t need as long.
  2. when fresh veggies are still crunchy but have lost a little color, add eggs and scramble.  When almost firm, add hot sauce to taste and 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  3. serve topped with taco sauce and sour cream

I ate mine atop a torn whole-wheat tortilla.