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Monday Meals: Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Perfect for birthday breakfasts! Perfect for ANY breakfast!

OK so this is what we SHOULD have done for Dee’s birthday.  The Plan was to fill her room with balloons while she slept so she woke up to a surprise and then finish the morning with chocolate chip pancakes but . . . Hong Kong happened!

So Saturday we threw the “party” I had planned for no reason, and you know what?  I think it was better that way – just a nice surprise for the weekend! So without further ado, here’s my recipe for healthy semi-healthy Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular flour)
  • 1/3 cup oats (I actually used one a pack of brown sugar oatmeal and left the next two ingredient out)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and optional 3 drops almond extract
  • brown sugar or stevia, if desired
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder (and optional: pinch baking soda for flavor)
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup w milk (or water or maybe even juice, if you wish)
  • chocolate chips galore!

Steps

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients. (This can be done days in advance.)
  2. Put liquid ingredients into dry, then stir.
  3. Cook on medium-low, flipping 1/2-way through.
  4. Top with grated chocolate or chocolate syrup sauce.

Optional:

5.  Add a toddler and a room full of balloons and you’ve got yourself one happy little camper!

Had to test the waters first but then she dove right in!!

Fun times with a room full of balloons!

meg

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Monday Meals: Diana’s Lifesaver Smoothies

Today’s Monday Meals comes to you via one of my best friends in Portland, Diana, or as I like to call her D (Yes there are lots of Ds in my life).  It couldn’t have come at a better time because Nate left for China and Dee and I are flying solo.  The first day did.not.go.great. So I didn’t really have time for a Monday Meals post. Dun-du-da-duuuuuhhhnnnn *super hero song*. In flies D and her fabulousness!

From D:

Kid or not, I like to use the strong flavor of berries to overpower the flavor of healthier things I may not eat otherwise. By adding a small smoothie to whatever I’m eating most days I at least feel that I’ve covered my nutritional bases.

Hidden healthy quick smoothie recipe

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen berries
– 2 peeled fresh bananas (frozen works, but you’ll need to add more liquid to compensate)
– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 1/2 cup orange juice, plus extra if needed to blend
then hidden goodness ingredients . . .
– 1/2 cup chopped carrots
– 1 cup kale, steamed (don’t skip the steaming! microwaving the kale with a few tablespoons of water in a loosely covered bowl for 1 minute will cut down the bitterness of the kale and hide it much better!)
– this is a great place to use up little extra bits of sweet or green veggies from the fridge or freezer (think peas, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini) – just make sure to steam potentially bitter veggies first. Adding more than 1/2 a cup of any extra veggie might start to affect the flavor, though, and of course no veggies that have been cooked with oils or seasonings!

A warning to vegans/lactose intolerants – I would not recommend adding tofu, it does unfortunate things to the texture! I would try vegan soy-yogurt, coconut milk, or even some white canellini beans to add a protein punch and get that creamy consistency.


Seems easy enough, and we all know smoothies are healthy, but the biggest problem with making them is that nobody wants to break out the blender every day. Fortunately one of my wise friends taught me the best trick for smoothies (and everything ever made in liquid batches) – an ice tray.

Pour everything you don’t want to drink right away into empty ice trays and freeze, then throw all of the smoothie cubes into a ziploc to use the rest of the week. Then every time you want a quick snack you can throw 5-6 cubes in a cup, microwave for 30 seconds and mash with a fork to get back to smoothie consistency. So easy! This recipe makes enough for one small smoothie plus about 3 ice trays.

Thanks D!  Let’s hope there’s many more where that came from :)

Also, these are great ways to get veggies into your kiddos too.  Dee never realizes she’s eating spinach, kale, or other great green veggies that she’s hesitant to eat on its own.

meg

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