3 ingredients? I know, I didn’t believe it either. I got a phone call from my mom saying her friend told her this recipe for pancakes, and it sounded way too easy to believe. And not only is it easy, but it’s also super healthy (especially for pancakes!). I gave the recipe a try, and found that they are just as easy as they sound, and taste mighty fine too.
The only 3 ingredients are oats, ricotta cheese, and egg whites. Seriously. Whole grains and protein! You can top them any way you like. They aren’t very sweet, so I added some sweetness without over doing it — a pat of butter, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of fresh blueberries. Choose any toppings you like!
1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if gluten is an issue for you)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese (use cottage cheese for a lower fat option, but I think the ricotta is perfect)
1/4 cup egg whites (I used the whites from 2 eggs to get this amount).
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Add butter or cooking spray (and be generous so that they don’t stick). Spoon batter in to form pancakes– mine made 3 pancakes, each about 3 inches round.
Flip after a few minutes when the bottoms are a nice golden brown.
Cook a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown as well. Then remove from the pan and top with any toppings you like.
Now… Eat! I was surprised at how good these lil pancakes were, and I think you will be too. The recipe makes enough for 3 pancakes, so just for 1 person (which is really convenient when you are only cooking for yourself). It’s easy enough to double or triple the recipe though, so make as much as you need. And don’t forget some sort of fresh fruit for the top to add a little sweetness to your morning. This recipe is so easy, there is no excuse not to nourish yourself and enjoy a yummy breakfast any day of the week!
This little dinner that I made recently turned out to be a lot better than I expected, so I thought I should share it with you! It’s really easy, and super versatile. I borrowed a book from a fellow foodie (thanks Dianne!), because it was the sequel to one of my favorite cookbooks (Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson). This new book, Super Natural Every Day, was just as good as I had hoped. A recipe for quinoa patties caught my eye and seemed fairly simple so I decided to try it out. My friend Annie and I were going to be going to a show that night, so we made ourselves a little dinner and had some wine before a fun night out!
The recipe for the quinoa patties is very versatile. I used goat cheese, but you could use parmesan or gruyere if you prefer. I also chopped up a handful of spinach and added it because I had some on hand, but you could throw in any veggies you have that need to get used up. The patties taste really good with some type of sauce on them. I made a quick pesto from the basil growing on my porch, but you could top them with anything you like (a roasted red pepper sauce would be super yummy!). Annie brought over some baby bok choy that we sauteed up. We put the patties on top of the bok choy and topped it all with some pesto. It seemed like a slightly random combination, but it all tasted so good together!
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (follow package directions)
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup goat cheese
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large handful spinach, chopped (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs (I made my own out of gluten-free bread but use anything you have on hand, preferably unseasoned)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Combine quinoa, eggs, and salt. Stir in chives, onion, cheese, garlic, and spinach if using. Add breadcrumbs and let sit for a few minutes to let the breadcrumbs soak up some moisture. Add more if needed to make it stay together, but don’t make the mixture too dry.
Form into patties (mine were about 3 inches in diameter). Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties about 5 minutes or so on each side until nicely crisped and golden.
As those are cooking, saute up some greens or any other veggies you have on hand to go with your dinner.
To serve, place greens on your plate, then quinoa patties, then some sort of sauce!
Ok, I have a confession to make. I got really excited to eat these when they were done. I got so excited, that it didn’t even cross my mind to take a good picture with my good camera of the finished product. So all I have is an iPhone picture taken right before I dove in with my fork (and right before I started working on the wine Annie had just poured). So, while the picture may not be the best I’ve ever taken, it proves that the food was just too good to wait!
The leftover quinoa mixture (if you don’t want to cook it all) can sit in the fridge overnight so you can have more the next day. Or, in my case, it was really good when I got home from the show at 1am and needed to cook myself a snack. And by the way, the show was killer! Nick 13 was the artist, and if you haven’t heard his music I definitely suggest checking it out. Here’s another iPhone picture, this one of the man of the evening rockin on his guitar:
All in all, it was a great evening of delicious and healthy food, great company, and fantastic music. I hope you give these quinoa patties a chance (and maybe Nick 13′s music too!), and let me know if you come up with any other great cheese/veggie combos to go in them.
Happy cooking, happy eating, and happy listening!
Granola is sometimes considered “hippie” food. I love hippie food. Back in the 60′s, people made granola from scratch (what a novel concept) with lots of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in it, and ate it as a healthy breakfast or snack food. Most of today’s granola comes from boxes at the grocery store, which are loaded with additives and preservatives and words I can’t pronounce. When you do come across homemade granola these days, it tastes fantastically different than what you find in a box. At work we make homemade granola and it is so so yummy compared to what I have been eating from a box (I confess, sometimes I eat it from a box), that I was inspired to make my own granola loaded with healthy foods, using good quality oil and no refined sugar. And guess what– my boxed granola days are over! The hippie side of me wishes I could try some granola from the 60′s, but mine will have to do for now. Put some old vinyl on your record player (Grateful Dead was my granola making music of choice), and try this:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup refined coconut oil (melted down if it is solid)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used blueberries, cranberries, and apricots)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine oats, coconut, almonds, and pecans in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Pour wet mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
Spread evenly on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring approximately 3 times before it is done to ensure even cooking. When done, allow it to cool in the pan.
Then add the dried fruit,
stir to combine,
and pour in a glass jar to store. It will keep well sealed in a glass jar for a couple weeks.
Feel free to get a little wild with the ingredient list. I was planning on adding sunflower seeds to mine but forgot to add them to my grocery list. Swap out the almonds and pecans for your favorite nuts, or try adding some flax seeds or pumpkin seeds! Dried cherries or dried strawberries would also taste mighty fine in this granola.
The maple syrup is the perfect sweetener here– it gives the granola some sweetness without making it sickeningly sweet like some boxed granolas. This one tastes a little more earthy, a little more healthy, but fabulous nonetheless. Try topping your next bowl of greek yogurt with this granola, or just eat it plain with some almond milk.
It’s only been a couple days since I made this and I’m already workin’ my way through the jar. I think the next batch will be with coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried strawberries, and dried cherries. Looks like there’s more experimenting to come…
This morning I decided to make something a little extra special for breakfast since I had the day off from work. I went for a nice run, and when I got back I was hungry and kind of worn out, so I decided my breakfast needed to be quick and easy, but still something a little more special than my usual smoothie-before-work routine. I had this gorgeous looking tomato from a friend’s garden waiting to be eaten, some fresh mozzarella, and a new little herb garden on my back deck with fresh basil that smelled divine, so I decided to do a caprese frittata. The ingredient list was kept super short, and it came together in a matter of minutes. Here’s how it went:
small pat of butter
splash of half and half or milk or cream (maybe 2 Tbsp)
pinch of salt and peper
one small tomato, sliced
2 sundried tomatoes, sliced
2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
5 fresh basil leaves
Beat eggs, half and half, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
Melt a little butter in an oven-safe, non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat.
When the pan is hot, pour in the egg mixture.
Do not stir the egg mixture or shake the pan, just let it cook.
Once the sides begin to set but the center is still runny, add your fresh tomato slices, sundried tomatoes, and mozzarella pieces. Do not add the basil.
Turn off the heat on the burner. Place the pan under the broiler for about 2 minutes (check it to make sure it doesn’t burn) until the eggs are set in the middle, puffed up, and starting to turn golden on top. Remove from the broiler, tear basil into pieces, and sprinkle on top.
Slide the frittata onto a plate (use a spatula to help if needed)..
And, voila! It’s time to eat!
The eggs are light and fluffy, the cheese is gooey, the fresh tomatoes are sweet but balanced by the tang of the sundried tomatoes, and the basil is the perfect aromatic finish. It’s such a simple dish that comes together in minutes, but it made my Tuesday morning feel a little bit more special. This is plenty of food for one hungry person, or enough for 2 not as hungry people. I tried to eat it all, but was struggling a little towards the end.
You could also easily swap out the tomato/mozzarella/basil combo for other flavors of your choice, but this combo is simple and classic, and sometimes it’s hard to go wrong with classics. However- if you mix it up, let me know what you put in it and how it turns out!
It’s almost bed time now (I was a little delayed between making the frittata and getting the post up on here), and as much as I enjoyed my day off and my nice little breakfast this morning, I’m ready to go back to my smoothie-before-work routine tomorrow. Time to dream up another fun breakfast for my next day off…
My pizza cravings never seem to stop. There is something wonderful about pizza that makes it good for almost any occasion, and I can never stop eating it once I start. I had been having pizza cravings the past few days, and decided pizza making was going to happen on Thursday after work. But then after work I went to the beach (hello gorgeous weather!). And then I came home and fell asleep. And THEN I decided to make pizza. So I pulled out a gluten-free pizza crust mix, and the only one I had was a Bob’s Red Mill mix (I’ve used the Arrowhead Mills mix in the past and love it).
I opened the bag and started to make it, and then realized that the recipe called for 2 eggs and I only had 1 in my fridge. I was also on the phone with my mom at that time, and her advice was to cut the mix in half and make half the batch. I think that I laughed when she said that. Whoops. Silly mom, that would mean splitting the mix in half, and the yeast packet, and it just seemed like too much work. So I sat for a while debating what to do, and finally decided to walk to the store to buy eggs.
By the time I got to my house and started making pizza dough, it was about 8pm. I had gotten off work at 2pm and had not anticipated such a late start on my pizza making festivities, but decided to keep going anyway. I turned on some good music, poured a glass of wine, and got to work!
I decided to make a pizza full of green goodness. My dear friend Jo taught me to love my greens, and although she was a strong advocate for kale consumption, she would approve of any greens that I ate. Now I always keep greens in my fridge. On this particular day I had chard and spinach in the fridge so I decided to make a chard and spinach pesto for my pizza, and then add broccoli and artichoke hearts on top.
I don’t really have any recipes for you today, only methods. So, here’s how I made my pesto:
I put a couple big handfuls of chard in a steamer basket and wilted it for a couple minutes, then added a big handful of spinach and continued steaming it until everything was wilted.
I put a small handful of walnuts and a couple peeled cloves of garlic in my food processor (actually I used my Cuisinart Mini Chop, because it is SO handy when you don’t need a large food processor, and it is a million times easier to clean). I processed it until it was finely chopped. Then I squeezed the water out of the wilted greens and added them to the nuts. I also added a small handful of grated parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a hearty splash of olive oil. I blended it until it was a nice smooth paste, adding more splashes of oil as needed. I didn’t make the sauce as liquidy as pesto usually is, because I wanted a paste to spread on my pizza as the base. Less oil, more greens!
By this time, the dough had risen enough so I pressed it into the pan and got it baking (the Bob’s Red Mill mix tells you to bake the crust partially before adding your toppings). I then chopped up my other veggies: broccoli (which I also steamed to make sure it was fully cooked on the pizza), artichoke hearts, and a few red stems from my chard leaves. I also cut some slices of fresh mozzarella.
When the crust was ready, I loaded up the pizza..
… added some parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, and into the oven it went. And when it came out…
it was gorgeous!! And soooo green and yummy! The cheese covers it from view, but that thick layer of green pesto was de-lish!
By the time I sat down to eat, it was about 10pm. Not exactly the time I planned on eating (I was pretty sleepy by then, and so were the sunflowers on my table), but well worth the labor and the wait.
I know I didn’t give you a real recipe in this post, BUT good cooking is usually slightly improvisational anyway. Try making some awesome pesto with any dark greens you have in your fridge and slather a thick layer on your next pizza crust. The bitterness of the greens actually tastes wonderful on pizza. And, the Bob’s Red Mill crust was pretty decent! I think I still like the Arrowhead Mills mix a little better, but I definitely did enjoy this crust as well. Don’t let gluten stop you from indulging in pizza frenzies every now and then– it’s easy to make without gluten, and so worth it.
So, have you had your greens today??
And by quick I mean quick to throw together. It takes about an hour to bake, but that doesn’t count because there are so many things you can do in that hour it’s baking. I thought it was going to take more time to put together than it actually did. Here’s what happened:
I pulled all the ingredients out from the fridge. I had thawed and squeezed the water out of the frozen spinach the day before. I put a pot of water on the stove to cook the noodles. I heated up a pan to start cooking the filling, and then I made the filling, all while I was waiting for the water to boil for the noodles. Finally it came to a boil. I salted the water, then added some oil so the noodles wouldn’t stick together. I opened the box of gluten-free lasagna noodles my mom had given me, and right as I was about to pour the noodles into the water, I noticed that the box said, “DO NOT PRECOOK NOODLES.” Whoops. So, I dumped out my oily, salted water, and began to assemble the lasagna, which only took a few minutes. I put it in the oven to bake. I drank some wine and cleaned the kitchen. After about 30 minutes the top was golden and the sauce was bubbly, the way my mom always taught me that the lasagna was done. So, I took it out of the oven and cut myself a piece. I sat down to eat, took my first bite and… it was crunchy. I had crunchy lasagna. So I pulled the noodle box out of the recycle bin and read the directions. They take an hour of baking to get soft. I covered the lasagna with foil and put it back in the oven for another half hour. But I was really hungry, so I ate my one piece of crunchy lasagna. When the full hour of baking was finally up, I served myself another piece of lasagna and guess what– it wasn’t crunchy! And it tasted really good. You would never know that it was gluten-free lasagna noodles made out of rice flour! Success.
Lesson learned: always read the directions first.
I wasted a bunch of time by thinking that it would be ready in a half hour, and then having to wait around for another half hour for it to finish baking. But you, dear reader, will not have that problem because I made the mistake of not reading the box for you. You can just assemble it, put it in the oven, and walk away for an hour. Be productive, take your dog for a walk, do something you enjoy!
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8oz whole milk ricotta
8oz lowfat cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
1 jar tomato sauce (or use homemade sauce if you prefer)
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Saute 2 more minutes, until garlic is cooked. Turn off the heat and stir in spinach. Then add ricotta, cottage cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese; stir together until completely combined. (Super easy, right?)
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Begin layering the lasagna: noodles, half of the spinach filling, mozzarella, sauce, noodles, remaining spinach filling, mozzarella, sauce, noodles, remaining sauce (make sure you cover all the noodles really well- they need the moisture to help soften them as they bake), mozzarella, and finally a sprinkling of parmesan cheese over the top of everything.
Cover with foil, put in the oven, and go do something for an hour. If you want the top to get more golden, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. The sauce will be bubbling and the noodles will be soft (I promise) when the lasagna is ready.
I have eaten this for a couple days in a row now, and have frozen a lot of it because a girl can only eat so much lasagna by herself. It will stay good in the freezer for a while, so make enough for a couple meals! A gluten-free, vegetarian dish that requires very little prep time- what could be better?
I’ve totally been slacking on my blog, I know. Somehow the weeks just seemed to slip away, and although I was cooking and baking (and eating) as always, none of those delights made it to my blog. What have I done the past few weeks? Well, I turned 23, baked a gluten-free cake with my friend Ev, ran a 5k, judged a smoothie making contest (So You Think You Can Blend) between six elementary/pre-teen age girls, took a very spur of the moment trip to the east coast to visit some friends and some favorite places of mine, among other things slightly less noteworthy. And somewhere in all that, I forgot to take care of keylimepiekitchen. But I’m back, refreshed, and ready to share some goodies with you!
The next few posts will most likely be sweet things, because that seems to be all I crave lately. Cutting gluten out of my diet means that my mouth waters every time I see a baked good, or my mom makes her awesome banana bread and the house smells like banana bread all night, or I walk into a bakery to buy gluten-free bread and see cases full of cupcakes and cookies and other white-flour delights that I can’t have. So I crave these things. And then, when my willpower is almost gone, I realize that I just need to make myself some sort of treat that I can have, and then I’m a happy camper again. Today’s treat? Cherry coconut no-bake brownies! These things are almost like fudge, they are so dense and chewy and just hands down delicious. And the best part— they are mostly made out of dates and walnuts, but you would never know. I kid you not.
These are an adaptation of a recipe from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet, but mine are not raw as I add toasted coconut. This recipe comes together so quickly, but then you have to let it chill before the brownies are actually sliceable.
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
pinch of salt
8 pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs good quality maple syrup
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted, plus more for the top (optional)
In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts and salt until the walnuts are finely ground. Add the dates, cocoa powder, vanilla, and maple syrup, and process until the mixture is uniform and all comes together. Add the dried cherries and toasted coconut, and pulse briefly until these ingredients are incorporated.
Press the mixture into a small, ungreased pan (mine was about 5″ x 7″). This can be really sticky, so use wax paper or parchment paper to press with instead of bare hands (I learned this trick from growing up making rice krispy treats!) because the mixture won’t stick to it. Once the top is smoothed out, sprinkle the rest of your toasted coconut, if using, and press down lightly to make it stick. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill completely. Then slice, serve, and enjoy!
This is a fairly small recipe, but the brownies are rich and small pieces are okay. However, the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you need more. You can also make a larger batch and store some in the freezer for a few weeks, for when those chocolate cravings hit!
And, to leave you all with happy thought (if these brownies aren’t enough happiness for you), here’s a picture that I took while on a boat going down the Mississippi River, which I recently rediscovered in my photo library and felt like sharing:
You are beautiful!