Strawberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Weekend mornings are made for everyone’s favourite breakfast food: pancakes. Those of you who read this rant about 2-ingredient banana pancakes know how disappointed I was by them. Recently, I found a recipe on Pinterest for cottage cheese protein pancakes, using cottage cheese, oatmeal, an egg and some vanilla extract. I was all excited again! And then I made them and they just didn’t cut it. The cottage cheese made them too lumpy to cook nicely and the combined with egg made for a weird texture after cooking. And there wasn’t enough vanilla so they were bland. I smothered them in applesauce. And so I was disappointed with alternative pancakes again.

And then I had a revelation! When I worked in long-term care, we would puree cottage cheese in a blender to serve to residents who were on a pureed diet. And pureed cottage cheese would be like a smoother ricotta. And lots of pancake recipes use ricotta. This would get rid of some of the lumpiness. I had a plan.

Meal planning pro tip: make a batch (or double batch) of these pancakes on the weekend and save them in a container in the fridge. On week day mornings, throw two in the toaster or microwave for a minute before eating. You could also spread them with peanut butter and roll them up for an alternative breakfast PB&J kind of thing.

Not related to food, but related to health and wellness things: activity trackers! I really like the idea of an activity tracker. I think it shows people how much activity they’re really doing and keeps them accountable. I also think that being able to “compete” against friends and family with the FitBit makes it a more fun and interactive activity. I don’t know if I would use a FitBit enough to buy one, so I sent in 2 codes from a Special K box to get a free one! It is bright red and huge, but my plan is to see if I like it enough to look into buying my own. If you have thoughts on activity trackers, give me a shout in the comments or on Facebook.

This recipe makes 8 pancakes.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh sliced strawberries
  1. Place the oatmeal in a blender, and grind until it starts to look like flour.
  2. Add the eggs, flaxseed, cottage cheese, and vanilla and blend until smooth. The batter will be thick.
  3. Stir in the strawberry.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray to keep pancakes from sticking.
  5. Dollop 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan. Use a rubber spatula or flipper to spread the batter into a circle. Cook 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.

 

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Kiwi Matcha Breakfast Shake

Green juices and smoothie are all the rage everywhere you go. And for good reason! Smoothies and breakfast shakes are such an easy way to pack your own specifically happy blend of nutrition into a quick and easy meal. In this recipe, the kiwi brings a bright, fresh, summery flavour. The yogurt and almond milk bring some protein and calcium, and chia seeds and spinach give you iron! Matcha green tea is a great source of antioxidants, but can be bitter, if that’s not your taste. Blending it with the sweetness of kiwi will help take the edge of that.

For those who don’t have time in the morning to make a smoothie, try making it the night before and storing it in a jar or blender bottle. In the morning shake it up and you’re ready to go. Another option is to make the smoothie whenever you have time in large batches. Then pour it into an ice cube tray or two and freeze them. When you want a smoothie, just throw the cubes in a blender and you’re all set!

This recipe makes 1 smoothie.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small kiwis, peeled, quartered
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp matcha green tea powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  1. In a blender, or whatever you use to make smoothies, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Creamy Apple Butter Grilled Cheese

 

For those who remember at the end of the summer, I was on a big kick with canning and preserving everything I could get my hands on. I think that making the most of fresh local food makes for tastier meals, as well as supporting your local farmers and economy. Also, when I make something myself, I know exactly what is in it, and can control how much sugar or salt is added. Canning and freezing foods also helps cut down on food waste, since it saves food that might not get used up otherwise. So in the midst of that frenzy, I made the apple butter recipe from Amy Bronee’s The Canning Kitchen with some beautifully imperfect apples that a local nursery and greenhouse owner helped me decide on specifically for this project (friendly people is another point for local food). The issue with canning so many things is that now I need to use them all up before I can make more or I won’t have any room! This grilled cheese was one way I made the most of my batch of apple butter.

While the sweetness of the apple butter makes this sandwich perfect for breakfast with a cup of fruity green tea, it’s perfect for any time of day. This recipe makes 1 grilled cheese sandwich. For more grilled-cheese-induced-happiness, check out this, or this. As per usual, if you like what’s going on here, tell your family, friends, neighbours and random people on the street and comment here to let me know!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Spread the apple butter on the un-buttered side of one slice, and the cream cheese on the un-buttered side of the other. Make a sandwich, with the cream cheese and apple butter on the inside and the butter on the outside.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Fry the sandwich in the skillet until golden brown, then flip to brown the other side, roughly 2-3 minutes per side. Cut in half and eat immediately

Chicken Fresh Rolls

The first time I had fresh rolls was the summer after third year, and they were an invention of necessity. I was with my roommates and in the middle of making sushi (as we did on many week nights that summer after work). Somewhere along the line we ran out of nori sheets and got creative. We stuffed the sushi rice and whatever fillings we were using into our rice paper wrappers, dunked them in soy sauce, and were very proud of our ingenuity. Cleaning out the cupboards a few weeks ago, I found more rice paper and figured they needed to be put to good use!

Rice paper wrappers can be a little finicky to work with. I fill a deep plate or large shallow bowl with warm water and gently slip the wrappers in one at a time to soften them. Be really careful taking them out of the water and lay them out flat on a plate or cutting board to fill them and roll them up. Use whatever combination of veggies you want to fill them with; I used romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, and parsley to go with the chicken in this recipe. Similarly, you can use any type of garlic seasoning, or choose not to season the chicken. I used Club House Garlic Plus, because it’s what was on hand. I’ve also made a version of these rolls using carrots, leftover turkey, bean sprouts, and this black bean dip, for those looking for more ideas.

This recipe serves 2.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic seasoning
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 8 rice paper wrappers
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, torn
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and garlic seasoning and stir fry 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and peanut butter. For more heat, add chili powder or crushed red pepper.
  3. Fill a deep plate or shallow bowl with 1 cm of warm water. Gently slide 1 rice paper wrapper into the water and let it soak until it is just soft. Carefully take it out of the water without folding and lay flat on a plate or cutting board.
  4. Top rice paper with lettuce, carrots, parsley, onion, and chicken. Roll up like a burrito, by folding the sides in and then rolling the wrapper up.
  5. Dunk the roll in the soy-peanut butter sauce and eat immediately. Repeat with remaining ingredients.