Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blender Pancakes

I'm going to be up front and say we do have a Vitamix, so this recipe might not work as well in other blenders. But definitely give it a try because I think even if the oats don't get ground completely smooth, that it will be ok. Just be sure to blend the dry ingredients first.

There are many substitutions you can use depending on what you have or want to use. Mix and match. Experiment.

For the sweetener, you can use maple syrup, honey, regular or brown sugar, or skip it altogether. I actually made a sweet date paste and froze it in ice cube trays and I use one of those.

Some variations I have done:
Cinnamon and applesauce. Cocoa and banana. Almond butter and frozen blueberries (you can either blend them right in for purple pancakes, or stir them in). Pumpkin puree and pie spice. You could add spinach for green pancakes.

You can also add a tbsp or two of ground flax seed or chia seeds.

Blender Pancakes

2 cups old fashioned/rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweetener of choice
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream OR plain greek yogurt OR cottage cheese (or combo thereof)
2/3 cup milk (or alternative milk)
2/3 (approx) cup of fruit, such as a banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree
1 tsp spices (cinnamon, pie spice, etc) AND/OR 1 tbsp flavoring like cocoa powder, almond/peanut butter
Optional: Chia seeds, flax meal, vanilla, spinach

Place all dry ingredients in the blender and pulse or blend until a flour consistency (or as close as you can)

Add the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Lower powered blenders may need you to stop periodically and scrape the sides down.

Warm a skillet over medium. Once fully heated, melt some butter or drizzle/spray some oil and pour about 4 inch circles of batter from your blender pitcher. Once the bubbles out the outer inch of the pancakes stop forming, flip and continue to cook.

I let the pancakes rest for a minute or two before serving.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Zucchini Noodles and Asparagus

I make this garlic chicken a lot right now. Its incredibly flavorful and freezes great. Its based on a "dump chicken" pinterest recipe. Meaning you can dump it all in a bag and freeze it. Then you can thaw it and use it in several ways. In the crock pot, sauté it, grill it. Its great on its own, sliced on a salad, or like this over noodles (or zoodles). I lightly floured the chicken and that helped thicken the sauce. I used a all purpose gluten free blend when I made this today, but obviously regular AP flour is great too.

If you don't have all the dried herbs I suggest, just use what you have. The real flavor comes from the lemon and garlic. The herbs are just bonus, but recommended. The herbs give a nod to "ranch" flavor.

I like to make the meat stretch, so I made 4 adult servings with 2 chicken breasts and the veggies. If you are making the lemon chicken to be a larger part of a meal, I would double this part of the recipe.

Normally I marinade them whole, but since I knew I would be cubing them for this recipe, I cubed them before adding the marinade. If you make this with whole breasts to freeze, and decide to make this with them later, you can obviously cube it later. Or even cook whole and then cube. Whatever floats your boat.

You will need some sort of vegetable noodle maker for this recipe. Or a mandolin to make julienne strips. There are several types of veggie noodle makes on amazon.

You could easily use angel hair pasta if you desire

Lemon Garlic Chicken:

2 chicken breasts
juice of 1 large lemon
2 tbsp oil
5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried chives
1 tsp dried dill

Combined everything but the chicken, and then add to chicken in a zip top bag and either marinade for a few hours or freeze and thaw overnight in the fridge.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Zucchini Noodles and Asparagus:

1 batch lemon garlic chicken (cubed, or cook it whole and cube)
3 large or 5 medium zucchinis
1 bunch asparagus (thinner is better, but not needed)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup white wine (can sub for more broth but the wine is amazing. You could buy the individual mini bottles of wine in some places)
1 cup broth
salt and pepper to taste

Zoodle your zucchini.

Place a strainer over a bowl and dump the chicken into it.

Heat a medium sauce pan of water to boiling. Add a good amount of salt. Have a medium bowl of ice water waiting

Cut the bottom couple inches of the asparagus off. Cut into 1-2 inch chunks. Add to boiling water and boil about 2 minutes. Drain and add to the ice water. Set aside.

Heat the largest skillet you have on medium.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Take the chicken (save the bowl with any juices that drained off) and toss it in the flour until coated.

Add the oil. Once hot, add chicken. Cook until done. Some of my breading fell off or stuck a little. Not a big deal. Take the chicken out and set aside.

Add the wine and scrape all the brown bits off the pan. Whisk in the broth and let simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Taste the sauce and and salt and pepper if needed (I make it a little salty because its also seasoning the noodles and asparagus.)

Add the chicken, drained asparagus, and zoodles to the pan. Toss with tongs and heat until warmed through and remove from heat. Serve.