Gingerbread Pancakes

During the busy work week I try to squeeze in a breakfast that I can eat out of hand so when the weekend rolls around, if I have the energy, I like to make up a stack of pancakes or waffles.  I usually double pancake/waffle recipes so I can stash some in the freezer allowing me to have Toaster Waffles or Pancakes any day of the week!

We are finally getting some Fall-like weather here so I was craving something pumpkin-y but, bah, all my pumpkin is frozen….Gingerbread invokes all those lovely Fall feelings, too! And it makes the house smell absolutely wonderful!

gingerbread pancake
A beautiful Fall Pancake!

3 cups  (750 ml) Flour
2  teaspoons (10 ml)  Baking Powder
1/2teaspoons (2.5 ml)  Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon  (2.5 ml)  Salt
2  Tablespoons (30 ml)  Brown Sugar
2 teaspoon (10 ml)  Ground Cinnamon
1  teaspoon (5 ml)  Ground Ginger

2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons (10 ml)  Vanilla
1/2 cup (125 ml) Molasses
1/3 cup  (75 ml) Butter, melted, cooled slightly (2.5 oz Butter* )
2 1/2 cups  (725 ml) Milk – I use Almond Milk – ** or to desired consistency

Preheat Griddle to 350F (175C)

In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger.
In small mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, vanilla, molasses, melted butter and milk.
Pour liquid ingredients, all an once, into dry ingredients and stir just until all the flour mixture is moistened; a few small lumps are okay.
Lightly spray griddle with vegetable oil.
Drop 6 ladlefuls of batter, evenly spaced, onto griddle.
Cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry.
Flip and continue cooking until golden brown.
Remove cooked pancakes to serving platter.  ( if I am not serving them straight away I place them on a wire rack in a  low oven  175F {80C] until ready to serve. )
Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve with a dollop of Plain Greek Yogurt,  lightly sweetened with a splash of vanilla,  a pinch of cinnamon and a bit of powdered sugar.

Yield: 15 – 18 medium sized Pancakes

* I hate packing butter into measuring spoons or measuring cups; I prefer to weigh it on my kitchen scale!

** Sometimes I add a little more Almond Milk, sometimes a little less; you want a thickish batter…too runny and you will get flat pancakes…too thick and they won’t be cooked through when they are a lovely golden brown.

Oven Baked Crispy French Fries

Ah,  Crispy French Fries…why doth though forsake me?

No more! I think I have found a way to make yummy, crispy, fresh outta the oven French Fries! That’s a big thing for me because sometimes I get this mega-huge craving for the dang things and, yea, try and find a fryer out there that is not cross contaminated with poultry or seafood! Impossible! Except New York Fries but they seem to have gone the way of the Dodo bird.

The thing that worked for me was to par boil the cut fries, drain ‘em and let ‘em lay on a clean kitchen towel for about 15 minutes before throwing them in a bowl, tossing ‘em with some olive oil, turning ‘em out onto a parchment lined baking tray and firing them into a HOT oven for 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes.

When I took the hot lil babies outta the oven I tossed them into a bowl, sprinkled with coarse salt and a lil chopped parsley, and voila! Crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside!

crispy oven baked french fries
Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

6 Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/8″ x 3/8″x 3″ 8mmx75mm strips
2 Tablespoons (30ml)  Olive Oil
Salt, to taste
Parsley,  a few sprigs, chopped

In large pot of boiling water, par boil french fry-cut potatoes for 2 – 3 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Drain in colander and turn out onto clean kitchen towel to dry completely, blotting with another clean kitchen towel if necessary.
In medium size mixing bowl, combine dry, par boiled french fry-cut potatoes with olive oil and toss to coat all potatoes.
Turn out, in a single layer onto prepared baking trays.
Bake for 10 minutes; remove baking trays from oven and stir fries.
Return to oven and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until a lovely golden brown.
Remove from oven, tip fries into large mixing bowl, sprinkle with coarse salt and chopped parsley; toss to coat all fries.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4 – 6

Lettuce Wrapped Veggie Burger

I reckon we all tend to eat just  a little too much bread simply because it is always hanging around and readily available. One way to cure yourself of this habit is to just stop buying bread. Easy, right? But what about sandwiches and burgers and things? Well, in my opinion, it is just as easy to eat most sandwich fillings as a salad…? Okay,  a PB&J can be a little tricky and truth is, I haven’t sussed out a way to get my PB&J fix without incorporating some type of grain,  be it whole grain bread or a wrap. Actually, it is more likely a PB& Banana thing these days as I don’t typically eat store bought jam and I haven’t made jam in positively ages.  Back to burgers! You can, of course, make these with Meatausaurus burgers, too. Simply sub in a big ol’ meat patty instead of the Veggie Patty.

My Go-To Veggie Patty because I can find it just about anywhere!
My Go-To Veggie Patty because I can find it just about anywhere!

As for Veggie Patties? My fave was Money’s Mushroom Burgers but they don’t seem to make them anymore. If I had a Costco card I could regularly purchase the Kirkland Garden Burger Patties which are a strong contender for Top Spot! Most often it is an Yves product that fills my “burger” craving; there are a bunch of varieties to choose from and seriously? One is as good as the other. Now if you are a meatatarian and are going to try the Veggie Burger thing,  I  strongly suggest that you definitely make sure you add the ‘shrooms. The ‘shrooms make it less obvious you are not eating meat. Not a fan of the ‘shrooms? A slice of roasted eggplant will do the trick too. I can’t say I have personally tried that because I am NOT a fan of eggplant! I know, I know, “A Vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggplant??” Yea, and I don’t wear Birkenstocks either.

Okay, so go on, try a bun-less burger! Your waistline will thank you!

lettuce wrapped mozza and mushroom veggie burger
Lettuce Wrapped Mozza and Mushroom Veggie Burger

4 Burger Patties of your choice
8 – 12 Lettuce Leaves – I find Iceberg works best
8 oz (225g) sliced Mushrooms
4 slices Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tablespoons (30ml)  Butter
Toppings of your choice:
Grated Beetroot
Grated Carrot
Tomato Slices
Cucumber Slices
Pickles
Diced or thinly sliced Red Onion

Mayo
Ketchup
Mustard

Prepare your Toppings:
Cut the base of each lettuce leaf on the head and carefully peel it away so that it stays as intact as possible, using 2 – 3 leaves per Burger Patty. I find this process is made easier by removing core of lettuce, running cold water into cored lettuce; the leaves are much easier to peel away but must be well drained before using; I leave inverted lettuce leaves to drain on clean kitchen towel while getting everything else done.
Peel and grate 1 beet.
Peel and grate 1 large carrot.
Finely diced or thinly slice 1/2 a red onion
Slice Tomato
Slice 1/4 of a long english cucumber

Cook Veggie Burgers using your preferred method; I use my George Foreman Grill – I cook them for about 7 minutes, open the lid and place cheese slices on Burgers and turn off heat, letting the cheese melt while I plate everything else.

While burgers are cooking, heat medium skillet over medium- high heat.
Melt butter in skillet and add mushrooms; cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, stirring often.

Construct your Lettuce Wrapped Burgers:
Place lettuce leaf on work surface.
Place cooked veggie patty with melted cheese in centre of lettuce leaf;  top with sautéed mushrooms, tomato and cucumber slices, diced or sliced red onion, drizzle with mayo, ketchup, mustard.
Gather lettuce leave towards centre of burger and fillings; place another lettuce leaf over first wrap, ensuring the second lettuce leaf covers the loose edges of the first lettuce leaf. Wrap with a third lettuce leaf for extra stability, if desired.
Garnish with sliced pickle.
Slice in half and serve immediately.

Serves 4

 

 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is just so refreshing! There should always be some of this in the refrigerator!  So easy to make and it goes with so many things!

1/2 cup (125 ml) Shredded Cucumber
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup (125 ml)  Greek-style Yogurt
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped Fresh Dill or 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Dried Dill
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Lemon Juice
Pinch of Pepper
1/3 cup (75 ml) crumbled Feta Cheese

Mix cucumber with pinch of salt; let stand for 10 minutes.
Squeeze out moisture.
In small bowl, mix together cucumber, yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, pepper and a pinch of salt.
Garnish with Feta Cheese.

 

Grilled Falafel

I have a falafel recipe somewhere but it seems to have gotten lost in all the moving around we have done over the years. I googled “falafel recipes” and ended up at Food.com where I found this recipe by justcallmetoni

I read a few of the reviews and admittedly, the first time I made these I didn’t have any cilantro or parsley in the house! I subbed in a bit of dried parsley and a bit of coriander; they were amazing! Second go around, I had cilantro but no parsley…I really need to get my act together! I had my doubts about the green falafel. I thought my boys might not like it but they proved me wrong. The next time I make this it is my goal to have both fresh parsley and fresh cilantro on hand!

Sometimes I make falafel and serve it with Bombay Rice and a green Vegetable; sometimes I make it and serve it in a wrap. You can make this recipe and use the resulting falafels quite successfully, either way!

falafel wrap
Falafel Wrap

1 Tbsp (15ml) Olive Oil
1 small Onion, finely diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 – 14 oz (398ml)  can Chick Peas
1 cup (250 ml) loosely packed Cilantro
1 cup (250 ml) loosely packed Parsley
1 cup (250ml) cooked Brown Rice*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 cup (175ml) Breadcrumbs

Serve alongside Rice and Veg for a complete Meal
or
Serve in a Wrap or Pita with Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Tzatziki

Method:
Heat oil in a skillet over med-high heat.
Saute onion for a minute or two; add garlic and continue sautéing until onion is soft and garlic is golden, about 4 minutes, total.
Let cool.
Place sauteed onion in food processor; add chickpeas and pulse to coarsely chop the beans.
Add cilantro, parsley, rice, curry and cayenne; pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and evenly distributed.
Turn the mixture into a bowl.
Stir in lemon juice and 1/4 cup (50 ml) of the breadcrumbs.
Pour remaining breadcrumbs onto a plate.
With your hands, mix chickpea mixture until it is like a moist dough.
Scooping up 1/4 cup (50ml) at a time, form the chickpea mixture into patties.
Coat lightly in the remaining breadcrumbs.
Repeat, making 8 – 3 inch (7.5cm) patties.
Heat  cast iron skillet.
Brush lightly with oil.
Place the patties in the skillet, about an inch (2.5 cm) apart.
Cook 4 minutes, until lightly browned.
Turn and cook another 4 minutes, until second side is lightly browned.

Serve immediately alongside Bombay Rice and a Green Vegetable of your choice or in a Wrap or a Pita with thinly sliced Tomatoes, Cucumber, Shredded Lettuce and Tzatziki.

Serves 4 – 6

*I  have used plain white rice because it is what I had on hand.

falafel and bombay rice with wilted spinach
Falafel and Bombay Rice with Wilted Spinach

Or you can just throw ‘em on top of some Salad! Oh, Falafel, you are so versatile!

falafel on salad with tzatziki
Falafel on Salad with Tzatziki