Oatmeal Pancakes Revisited

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I have a former post, Simply Oatmeal Pancakes, that literally only uses oats, water, and an egg. That was me mixing up my breakfast. Now, however, I have taken things a step (or a few steps) further. The other day I was randomly craving pancakes. I just made a delicious mac and cheese dish, so I didn’t want the unhealthy (albeit yummy) bready pancakes. So I wondered if I could come up with a healthier option, with fewer calories. I then wondered if I could make oatmeal pancakes, something I had thought about before but never really tried. I went online to try to find a good recipe or at least some inspiration, and was thoroughly disappointed. All the recipes I found used honey or sugar or other sweeteners, or they used flour. I wanted a clean, flourless option. So what do I do when there is no recipe available? Make my own!

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Oats. Obviously, check. An egg, milk, and oil. Normal pancake ingredients, check. Cottage cheese. An interesting addition for added protein and calcium, check. Blender. The wonderful magic bullet, check. (For anyone worried about adding the cottage cheese, have no fear; I was skeptical too, at first, but wanted to try it. As you’ll find, I was not disappointed. The cottage cheese has no overwhelming effect whatsoever, likely due to the fact that it is not the “cheesiest” cheeses.)

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I mixed/blended everything up, set up my frying pan, and crossed my fingers (mentally, at least) as I scooped a little batter onto the pan. A couple of minutes later I was biting into my first-ever, real, oatmeal pancake. Yum. Delicious. Success! The light and very satisfying and filling pancakes were amazing. Next time I might cut back on the oil just a tiny bit (it didn’t taste bad, but the fact that I could single out the taste made it a bit distracting). These pancakes were everything I had hoped for. Now, if you want a lighter pancake option but still want a classic, “breadier” taste, add a quarter cup or so of gluten-free flour (adjust milk/water accordingly; you should be fine with just one egg). Me? I’m fine with these guys the way they are!

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Oatmeal Pancakes

(makes 11-12 3-4 inch pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c milk (or water, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 c cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

  • Prep a pan with non-stick spray (I use Pam) and set aside.
  • Mix wet ingredients (including egg) separate from dry, then blend everything together (literally blend…I used a magic bullet blender)
  • Blend for a bit, then stir everything up to make sure all the mixture is being blended well.
  • Next, turn stove top on medium heat (no higher, as the oatmeal pancakes cook FAST)
  • Use a large spoon (or whatever) to scoop the batter out. (My pancakes were each 3-4 inches)
  • Cook until the edges are done, then flip. These cooked so much faster than I expected, so do not leave your station!
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
This recipe is a total of 580 total calories, so you can easily eat half the batch, along with some fruit or something, for only about 300 calories. I put the rest of my pancakes in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast, but they would make great little snacks as well, I think.

Mini Casseroles

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If you like to cook, then a muffin tin is a necessity in your kitchen, I think. You can make virtually anything! I have made pancakes, omelets, cheese muffins, corn muffins, popovers, pancake popovers, and now mini casseroles. Mini meals, I have discovered, are simply wonderful! They are great for portion tracking, experimenting with recipes, and having pre-made service for family and guests.

Note that the measurements (excepting the rice) may not be totally accurate because this was not an official recipe. It was just something I whipped together and then decided to blog about. But it was SO delicious! I just looked in the fridge, got out leftovers, and got cooking.

Another note: Leftovers are GREAT! Use them! Besides the eggs and milk, obviously, everything I used in this recipe is leftover. (I actually recommend leftover rice/broccoli)

Lastly, this recipe made 4 1/2 – 5 mini casseroles, due to my uneven distribution of egg. In the future, I think I will add a third egg and more filling. Play around with the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/4-1/3 cup rice, cooked
  • 1/4-1/2 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • chicken, shredded/cut up
  • 2 eggs
  • milk, for eggs
  • shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prep a muffin tin with Pam or non-stick spray
  • Mix rice, broccoli, and chicken together in a small bowl
  • Whisk eggs and milk together in a separate bowl
  • Add equal amounts of filling to 5 muffin cups (or more, depending on how much ingredients you use)
  • Next, pour equal amounts of egg mixture into each muffin cup
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

(Leftover mini casseroles are great, too!)

My Grandmother’s Baked Mac and Cheese

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I have tried to eat healthier lately, but I have been saving and waiting for a moment to indulge in one of my favorite treats: macaroni and cheese. Not only is this recipe absolutely delicious, it is my grandmother’s recipe and one of my new favorites!

While it is a bit lengthy to prepare, it is so easy and uses common ingredients. There is no flour or tedious cheese sauce preparation involved whatsoever. It is just a super cheesy, easy, baked dish. I can’t get over how amazing it is. It was difficult to stop eating, even once I was full. I just wanted to eat the whole dish! Luckily I have quite a bit of leftovers.

I made a lot because it was for three people, and there were still TONS of leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz Elbow Macaroni, gluten free
  • 24 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 4 cups Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • GF Bread Crumbs or Parmesan Cheese, grated (to add a thin layer on top)

Instructions;

  • Cook Pasta according to package directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar, and eggs in a large bowl
  • Add to pasta and mix until well combined/even
  • Put mac and cheese into a greased casserole dish and top with your choice of GF bread crumbs or Parmesan
  • Bake Mac and Cheese for about 35 minutes
  • Let cool for 5 minutes or so
  • Enjoy!

Spinach and Mushroom Omelette

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I love eggs and omelets. They are healthy and you can cook so much with them. Here is just another omelette recipe I whipped up the other morning. Feel free to experiment yourself. Use completely different ingredients. Add to these. Just make what you think would be delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked mushrooms, chopped/sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk (optional, or use dairy free)

Instructions:

  • Grease small-medium pan and set heat to medium-low
  • Crack and whisk egg (with milk) until evenly mixed
  • Turn heat up to medium, medium-high
  • Once the bottom is beginning to solidify, evenly add spinach and mushrooms all around
  • Finish cooking omelette, then carefully fold one side over before carefully transferring it to a plate.

 

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

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These are healthy, easy, and delicious. My one recommendation would be to eat these with a fork and knife at hand. The tomatoes will be, not mushy, but the texture of a roasted pepper, sort of. I don’t have much to say about these except when can I make tem next?!

Ingredients:

  • Tomato, sliced 1/4-1/3 inch thick
  • Parmesan
  • Pesto -OR- Basil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees and cover a baking sheet/pan with tin foil.
  • Slice tomatoes (make a few, or a lot) and place each slice on your pan as you go.
  • Spread a small dollop of pesto on each tomato (about 2 tsp worth) -OR- place a couple fresh basil leaves on the tomato
  • Then sprinkle some parmesan on each tomato, to taste. At least cover tomato with a thin layer. I spread cheese to edges and put enough to cover tomato.
  • Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Simply Oatmeal Pancakes

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I have really gotten into oatmeal. It is my new favorite food and staple in the kitchen. It is my new everyday breakfast (along with some fruit). I’ve wondered what it would be like to add an egg–how it would affect the taste and texture. Then I thought that I  could try to make oatmeal pancakes. I wanted a simple recipe. Still healthy like the plain old oatmeal, but in pancake form. So I just kept it simple: oatmeal, with the only additional ingredient being an egg.

These are delicious. Amazing. My mom tried them and loved them, too. I cooked a series of mini pancakes, only about 1-2 tablespoons of batter each, so that it was easier to work with and I just love miniature things! Also, in the picture below, the back pancake has not been hyper-exposed. I tried adding a bit a cottage cheese to one, to see what it would taste like. While the flavor was okay, I preferred the plain ones, and kept cheese out of the recipe description.

This recipe makes 12-14 mini pancakes (about 1-2 inches), and would probably make 3-5 regular/larger-sized pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup 2 tbsp water
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  • Cook oatmeal (oats + water) for about 1 minute (I did a minute 10 seconds).
  • Immediately after, add egg and mix until completely combined.
  • Grease a frying pan and place on medium heat.
  • Once pan is hot, add a little of the mix for each pancake.
  • These take very little time to cook, and the first one will take no more than about 30 seconds for the first side. The pancakes should be lightly browned. After the first batch, these oatmeal pancakes literally need to be flipped after about 15 seconds or so.
  • Enjoy!

Sometimes all you need is some popcorn

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I love, love, LOVE popcorn! And sometimes I forget just how satisfying it is. And I don’t just mean throwing a bag in the microwave…those kinds are good, but my favorite kind is plain kernels popped on top of the stove. I also love Jiffy Pop, which is probably my second favorite kind or just about tied with first. Anyway, I love the taste so much better and it’s healthier. It’s also easy, quick, and enjoyable. The popping is amplified and I love listening for that first mini explosion!

All you need are some kernels, olive oil, and salt if desired (I might put a little salt, but nothing else). This is such a great, delicious, low-calorie snack. I even make some popcorn and have a salad or some fruit on the side for lunch sometimes. Popcorn is actually a healthy food too much on if you lay off any excessive toppings life butter or cheese or caramel (I have known people who do this. Those can make great snacks too, they are just not as healthy or simple. For me, the olive oil replaces the butter with a much cleaner, lighter taste, and the salt adds the perfect amount of flavor. I barely use any salt at all, to be honest.

Not only is this popcorn better than bagged, microwavable popcorn, it is also so much cheaper because you get a ton more out of a container of kernels than a few bags. So next time you are craving popcorn, try the stove top way!

Mini Margaritas

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Is it news that I love pizza? Well last night I wanted something pretty light, but also easy and quick. I was sort of in the mood for pizza so I decided to make some tortilla pizzas. Now, I use to use La Tortilla Factory, but honestly, I didn’t love it. The taste wasn’t my favorite and they were just way too big. I had been looking out for Mission corn tortillas, what I have wanted all along but have never been able to find. Until about a week ago. At 55 calories each they are perfect. So, last night. I made two little pizzas. Margarita pizzas, my favorite kind after cheese and pepperoni! And instead of using basil (mine was dead, sadly), I used some homemade pesto sauce. These pizzas are so easy to make and SO quick to cook! It’s effortless to spread a little pesto, cut a few mozzarella slices and tomatoes, and stick them in the toaster or oven for 10 minutes.

These were delicious! I will definitely be making them again soon! I haven’t made something that good in a while. Just a simple margarita. A simple tortilla pizza. Quick, easy, 4-ingredient meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small Mission corn tortillas
  • 1-2 tbsp pesto, per tortilla (I love homemade)
  • 2-4 cherry tomatoes, sliced/diced
  • Mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded, to cover tortillas with a single layer (about a half-inch from edge)

Instructions:

  • Spread pesto out on each tortilla in a thin layer, about a half-inch from the edge.
  • Top with your choice of mozzarella.
  • According to taste/love of tomatoes, cut desired amount and spread evenly on top.
  • Place the pizzas in a toaster for about 8-12 minutes and let cool before cutting.

No Bake Energy Bites

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Recently, I have discovered a love of oatmeal. I use Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats (gluten free, of course). This is now my breakfast most mornings, having replaced my normal Rice Chex cereal. Oatmeal and fruit. I am obsessed. Oats are also so yummy plain, by themselves, as well as toasted (as I discovered in making this recipe). With my new love of oats came a desire to find one or two new recipes using them. One thing that kept popping up with every search was granola bars and foods related. One that caught my eye was no bakes. All of those search items inspired me to make these simple snacks. Easy, quick, tasty. These are my no bake energy bites, no bakes for short.

Also, in the picture above, you will notice a lot of excess at the bottom of the bowl…this was due to the fact that I accidentally added an extra 1/4 cup of oats. But they still turned out great!

No Bakes

Makes about 10-14 balls.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry oats (make sure they are gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes*
  • 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp almond butter (can use peanut butter as well)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (if unavailable, you can toast and grind additional oats)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp honey

Optional ingredients:

  • chocolate chips
  • dried fruit/berries
  • chopped nuts/seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)
  • a little vanilla

Instructions:

  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. If the mix is too dry, add more peanut butter or honey.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Once chilled, roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
  • After you have rolled them into balls, put them back in the fridge for 10-20 more minutes for maximum deliciousness.
  • Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week (in an airtight container-I put them in a ziplock).

*Watch the coconut flakes as they toast because they can burn easily.

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

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Last night my mom and I discovered a new recipe through Pinterest, a great way to discover new things…especially food! There are tons of gluten free recipes, including broccoli-parmesan fritters, my new favorite food. These things were amazing! I have never tasted anything like them and they were simply out-of-this-world delicious! These fritters, by Smitten Kitchen, are so easy and simple to make. Quick and rewarding, I wish I could make these every day. I already love broccoli, and my family has made a recipe in the past involving broccoli and cheese (which I really should post because it is delicious!), so I had high expectations for this recipe.

I cut the broccoli as dictated and let my mom steam it. Meanwhile, I mixed the other ingredients while the greens cooked. My favorite part, honestly? Mashing everything together before frying. Now, for this, we were not entirely sure how much oil to use. Some people have a layer of oil covering the pan, but if have not already noticed, I like to keep things healthier if and whenever possible. So we just had a little oil, which mostly gathered at the edges of the pan we were using, but also left a thin film in the center.

So finally, we compressed and patted our…dough? Mixture? Whatever you want to call it, into little patties. We got 7 good-sized fritters out of this recipe, each being about 3-4 inches or so in diameter, and about 1/2-1 inch thick. Once all the fritters were finished, and a beautiful golden-brown, I could hardly wait to try them. But first we lined the fritters up on a paper towel-lined plate and let them cool for just a minute. Finally I just couldn’t stand it. Abandoning any sort of utensils, I picked one up and took a tentative bite. I think I went to Heaven. It almost melted in my mouth (not actually). I didn’t want that first bite to end. I wanted to keep chewing. In short, the broccoli parmesan fritters were delicious, to say the least.

It was just my mom and I eating them, too, so we each got three (saving one for the next day) and then had some smoked salmon on the side. I was so full by the end of dinner. My mom ate her salmon with sour cream, and I had some cottage cheese on the side instead. We both agreed that this would definitely become a more common meal (which means I will hopefully have some pictures up soon), so I am simply dying to devour these once more!

Get the recipe for these delicious broccoli parmesan fritters now at Smitten Kitchen!

ALSO: Why just broccoli and parmesan? There are so many fritter options! I really want to experiment some with these delicious treats…potatoes, cauliflower, squash, zucchini…who knows what else!