Healthy Summer Recipes: Protein Pancakes, Jersey Potato Salad and Wholesome Challah

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Summer has arrived. It’s a season where salads are brimming with summer fruits and dainty garden greens.

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Little munchkins happily play outside in the summer morning sun, hopefully gearing up for a hearty afternoon nap! Above, my son alternates noshing on protein pancakes and digging in the backyard dirt.

The pancakes are not only gluten-free, low in carbohydrates (before the maple syrup, of course!) and high in protein. The taste is nutty, wholesome and comforting.

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The texture is light and fluffy, just as a pancake should be. This is due to a homemade, seed-based flour made in the food processor or blender. The batter comes together in a flash; I make it the night before for a quick breakfast.

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The pancakes are actually savory, so you can top them with the standard fresh fruit butter and syrup – or peanut butter, honey and bananas. Or, maybe go a completely different route with creme fraiche or Greek yogurt, capers and smoked salmon.
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Our griddle definitely had a workout this morning. Mom ate a couple of pancakes, but the kiddies kept coming back for more of the special treat. Little did they know how salubrious the “sweets” were! I lost count of how many griddle cakes they devoured.

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“Oh, Wowwwww. Cookies…..”

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Littlest Guy was convinced that they were cookies, based on the shape and size alone!

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The syrup-covered kids played outside all morning, spotted with sojourns into the house to request another batch of protein pancakes! (“PLEASE, Ima! Please?”). This is Littlest Guy’s favorite phrase these days!

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Did I mention the kids are covered in a combination of backyard and garden dirt and pure maple syrup? The beauty of summer fun is getting messy!DSC_3607

I absolutely recommend making these for your family. Even the most picky eaters won’t realize how wholesome the breakfast dish is. DSC_3606

Top the moist cakes with any fresh fruit you have on hand – and serve with your milk of choice – to power your brood for big morning adventures ahead!

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Of course, one can’t live on these gluten-free pancakes all summer!

To me, Summer = Salad. This light, Jersey potato salad is versatile and welcomes almost any vegetables and fresh herbs from your garden, provided more watery veggies are seeded.

Just roast white, Jersey sweet potatoes and corn in the oven. Then, whisk up the thick, creamy and herbaceous yogurt dressing and chop crunchy veggies and salty, rich turkey bacon. Stir it all up with luscious, chopped eggs and tah-dah: a scrumptious and healthy summer recipe. The egg and Dijon mustard gives the fresh, creamy dish a “German potato salad” feel. Check out the recipe, below!

Even with the bounty of vegetables and fruits that summer has to offer, challah with a Friday night meal and served up in the form of French toast, grilled cheese or Panini the next day is a welcome treat.

After a bit of  tweaking and tinkering, a whole-grain challah that is lower in sugar and fat – yet still amazingly tasty – has arrived. Of course, I will not resist the urge to toast a slice, drizzle it with honey and slather on a touch of goat butter. Scroll down to find the recipe for this tasty, tender loaf.

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Enjoy the plethora of beautiful fruits and vegetables that the season has to offer. I would love to hear what’s fresh, local and in season in your part of the US (or the world).

Cheers to the summer and its myriad, color gifts! See you at the farmer’s market.

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Jersey Potato Salad

Ingredients:

2 large, white-fleshed Jersey sweet potatoes

1 large ear of corn, husked and halved

1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into small, 1/4-inch pieces

1 large yellow bell pepper, cored and cut into small, 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 red onion, diced very small

1 large, seedless cucumber, diced into 1/4-inch pieces.

6 slices thin turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon Kikkoman wasabi sauce (optional)

2 large cloves of garlic

the juice and zest of one lemon

splash of champagne vinegar

1 handful each: fresh basil, parsley and chives

3 hard-boiled eggs

Fresh, chopped parsley, for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 450•F. Wrap the potatoes and corn individually foil. Roast until tender, 40 minutes to one hour.
  • Cool. Cut sweet potatoes into small, 1/2-inch squares and cut corn off cob. Place in a large bowl.
  • Add the peppers, onion, cucumber and bacon.
  • In a food processor, combine the yogurt through the fresh herbs. Process until smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.*
  • Add the yogurt mixture to the potatoes. Use less for a less saucy salad.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Carefully fold in the eggs.
  • Garnish with extra parsley, if desired.

*Feel free to double the dressing recipe to serve with crisp summer vegetables or over greens.

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Protein Pancakes (GF)

Ingredients:

1 cup Shanna’s GF “flour” blend*

3/4 cup light vanilla almond or soy milk

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice

dash salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

optional: dash of vanilla extract and dash of a warm spice, such as cardamom or cinnamon

to serve (optional): peanut butter and honey; or goat butter and real maple syrup; definitely fresh, sliced fruit of  your choice

Preparation:

  • Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to sit at room temperature for fifteen minutes or longer. Or, make the night before and refrigerate for breakfast the next day. Just allow to mix to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat a nonstick skillet to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Place pancake batter on skillet in two tablespoon dollops. Cook for a few minutes per side.
  • Pancakes will bubble on top and be golden brown underneath when ready to flip.
  • Serve, hot, with toppings of choice. Make sure to warm maple syrup if using!
  • *To make the flour blend: use a spice grinder, blender or food processor to pulse the following mixture into a fine, powdery flour: 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup quinoa and 1 Tbsp. (each) flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Use a sieve to sift out any large pieces and blend these pieces again until fine. 

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Healthiest Whole Wheat Challah with Raisins and Pecans

Adapted from Yummly

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water (110•F)

2 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast (Red Star)

1/2 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoon goat or cow butter, melted

2 Tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons agave nectar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups organic, whole wheat bread flour

1 teaspoon cardamom (or substitute cinnamon or nutmeg)

1 1/2 tsp. fine salt

1 cup golden or brown California raisins (optional)

1/2 cup roasted pecans

1 egg

1 Tablespoon water

2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Preparation:

  • Place the hot water, then yeast, then honey in a bread machine. Close and allow to sit fifteen minutes.
  • Add butter, yogurt, agave, vanilla extract and egg.
  • On top of it, add the flour, raisins, pecans cardamom and salt.
  • Run the “dough” cycle.
  • Do not open the machine after the cycle ends. Allow the challah to proof on a counter (free from drafts) for several hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Divide the bread into at least three strands, or more for a complex braid.
  • Roll the strands out on a floured surface. Braid the strands.
  • Place the challah in a standard-sized, greased loaf pan.
  • Mix the egg and water. Brush the challah with the mixture. You will not use all of it.
  • Sprinkle the challah with the pumpkin seeds.
  • All challah to rise in the bread pan, in a warm place, for at least an hour. The challah will rise above the pan.
  • Preheat oven to 350•F. Place the challah in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the loaf light golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped at the bottom.
  • If the challah browns too quickly, place foil on top of the challah. Check for browning at 15 minutes.
  • Cool and slice.
  • Serve, toasted with butter and honey, if desired. Reserve extras; this bread makes the ideal French toast or excellent turkey and cheddar paninis!

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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49 thoughts on “Healthy Summer Recipes: Protein Pancakes, Jersey Potato Salad and Wholesome Challah

  1. Everything looks great, as always, Shanna!
    I kind of laughed at your Jersey Sweet Potatoes, because here in NJ, I never notice sweet potatoes labeled as Jersey Sweet potatoes! We’re waiting for the Jersey corn. Jersey blueberries are in now. YUM!

    1. Thank you, Merril! The corn is the Jersey potato salad is bright and sweet… your Jersey corn would be perfect. And, I always put fresh blueberries on these protein pancakes. Yum, yum! Jersey sweet potatoes are just amazing and so nutritious; I hope you find some soon. 🙂

  2. Looks like our house, kids coming back for more and playing in the dirt! Our griddle has been known to get a good workout too! Your kiddos are quite lucky to eat so well. We are in blueberry mode. We picked two gallons over the weekend. I used one gallon for various jams to enjoy later in the year. The other gallon we have just been eating plain, by the hand full or in yogurt. We are down to only a big bowl left. We also got local peaches at the farmers market and made cobbler. Today it is peach coconut bread to take to the swim coaches tomorrow….we can only eat and freeze so much! Then the tomatoes are screaming at me. I need to go pick more and do something with all of them. First off is tomato jam, probably more cherry tomato sauce to freeze as well. I was eating tomatoes for every meal and snacks I think I may have overdosed! I’m in recovery right now. Summer is absolutely the best time of year food wise. I love it! Of course with the garden it means a lot more work, but it is definitely worth it.

    1. Gretchen, your garden and fresh vegetables and fruits sound fabulous! Peaches, tomatoes and blueberries are all some of my favorite things. The peach-coconut bread sounds like a tasty, tropical treat! Lucky coaches! Have you ever made a tomato sauce that is roasted and stirred occasionally in the oven? It’s great to make big batches of and freeze. I also love peach and tomato caprese salad stacks. Mmmmmmmm!

      1. Those are all delicious too! We really do have similar taste. I usually use the bigger tomatoes for roasting in the oven but have had problems with those plants this year. I just halved another HUGE pot of various cherry/pear tomatoes for sauce, on the stove right now.

  3. Yes, cheers! Hope you are feeling well enough. Busy in that kitchen, I see. Love how you work with challah so often. I’ve never made a loaf! It all looks good here, though am especially intrigued by the pancakes. Can see why kids would love.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I had no idea that gluten-free could be so tasty! I think the trick is to make your own flour blend. Also, the lemon juice activates the leavening agent (baking soda), leading to a very fluffy cake. The nutty flavor is unique! Have a great day!

  4. Interesting recipes. The pancakes look delicious but the best part is the kiddo images. They are a handsome pair.

    1. I like sweet and salty, too! One of my favorite bruschetta or salad combinations is a artisan goat cheese with figs and salty, black beldi olives from Morocco! Even capers and peaches can make a lovely salad duo. Yum! I believe what you see in this salad is local cherries. Olives would actually be delicious in it’s place, or maybe a salted seed or nut.

  5. Your Jersey potato salad sounds delicious. Never heard of a combination of this sort before. Nice to see your post today Shanna. We certainly are enjoying the wonderful berries of the season right now too! 🙂

  6. When I see those irresistible children, I cannot resist commenting! I love the pancakes and the salad recipe! Thanks for this blessing of a post, Shanna! Smiles, Robin

  7. It looks like you are all having fun with those protein cakes. Yum! Everything looks wonderful, and I agree, salad does equal summer for me too. I love tossing everything into a bowl and calling it salad. Love the challah! Hope all is well and you are all enjoying the summer.

  8. These kids are absolutely gorgeous! Those eyes my god! You should have them play in movies, seriously! Oh and the pancakes are beautiful too 😉

  9. Wow, Shanna. When you do it, you do it right! I love your flour blend. I”m going to try that next weekend. So healthy. Impressive. The challah looks sooooo good too. And who doesn’t love a wonderful salad in the summer. Your kids are just dolls.

  10. YUM! Shanna, where do you come up with so many great ideas? All of these recipes look fantastic, and, like you mentioned, are perfect for the summer! Can’t wait to try them all 🙂
    – Melissa

  11. There’s always a lot of stuff to know and to learn here Shanna! The salad looks amazing (I’m not so creative with salads), now I feel like eating one pancake, maybe two. It’s been longtime since I ate them… I have to catch up! Love the bread too… and lovely kids!

  12. Thanks Shanna for sharing We can all benefit from the healthy recipes….they all look great! Naomi & Asher’s pics are too wonderful! I will add them to my album. They are gorgeous! Can’t wait for Grandpa to see them…he is out cutting the grass right now
    Joann

  13. Hi Shanna! I’ve been missing in action for a while, but I’m back to see that I love your new blog design, so bold and makes your photos take on so much more life! 🙂 (ok I’m still missing in action from my blog, I’m a bit run down with it at the moment and need a recharge). Your family is so lucky to begin the day with such amazing protein pancakes and yes, summer is for salads! The problem I’m encountering here is that we do not get good lettuces of any variation, though we do get good fruits, especially the peaches and nectarines. My favourites are strawberries, cherries and figs and I’m always sad when they started edging out of season. Un gran abrazo amiga!

    1. Thanks, Sofia. Welcome back! I hope you are able to find some good lettuces; maybe they are carried in the gourmet area at El Corté Ingles? The stone fruits sound delicious now and are a true summer treat, along with berries, cherries and (YUMMMMY) figs. Enjoy! Un beso muy fuerte, amiga.

  14. OMG, Shanna, you know your baking and cooking capacity never fails to amaze me! I wish I were there having a bunch of those incredible pancakes and willingly letting that miraculous maple syrup cover my face and clothes 😉 I can’t imagine a happier place right now…
    Please, keep us updated about any further events happening in that backyard, ok? 😉
    Un beso gordo, gordo!

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