Summer has arrived. It’s a season where salads are brimming with summer fruits and dainty garden greens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Oh, Wowwwww. Cookies…..”
Littlest Guy was convinced that they were cookies, based on the shape and size alone!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Jersey Potato Salad
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
- 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.
Protein Pancakes (GF)
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
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
- 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.
Healthiest Whole Wheat Challah with Raisins and Pecans
Adapted from Yummly
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 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 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.