lemon + zucchini corncakes

Limón y calabacín, or lemon and zucchini as you may know them, were the flavors of my summer. Working at a Montessori school’s garden all season, we had an overflowing crop of zucchini and lots of time to mess around with new recipes and get creative.

…zucchini ice cream, anyone? ;)

I’ve never been a huge fan of lemon flavor in desserts, but this summer my taste buds must have changed on me. ‘Cause now it’s all I crave. With the help of the Montessori kids who came to work in the garden, we started experimenting with some lemon-rosemary zucchini bread, then progressed to Martha’s lemon-zucchini cornmeal cookies *veganized* (Mom’s faaavorite), and from there I decided to add the tasty combo to my favorite cornmeal pancakes that I posted here last summer.

Fluffy and buttery cornmeal cakes with shreds of bright green zucchini and tangy lemon zest, spread with maple syrup-greek yogurt….. it’s summer bundled up into a little pancake.

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curried sweet potato-carrot-apple cakes

Two years ago on Christmas morning, my sister Tara threw together these “pancakes,” which were more like a sweet and zesty stir-fry-hash-mixture of shredded carrot, apple, sweet potato, egg, curry powder, cinnamon and cumin. They didn’t quite stay bound in cake form as planned, but I could care less as I shoved forkfuls in my mouth and declared I would eat this every day of the year.

Unfortunately my hatred of shredding vegetables by hand kept me from making this 6+ times per week, but the few times I did reminded me that this combination is just deliciously worth it. The Indian flavors of curry, cumin and garam masala add savory heat to the sweet apple, potato and carrot. This time around I added a bit of chickpea flour to bind the batter together enough to form solid pancakes on the griddle. ‘Twas a success, but I must say the mixture is just as tasty in stir-fried-hash form. The key to this dish, I repeat the KEY to breakfast bliss, is serving your cakes with a dollop of sweet chili sauce, perhaps a squirt of sriracha mixed in.

Curried sweet potato-carrot-apple cakes, inspired by Tara, recipe by me

  • 3 cups shredded sweet potatoes, carrots + apples, in any ratio you prefer. I do about 1 cup carrot, 1 ½ sweet potato and ½ apple
  • 1 or 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup egg whites, or 1 egg
  • 1 T milk (I use vanilla soy)
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (any flour will do)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • ½ t garam masala, or cinnamon
  • 1 t sea salt
  • sweet chili sauce + sriracha to serve

Peel and coarsely grate sweet potato, carrot and apple until you have 3 cups, in any ratio you prefer. Set aside in a colander or bowl on some paper towels to drain.

Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt in medium bowl and whisk to combine. Mix in egg whites and milk. Squeeze excess juice from potato-apple-carrot mixture (I recommend saving the juice because it’s a sweet and nutritious combination!) and add mixture to bowl with the flour-egg mixture. Add scallions and stir to combine. Batter should be moist but not runny. If too stiff, add a tablespoon or so of milk until consistency is right.

Spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high. Drop heaping spoonfuls or 1/8 cup of pancake mixture in skillet and flatten with back of spatula. Cook each side about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce and sriracha. You may store unused batter in a container in the fridge for several days to use whenever you please!

*Alternatively, leave out flour and stir fry as a breakfast hash.

Pancakes (above) versus a big pile of potato-apple-carrot hash (below). A perfect breakfast or brunch!

Enjoy! –mich

This recipe is shared at My Meatless Mondays, & Fresh Bites Fridays

Peanut flour + whole wheat pancakes

I’m big on breakfast. This is only as of a year ago, when I was on Semester At Sea and if I didn’t get up and eat by 830, I was stuck in cranky hunger mode until noon. But before that I avoided breakfast, at most eating an apple or peach because I was never that hungry anyway.

After getting in the habit of breakfast, I can’t go without it. I never realized the energy I was missing out on to jump start my day, and that it left me choosing a more reasonable-sized lunch. My favorite thing about breakfast, though, is that you can choose to eat sweet or savory (or both!) depending on your mood. When else do you have that choice for a meal? I certainly don’t look too normal having blueberry scones for dinner, no matter how “healthified” they may be.

I try to make time to sit and enjoy my breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea. It always makes for a happy start to my day. My all-time favorite on-the-go breakfast is a brown rice cake [plain, salted or lightly sweetened] topped with honey-almond butter or Better n’ Peanut Butter, a layer or sliced banana and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. It wins every time. Quick and simple to make, easy to eat while walking, a bit salty, a bit sweet, and perfectly satisfying.

Oatmeal follows close behind as my favorite [especially during the winter months] because of the endless flavor combinations and add-ins, but more on that in a later post.

When I have a bit more time for breakfast-creating, pancakes are a popular choice. My recent discovery and obsession with peanut flour led me to try these peanut flour + whole wheat pancakes.

A little on peanut flour: it’s made from ground peanuts that have a good amount of the fat removed. It’s gluten-free, protein-packed, and has a mild peanuty flavor. If you want to make a lower fat peanut butter out of it, combine 2 T flour with 1 T water or milk [I like vanilla soy] and a little salt and honey to bring out the flavor.

All I have to say about these hot cakes is this: they smell and taste like freshly baked peanut butter cookies, and are healthier than I ever though possible for pancakes.

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There’s just something about blueberries and cornmeal..

To me it seems a random combination, but it just works. And I had to come back for more. Having a half-empty (or half-full) pan of my blueberry cornmeal coffee cake that I’ve been nibbling on the past few days was not enough. No, I had to make pancakes! Blueberry cornmeal cakes, which I stumbled across on this blog, Scaling Back. Mmmm, those pictures just got me.

These guys were good. So light and fluffy, crisp and buttery on the outside… oh my goodness. Very glad I ignored the fact that I still have a blueberry-cornmeal baked good sitting on my countertop waiting to be eaten..

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