Accidental Genius

Red velvet pancakes.  They sound brilliant, right?  I certainly thought they would be a good idea.  Of course, it would be completely un-skinnyfat of me to use food coloring, so I decided to use beets.  Now from the internet research I did, it seemed like using beets to make red velvet cake is pretty much a hit or miss, with more people missing than hitting.  I figured I’d still give it a shot.

Yeah, my red velvet pancakes were not so red and not so pretty. 

However, my complete failure at producing beautiful, naturally scarlet pancakes, were a near stroke of genius.  These pancakes were so soft, so fluffy, so delicious.  I knew I was on to something.  My next version of the pancakes were, in a word, divine.

Oh, So Fluffy Pancakes (No Buttermilk Needed)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons stevia (or 1 packet)
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used pomegranate vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or healthy substitute
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped or sliced

To begin with, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. 

Check out my humongous bag of whole wheat pastry flour!  It’s so big, the laundry room is the only place it fits in my apartment.  I love Amazon! 

Okay, ignore my rant and keep mixing the dry ingredients.

Then slice the squash.

Blend the squash along with the butter, milk, and vinegar.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together.

Preheat your frying pan to medium heat.  Once the pan is heated, then you can pour and form your pancakes on the pan.  I always like to transfer my pancake batter into my liquid measuring cup or blender, it helps me to pour the batter more easily. 

Your pancakes should be ready to flip when they get fluffy and bubbly, like this:

See how pretty?

I used pumpkin puree, cinnamon, peanut butter, and maple syrup to make the perfect pancake stack.

The cream at the top is coconut whipped cream.  You can find Katie’s version of it here

I had these pancakes for lunch  the past two days.  Yes, I have no shame in eating pancakes for lunch.  If it’s good for breakfast, it’s also good for lunch and supper.  I think I have my new mantra. 

Until next time, try pancakes for lunch.

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

It’s finally that time of year! The time of year when you decorate your home with dead leaves. The time of year for hot tea, acorns, sweaters, and pumpkins. The time of year when you can throw everything that’s been sitting in your fridge all summer into the crock pot before bed and have a magical soup ready in the morning. Yep, that time of year: soup season!

For the record, I encourage you not to put three-month-old ingredients into your next soup. Or any soup, ever. What I meant was that a good soup can be made from almost any vegetable known to man – except for  brussel sprouts. Those things just shouldn’t even be eaten in the first place. Yes, you heard me, I don’t like brussel sprouts. Hey, it’s not written somewhere that I have to like every single vegetable, okay?!?

Lots of recent blog browsing has led me to the conclusion that I’m not the only one who appreciates this season of hot, liquid food. In fact, I blame other bloggers for my current soup obsession. I found a wonderfully simple and delicious-looking tomato soup recipe that I plan on testing out over the weekend. But it was Elle’s post that gave me the idea of concocting a butternut squash soup recipe, and Lauren’s post sealed the deal – it was butternut squash soup or bust!

The thing I love most about butternut squash is that it doesn’t taste like butter or nuts but tastes delicious with both of those flavors. It’s almost as if the guy who named the squash was suggesting that it be combined with nuts and butter, so I followed his advice. I wish he could taste my soup and I could thank him for his brilliant suggestion, because I am confident that this soup will make it into the Soup Hall of Fame. Oh, it’s a real place – or at least it will be after I build it to ensure that this soup is remembered for eternity. You’re witnessing history, people!

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
Olive oil
4 – 6 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups cashew cream
3 T butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
Seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper)

Step 1: Roughly chop all veggies. This is a creamy soup, so nothing needs to be neat or bite-size – it’s all going in the blender. Saute the onion, carrot, celery,  and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.

Step 2: While the veggies are getting soft, prepare your cashew cream. You will need to plan ahead and cover 2 – 3 cups of cashews with water and let them soak overnight in the fridge. After soaking for at least 12 hours, rinse the cashews and cover with fresh water in the blender. The less water you use, the thicker the cream will be. Blend for at least 2 minutes until smooth.

I ended up adding more water to this because it was too thick.


Step 3: Don’t get so preoccupied with your cream that you forget your veggies are on the stove. Then you’ll have to start all over. 😦


Step 4: When veggies are soft (but NOT burnt), add the squash and the butter alternative. Remember to stir frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot or burns. You can add more olive oil if necessary.

Step 5: Let everything cook until the squash is soft and falling apart. When all the veggies are very tender, scoop them into the blender. Add a portion of the vegetable broth and a portion of the cashew cream to the blender with the veggies and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Repeat this process until all the veggies have been blended with all of the cream and broth.

Step 6: Wash your pot and put it back on the burner on low. Pour all of your smooth, creamy soup back into the pot and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. You can add other seasonings if you want to make it interesting, but the squash is so simple and flavorful that you probably won’t want to add much more to it. I actually added a teeny dash of pumpkin pie spice, mostly just to see if my husband would notice (he didn’t). Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

I added a dash of cayenne pepper for a little kick and an extra swirl of cashew cream. Parsley would be a nice garnish as well, but I didn't have any

My husband went absolutely crazy over this and ate two enormous bowlfuls. When my dad handed me his empty bowl he declared, “This soup is restaurant-worthy!”, but it was really hard to take him seriously with big orange globs dribbled all over his beard.

Pull on a sweater and enjoy a hot bowl of delicious, creamy butternut squash goodness. Then enjoy a second bowl, because it’s all vegetables and cashews, and it can’t get much healthier than that! This is what soup season’s all about.

EDIT: I made this again with Silk creamer and it was equally as tasty!

~Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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