Sweet Potato and Oat Pancakes!

So it has been an incredibly long time since I have been away from my beloved blog – over a year! I can’t believe how time has flown at all. But then again maybe I can, since I had a baby almost exactly one year ago and since then life has been, needless to say, a little hectic. ūüôā

I am excited to be back to blogging though, and with my little guy in the picture, my desire to cook has taken on a new dimension of making him fun, healthy vegetarian breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I have been experimenting with different finger foods, soups, etc. that are packed with veggies and proteins but still flavorful enough that everyone in the family can enjoy.

My first recipe is inspired by the fact that Milan (my son), loves pancakes and I was watching an episode of the Kitchen recently where they were talking about how easy and fun it is to add oats to pretty much anything. To that end, I tried out a fairly quick and fast sweet potato pancakes recipe and much to my delight, Milan loves them! Fun fact: sweet potatoes were also his first solid food! I made a bunch of pancakes and stored them in the fridge for a quick breakfast go-to or  for him to eat as an additional snack during the day.

If you want to see a photo of my reason for the long absence, head over to the About Me page for a snap of my cutie.  I hope to be back soon with another kid and adult-approved recipe.

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Apple Walnut Yogurt Muffins

Friday I was inspired by the crisp apples I had sitting on the counter and the beautiful fall weather we are having here in D.C. We have just been having day after day of picturesque sun and brisk air that warrant long walks with my dog and just staring out the window longingly when I should be working! Seriously, I love fall in D.C. so so much.

This recipe was inspired by this¬†blog post on Chelsea’s Messy Apron but I adopted it a by adding walnuts, not using cornstarch, and using vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. Its pretty healthy as muffins go because I used¬†whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, and brown sugar rather than less healthy substitutes. There is a teeny amount of butter in the crumble topping but otherwise there isn’t any butter in this recipe at all which I think is pretty amazing.

These have been hitting the spot for breakfast paired with a tall glass of milk. They aren’t super sweet, but I don’t need my muffin to be a dessert! (Ok most of the time I do, but I feel less bad about eating them everyday because they aren’t loaded with sugar). The oat crumble on top gives it an extra something.

A perfect fall-time muffin.

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Cauliflower Fried “Rice” With Honey-Ginger Sauce

Last night we made Chinese and Thai food at home since there are no good delivery options near us. Its actually really frustrating b/c when we lived in NY there were a million amazing Thai restaurants nearby and at least a handful of decent Chinese. Ah well! I can complain about lack of amazing food options in D.C. in every post I make.

In an effort to be healthier, I used cauliflower instead of rice. How versatile is this vegetable? Its basically amazing as a pizza crust, as a substitute for rice, and as a vegan “steak” option. I am so in love. And its so easy to use (except of course the cleaning up part – the joy of having little cauliflower pieces everywhere in my kitchen is no fun).

For our lunchtime salads these days I usually make a Honey-Ginger Dressing so I modified that a bit and used it for the sauce on the rice. It was the right balance of flavors for a rice dish, I would have to say! You can chow down on this all by your lonesome but we paired the it with a Tofu and Broccoli in Peanut Sauce that I made which turned out pretty decent as well. I may post that recipe soon too.

We definitely didn’t miss the rice!

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have been wanting to make a pizza crust with cauliflower instead of regular pizza dough for a while but never seem to have the chance. I wasn’t sure this would be a dinner favorite at the house so I usually opt for the regular version when we do make pizza (which is fairly often). This week I decided to do a small personal pie using cauliflower crust instead of regular pizza crust for my own weekday lunch so I could experiment and see if this would work for dinner too. It definitely does NOT give you the crispy crust that traditional pizza would allow for, but it does hold together decently well and is a far healthier alternative (great for those who are gluten-free too). I totally devoured the pizza in about 5 minutes so I guess you would have to say it was a success? I would make this again for dinner I think, but need to figure out ways to make it crispier!¬†The best part –¬† it only took me 45 minutes or so start to finish to put this together.

I topped my pizza with regular tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, yellow summer squash, red onions, and tomatoes. Love this combination!. If I wasn’t being lazy, I would have saut√©d the veggies a bit before putting them on the pizza, but it tasted great all the same.

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Crispy Kale Chaat

If you have been to an Indian restaurant in Washington D.C., then you have seen either a “crispy spinach chaat” or “crispy kale chaat” on the menu. Its a twist on a popular Indian street food – chaat – which is basically a loose term for a collection of sweet/savory dishes that are usually found in roadside stalls in India (but is usually¬†found in restaurants both there and here all prettied up!). I think chaat is kind of hard to explain unless you have had it, since the flavors are a real explosion of sweet/salty/tangy/crispy all in one. I love it. Chaat nights where we just eat a bunch of different types of chaat is up there with my favorite meals of all time.

I tried to recreate the crispy kale chaat I love so much at a restaurant here called Bombay Club. I am not sure its as good as the restaurant version, but it does the trick for a unique appetizer thats not very hard to put together!

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Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

My lunch yesterday is in homage to my husband and I’s favorite salad at one of our go-to restaurants: Houston’s. We started going to Houston’s in NYC when we heard it had one of the world’s best veggie burgers. It is totally true. The veggie burger there rocks (but I do not love the waitress who told me that the amount of calories in it is practically equivalent to one of the steaks on the menu – she does NOT rock). Lucky for us since moving out of NY, we have found restaurants part of the Houston’s group in every city we have lived in (Hillstone in Boston and The Woodmont Grill in Bethesda).

Our most recent trip to Woodmont Grill had us splitting¬†a veggie burger for lunch and a kale salad. Best. Kale. Salad. Ever. It was drenched in this amazing peanut dressing and I devoured it faster than the veggie burger (which is like superhero fast because have I mentioned how much I love their veggie burger?). My husband was convinced we¬†could remake this salad at home pretty easily so after googling a million peanut dressing recipes, I am pretty happy with this version. Its very different than Houston’s in the end, but its pretty darn tasty! Its what I had for lunch yesterday and I have enough leftovers for another heaping serving today (yay!).

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