Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Chopped Almond Syrup (Best. Weekend. EVER., pt. deux) (v)

The morning before I made the  delicious migas, we worked up big appetites with a nice long swim at the Y, which consisted a slow and steady swim for me, with glimpses out of the corner of my goggles of Dave passing me back and forth for a solid hour, like something out of shark week. He was going so fast, I thought he was going to swim up and body slam me or thrown me in the air like an orca with a baby seal. Didn’t happen (WHEW… chalk one up for team seal).


Anyway, we swam a lot and were hongray when we got back. What to make? Uh, how about every breakfast item we could name? There was a “you bought healthy bacon?” debacle recently (grounds, so the menu definitely included full-fat, old-school bacon, scrambled eggs, and biscuits along with the pumpkin pancakes (which are pretty healthy). Here’s what I came up with, and this recipe includes a basic homemade pancake mix you can keep on hand*:



  • 1 recipe whole wheat oatmeal pancake mix: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup ground oatmeal, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 can Libby’s pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup soy or skim milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar-free syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • canola oil


Mix everything in a bowl. Woo hoo! Easy peasy. Everything except canola oil, of course, but you didn’t do that, did you? You knew better. I knew you would! Add milk in third-cup increments, blending well each time.

first side…

Heat a nonstick skillet just under medium heat and add 1 tbsp canola oil per batch of pancakes. These do best when the batter’s a bit thin and the skillet is hot- the pumpkin is so dense it impedes the cooking process with a lower heat or thicker batter. Using a 1/3 c measuring cup as your guide, scoop three servings of batter into the hot pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side, or until bubbles form in the batter and the edges appear set. Flip and cook the other side another 2 minutes, then remove to a paper-towel lined plate.


Pour the syrup of your choice and the chopped almonds into a microwave-safe creamer or small pitcher for serving. Microwave for 45 seconds and serve with the pancakes. These are mm-mm good, especially with real bacon.

*First, a note on the pancake mix. I keep this pre-mixed in a canister at home, about 4 batches worth. It’s really great to have on the weekends. To make pancakes from the dry mix recipe above (which was inspired by this FitSugar recipe), scoop 1-2 cups mix into a bowl, add an egg, 1 tablespoon of something sweet (honey’s a good option), and a cup of milk or more, depending on your taste. Some variations we’ve enjoyed: replace part of the mix with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, add berries, peanut butter, nuts, strawberries, or bananas. Good stuff!

Vegetarian Migas & The Best Weekend. EVER. (veg, gf)

This is the first in a flurry of recipes I’ll be posting from the Best Weekend Ever. Somehow, the planets aligned and Dave and I had not only a banking holiday tacked on to our weekend, but we had no plans to leave town. And we had no guests coming in. And we had no solo obligations. And the only things we did have on the books were FUN. And both of us were home. And the weather Saturday was insanely pretty. And we got to eat a lot. While this might sound boring, and while we do love our out-of-town loved ones and house guests, this kind of Dave-and-Lauren long weekend never happens. It’s been months or maybe a year since we had time like that with each other that we didn’t enjoy a plane ride away (stressful in itself). And even then it wasn’t just the two of us. This weekend was like a second honeymoon!

We swam, got a bike ride in (on The Windiest Day Ever), saw the new James Bond- two thumbs up, went bowling, went to dinner with friends twice, went for a long walk around our neighborhood, watched movies and took naps every single day. And I furiously cooked my way through the whole thing. For every calorie burned on the bike or in the pool, I’m pretty sure I cooked two to replace it as soon as we got home. But I probably burned half of those off from intense and loving, Pepe Le Pew-style smiling.

le sigh

I made my sweet potato and black bean burritos on Saturday night, and we headed to Illinois to ride on Sunday morning. My ride was shorter and I beat Dave home; I wanted to make a hearty and healthy brunch for when he got back, and I thought the quickest way to do this was to combine the leftovers from saturday and a dish we love- migas. The migas we order in the Midwest are a Tex-Mex version of a Spanish dish. Scrambled eggs, strips of fried corn tortillas, tomatoes, chorizo, chile peppers, onion, and cheese. I health-ed this up a bit (surprise!!) by starting with the veggie and bean mixture and by baking the tortillas.



  • half recipe sweet potato and black bean burrito filling, AG! recipe found here
  • two corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 eggs, beaten with: 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 bunch scallion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • salsas, cheeses, sour cream for serving


Heat your oven to 350 and spread the remaining teaspoon of olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cut the tortillas into one-inch pieces and spread onto the oiled baking sheet. Pop these into the oven for 5-7 minutes be sure to check them 5 minutes into cooking. When they’re slightly browned and crispy, remove them from the oven. We’ve been hooked on Mission’s Artisan whole wheat and corn blend tortillas– they have the earthy taste of corn and the addition of wheat makes them pliable. Best of both worlds!

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sweet potato and black bean mixture, and cook over medium for about 5 minutes, until heated through and browned more than it was when you put it in the pan. Add the crispy tortillas at this point, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with the milk and kosher salt. Pour the eggs over the veggies and tortillas and lower heat, stirring the mixture frequently. The eggs will cook quickly! Once they’re set, top with cilantro and scallions and serve with avocado and salsas. Kiss your significant other. Ta-da! Brunch is served!

Breakfast Smoothie & Detoxifying “Green Drank” (v, gf)

Recently, a reader asked why I have posted only one true breakfast recipe. The answer is, I usually blend a protein smoothie for myself and throw it in a blender bottle in the morning- it’s a fast, portable meal that keeps me full for hours, and the protein is timed well after morning workouts. Posting variations of the same smoothie would be boring, but I thought I’d share the basics.

My favorite combo is:


  • 2-3 scoops chocolate protein powder (your choice- whey, soy, both, other)
  • 1 banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • water (1 1/2- 2 cups)

Directions: blend all ingredients well, for about 2 minutes in a food processor. Pour and serve.

But this morning, I made:


  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (whey or vegan)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups water Read More