Sunday, April 27, 2014

Almond Flour Pancakes and Matcha Lattes

As many of you know, I do a lot of meal prep and cooking on the weekend. Lately, I have been trying to prep more breakfast foods for the boys. One popular breakfast food In our house are almond flour pancakes. I double the recipe and keep the leftover pancakes in the fridge, and we heat them up during the week.

Almond Flour Pancakes
Yield: About 22 small, thin pancakes

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup liquid (water, almond milk, cow’s milk, etc.)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 packets stevia (optional)
  • Coconut oil
  1. Mix the eggs and the liquid with a fork.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, and stevia (optional) until well combined.
  3. Heat enough coconut oil to lightly coat a pan over low to medium heat. [Caution: Don’t use too much coconut oil as it burns easily. Also, make sure not to turn the heat higher than medium, and then once the pan is hot turn it down toward low.]
  4. Wait several minutes until the pan is hot. Add about two tablespoons of batter to the pan and flatten it out with the back of a spoon.
  5. Cook until bubbles form and then turn over. Cook for another minute.
The first time I made almond flour pancakes, it was a disaster as I burned them and they fell apart. I had read that you need to use lower temperatures, but I treated them too much like pancakes made with wheat flour. The key is to be patient and truly use low heat and cook them slowly. Once you get used to working with almond flour, it’s easy!

KissMe Organics Matcha Lattes

One beverage I have recently been enjoying with my breakfasts are matcha lattes. Several weeks ago, I was contacted by KissMe Organics and asked if I wanted to try their organic matcha powder. I had never tried matcha powder at home before (but I had had it in various forms in different drinks and foods, and I enjoy green tea a lot) and was curious, so I said yes.

I got a code to order it for free on Amazon (KissMe Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder is sold exclusively on Amazon). Once I ordered it, I also got access to a free recipe booklet. There are many recipes in the booklet, but I only made lattes with the powder as I enjoyed them so much.

Andy also liked the lattes. My aunt, however, did not care for them at all, maybe because it was a completely new flavor for her. She said they tasted “too green” and she wouldn’t go near them after her first and only taste.

Since I had never tasted matcha powder by itself before, I asked one of my friends who uses matcha regularly to taste some in warm water straight up, and she liked the flavor a lot.

To make the latte, I followed the recipe in the booklet. I mixed one teaspoon of matcha powder with a little hot water and stirred it well (this is important!). Then I filled the cup with warm milk (I used both almond milk and cow’s milk, and both were good). I liked adding some stevia for a bit of sweetness.

According to the package, the matcha green tea powder is supposed to provide:
  • all day energy
  • metabolism boost
  • increased focus
  • improved skin health
  • 137x antioxidants of brewed green tea
I do think the matcha lattes gave me a boost of energy, and I enjoyed it. It was a more subtle but longer boost than coffee had given me in the past when I drank it, and I enjoyed the extra energy without the feeling of “crashing” afterward. I can’t verify the other claims, but I certainly enjoyed my lattes and am sad that the package is now empty. They were a nice change from my usual lemon water and various teas as they felt special and were a nice pick-me-up.

Questions: What’s your usual breakfast? I start most days with a huge green smoothie. Do you make breakfasts ahead of time? Besides making extra pancakes, I like making Bircher muesli (a version of overnight oats) the night before. Have you ever used matcha powder? If so, what did you use it in? Were you more adventurous than I was and made something else than simple lattes? What was the highlight of your weekend?
Be well,

[Disclosure: I was provided a code to order the KissMe Organics matcha powder for free. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chili con Carne to Feed a Crowd and Some Easter Fun

Last weekend, we invited friends for an egg coloring and chocolate fountain party. The kids also did an Easter egg hunt.

We had the chocolate fountain running in the afternoon, and I was looking for an easy dinner that I could make ahead of time. Chili seemed perfect. I made it the day before and reheated it the day of the event. The flavors came together nicely, and it made entertaining stress free.

Easy Chili con Carne

About 12 - 15 servings

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • Chili powder, start with about 2 teaspoons
  • Smoked paprika, start with 2 teaspoons 
  • Cayenne pepper, start with 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin, start with 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, a dash
  • Oregano, dried, 1 teaspoon
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 10 – 15 drops Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • beef or veggie broth to thin the chili out a bit, if needed
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions to the hot oil.
  2. Add the bell peppers and the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, paprika, Cayenne pepper, and cumin and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook until it is cooked through.
  5. Add the oregano, tomatoes, ketchup, Tabasco, salt, and pepper, and simmer for about an hour.
  6. Add the kidney and black beans and cook for another 30 minutes.
  7. If the chili is too thick, thin it out with some beef or veggie broth.
  8. Taste the chili and add more seasonings to taste. I added quite a bit more of everything, and it ended up having a nice kick. I like the combination of spices that have been cooked for a long time and the “fresher” ones added toward the end of the cooking time. If you add more seasonings, cook another 10 - 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced onions. Some of our guests enjoyed some bread with their chili.

Questions: What is your favorite dish to entertain a crowd with? What was the highlight of your weekend? If you celebrate, did you have a nice Easter?
Be well,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Veggies and the Beach

We spent Spring break at Avila Beach. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very warm, but we still had a great time, especially since my aunt came with us.

We stayed in a place with a kitchen, so we cooked almost all of our meals, which I much prefer to going out to eat. Somehow prepping food and cooking doesn’t feel like work when I am on vacation. Plus, I made sure we ate enough veggies, which can be difficult to do when eating out. Here are some of our meals:


Avila Breakfast


We loved walking to the pier and buying wild, fresh, local fish.

Questions: Do you bring your own food when you go on vacation? I always bring some food when I travel, even when we don’t have a kitchen. Most places we travel to have at least a small fridge. And I always bring a cooler. Some of my go-to travel foods are nuts, lots and lots of veggies, cheese, yogurt, hemp seeds, fruit, beef jerky, avocados… I also like to bring a piece of ginger root to make ginger tea as well as some lemons to make warm lemon water. Or do you prefer to take a break from cooking/food prep and enjoy eating out on vacation?
Be well,