Butternut Squash Protein Pancakes

I know some of you out there are just as bummed about the lack of canned pumpkin available on the shelves at the grocery store lately. How are we supposed to make pumpkin pie protein smoothies or pumpkin protein pancakes without the key ingredient?

Well, I have one can of pumpkin remaining in my cabinet that I am hoarding and saving for a special day when a pumpkin craving really hits! Since I am saving that can, I figured I could try to recreate my pumpkin protein pancakes with pumpkin’s sister squash, little miss butternut.

My first attempt was a mega-fail, which made Sadie quite happy (she enthusiastically ate up my unsuccessful attempt), but my second go was much better.

While the ‘cakes were cooking on the griddle, I sliced up a nectarine to enjoy along with the butternutty goodness.

After topping the protein pancakes with the nectarine slices and sweet syrup, I dusted the plate with nutmeg for some added flava-flav.

Breakfast is Served

This breakfast came together quickly, but seemed more intense, like a weekend-worthy breakfast or something.

My belly was happy.

'Cakes + Nectarine + Syrup + Nutmeg

And Again

Along with the butternut squash protein pancakes, I downed a tumbler full of Barnie’s French vanilla and nutmeg coffee that I snagged for free as I was leaving the gym this morning.

You can't tell by looking, but my throat is on fiiiire...

Not only was my throat on fire in the above picture, but my head was also throbbing from that headband. Too bad I didn’t take it off sooner because I am now forced to wear it all day because I have the “headband bump” if I take it off, and we all know how cute that looks. 😉

Butternut Squash Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. canned butternut squash
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used All the Whey cinnamon bun protein powder which tastes like sewage in a shake, but is perfect in recipes)
  • Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Directions

Blend ingredients together using an immersion blender. Spray pan or griddle with cooking spray and cook pancakes for a couple of minutes on each side. Top with syrup, peanut butter, fruit or desired toppings.

Note: The pancakes will not have the same texture as fluffy pancakes made with flour and will be thinner and “eggier.”

Of Possible Interest

Question of the Morning

Pumpkin vs. Butternut Squash: Which do you prefer?

Forethought Makes Breakfast a Breeze

I worked up quite a sweat at the gym this morning!

I mentioned that I was beginning to feel a little restless about my cardio workouts last week so I was determined to change things up a bit today.

Throwing some intervals into the mix really fights boredom, so I completed this random workout:

Treadmill

  • 5 min., 4.5 pace, 5.0 incline
  • 20 min., 9.0 pace for 20 sec., 4.5 pace for 40 sec., 1.0 incline
  • 5 min., 4.5 pace, 5.0 incline

Elliptical

  • 20 min.

Those intervals will make ya sweat!

Breakfast

After sweatin’ it out, I came home to assemble my breakfast.

Last night, I made protein pancakes that I could reheat this morning to save some time.

My batter included:

  • 1 scoop All the Whey cup cake batter protein powder
  • 1/8 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 egg white

Pre-Blended Batter

Batter

I blended everything together with my immersion blender so there were no clumps remaining.

After cooking the pancakes on the griddle, I stored them in the fridge overnight.

'Cakes

This morning I heated the protein pancakes in the microwave and topped them with a sliced apple, cinnamon and syrup.

Apple + Cinnamon + Cup Cake Pancakes

Check Me Out

Tuesday Breakfast

A little forethought made assembling this breakfast a breeze!

Doggie Fun

  • Breakfast with Ginger

Since I know a lot of you share my love for dogs, I thought this video might make you smile.

Enjoy!

  • The Daily Puppy

For you dog lovers out there who are unaware of this fantastic website, The Daily Puppy features pictures of a new puppy every day. (Today’s puppy is a vizsla like Sadie!)

I am clearly quite obsessed with Sadie and I even submitted her picture to The Daily Puppy  once and she made her debut on the site a little over a year ago.

I thought this site might bring you guys some joy as well!

Question of the Day

What is your favorite dog breed?

Obviously I’m going to go with the vizsla. I also love great danes, German short hair pointers, pugs and basically a bazillion other breeds. 😉

Another Protein Pancake Success

I love protein pancakes and have enjoyed several different variations of the protein-packed breakfast cakes, which I have featured on this blog:

Today’s breakfast was very similar to the chocolate protein pancakes I’ve made before, but I changed the recipe up a bit, and thankfully it worked!

Today my recipe included:

Ingredients

I blended everything together with an immersion blender until the batter was smooth and thick.

I sprayed my hot griddle with cooking spray and held my breath as the pancakes cooked, hoping that the batter would turn into legitimate pancakes, and not prove too goopy or soft.

Thankfully after about four minutes, I had chocolate protein pancakes that tasted light and sweet.

Chocolate Ricotta Protein Pancakes

I topped the ‘cakes with a sliced frozen banana and syrup before demolishing them in a most ladylike way. 😉

Banana + Syrup

Gooey Goodness

I enjoyed the chocolate ricotta protein pancakes with a tumbler full of my gym’s free Barnie’s cinnamon butter cookie coffee.

Tuesday's Breakfast

(Thanks to my sister for my new tumbler! I love it!!! 😀 )

This breakfast was a hit after a sch-weaty workout at the gym this morning.

Workout

My workout was another cardio hodgepodge:

  • 15 min. arc trainer
  • 15 min. adaptive motion trainer
  • 20 min. elliptical

I’m getting a little bored of my cardio workouts, even when I change them up and add in circuits or outdoor runs.

I start training for the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in June and I think that will help me feel like I have something to work toward. Plus, I’m looking forward to running with two of my girlfriends as we train together which should make things more fun!

Question of the Day

What do you do when you start to get bored of your workout routine?

Top 12 Healthiest Frozen Dinners

My dinner tonight was not a frozen dinner, but more on that in a sec… 

First, let’s tackle my dinner highlights, shall we? 😀 

Dinner 

Since Ryan had a soccer game tonight, after we took Sadie for a 2.5 mile walk, I was all alone for dinner. 

You know what that means… Breakfast for dinner!!! 

Today I opted for chocolate protein pancakes like the ones I made for breakfast yesterday, but I changed up one of the ingredients. 

Instead of cottage cheese, I added a little less than 1/4 cup of pumpkin to the mix and blended the protein powder, pumpkin and egg whites into a thick batter. 

Blend Baby Blend

While the ‘cakes were cooking on the griddle, I added slices of frozen banana and strawberries to the griddle to heat up as well. 

Cookin'

Strawberries + Banana

In no time at all, dinner was ready. 

I placed the pancakes in the bottom of a bowl before cutting them up and topping them with the sliced strawberries, banana and syrup. 

Waiting for Toppings

Yummy

'Cakes + Fruit + Syrup

Not to toot my own horn (Toot! Toot!), but this dinner was delicious! I think it would actually make a fantastic dessert if I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. YUM. 

While doing the dishes, I also snacked on several handfuls of raspberry Galaxy Granola

Raspberry Galaxy Granola

This stuff is addicting… 

Top 12 Healthy Frozen Dinners 

When I first graduated from college and entered the working world, I lived off of oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Lean Cuisines and Lean pockets. 

This wasn’t due to a lack of interest in nutrition or healthy eating, but I felt overwhelmed at the thought of cooking meals daily and preparing homemade food. 

Now I realize that I can make nutritious meals in no time at all. It typically takes me less than 20 minutes to prepare a dinner and my meals are more well-rounded and nutrient-dense. I feel more satisfied and know I’m giving my body good fuel to keep me energized through my daily workouts and everyday life. 

That being said, we all have days where pre-packaged meals are our saviors! I definitely gravitate toward the convenience of frozen meals (Hello CPK pizzas!) every now and then. 

I found this list of the top 12 healthy frozen dinners (compiled by the director of nutrition for WebMD) quite interesting. The list might be helpful to those of you who are looking for the healthiest options out there in the frozen entrèe arena. 

Top 12 Healthiest Frozen Dinners

Do you eat frozen entrèes?  

I don’t eat frozen meals very often, but I  definitely use them in a pinch. (The frozen Kashi southwest chicken meal is aweeeesome!)

Latest Examiner Article 

Click here for additional information about healthy frozen entrèes, as well as tips from the experts to use when selecting the most nutritious frozen meals in my latest Examiner article!

Goodnight Gnocchi

After spending several hours at my friend Laurel’s apartment last night, my tummy started grumbling. I headed home for my gnocchi date with Ryan.

Gnocchi

We tried gnocchi for the first time at a wedding in May and loved it. Why it has taken us this long to try it again, I have no idea.

I found a recipe in Real Simple for gnocchi with roasted cauliflower that sounded perfect.

Roasted Cauliflower

 To roast the cauliflower I tossed the veggie with olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting it at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

I altered the Real Simple recipe a bit to incorporate more veggies like spinach and portobello mushrooms before topping the gnocchi and vegetables with Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan Explosion

Gnocchi and Veggies

The gnocchi was so delicious. It was doughy and filling. We’ll definitely be having this again soon.

Today

This morning I woke up in the mood for pumpkin and pancakes, so pumpkin protein pancakes with fresh strawberries and syrup sounded fantastic.

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Weekend breakfasts are the best.

Today I have plans to take Sadie on a long walk with Ryan, run some errands and go to the gym before going out for my friend Merri’s birthday.

Side note: It’s freezing in Orlando today.