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. ūüėČ

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!!! ūüėÄ )

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?

Eggplant Medallions

Even though I completely adore the eggplant lasagna I’ve featured on this blog several times, I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a little longer to make than I’d like most days. I guess I’m a 20 minutes or less kinda girl!

That particular recipe was calling to me after work today but I was feeling a little too lazy to follow through and make it. Instead, I sliced up the eggplant, salted it and let it lay out over the sink to remove the bitter flavor while I headed out to JoAnn’s to pick up some craft supplies to make our save the dates this weekend.

Salted Eggplant

When I returned, I popped the eggplant into the oven and let them roast at 415 degrees for approximately 10 Р15 minutes.

While the eggplant slices were roasting, I added oregano and basil to ricotta cheese to place on top of the eggplant.

Ricotta + Spices

Once the eggplant was¬†slightly browned,¬†I topped the slices (Let’s call them medallions¬†to sound fancy, shall we?)¬†with the ricotta mixture. I then added¬†grilled chicken,¬†pasta sauce and cheese on top of the ricotta¬†and baked the medallions¬†in the oven until the cheese was ooey gooey.

Eggplant + Chicken + Sauce + Cheese

Eggplant Slice

On the side I enjoyed a big helping of Monterey Pasta Company Rainbow Five Cheese Tortellini that the company kindly sent me to sample since I have an ongoing love affair with their ravioli.

Rainbow!

I don’t think I was the only one excited to try this in our household…

"Gimme, Gimme!"

I scooped a big serving of the pasta onto my plate with the cheesy eggplant slices.

Dinner is Served

My thoughts on the tortellini? It was nice and cheesy!  

I don’t know why, but I was way more excited to eat the red and green tortellini pieces than the standard white pasta pieces. But then again this really shouldn’t surprise me since I always like to pick my favorite colors and flavors out of candy bags… and the chunks of cookie dough out of cookie dough ice cream… and the clams out of clam chowder…

What color candy was typically your favorite?

I always liked the reds and the oranges out of most candy assortments. Ryan is a yellow and green guy, so we’re an ideal candy match!

Move Over, Cinnamon

Cinnamon may be my favorite spice. I adore everything about it, from the taste of the spice to the smell of it. I even love the soft brown color.

Within the past year I’ve become quite friendly with another spice… Perhaps the only other spice that holds a candle to cinnamon in my book: Nutmeg.

Today my breakfast included both spices in a battle over which spice was more delicious.

Cinnamon made an appearance first in the form of Van’s cinnamon French toast sticks.

This was my first time trying these French toast sticks, and let me just say a beautiful new relationship has blossomed.

Lovers and Friends

Van's Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

Cinnamon came back for more before nutmeg even got in on the goods.

I mixed several shakes of cinnamon into two large dollops of ricotta cheese, along with a squirt of honey.

I placed the cinnamon-ricotta-honey mixture on top of the French toast sticks before adding a freshly sliced pear to the mix.

Then, it was nutmeg’s turn to make an appearance.

I sprinkled copious amounts of nutmeg over the entire dish for a punch of flavor.

Cinnamon vs. Nutmeg

Pear and Ricotta Topped Cinnamon French Toast

Monday Morning Breakfast

Oh how I wish I had syrup for on top of this bad boy! Unfortunately we used it all up on Saturday morning. ūüė¶

Still, syrup or no syrup, this breakfast kicked major boo-tay.

Though cinnamon was prominently featured throughout the dish, and tasted fantastic, the nutmeg really stole the show. It upped the flavor of this breakfast and made it look a little prettier, too. ūüėČ

Workout

Pre-breakfast, Ryan and I hit the gym for an early morning workout. While Ryan went off to kick his own butt in the weight room, I stuck to the cardio machines and pounded out a sweaty workout that looked like this:

  • 20 minutes stair master
  • 20 minute treadmill blast
  • 10 minutes elliptical

My 20 minutes on the treadmill was spent alternating running with super-fast walking. Here’s the breakdown:

20 Minute Treadmill Blast

The hardest part of my time on the treadmill was the last 5 minutes. I was haulin’ hiney at a pretty decent incline. It was tough!

Save the Dates

Wedding news!!!!!!!! Last night Ryan and I brainstormed a bit about our save the dates. We selected a do-it-yourself project and placed an order for a whole bunch of paper and stamps which should arrive within the next couple days.

I can’t wait to get started!

Tonight we’re going to attempt to get to know the self timer on my camera really well as we try to snap a picture of us to include on the save the date cards. We want it to look classy, romantic and loving without looking super cheesy. Should be interesting!

Question of the Day

Did you make your own save the dates or purchase them from a professional? If you are not married, are you planning on making your own save the dates?

I love being crafty and figured making our own save the dates would be a fun way to show our personalities and save some money at the same time.

Because of Ricotta

Tonight I wanted ricotta cheese like it was nobody’s business!

Someone at work today was eating lasagna leftovers for lunch, which prompted my craving around 11:30 a.m.! After waiting hours, I finally gave into my desire for the cheesy goodness.

Since I didn’t have any noodles on hand and was feeling way to lazy to make homemade lasagna, I settled for a big bowl of spaghetti squash, topped with ricotta, Parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, roasted broccoli and roasted squash.

I prepared my dinner by first baking the squash and forking out the “noodles.”

Spaghetti Squash

Ready for Toppings

I added a ton of steamed broccoli on top of the squash before going crazy with the two cheeses.

Broccoli + Cheese

Dinner

Stirred Up

I satisfied my cheesy craving and got lot o’ veggies in there, too. Win, win situation.

Dessert

I decided to do some post-dinner baking tonight and made a batch of my sugar-free coconut meringues.

Coconut Meringues

These are so good and pack a little protein punch.

On that note, I think I’m gonna go grab some more… ūüėČ

Rainy Day Baking

Before heading out to run some errands, I fueled up with a ricotta-based lunch.

I seriously love this cheese!

I topped a big bowl of roasted veggies with two very large spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Veggies

Lotsa Ricotta

Lunch

It was delish!

After lunch, I headed out to run some errands and by the time I headed home the weather took a turn for the worse and it was poooouring outside!

Rainy Day Coconut Meringues

Rainy days make me want to bake!

Something about baking and the smell of something sweet in the oven makes a home feel oh-so-cozy.

I didn’t have too many quality baking ingredients on hand, but I¬†had the essentials to¬†whip up a batch of coconut meringues.

Whip It, Whip It Good

I whipped up egg whites, cream of tartar and coconut extract until soft peaks formed.

I then added Splenda¬†(Yes, I use Splenda… Gasp!)¬†and continued to whip the mix until the Splenda was fully incorporated.

Pre-Cooked

Within 12 minutes, I had soft, fluffy coconut meringue cookies!

Coconut Meringues

The meringues were a light, sweet and tasty snack!

Dinner is almost ready… Gotta run!

Coconut Meringues (Sugar Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/3 c. Splenda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix egg whites, cream of tartar and coconut extract until soft peaks form. Slowly mix in the Splenda until fully incorporated. Place spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 10 Р15 minutes. Enjoy!