Welcome!

Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pancakes - The Quintessential Weekend Breakfast

I have had pancakes BOTH MORNINGS this weekend. Naughty, I know, but when they're as good as these, it's hard to resist. The original recipe I adapted was printed in The Commercial Appeal.

I like to have a side of homefries with my pancakes when I eat them with syrup. I eat the fries with ketchup, and I love how the salty ketchup and the sweet syrup are juxtaposed. This morning, however, I didn't have any potatoes, so I had a big ol' glass of soymilk to foil the sweetness of the syrup I used. Things to think about!

1.5 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda plus another heaping 1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 free-range eggs (If you want to make this vegan, try substituting Ener-G egg replacer. You can probably pick it up at Whole Foods or buy it online.), beaten with a fork
1 c. rice milk
6 T. vegan margarine, melted (As you probably know, I like Earth Balance.)
1 T. fresh lemon juice (optional)

Start heating a greased (with margarine, canola oil, or nonstick spray) skillet or griddle over medium heat. The pan needs to already be hot when you put the pancake batter on it, but don't let the grease start smoking while you're working on the batter. I use a perfect cast-iron griddle that it is already beautifully seasoned and hardly needs any grease at all. It's the same pan I use to make vegan biscuits.

In a medium bowl, use a fork to thoroughly combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, rice milk, and lemon juice (if using). Barely mix ingredients before stirring in the melted margarine. Mix until just combined. The batter will still be lumpy.

Pour 1/4 c. batter onto your heated griddle. Sort of keep an eye on the under side using a spatula. It shouldn't get too brown until the sides of the cake are starting to dry out and bubbles are coming to the surface of the batter. If it's browning too fast, turn the heat down. Once there are bubbles surfacing on the wet side of the cake, the edges are dry, and the bottom side is brown, flip it with a spatula. When the 2nd side is browned, plate it up and enjoy. Serves 2-3.

Cooking pancakes is only part recipe...it's also part art. Often, the first one doesn't turn out while you're getting the heat just right, so don't fret if that's the case. These pancakes are fat and fluffy. Here are some serving suggestions:

1. Serve with warm syrup and possibly some chopped nuts. I don't even put margarine on my pancakes. Honestly, I don't miss anything in flavor without it. I just get to skip all those extra calories and fat grams.
2. Serve the pancakes plain, topped with fresh berries and/or confectioner's sugar.
3. Sneak some chocolate chips in between hot pancakes. Gooey chocolate rocks.
4. Serve topped with vegan yogurt and chopped nuts. This still gives you a rich mouth-feel with more nutrition than syrup.

Variation: Right after you pour the batter onto the skillet or griddle, press a few fresh blueberries into the wet side for warm blueberry pancakes.

Happy weekend!

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