01/1/15

Accidentally Vegan Cardamom Macadamia Nut Pancakes

My attempts to focus on healthier eating are going pretty well. Life hasn’t been entirely void of treats but they’ve been few and far between and the rest of the time has been sticking to calorie counts consisting largely of fruits,vegetables and healthy proteins.

It’s easier to stay on track when I am cooking for myself rather than eating out. Not always the easiest thing in Los Angeles because there are so many foodie temptations here. However,as long as I have some quick but satisfying recipes to hand I can usually manage to make the right choice.

I’ve found myself reaching back to recipes that became fixtures during my previous weight loss success. This pancake recipe is one that I came up with several years back when I was living in London and was at the height of my weight loss. It was one of those mornings where I was super hungry but had barely anything in the house. Since I was taking the whole healthy eating kick thing super seriously what I did have were things like soy milk and nut oils.

What resulted where these really yummy cardamom macadamia nut pancakes which just so happen to also be vegan pancakes.  It’s one of those recipes that is a jumping of point where you can switch up the ingredients any number of ways to either suit what you have to hand or to try out new flavor profiles. As long as you have a milk, an oil and a spice, it should work.

Of course, you could take it out of the vegan category and use cow’s milk. I’m probably going to experiment more in the other direction and see which other non-dairy milks I can use. I have little doubt that almond milk would work just fine. Coconut milk would be an interesting experiment. Particularly,with the macadamia nut oil notes.

I like to top these off with some fruit,I grew particularly fond of adding slices of grilled bananas, and then drizzling with honey.  It feels like you are eating something special but with barely any fat in the recipe. That’s a win win in my world.

Cardamom Macadamia Nut Pancakes

cardamon pancakes

 

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup soy milk

1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil

Directions:

1. Mix the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and combine well.

2. Add the soy milk and the macadamia nut oil and stir until thoroughly mixed. If you are finding your batter is just a bit too thick at this stage then add a bit more soy milk.

3. Heat a griddle or frying pan until it is hot enough to make pancakes. I usually drop a tiny bit of water onto it and if it instantly sizzles I consider it ready to be used.

4. Either spray with non-fat cooking spray or use a tiny bit of the macadamia nut oil and then start to drop the batter on the hot surface.

5. Leave each vegan pancake until bubbles have started to form on the pancake. Then flip over and cook for a minute or so on the other side. Watch carefully because they can very easily go from perfectly golden brown to burned and ruined.

6.  Put pancakes onto two plates, top with your choice of toppings. I’ve enjoyed them with a bit of honey or the traditional maple syrup path. Even better topped with grilled bananas.

 

06/7/14

Buttermilk Pancakes at Du-par’s

I have been craving pancakes for weeks. Whenever I ask somebody (or Google) for the best pancakes in Los Angeles, Du-Par’s on Third and Fairfax is always on the list. This morning,we finally went over to the Farmer’s Market to try them out.

This was a time where the experience of a dish lived up to the hype. The Cliff Notes version of my review is – yummy!

I ordered the short stack blue plate special. Which, was three large buttermilk pancakes and two slices of crispy bacon.

Du-par's short stack

Until today, I had never seen pancakes served with a side of melted butter. What a great way to get that super indulgent fluffy pancake breakfast experience. Fluffy may be a bit of an understatement for Du-par’s buttermilk pancakes. Essentially, they were pancake pillows with dimples placed throughout so that the melted butter and maple syrup could soak all the way into the pancake.

Du-par's panckaes

They were the first pancakes I have had in a long time where I could actually taste the butter part of the buttermilk in the batter. So far, the Du-par buttermilk pancakes are without a doubt the best pancakes I have had in Los Angeles.

Maybe I should just let my finished plate be my review.

Du-par's blue plate

I’ve put together a short video of our visit to Du-par’s to show you just how fluffy those pancakes were this morning.

11/3/13

Pancakes bigger than my head at the Griddle Cafe

Food Network junkies will find that a visit to Los Angeles leaves them spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants that have been featured on the channel.  The Griddle Cafe is one of the places that I had seen featured prior to moving to Los Angeles and wanted to try. The place has a reputation though for having insanely long line for weekend breakfast. So much so that the tour buses point out the line as tourists as they pass by the Sunset Boulevard.

The Griddle Cafe

Myself and a friend decided to brave the line early one Sunday morning. To our amazement, we didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes to be sat at the bar.  I’m pretty sure that is because we got there nearly spot on their opening time because by the time we left the infamous line was in full force.

I’m not usually somebody that loves sitting at the bar to eat a meal. I find it makes it more difficult to have a proper conversation with the person that came with you. Plus, I just like having my own space.  At the Griddle Cafe, I didn’t really mind. It felt as if sitting at the bar with the overly hip locals was part of the experience.

Griddle Cafe

The Griddle Cafe has a full breakfast menu but I was there to try out their famously huge pancakes. Combing through the pages and pages of drool-worthy pancakes, I finally decided on the the Golden Ticket pancakes. Brown sugar-baked bananas cooked inside a buttermilk batter along with caramel, walnuts and streusel and then topped with whipped cream? How could I pick anything else?

Griddle Cafe menu

I had heard that the portions at the Griddle Cafe were large but I truly wasn’t wasn’t prepared for when they arrived. They were scrumptious but dear lord, look at the size of those pancakes in comparison to the spoon! The Euro leftie inside of me couldn’t help but think that portions this large when others are starving is obscene. Then the foodie in me had to dig in.

Griddle Cafe pancakes

I made it maybe a quarter of the way through the dish before I had to tap out. No doubt this is a common occurrence because the Griddle Cafe has the take away box ready before I even had the chance to ask. No joke, I ate the leftovers for breakfast for the next three days!