Fluffy Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I’ve been trying a few healthy pancake recipes lately (mostly from healthy eating Instagram accounts), and this whole wheat oatmeal pancakes from Sally’s baking addiction is my favorite so far.

 

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These pancakes are made using whole wheat flour, oats, Greek yogurt, almond milk. Pretty much all the good stuff. They’re soft, thick, fluffy, moist with a tinge of cinnamon, which I totally love. And because they are whole wheat, they are more filling than the usual pancakes.

 

IMG_7645I used this organic wholemeal (or whole wheat – they’re the same) flour

 

My girls loved them too. Of course I had to throw a few chocolate chunks in their pancakes (ok fine, in mine too) because that’s how they like their pancakes – chocolatey. I guess a little bit of chocolate won’t hurt?

 

The most basic step to make pancake batter is to combine the dry and wet ingredients separately. You want to break up all the flour lumps first before combining with the wet mixture. You can sift the dry ingredients if you want. Otherwise, stirring them well would do just fine.

 

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Another secret to fluffy pancakes that I’ve learned is not to over mix your pancake batter. Over-mixing leads to flat, chewy, cardboard-like pancakes (been there, done that) which is a BIG no. I remember making pancakes for the very first time years ago. I just dumped in ALL of the ingredients in a blender and zap away! That was the worst pancakes I’ve ever eaten. I learned my pancake lesson now.

You want to stir the batter gently, just until the dry and wet ingredients are incorporated. A little bit of lumps is okay.

 

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I prefer to add chocolate chunks/chips while cooking each pancake, instead of adding them in the pancake batter. I find that they burn easily with the latter method. So what I always do is, I pour the pancake batter first onto a pan (make sure it’s hot and coated with oil), and then I add the chocolate chunks/chips on top. Kind of like sprinkling it. Then flip it over. The result is yummy pancakes with melted chocolate chunks/chips inside.

 

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IMG_7673There. Perfect for your weekend breakfast. Or brunch. Or dinner, if you must.

 

 

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Stack ‘em up and drench them in maple syrup. No fake maple syrups, please. You want the real deal – 100% pure maple syrup. It’s a bit pricey, but it makes a whole lot of difference (and healthier too)! Serve with bananas, berries, pecans, walnuts, anything you like.

Here, I layer each pancake with Greek yogurt and top with fresh strawberries. Yum!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes:

1 cup whole wheat/wholemeal flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond milk
1 egg
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or flavoured)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate chunks/chips (optional)

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients – whole wheat flour, oats, ground cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl (I prefer to use measuring jug tho), whisk the almond milk and egg together, then add brown sugar, vanilla essence and Greek yogurt. Whisk until there are no lumps.

Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir the batter just until the dry and wet ingredients are incorporated. Remember not to over mix it.

Heat up your pan and coat it with oil. Once it’s hot, pour about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Sprinkle with some chocolate chunks/chips if you want. Cook for about 1 minute, then flip to the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes before transferring it to a plate. Repeat until the batter is finished (you need to coat your pan with oil for each pancake you cook).

Serve immediately!

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Spinach and Mushroom Frittata with Beef Streaks

I made this spinach and mushroom frittata for breakfast this morning. It was definitely one of those rare mornings when I felt like making something a weebit fancy (well I usually have protein shake, so yeah… this is fancy).

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Frittata is a cross between an omelette and crustless quiche, in case you’re wondering. It’s loaded with all types of fillings, but unlike omelette, frittata is cooked (broiled) in the oven. It’s super duper easy, I promise!

For the fillings, you can use any veggies, meats, cheeses and herbs that you like. Broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, basil, chives, parsley, zucchini, sweet potato, chili, asparagus, ground meats, chicken slices, pepperoni, sausage… anything really. You can even add cooked pasta if you want it to be more filling.

 IMG_2992For this frittata, I used red capsicum, baby spinach, swiss brown mushroom and beef breakfast streaks, because that’s all I have in my fridge.

IMG_2996Saute the chopped onion, garlic and the fillings in a pan (if you have a cast iron skillet, then use that).

IMG_3002Then pour in the beaten egg mixture that has been seasoned with salt and pepper (I used 6 eggs by the way). Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese and chopped scallion and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

IMG_3003Finally, place the whole pan under the broiler. Because I don’t have a cast iron skillet, I just placed my pan like this with the handle sticking out and let the oven door slightly ajar. Broil for about 8 minutes. (excuse my dirty oven! :P)

IMG_3021Remove from oven and let it cool before serving. I find it easier to cut it using a spatula.

IMG_3008And my fancy breakfast is served! Hehe.



Milo Toasties

The other day while I was busy doing some work, Ayra came to me and requested to bake cookies.

I felt bad to turn down her request because we haven’t been baking for weeks, but I had a deadline and couldn’t be spending an hour making cookies with my girls (yes it usually takes that long), so I suggested we make something easier and a lot quicker instead. Milo toast!

She agreed upon hearing the word “Milo”.

And suddenly my tummy was rumbling and I was salivating. Oh man… Milo toast.

My mom used to make Milo toast for me when I was a kid. She would drizzle sweetened condensed milk on sliced bread and topped it with a thick layer of Milo. The slightly crunchy, sweet and chocolatey malt in every bite was so heavenly! I had them for breakfast and as my snacks for like everyday. It used to be my favorite food when I was a kid and I haven’t had it for awhile now. Time to introduce it to my girls!

I wanted to make it a bit more fun for them and more like a baking activity, so I added a little twist to the Milo toast-making.

 

I let my girls cut the sliced bread into flower shapes using cookie cutters.

 

And then we put them on a baking tray and baked in the oven for a few minutes so that it would look like we were baking “cookies”. Ha!

Anndddd…. instead of using sweetened condensed milk, we spread cream cheese on the toast… because cheese makes everything better! And umm well, because we don’t have sweetened condensed milk at home. Heh.

Then I spooned some Milo powder in a sugar sifter and let the girls sift the Milo over the toast.
Raina got a bit carried away and sifted Milo all over herself. Totally normal.

 

We ate them immediately! This is a less sweet version of Milo toast, but it was still nice. Creamy and chocolatey (Raina ate 3 of them!)

 

It only took 10 minutes to make these and everyone was happy.
Probably the quickest “baking” project ever! :D



Homemade Burger Patties

My husband is a huge fan of burger (that, and pizza) and he requested that I include it in our weekly meal. Every once a month he’d buy packets of freshly ground beef so that I can make a big batch of beef patties, just like my make-ahead meatballs. Saves me a lot of time and trouble!

Of course it’s much easier to buy frozen pre-made patties, but it’s a lot tastier and healthier to make your own from fresh lean ground beef. Sometimes you can even find grass-fed ground beef at supermarkets like Jaya Grocer, which obviously is more nutritious.

The most basic beef patty recipe requires only 2 ingredients – ground beef (well of course) and a bit of salt. I wanted my beef patties to be flavorful with more than just a pinch of salt so I did a little research on Google and found a rather simple but tasty patty recipe from taste.com.au. I always double this recipe to get a month’s worth of patties. You’re never gonna want to buy pre-made supermarket patties once you’ve tried this!

 

 

Beef Patty Recipe:
(Makes 6 patties)

750g ground beef
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Tabasco sauce (or any hot sauce)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cheese slices

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients until well-combined. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape each portion with your hand to form a patty.

Place the patties (single layer) on a tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the tray with a cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest. This is to help the patties hold their shape together when cooked and also to let the flavours blend.

If you’re making these ahead of time, instead of in the fridge, place the tray in the freezer for about an hour until the meat is firm. This is to ensure that the patties won’t stick to each other when being frozen. Then took out the tray and place the patties in a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.

To cook the patties, heat oil in a pan over medium heat (if your patties are frozen, thaw them in the fridge overnight before cooking). Cook the patties about 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer the patties on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 180°C. Place a slice of cheese on top of each patty and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts.

 

If you’re one of those hardcore dieters, you can totally skip the cheese. But how could you!? That’s the best bit!

How you serve these patties is totally up to you. You can use burger buns or any other buns and bread like wholemeal buns, baguette, wholegrain bread, ciabatta, roti Arab and even the basic white bread. Same goes for toppings. Lettuce, spinach, onions, pineapple rings, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, sunny side up, pickles with whatever sauce you like (I had even tried with salsa. YUM).

 

Here’s what we had last night. Juicy cheesy beef patty on slightly toasted bread with black and white sesame seeds, arugula, tomato slices, beef salami, chili sauce and a sprinkle of black pepper.



Layers of goodness

I am no baking queen so a quick and easy, no-bake dessert is the kind of dessert I like to make.

Like this raspberry banana parfait.

A spoonful of muesli, dollops of Greek yogurt (I used strawberry flavor), fresh raspberries, slices of bananas and chopped pecans, all layered in a glass.

Sweet, tangy, creamy, crunchy. Ooohh….

A little drizzle of chocolate syrup won’t hurt.

 

You can try with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mangoes, anything really.

I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s super smooth and creamy. It’s healthier than the fat free yogurts too.

 

Speaking of health, I’ve been trying to shed some weight since a couple of months before my sister’s wedding. I’ve been trying to eat clean and healthy meals and even tried a rather intense weight loss program for 3 weeks straight – strictly no-carb no-sugar diet, no cheat day, no sushi session, chugged down green smoothies that tasted like grass and exercised 3 times a week. It was hard work and I didn’t lose weight at all. I was frustrated to say the least.

I decided to throw it all out the window during my Shanghai and Jakarta trips, devouring garlic cheese naan, palak paneer, sinful chocolate desserts, salted egg soft shell crab and other yummy seafood. Oh glorious food, how I’ve missed them!

I realized I cannot give up good food and desserts entirely so now I’m taking the slow and steady approach of dieting. I eat healthy meals on most days (Herbalife shakes, herbal tea, substituting white rice with brown rice, etc) but I still let myself to indulge occasionally. I have my once-a-week cheat day. I haven’t got back on my exercise mat tho, ever since that intense program. Maybe one of these days. Heh *yelatu*.

But guess what? I managed to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks! And that’s without intense diet and workout. I guess my body’s weird like that haha.

But it’s still early days and I still have a lot to lose (I’m talking 10kg).

Here’s to everyone who wants to lose that extra kilos. Don’t force yourself too much. It’s better to do it slow and steady in long term rather than making extreme changes that is only short-lived. Slow and steady wins the diet race!

Happy new year!