Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow and Pancakes

It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be relaxing in Los Angeles with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and adorable two year-old nephew. There was going to be sunshine, temperatures in the 70s, a Scottish festival at the Queen Mary, and hanging out with my awesome LA friends on Saturday night.

Instead? There was snow. Lots and lots of snow. Well, lots of snow for the DC area. When a large storm from the South roared into town on Wednesday night, I knew the writing was on the wall for my Thursday morning flight. So it was not a surprise when I got an email from my airline telling me the flight was cancelled and all the other flights on Friday and Saturday were full.

So here, I am. Day 4 of my unplanned staycation.

I did surprisingly well finding things to fill my time. I don't think I've ever ended up with a holiday weekend at home with NOTHING planned. But Thursday and Friday I worked at home (and didn't have to use any leave), and this weekend was full of gaming fun with friends, hitting H street Saturday night, lunches with family, and doing some retail damage at the President's Day sale at Macy's.

And that brings me to today, Tuesday, the last day of my staycation. I've got pretty much nothing planned except catching up on reading, binge-watching House of Cards Season 2, and running some pretty typical errands.

Being at home has also had the added benefit of allowing me time to try out some new recipes, specifically, pancake recipes. Maybe it's the cold weather or all the snow, but for some reason, I have been hankering for some pancakes. But as you all know, I have been trying to stick to a healthy low calorie diet and big, fluffy, carby pancakes aren't really part of the plan.

Good thing there's the internet! During the past few days I have tried out two new low calorie pancake recipes, with mixed results. First was a Snickerdoodle Pancake recipe from one of my new favorite blogs, Chocolate Covered Katie. I don't know how she does it, but this chick makes dessert recipes that are low calorie and packed with good things like fiber and protein.

Most things I have tried from there have been very good, but the snickerdoodle pancakes I would have to rate as just so-so. Don't get me wrong, they were tasty, but not very snickerdoodle-y. But that could be my fault since I replaced the sugar in the recipe with just a teaspoon of Splenda. So it's possible I needed more sweetener.

The recipe cooked up three nice-sized pancakes! I missed the actual Snickerdoodle taste and the texture was a little off, but overall it wasn't bad.

With a quarter cup of sugar-free syrup, these weighed in at 300 calories. I used regular all-purpose flour, 1 tsp of Splenda, and light soymilk. 

If you are familiar with diet-friendly pancakes, then you probably know that they tend to have a slightly different texture than regular pancakes. They are denser and not as sweet (obviously), and these ended up a bit sticky--they were cooked all the way through, but just kind of sticky. Still, they helped scratch the pancake itch!

My second recipe was much more successful. Y'all know I am a huge fan of the Hungry Girl recipes, and I found her basic pancake recipe (Perfect Pancake Duo) in a past daily email. I love that you get two big pancakes out of it and the nutritional info is for the entire recipe. So you can eat all that you cook and not feel like a glutton. The only change I made was adding a half cup of blueberries which ended up being plenty. But then, I love blueberries.

These cooked up really nicely--they needed to stay on the griddle/pan for a little longer than your standard pancakes, about two to three minutes per side. But they cooked up thick with a nice "crust" on the outside and soft inside. Overall? It was a winner and by new go-to pancake recipe!

I'm kind of strange and cut up my pancakes completely before pouring syrup on them. I find it lets them soak up more of the syrup! You can also see all the blueberries in these two pancakes;I think next time I will add more cinnamon as well.

With the addition of the blueberries and sugar-free syrup, these stacked up (get it?) at 262 calories. Not. Too. Shabby. Recipe below!

Hungry Girl Perfect Pancake Duo 


1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
Dash salt
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional: cinnamon and half cup blueberries


In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sweetener, and salt. If you like, add a dash of cinnamon. Stir in egg substitute, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup water. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add half of the batter to form a large pancake. Cook until pancake begins to bubble and is solid enough to flip, about 2 minutes. Gently flip and cook until both sides are lightly browned and inside is cooked through, 1 - 2 minutes. Plate your pancake. Remove skillet from heat, re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Repeat with remaining batter to make a second pancake. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Entire recipe (2 pancakes): 180 calories, 1g fat, 515mg sodium, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 1g sugars, 11.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*