Meyer Lemon Spelt Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

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Spring is the best thing to ever happen to Madison, which is why we’re lucky it happens every year. This week I’ve seen about 7,000 new people downtown, purely because the hibernating sons of guns didn’t bother to leave their houses from November to April. The weathermen are saying this winter was the 11th coldest on record, but who believes those guys anymore? Alls I knows is that my ongoing snot problem worsened and my skin forgot the feeling of the sun’s warmth.

Now that spring has arrived here, it is, of course, time for my imminent departure. Why would I want to stay in a place with gorgeous lakes, bike paths, music festivals, and farmers markets when I soaked up all the fun this winter? (By soaked up all the fun I of course mean all of the Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Alas, as I mentioned in my previous post, my boyfriend Ben and I are hitting the old dusty trail (okay, the old I-90) on June 1 and driving across the country for two months. Our planning so far has been mainly “THIS PICTURE I FOUND OF YELLOWSTONE ON GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH LOOKS AWESOME” and “MY FRIEND’S SISTER’S HUSBAND’S BROTHER WENT THERE ONCE. SOUNDS GREAT.” This is to say we have nothing planned out and I couldn’t be more excited. So far our route is roughly: Minneapolis -> Badlands -> Billings, MT -> Glacier National Park -> Seattle -> Portland -> Crater Lake -> Redwood National Forest -> Lost Coast -> Berkley -> San Francisco -> LA -> Bryce Canyon National Park -> Arches National Park -> Phoenix -> Santa Fe -> Austin -> Dallas -> New Orleans -> Atlanta -> Asheville. That’s all we’ve got thus far. If you have suggestions on places to go/eat/hike/bike/stay I am all ears!
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Anyway, more about that later. Now: pancakes. These are probably the most successful vegan pancakes I’ve ever made. They’re perfectly dense and fluffy at the same time. How?!? Spelt flour. It’s a dream and I’m never going back to any other type (at least not for my pancaking needs). The Meyer lemon adds a perfect tangy tartness and the blueberry compote just seals the deal here. Not to brag, but this recipe is everything.

Meyer Lemon Spelt Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Recipe makes about 6-8 pancakes, depending how big you make ‘em

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 3/4 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (or other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or liquid coconut oil

For blueberry compote

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

1. Place a small pot over medium heat and pour in the blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir to combine, then bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Once the blueberries have cooked down a bit and a thick sauce has formed, remove from heat.

2. Whisk all of the pancake ingredients together in a large bowl. Squeeze the Meyer lemon juice in and mix well. Place a pan over medium heat and add a dash of oil to the pan. Pour in batter to desired pancake size and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Top with blueberry compote and maple syrup!


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Rosemary-Balsamic Tofu with Sweet Crispy Onions

Often when people find out that I’m vegan their first question is “do you weave clothing with your own hair?”

Yes, I say. Yes I do.

If they don’t slowly slink away after that, their second question is usually “how do you get enough protein?”

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Ah, the old protein question. Vegetarians and vegans all encounter it. I am pretty sure that I actually eat more protein (and *better* protein) than I did as an omnivore because I am much more conscious about it now. Some of my favorite plant sources are: avocados, broccoli, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas (!!), black beans, almonds, cashews, nut butters, quinoa, oatmeal, and non-dairy milk such as soy or almond. I don’t consume a ton of soy, but when I do, I look for non-GMO and organic stuff whenever possible.

When I do choose to eat tofu, I make this recipe. It’s a knock out, and whenever I make it I always wish I had about five times as much to nom. This tofu is known to change the minds and hearts of even the swarthiest of carnivorous bachelors, midwestern moms, and Chilean miners.

Rosemary-Balsamic Marinade

  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (fresh is fantastic but dried works too!)

Baked Tofu with Sweet Crispy Onions

  • 1 package (14 oz) Extra firm tofu, pressed
  • Rosemary-Balsamic Marinade
  • 1 onion, sliced into rounds
  • salt and pepper to taste


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1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Slice tofu into about 6 blocks lengthwise. Press the tofu into the marinade, coating each piece thoroughly. Place tofu and marinade in a sealed container in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

2. Once the tofu is rull good and marinated, preheat oven to 400º. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place tofu and onions on the sheet, pouring excess marinade on top. Bake at 400º for 40 minutes or until the tofu is crispy and the marinade is bubbling.

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Mango Raspberry Butter

Being 22 is a strange plight.

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Don’t get me wrong, I like fear and uncertainty as much as the next guy, but as I approach the end of my first year out of college in May I’m looking back on the last 12 months and finding more questions than answers. Why do I still eat peanut butter out of the jar? With my tongue? How many months ago did I last do my laundry? Will I have three or more jobs forever? How long has this soy milk been in my fridge and is it supposed to be the texture of cottage cheese?

I’m also starting to confront questions about my future a little more seriously. As a twenty-something it can be a big, garbage-filled Hefty bag of emotions to figure out what’s next. I, personally, have been juggling the priorities of “finding a serious career and laying a foundation for the rest of my life” AND “having a butt ton of fun and not worrying about anything.” It’s a hard balance to strike and I’m not sure anyone I know has found it just yet. In a phone conversation with my dad several weeks ago I was telling him about my job search and its associated worries. He interrupted me and said, “Iz, you’re 22. You don’t need a job. Go have adventures.” Now, I know my dad’s a baller and not everyone gets advice like this from their parents, but it felt good to get a kick in the pants and be told, yeah, you have no job, home, car, money, or stable life situation in any respect, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is seeing this as an opportunity and running with it.

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So, run with it I shall! My boyfriend Ben and I have decided to do a two month criss-cross-applesauce trip across the USA this summer. We’re planning on doing national parks, cities where we have available couches, camping, beer-drinkin’, and other cool stuff. If you live somewhere you think we should visit, let me know! There ain’t no party like a trip planning party and I am always down for getting food, drinks, or cooking with strangers. This is my adventure of the moment and I’m feeling excited about it, so hit me up!

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Oh yes, this recipe. This is mango raspberry butter, which is similar to apple butter, but maybe way better. It’s perfection on some oatmeal or a piece of toast. And yes, it’s totally acceptable to eat it straight up with a spoon (see picture).

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Mango Raspberry Butter

 

  • 3-4 mangoes, peeled and pits removed
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen work fine!)

1. Place the mangoes and berries in a food processor and process until very smooth. You’ll want to pause frequently to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the purée to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.

2. Cook at a simmer, stirring frequently (important to avoid burnage!) until the mixture is very thick and darkens in color, 45-60 minutes. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate. The butter will keep for up to 5 days!

 

 

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