protein pancakes

It has been almost two weeks
since I’ve been on the Internet — I’m going to tell you what I’ve been up to.

Not much. But then again,
a whole lot.
I actually was somewhat busy — just two Thursdays ago I took my
Chinese final and went to prom (I’ll save that story for another day).
Then, I just sort of dropped off
the face of the Earth.  I worked part-time as a hostess at a cafe, did
some reading (just finished Paper
Towns by John
Green), snapchatted, did some almond butter stress eating, and a whole lot of
wandering.
Yesterday,
I wandered down the street aimlessly, first into a CVS to buy a few pointless
things like tanning oil and Icebreakers gum.  Then I talked to some of the
volunteers collecting signatures outside the metro station for a good while
about string
quartets and the weather.  Then, I wandered downtown and had Mediterranean
style tacos with my mom at 3pm.  Leisurely summer livin’ at its finest.
A few nights ago, I got into bed at 10:10 p.m.  Turned off the
lights.  My room was nice and warm because I never turn the AC on.  I stayed up until midnight just watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s on my laptop and then drifted off to sleep.
It’s like time just slowed down twofold.  My brain cells were burnt and fizzled to a crisp.  The thought of sitting down and writing made my stomach turn.  I ate a lot of Popsicles.
And then I realized that I had not been blogging and felt totally ungrounded and lonely — so I’m back!  I’m looking forward to going on wild summer
adventures and telling you all about them.  I’m going to bake luscious cakes
and eat them and tell you all about those too. I don’t regret my disappearance; I think it was healthy to do a bit of wandering.  Now, I’m ready to get caught up in the world again like I’m known to do and attack whatever comes my way and report to you all about it.
Speaking of attack, this
is total “attack food.”  These protein pancakes have two
ingredients, protein powder, egg whites, and pure power.  Eat these for
breakfast and you will feel like a literal beast for the rest of the day.
With love,
Erica

 

Protein Pancakes

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 3 egg whites

Instructions

  1. Beat the protein powder and egg whites together well in a bowl. Add a dash of cinnamon/vanilla/stevia to taste.  Heat a bit of coconut oil in a skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side over medium heat.

  2. Feel free to jazz these up with chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas... whatever floats your boat.

1 scoop protein powder
3 egg whites

Beat the protein powder and egg whites together well in a bowl. Add a dash of cinnamon/vanilla/stevia to taste.  Heat a bit of coconut oil in a skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side over medium heat.

Feel free to jazz these up with chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas… whatever floats your boat.

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homemade muesli

I would have thought that all of the “healthy new years resolution” buzz would have slightly died down by now (i.e. some people would have already given up).  But no, everything is still in full swing.   People are bumbling left and right carrying yoga mats, Safeway is totally sold-out of kale, and I have to elbow through people while trying to run my normal (usually very uncrowded) loop around the block.  Right now, everyone is so focused on what they want to change about themselves/their routine.

What about the things that we actually like about ourselves?  What about our little daily rituals and routines that make us happy?

I think that this whole mentality that we need to “fix” our bad, former ways, and “totally revamp” our routine is problematic.  So Dr. Oz told you that the gingerbread latte that makes you smile is going to slowly and painfully kill you, or your neighbor told you that Cross Fit is so much better for you than your weekly Friday night yoga class.  Do you need to switch your gingerbread latte for celery juice?  Should you tone your booty with jump squats instead of utkatasana?

Personally, I don’t think so.  New Years is a great time for trying new things, and sometimes they work out (I recently became re-obsessed with green smoothies).  But why be miserable for the entire month of January? A little bit of familiarity and routine is important to hang on to in this crazy, unpredictable world that we live in.

Right now, things are a little crazy for me (exams, track starting again, new semester… not to mention that it’s beyond freezing outside).  This is a recipe that I’ve been making forever, it’s a little bit of familiarity in this otherwise chaotic time.  My special muesli has powered me through many English exams, track meet, and chilly days — I know it’ll still work.

What’s a familiar thing that you’re going to hold on to in the new year?

With love,
Erica

Homemade Muesli

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 gala apple grated
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup juice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Large pinch ground cinnamon
  • a dash of cloves
  • 1/2 cup nuts and dried fruits of your choice
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds optional
  • fresh fruit for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the fresh fruit in a container with a lid. 

  2. Place in the fridge overnight. 

  3. In the morning, scoop into bowls and top with fresh fruit.

recipe showdown: healthy banana bread

This sh!t is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Thank you Gwen Stefani.

Whenever I hear Gwen, I am instantly transported back to 4th grade when I went to a very strict religious school.  I still vividly remember the first day of school — I got dressed in my rumpled white chapel dress, and penny loafers.  When I saw the huge chapel on that cloudy morning, all I could say was “this looks just like Harry Potter.”  While sitting in the pews, I turned to the girl next to me and asked jokingly, “when will we get sorted” in a little British accent.  I don’t think the girl appreciated my humor. 🙁

That was a tough year for me — no nail polish, no boys, and tons of homework.  One of the only things that got me through that year was a jazz dance class that I took on Friday nights.  I got to wear my bedazzled gaucho pants and dance to Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas.  Afterwards, my mom would take me to Quiznos and I would get a toasted sub with salami and pepperoni — nothing else.  Those Friday nights were the moments of joy that got me through an otherwise difficult year.

Now, whenever I hear Gwen, it takes me back to those happy Friday nights.  It always amazes me how powerful music can be to transport me back to different times. 

Whenever I hear “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, I am transported to the back seat of the white van that I rode around Santa Fe in this past summer on my community service trip.  When I hear “Everyday” by Buddy Holly, I am sitting in the car seat of my dad’s old green Honda, which I used to call the “pickle car.”  Thanks to these songs and artists, these memories will always be a click away on my iPod.

Now to the banana bread.  I love a super moist, cake-like banana breads as much as the next girl (especially when they’re full of toffee bits ), but at 8 A.M, I don’t want to be too naughty… at least on a weekday ;).  The web is overflowing with healthy banana bread recipes — full of applesauce, whole wheat flour, and even flax and chia seeds!  I was intrigued. Could they be as yummy as my banoffee bread? Sounds like a recipe showdown. 

Just F.Y.I, these are all “normal” healthy banana breads. I.e. you don’t need to run to the heath food store in search of spelt Flour or Agar gel — these are just classic banana breads lightened up. 

The overall favorite was the banana bread from Just Everyday Me
it had the most bananas of the three recipes, which gave it a really
rich banana flavor.  Also, the addition of whole wheat flour adds a nice
dark depth to this loaf.  It would give even the most decadent loaf a run for its money — plus it’s kind of good for you, so you can have an extra slice (or two).

With love,
Erica

Description
This recipe boasts 286 five star ratings on All
Recipes.  It uses applesauce, nonfat
milk, and a tablespoon of vegetable oil instead of butter, and only has 2/3
cup sugar.  There are 178 calories per
slice.
This recipe has received great reviews all over the
internet.  It uses ¼ cup butter and 1/3
cup lowfat yogurt.  There are 187
calories per slice.
This recipe uses ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup apple sauce, and a
few spoonfuls of sour cream. It also incorporates whole wheat flour into the
white flour for added health benefits. 
There are about 190 calories per slice
Tasters’ notes
Good
Banana-y
Too much vanilla!
Gummy
Bland
Sweet
Banana-y
No strange aftertaste

From Just Everyday Me

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 whole over-ripe bananas, blended so that they’re liquid

Cream togetherthe first 6 ingredients.
Slowly add the flours and then the baking soda and salt. Add the blended bananas.
Put in a greased bread loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
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the perfect lunch (lox and rye and brussel sprouts!)

The perfect lunch is different for everyone.  Some may fall head over heels for a big, juicy cheeseburger and fries.  Others might go crazy for a kale and quinoa salad.

look at those grill marks!!!

For me, the perfect lunch is dark, crusty bread, thinly sliced lox, a big smear of cream cheese, and a few leaves of spinach for color.  I (generously) butter the bread and it gets all crispy and succulent in the panini press.   Heaven.

On the side, I love to have some veggies.  But not just any old veggies — my famous candied Brussels sprouts.  Some of my friends who normally would never touch a vegetable with a hundred yard stick fell head over heels for these Brussels sprouts.  It’s true, and mildly creepy — almost like those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials where the kids choose cauliflower over popcorn.  These sprouts are mind-bogglingly addictive, in a totally good-for-you way. 

What’s your idea of the perfect lunch?
With love,
Erica

Erica’s Famous Candied Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
2 cups Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until outsides are lightly brown and caramelized (3-5 minutes). Add cranberries and salt and pepper to taste.

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whole wheat apple blender pancakes

This past week has been pretty tough with exams and all.  I really wanted to treat myself to a big, luxurious, Sunday breakfast this morning, but I couldn’t muster the energy to beat any egg whites, slice any bread, or even preheat the oven. Polynomials can really wipe a girl out.

This is a recipe was made for the extremely lazy morning — the I-can’t-even-stoop-over-to-grab-a-bowl-and-wooden-spoon kind of morning.  Dump the apple (peel and everything), some flour, and some milk in the blender, and voila, super cinnamon-y apple pancake batter with the push of a button!

These pancakes are not only embarassingly easy to make, they’re also mindbogglingly healthy and delicious too!  They have lots of fiber from the whole wheat flour and apples, and are low in sugar.  So go nuts with the maple syrup!

What’s your favorite lazy breakfast?
With love,
Erica

Vegan Apple Blender Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 apple cored and quartered (peel on!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in the blender. Blend on "batter" setting. 

  2. Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat and cook pancakes until golden brown on each side.

  3. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

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maple almond granola

This is the best granola I’ve ever made. 
I am the kind of girl who never makes the same recipe twice, I am always on the quixotic search for the best recipe out there (see recipe showdown).  However, this is my new “go-to” granola recipe (and this girl doesn’t do “go-to” recipes!).  

So I was telling you all about how I have justified that making granola as vital to my success in school.  I made my honey bunches of oats granola, a few days ago which was very crumbly, aromatic, and perfect for sprinkling on yogurt. But after drilling through 300+ Chinese flashcards, I was craving something with body.  I needed some real, chunky, clumpy granola.  So another batch was definitely necessary.  I tried a few granola recipes that I had lying around the kitchen, but they all turned out crispy and very un-clumpy… :'( I was about to give up and actually do some studying…

Then I found the one. 

This perfectly sweet, and super chunky recipe stole my heart at first bite.  The addition of almond flour, egg whites, and coconut oil, combined with a low oven temperature and slow baking time makes for the most magical, clumpy granola I have ever tasted. 

I remember in middle school my mom and I would stand at the kitchen counter and eat granola standing up.  We figured out that if you shake the container, the chunks magically rise to the top.  We felt like Newton when he discovered gravity (but lets not talk about Physics class now…). Everytime one of us would say “chunk” we would shake the box and the chunks would rise to the top. This was mother daughter bonding at its finest.

I am drooling as I type, thinking about this amazing granola… to bad it’s already all gone.  Othello can wait… I think I need to preheat the oven. 😉
Do you like clumpy granola?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (feel free to just use another 1/2 cup oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (*I make my own)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 300F. Line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the oats, quinoa, almond flour, whole wheat flour,
slivered almonds, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt in a stand mixer. Pour melted coconut oil evenly over the mixture and mix (you could also do this in a large bowl with a wooden spoon).  Set aside.
Combine maple syrup and dark brown sugar in a medium pot over medium
heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add vanilla
extract.  Pour this mixture over oat mixture and mix until
everything begins to come together. Lightly beat the egg whites until foamy, and stir into granola.
Press firmly into prepared baking pan, flattening the top so it is perfectly
even.
Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes. Remove from
heat and let sit for a couple minutes. Cut into squares and break up
into smaller (but not too small!) cluster pieces.
Throw the clusters back into the baking pan and bake the clusters for 10
more minutes at 300F.
Remove from oven and let the clusters cool completely,

Homemade Almond Flour

  1. Pour 1/2 cup almonds into a food processor or blender. Pulse just a few
    times until they are finely ground.
  2. Once the nuts are ground, pass them through a sifter.  Any larger pieces that didn’t make it through can be ground up again.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright
protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking
back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link
back to this post.