Week 26, Meal 1: If you like orange and ricotta …

Once upon a couple of years ago I reached into a cookbook Chef Brian gave me for Christmas and took a stab at his waffle recipe.

It was through this recipe that I learned the very important distinction of weight vs. volume — needless to say I chose the wrong measurement and ended up with super-flat waffles. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if pancakes are flat because, you know, they’re supposed to be.

Here’s the idiot-proof recipe (don’t hold me to that) for Week 26, Meal 1: Orange-ricotta pancakes with honey-pistachio yogurt.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)

3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c low-fat or non-fat milk
1 T baking powder
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 T sugar
3/4 c part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 orange, zested and 1/2 juiced
cooking spray, as needed

2 T pistachios, finely chopped
1 T honey
5 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt

In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 c of part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 c of low-fat or non-fat milk, 2 eggs and the zest of 1 orange. Add the juice of 1/2 the orange.

In a medium bowl mix together 3/4 c of flour, 1 T of baking powder, 1 T of sugar, 1/4 t of salt and 1/8 t of nutmeg.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Now would be the time to preheat a griddle or large pan over medium to medium-high heat for the pancakes. Meanwhile, knock out the yogurt recipe.

In a small bowl whisk 5 oz. of non-fat Greek yogurt, 2 T of chopped pistachio (my Magic Bullet pulverized the nuts) and 1 T of honey in a bowl until well combined. Reserve to top the pancakes.

Spray pan or griddle with cooking spray. Cook 4 6-inch-wide pancakes on the griddle or in the saute pan until golden brown on one side. Then flip and cook until cooked through on the other. Chef Brian says he starts on medium high and reduces the heat to medium once the batter hits the pan.

To plate: Pair the pancakes with the yogurt and enjoy. Chef’s original recipe said to put the yogurt right on top of the pancakes (which worked great for the photo) but the yogurt warmed up quickly and became very thin and tart. In reality, the yogurt should be served on the side for maximum pancake enjoyment.

I’ve never had ricotta pancakes, though “Cook This, Not That” suggests them for low-cal eating, too. This version paired the sweet-tart oranges with a sweet-tart yogurt. I’ll say that if you’re not a fan of tart flavors, these pancakes may not be for you. I liked them very much though, especially after scraping off all the melt-y yogurt and eating it on the side.

Try these instead of calorie-laden maple syrup and butter for a fresh take on an old favorite.

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