Friday, March 8, 2013

I Do Love Crepes in the Springtime

Finally, spring has sprung! Well, for some of you that statement might incite a little jealousy...but here on the west coast of Canada, our longer warm season has a trade-off: a winter season with less sunshine and more cloudy skies than anywhere else I can think of.

Tomorrow we turn the clocks forward and while the mornings may hurt for a little while with my two little boys waking us up around 6am already (that's right - translating to 5 am for the next week of spring break), I am ready to eat my supper with light in the sky! The snowdrops, crocuses and cherry blossoms are in bloom everywhere and with a few new ventures on the horizon I am "digging" this spring (sorry, that was a really cheesy foreshadowing to my plans to plant vegetables this week). The sun is showing herself more often and I am feeling that vitamin D. Ahhh.

Life continues to be busier than I might like but I cannot complain. Not one iota. I have my health and the ones I love and I am getting more fit and strong as I continue to pursue cleaner eating habits and regular exercise. Not an easy change for me - not at all. I am by nature much more inclined to sashay than to run, to lounge and eat bonbons than to experiment with lentils and sip wine than herbal tea. But here is the cold hard truth: When I do the latter, I feel amazing. I make better choices, and become happier and more productive. As they say, "Do the same thing and get the same results." So, slowly, I am doing differently. Old habits are so hard to change and I am struggling with some aspects of the journey. But I am staying the course. And this year I am going to rock the spring 10k in under an hour. So there, old self.

I am going to include a recipe for you which I adapted from the program I just did with the formidable Vicki Waters, of whom I have spoken in many of my previous posts (because she is AMAZING and a huge inspiration to me). Can you believe that even when trying not to indulge in refined carbohydrates and sugar, I am able to eat delicious, low-calorie, nutritionally dense CREPES for breakfast or a morning snack? That's right, folks. You've gotta try this one...

(Adapted from the "Lisa's Protein Pancakes" recipe in Vicki Waters' Program)

Scant 1/2 cup regular oats
Scant 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (1% or 2%)
Brimming 1/2 cup egg whites
Almond milk (or your choice of liquid) for thinning
Spray Pam (I use butter flavour)

1 banana
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Combine first three ingredients in a blender, food processor or with a hand blender, slowly adding your chosen thinning liquid until you get a batter recipe that is thinner than what you would want for pancakes, but thicker than you would want for soup. You get the idea, right? We're making Crepes here, not those hockey pucks they bring you at the pancake house.

Warm up your griddle or pan on high heat for a minute or two, until hot but not scorching, then turn down to medium. Spray with a light coating of Pam. Pour enough batter in that you get one medium-large crepe but have enough room to slide a spatula under for flipping.

When little air bubbles start to appear, turn the heat down a little more (medium low-ish - know your stove. They are all different). When the bubbles are evenly scattered spray the top of your crepe before carefully flipping it. I have used two spatulas to do this without tearing the crepe. They can be a little delicate so be patient.

You should get around four medium-sized Crepes from this recipe. If you need to serve more than two just double your amounts.

In a bowl, mash the banana really well, whipping well with a fork. Blend in the peanut butter (if it's too thick to blend easily, you can warm it in the microwave to soften). Fill each crepe with the mixture and serve topped with berries or yogurt. If desired, use a little stevia to sweeten your filling or drizzle a tiny bit of maple syrup or honey on top. I also like to add my morning seeds (part of Vicki's Program) on top of it all, but as I tallied the calories without them I will leave that add-on to your personal tastes.

Makes two servings. Approximately 350 calories each. Am I having these for breakfast tomorrow? HELL YES. My kids and husband love 'em too.