NYC Vegan & Protein Powder Zucchini Pancakes

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It’s tough being a vegetarian foodie, while getting fit for wedding, and living in New York! Maybe you can’t imagine it being so, but the options really are endless. For me, moving to a new city is like adapting to a new culture and although I have certain limitations I’m gleefully open to exploration (and frankly, the same brand of my favorites in La, like sweetgreen, are just not up to par here in NYC and I need a new best of list).

Vegetarian fare is not always healthy; it’s often smothered in marinades and loaded with starch.  I want to eat all the lentil burgers, cashew cream pastas, and black bean quinoa taco bowls but I was steady packing on the pounds and so my first weeks go-to, By Chloe, is now a fling of the past. Now don’t get me wrong, this plant-based fast food joint is deliciously satisfying but I must abstain from gluten, processed vegan cheeses, and refined high fructose sugars (agave sauces) lest I ruin my vision of a bloat free belly on my big day.

The first weeks in NYC I was hotel-bound and craving a home-cooked meal. I desperately despise undercooked eggs, and a few mornings went south when 45 minutes of waiting for room service produced runny egg white omelettes.  I needed an escape! So I set out to find an approachable option (where I could show up in sweats) that calmed my fears of getting salmonella poisoning. Enter Blossom.  This casual vegan restaurant in Chelsea was actually built in a historic townhouse. Both needs met! And although I thoroughly enjoyed the tofu scramble ‘country breakfast’ with apple sage seitan sausage, my dining companion gave less than stellar reviews on his soy ham Blossom Benedict.   I was quickly reminded that neither gluten nor fake meat, in general, serve me well…and seitan, the wheat meat, is just that.

Next up was Dirt Candy – a self proclaimed vegetable-forward restaurant that accommodates not only vegans & vegetarians, but also those with allergies and dietary restrictions, seemingly right up my alley. I went for brunch and was pleased with my selection of the zucchini pancakes with squash blossom butter, even though I rejected the maple syrup.  After scanning the menu, I settled on it being a few months before my next visit. Food here was heavily fried and, although not big on fake meat and vegan cheeses (they serve real dairy), not really in line with my current goals.

So what’s a girl to do?? I continue my quest for additions to the Soma Fit List and I’ve definitely found a few. But with watching my waist line comes the necessity to know what’s in my food, as well as tracking my caloric intake, so off to the kitchen I go to recreate and custom tailor the dishes that have moved me. I cook another day.

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PROTEIN POWDER ZUCCHINI PANCAKES

(SERVES 4)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 tsp Now Foods xanthan gum
1/2 cup organic oat flour (I blended rolled oats into flour)
1/2 cup Sun Warrior classic vanilla
2 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Wholesome organics stevia powder
2 eggs (I used Vital farms pasture raised)
3/4 cup Califia unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp raw honey, melted
1 tbsp Bai Congo apple pear (can sub with apple cider vinegar)
1 1/4 cups shredded zucchini

Instructions

Grate zucchini with a medium sized grater. Wrap in paper towel and press to remove liquid, and set aside. Mix first seven ingredients (the dry stuff) in a medium sized bowl. In a separate medium sized bowl whisk the next 5 ingredients (the wet stuff), then once thoroughly combined add in the zucchini.  Whisk together wet and dry ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat an un-greased, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spoon out 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the hot and gently smooth out into a round shape. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles begin forming on the top. Flip then cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, adjusting temperature as needed so the pancakes don’t burn.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 pancake Calories: 101 Fat: 1.8 g Saturated fat: 0.3 g Carbohydrates: 16.2 g Fiber: 2.4 g Sugar: 2.7 g  Protein: 6.5 g  Sodium: 217 mg Potassium: 52.5 mg