Cooking, Food, Recipes

“The Capital View Cafe”: A Hidden Brunch Gem in St. Paul, MN

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I love “The Capital View Cafe,” a local diner/restaurant located on the outskirts of downtown St. Paul, MN. And more importantly I loved the mommy/daughter brunch we had there today. It’s warm and cozy; the staff are nice; and everyone appreciated my daughter’s unique sense of style and self expression. Plus, the kid’s meal consisted of a HUGE plate of eggs, bacon, pancake, and a drink for the low price of $5.00. Can’t beat it. We’ll be back. We LOVE pancakes.

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Yummy, Healthy Pancakes for Kids?: No Problem!

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What’s better on a Saturday morning than a nice plate of pancakes? Nothing, I say! But, they must be healthy now that I’m raising a little body that is growing like a weed.

Typically I’ll start out with a high quality pancake mix that already has whole grains in it. Then I start adding stuff – it’s different every time, depending on what I have on hand. Here’s what this morning’s pancakes looked like.

I started out with the Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix

And went crazy from there.

Here’s all that went into my pancakes:

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix
2 frozen bananas from the freezer
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
1 container organic pureed pears
1 container organic pureed harvest veggies with grains
1 container organic pureed carrots
1 container lunch box sized apple sauce
1 Tbs whole wheat bran flakes
1 Tbs seven grain hot cereal
1 Tbs ground flaxseed
2 Tbs oil
Enough milk to bring it to pancake mix consistency. Since you’re adding all of these other wet ingredients you don’t really follow the package anymore.

I didn’t have any eggs but normally I would put one or two eggs in the mix as well.

1) The containers of fruits and veggies (except for the applesauce) were all Gerber SmartNourish Organic baby food. Besides the ones listed above I will also use squash or sweet potato. This is just what I happened to have on hand. I usually try to mix up the sweet with the savory. I have also used the pumpkin pancake mix from Target and have added in sweet potato because the flavors are so similar. They are always good.

I have actually found some of these organic baby foods at the Dollar Store (2 containers for a dollar= 1 pack). At Walgreen’s they are $1.79 a pack. Not sure about the regular grocery store. Probably somewhere in the middle.

2) When bananas start to get old I throw them in the freezer. Yes, they will get black but that’s okay. They are still good. I put them in a pitcher or bowl of warm water to thaw them out. After a few minutes of soaking the skin comes right off. They were still a little frosty when they went in the mix this morning but I was able to mash them with a fork and mix them into the pancake mix just fine.

3) Ground flaxseed, wheat bran flakes, wheat germ are all ingredients that you can keep in a tupperware or glass container in your fridge to throw into any baked goods you are making–cookies, brownies, banana bread. No one will ever know they are there and they bump up the fiber in your final product. You don’t even have to measure them. Just sprinkle about a tablespoon over your mix and stir.

4) If you have the time and feel like it, you can also chop up some nuts really fine and throw them in for a little crunch and protein. I like walnuts or pecans.

These pancakes, despite the zillion ingredients, are really super easy and quick to make. There’s nothing to measure; just throw in one or two containers of fruits and veggies, sprinkle in whatever dry goodness you have in the fridge and off you go.

Oh, and another God-send for pancake making? The electric griddle. Here’s one at Target for around $30.00. They are great because you can put six pancakes on at a time and cut your standing around in the kitchen time in half. Plus, more pancakes make it to the plate hot at the same time.

Overall, my pancakes are always a hit! They get rave reviews from both kids and adults alike and no one is the wiser as to what is in them. Today the pancakes mostly tasted like good blueberry sweetness. I was a little nervous when I threw in the carrots because they can have such a strong flavor, so then I specifically chose the pears to offset that possibility. When I realized I had pears, apples, blueberries and bananas in them, I knew I could get away with the pureed veggies, no problem. And I did.

I’m assuming I can also wrap them up and send them in the lunch box as part of a healthy lunch. They are probably still good cold.

Excuse me while I go warm up a pancake! Yum!

Related Posts:

Six Week Bran Muffin Batter 

Recipes to Try

Other recipe posts

Peaches & Cream Cake

from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Cake:

Peaches and Topping:

  • 29-oz can sliced peaches or 1 quart home-bottled peaches Dole Coupons
  • 16 oz (2 packages) cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature Cream Cheese Coupons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons reserved peach juice
  • Cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium or large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cornstarch. Blend. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, eggs, milk and melted butter. Whisk together until well combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Slice the peaches into bite-sized pieces, scattering them over the top of the batter evenly. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and reserved peach juice together until light and creamy. Dollop the cream cheese mixture in tablespoon-sized spoonfuls over the top of the batter and peaches and then use a spatula to evenly spread together to form a creamy layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to spread it as evenly over the top as possible (it’s ok if peaches are peeking through in spots). Sprinkle the top of the cream cheese layer generously with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the edges are puffed and golden and the cream cheese layer has bubbled slightly on top. This is a difficult cake to test for doneness because of the gooey cream cheese layer. If the middle is still jiggly, bake until it no longer jiggles and the cake batter layer is puffed and no longer runny. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Grated Carrot Salad

Grated carrot salad is a favorite dish for French kids. They eat it regularly for school lunch, and it’s popular at home as well. Even adults enjoy it as a starter. They more finely grated the carrots, the more the natural sweetness of the carrots will dominate the flavor of this dish. For kids who have a hard time with crunchier textures, this might just be the dish that convinces them they love carrots.

8 large carrots
2 tablespoons
olive oil
Juice of one orange
Juice of half a lemon
One bunch flat leaf parsley
Optional: a dash of Dijon mustard Pinch of salt
Dressing: Mix the orange and lemon juice with the olive oil and the salt.

You may want to add more oil, or lemon, depending on your tastes. But don’t overdress this salad! It should be nicely coated, but not swimming in the dressing.

Carrots: Peel the carrots. This is important, because the skin is often more bitter than the interior! Grate the carrots in fine shreds using a hand grater or machine. (These food mills are popular in France, and make fine, delicate shredded carrot—if you have one, use it!) The finer the strands, the more delicious the salad.

Parsley: Chop a quarter bunch of flat leaf parsley, in fine, small (I mean teeny, tiny) pieces. Make sure you don’t include any of the stems—just the leaves.

Note: You don’t want dried parsley, as the fresh parsley offsets the texture of the carrots perfectly, whereas dried parsley tends to taste a bit crunchier and, well, dry.

Combine the carrots, parsley, and dressing just before serving. Best served slightly chilled or at room temperature. Bon Appétit!

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http://gogoquinoa.com/recipes/quinoa-broccoli-and-squash-casserole/

Quinoa, Broccoli and Squash Casserole

Ingredients

2 cups of red quinoa
4 cups of hot water or broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced finely
2 garlic gloves, minced
2 cups, peeled and diced butternut squash
¼ cup of fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of broccoli florets

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium skillet, heat oil. Brown the onion, red pepper, zucchini and garlic for about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the grilled vegetables into a medium casserole dish. Stir in water, quinoa, squash, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the casserole dish and add the broccoli, stir the mixture and then put back into oven for another 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Butternut Squash with Quinoa

If you can’t find quinoa, you can substitute couscous and cook for less time (5 minutes).

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg grated

Directions:
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 4 minutes. Add raisins and cook another 2 minutes. Add squash and salt and heat over high heat for 2 minutes. Add water, and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to boiling simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Once the squash is tender, stir in quinoa, parsley and nutmeg.  Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is done. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa.

RELATED POSTS:

https://singlemomontherun.com/2012/06/13/six-week-bran-muffin-batter-yum/

https://singlemomontherun.com/2012/06/11/aunt-valeries-baked-beans/

Zucchini Pasta

I totally want to try this!

the veggie nook

Good morning all!

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Going strong after day 2 of the sugar-free challenge. No more pictures to show but my breakfast was the chia pudding I shared yesterday, lunch was leftovers from the recipe I’m going to share today and dinner was a leftover veggie burger with quinoa, arugula and a chipotle cashew sauce. Turns out as long as you do a little reading of labels and have fresh-fruit available, being sugar free isn’t so bad 😉

Today I am going to bring you a sugar-free dinner recipe! I know it’s not intuitively a problem area in terms of added sugar, but a lot of those store-bought sauces and spice mixes contain hidden added sugar, as do a lot of salad dressings and soups. So starting with a recipe that is completely homemade ensures you control every ingredient that goes into it, including being sure it’s completely free of sugar!

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Six Week Bran Muffin Batter – Yum!

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These muffins are not only yummy but you can divide the batter up into four batches and use the different batches over the course of six weeks. Of course, you can divide it into as many batches as  you want or just leave it as one batch. My little girl was gobbling these muffins right up!

Six -week Bran Muffins

Yield: 4 dozen; 1 dozen per quart jar

3 cups All-bran
3 cups Raisin Bran
2 cups boiling Water

Pour boiling water over brans.  Let soak.

Cream:

3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening

ADD: 
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk*
4 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
5 cups flour

Raisins, dates, nuts, or blueberries may also be added.

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer.  Store in a glass container with a tight cover in the refrigerator.   Can store in four,  quart canning jars, which makes it easy to pour into muffin tins.  One quart of batter makes 12 muffins. Use batter as needed; batter will keep for six weeks. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes in greased muffin tins.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand,  add a couple tsps. of apple cider vinegar to a quart of milk.

THANKS FOR THE RECIPE, CHERYL!

Aunt Valerie’s Baked Beans

My mother’s friend Cheryl made these beans for my daughter’s birthday party and everyone RAVED about them. Here’s the recipe!

Aunt Valerie’s Butter Beans                  

Wash 3 ½ cups (about two lbs.) of dry beans—Navy, Great Northern, Lima, or whatever., and soak in a gallon bowl overnight covered with water three and one half inches above the beans.

Drain beans in the morning and place in a large oven-proof pot  or roaster.

Stir in:

1 cup of brown sugar        

1 tsp. of dry mustard

½ lb. of butter, cut in one- fourth-inch slices

Cover with hot water and stir in the above ingredients.

DO NOT STIR THE BEANS AFTER THEY START COOKING!!!

Bake in 300-degree oven covered for four hours.  Remove cover and continue cooking for two to four hours until the beans are soft.  Cooking uncovered will give the beans a darker color.

Enjoy!

—-CAKiklas

–CAKiklas