Easy Oatmeal Pancake for One

I have to tell you...I am tired today friends. I finally worked up the motivation to get myself to the gym each morning before work. I'm excited and ready to tackle this challenge...but I'm tired. You see, yesterday I not only went to the gym in the morning, but also to my weekly zumba and pilates classes in the evening. So it's no surprise that this morning my tummy is rumblin' and my body is a hurtin'. But can I tell you a secret? It feels pretty fantatic.

On Sunday night, after the recommendation of my friend Kristen, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my iTouch. Though I wasn't exactly starting from the couch (I do go for a run a couple days a week), I want to start fresh with training to run. Not only to get 'er done, but to also have a respectable time. I've never been too fond of running but it's something that I'm determined to be good at! And beyond that? I'm going for the 10K!

So it's no wonder that I've been hungry the last few days. Though I've been dabbling in smoothies and bowls of oats, both mixed with protein powder, the routine has gotten a little stale. So I decided to change it up a bit.

My mom originally showed me how to make this quick and easy breakfast, but I've changed it up just a bit to get the most protein, fullness and deliciousness out of this dish! I simply took some old fashioned oats and turn them into a giant flapjack. Oh and in this version, I added a bit of canned pumpkin for some extra umph as well as nutrients, though you can certainly omit it altogether and still come out with a nice sized, hearty pancake. I will tell you, however, that it did not taste overly like pumpkin. Instead it kept the pancake moist without overtaking the flavor. Not to mention the fact that I finally found a healthy pancake option. Want to see how it's done?

Oatmeal Pancake for One
½ C old fashioned oats (you could even use a packet of instant oats)
2 egg whites
½ C canned pumpkin (optional)
1 packet Splenda (you could also use honey or agave nectar)
pinch salt
splash milk (of your choice, I use Almond Breeze)
splash vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
any other add-ins you like (raisins, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, you get the idea)
non-stick cooking spray or a small pat of light butter (recommended)
maple syrup or jam

In a bowl, mix up the oats, egg whites, pumpkin, Splenda, salt, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and any other add-ins you like (I also used a dash of ground ginger). In a large skillet, heat up the butter. Pour the mixture into the skillet. It will be very thick, so use a rubber spatula to spread it out into desired thickness. Flip when the bottom comes together and turns golden. Cook through and enjoy with a drizzle of maple syrup or jam.

So there you have it. A super simple breakfast that kept me full for a few hours. What more can you ask for? So what do you think? Are you an oatmeal fan? And while we're on the subject, what's your favorite workout?

Dutch Pancakes at Linda's Pancakes

During our recent family trip to Aruba (where we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary), indulgent foods were not in short supply, whether surf and turf at Madame Janette's or decadent, buttercreamy red velvet cake at Moka's. Oh and did I mention the gooey, cheesy bagel sandwiches at Dushi Bagel? Well today I'm adding another to the list. Its Linda's Pancakes, an outdoor eatery off of Palm Beach serving up pancakes of the Dutch variety. And since it's no secret that I'm a serious sucker for a good pancake, imagine my excitement over a full dinner plate sized super thin pancake that wasn't quite a crepe yet not quite the thick, fluffy American-style concoction that we've all come to know and love. Color me intrigued. With a multitude of options and one looking better than the next, I opted for a sweet and savory combination of brie, honey and walnuts atop a giant flapjack.

I know, brie? on a pancake? And the answer is yes, a million times yes! The creamy, salty nature of the brie drizzled with sweet honey and a bit of crunch with walnuts baked right into the pancake made this one dish that I was happy to try...and subsequently devour.

But if cheese and syrup just aren't your thing (did I mention that in addition to the honey I felt it compeltely necessary to add sugary sweet pancake syrup on top?), there were a boatload of other option, both sweet, savory and everything in between. Take, for example, this pineapple pancake served with a hefty coating of powdered sugar and a shot of rum. It's the island life after all!

If rum and breakfast just scream ick, Linda's also offers traditional, plain jane pancakes or dressed up fruit pancakes like this pineapple and strawberry covered version.

And while the brie-honey-walnut version was divine, I have to take a moment for Kim's bacon and apple pancake. While it looks simple, the apple slices and bacon pieces were baked right into the pancake itself, taking that whole sweet and savory thing to a new level. Oh, and I should tell you that I've never had a better helping of bacon as the crispy yet perfectly greasy version that was being stored inside.

So there it is...yet another breakfast option on my favorite island. I swear I don't eat like this when not vacationing...