Okay so last February when I posted those chilaquiles I had zero intention of completely letting this blog go, though it had been increasingly more difficult to maintain with grad school. Then I became completely immersed in a dissertation proposal, started teaching an undergrad class, on top of yoga, a huge load of classes, and practicum. By the time summer came I told myself I couldn’t wait to dive back into recipe making but honestly I was so exhausted I ended up using the whole summer just to catch my breath. As sad as I felt to leave this little plot of the internet behind, I desperately needed rest, so I prioritized taking care of myself in other ways.
Then in August I got pregnant. It was about as planned as a pregnancy could be but still incredibly exciting. I’ve had the baby fever badddddd, for several years now and was done allowing grad school keep my life on hold. So this Spring I finish my final class (a meager 1.5 credit elective) on Thursday and our sweet baby girl is due that Saturday. I cannot wait to spend every second of this summer with her until I start internship (like residency) full-time in the Fall and put this grad school life behind me.
Being pregnant has been both blissful and unexpectedly challenging. The first trimester was hell on earth. I was so sick. All I ate was bread. I think I cried almost every day. It hit me way harder than I could have anticipated. But it ended and I had a wonderful 4 weeks or so starting in the second trimester where I felt amazing. Then Thanksgiving hit, I ate way too much butter, and this mystery gallbladder/rib pain took over. 1 gallbladder ultrasound (no gallstones phew!) and a couple of weeks eating a vegan diet later, and I’ve learned it pretty much hurts no matter what I eat so I might as well enjoy life (though I’m still avoiding fried food just in case). Fast forward to this Saturday I enter the 3rd trimester and I feel like I’m finally settling in. Feeling our girl kick and dance in my belly is still the most magical thing I’ve experienced in this life. My body has become her home and our connection feels like nothing I have ever experienced. I am completely obsessed and in love with her in every way.
I haven’t had too many pregnancy cravings, with the exception of dried mango and berries. I wake up every morning and think “what breakfast can I top with a massive cup of fresh berries?” They are the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted and I don’t care one bit that they aren’t in season. I’ve been eating about a cup of fresh berries per day. Enter these pancakes. I’ve made them 4-5 times in the past month. They are so simple, sweetened with just banana, and filled with oats and berries. They are tender and come together so quickly!
Makes 10-11 pancakes
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
2 large ripe bananas, smashed (yields 1 - 1.5 cups)
3/4 cup quick cooking oats (or old fashioned oats roughly pulsed in a food processor/blender)
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used sprouted whole wheat)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)
1/2 cup milk of your choice (+ 1-2 tablespoons)
3 heaping cups fresh berries (I used raspberries, blueberries, and chopped strawberries)
In a medium bowl smash the banana then mix in the oats and salt. Nuke this mixture in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm then set aside for about 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Sprinkle in the cinnamon followed by the vanilla extract and egg, mix to combine, follow with the baking powder, stir to combine. Add the whole wheat flour and mix (it will be a little dry that’s okay), mix in the hemp seeds and 1/2 cup of milk. If you prefer your pancakes on the more biscuity side stop here, if you like them a little smoother/flatter (like me) I recommend adding another 1-2 tablespoons to thin the batter a bit).
Heat your griddle over medium heat. Meanwhile, stir the berries into the batter (it’s okay if they get a little mashed). Spray your griddle with cooking spray (or a knob of butter) and dollop 1/3 cup sized pancakes onto the pan to cook. Flip when lightly browned on the bottom and cook until set. Serve immediately. Top with butter, maple syrup and more berries if you’d like!
These chilaquiles are literally all of my favorite foods stirred up in one dish, topped with cheese and broiled until golden. Soft scrambled eggs, refried beans, homemade salsa, and avocado. Comfort food at its finest. These are based off the chilaquiles at my favorite diner in Chicago. I've been maybe 6 times and have never ordered anything but the chilaquiles because I am a creature of habit and I know what's good. I've been attempting to recreate them basically since I ate them for the first time last Spring. And now here they are!
I don't know how authentic they actually are- usually the beans are served on the side and the eggs are fried on top but these are my version - everything all mixed together in a big sloppy delicious mess. I also love the simplicity of baking it all together in a big casserole dish and then eating it (for literally breakfast, lunch or dinner) throughout the week. It reheats beautifully and feels fresh when it's topped with avocado and cilantro!
2 cups chipotle salsa
12 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
10 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can vegetarian refried beans
4 oz can mild green chiles
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
avocado & fresh cilantro for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Stack a couple tortillas at a time, then slice them (like you would a pizza) into 8 slices roughly the size of tortillas chips. Divide the tortilla "chips" among the sheet pans and drizzle with grapeseed oil. Using a pastry brush, smear the oil evenly over the tortillas (no need to do both sides) then top liberally with salt and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown - they will crisp up as they cool.
Crack the eggs into a large saucepan over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs constantly preventing them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring until they look scrambled and creamy (here's a play-by-play with photos if it's unclear). Once the eggs are creamy and just barely cooked add the salt, salsa, refried beans, and chiles and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until bubbly and heated through. Add the tortilla chips to the mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the contents into a large casserole dish.
Turn the broiler to high. Top the mixture with shredded cheese, then place under the broiler for 3-6 minutes until the cheese bubbles and browns (watch carefully!)
To serve top with fresh avocado and cilantro!
This is my favorite salsa, I remember the first time we made it last winter thinking it was the simplest, tastiest salsa I've ever had. And the best part is that it only requires 5 ingredients, most of which you probably have laying around, and takes no time to make. I'm a such a sucker for that spicy complex chipotle flavor that really makes this salsa what it is.
Adapted from: Malibu Farm Cookbook
Makes about 4 cups (2 pints)
1.5 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered (any kind works)
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (depending on hot spicy you want your salsa, I used 3)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until desired level of chunkiness is achieved. Adjust to taste.