Pancakes or king cake? How to kick off Lent with good food

Shrove Tuesday. Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. The last day before you can’t eat red meat on Fridays until Easter.

There are so many ways to look at this day. It’s just another Taco Tuesday for me, but I understand that lots of you might be looking for pancake recipes for Shrove Tuesday or tips on where to buy king cakes or eat some Cajun food to celebrate Mardi Gras.

What is Shrove Tuesday? Last year, freelancer Beth Goulart explained why many Protestants and Catholics stuff their faces with pancakes on this last day before the traditional fasting of Lent begins. (Did you know there’s an Epiphany king cake, too? That’s another religion/food story that Goulart has written for us.)

 

⚜️Bringing some Mardi Gras to Austin ⚜️

A post shared by 🍦2 Hungry Gals 🍦 (@2hungrygals) on

 

Plenty of you have been posting photos of king cakes on Instagram today, and Melanie Haupt compiled a pretty excellent map of where to buy them over on Eater.

I’ve never tried to make a king cake, but I make pancakes (and waffles) enough to know that you can make them from bananas and that they don’t have to be as unhealthy as we make them out to be. (The cup of syrup I poured over my pancakes last weekend, however, is another story.)

Here’s a protein-packed, gluten-free pancake that shouldn’t make you feel guilty. There’s enough of that going around during the Lenten season.

Online friends Jessica Kahn and Rianna Alberty collaborated on a new mini-cookbook called "Stack'd," which features 30 recipes based on a nutrient-dense, protein-packed pancake recipe that is also gluten-free. Photos by Rianna Alberty.

Online friends Jessica Kahn and Rianna Alberty collaborated on a new mini-cookbook called “Stack’d,” which features 30 recipes based on a nutrient-dense, protein-packed pancake recipe that is also gluten-free. Photos by Rianna Alberty.

The Classic (Gluten-Free Protein Pancake)

A few years ago, Austin food stylist and photographer Rianna Alberty and Sacramento blogger Jessica Kahn collaborated on an e-cookbook called “Stack’d: The Gluten-Free Protein Pancake Cookbook.” The book transforms a basic recipe for a gluten-free, nutrient-dense pancake batter into 30 different dishes, from savory chive and cheddar flapjacks or sweet potato pancakes to lemon ricotta pancakes with berry compote or strawberry shortcake. All of them are based on the techniques and ingredients in this recipe, which they simply call The Classic.

Subtly sweet and altogether scrumptious, these classic cakes are simple to prepare and are the perfect springboard recipe should you get the hankering to have a little fun in the kitchen. If you’re not a fan of Greek yogurt, you can use cottage cheese or even a banana in its place. You also can replace the oats with half a cup of almond meal or flour.

3 Tbsp. milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla whey protein powder (optional)

To keep pancakes warm while you make the full batch, preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Using a blender, first add all of the wet then dry ingredients. This will expedite the blending process, brief though it may be. Blend until the oats are broken down and the batter is smooth, about 10 to 15 seconds.

Heat a non-stick griddle or pan to medium. Test the temperature with a quick spritz of water – just run water on your fingertips and flick it in the direction of the cooking surface. If it sizzles, it’s ready. Spray with a non-stick cooking spray and you’re all set for the batter.

Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle or pan. Cook on the first side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the edges start to cook and bubbles appear on the surface. Lift the side of the pancake up just a bit to see where it is in the browning process. Ideally, let them cook until they are a golden, maple color.

Because these pancakes won’t have the rigidity of their flapjack forefathers, the swooshing technique can work wonders. Grab a spatula and, quite literally, swoosh it under the target pancake in one swift motion. Then flip it over.

Cook on the second side for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden-brown. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and keep warm in the oven. Continue with remaining batter. Serves one or two.

— From “Stack’d: The Gluten-Free Protein Pancake Cookbook” by Jessica Kahn and Rianna Alberty


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