Pancakes for Dinner!

Almost Friday, veg-heads! I have to tell you, your comments on yesterday’s post absolutely made my day. Thanks for all the encouragement.  Just over six weeks left until the big day!

In case yesterday was running-overload for some of you, today’s all about food! Erin and I started the day with mango-jalapeno smoothies, hands down our favorite from Thrive.  Quick, healthy energy, and the best replacement for coffee I’ve found.

Key word: “best,” not “perfect.”  I couldn’t resist this morning, so I busted out my Moka pot afterward and brewed up a few potent shots of my favorite vice (Starbucks Gazebo blend), which I’m drinking now!  Sweet black nectar, if drinking you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  Well, I kind of do, just not today.

[Moka pot photo]

By the way, does anyone know how to use one of these correctly?  How fine to grind the beans, to tamp or not to tamp, etc.?

Corn Cakes (Yee-Haw!)

[corn cakes photo]For dinner yesterday, I pulled out my trusty Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian cookbook, the steal I got off the Barnes and Noble discount rack that has yet to produce  a bad meal.  I had been eying up these corn cakes with black beans for a while, and this kind-of-related post at Fake Food Free finally inspired me to make them.

So I did, but I had no idea how pancake-like they would be!  I guess I was expecting something more like cornbread?  Nonetheless, they turned out really well.  Plus it made dinner really fun since, after all, we were eating frickin’ pancakes!  Sweet!

Now, I must warn you, the prep work (mise en place, for you real chefs) was extremely complicated.  If you don’t have a culinary school degree, you may want to go grab one before you attempt this.  To make it more accessible, I’ve broken it down into photo-steps.  Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up (movie name, anyone?).

Step 1:

[step 1]

Step 2:

[step 2]

Step 3:

[step 3]

Seriously, that’s it.  No more prep, for the entire meal.  So easy.  To spice it up a bit, I made a fresh salsa with an heirloom tomato from the garden, half an onion, some cilantro, and lime juice, but even that required only minimal work, since I did it in a food processor.

One quick thing before I give you the recipe.  It calls for buttermilk.  I didn’t have buttermilk; I mistakenly bought 2% when I was trying to remember what I needed at the store.  But then I found this simple substitution, which just involves mixing a tablespoon of lemon juice with about a cup of milk.  (As an aside, milk was something that we stopped drinking when we went vegetarian.  Not for ethical reasons, but because I’m convinced that the milk we have access to in stores does NOT do a body good.  I drink almond milk now, but I’m ok with a little bit of the real stuff for cooking.)

Ok, here’s my slightly-adapted version of the Williams-Sonoma recipe.  I think a touch of sugar would be really nice in the corn cakes, but I have no idea how much to add so I’ve left that out.

Corn Cakes with Black Beans

Ingredients (for 2 large or 3 small servings):

  • [corn cake photo]1 15-oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tsp Mexican-style chili powder
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • toppings, like salsa, cilantro, sour cream (or plain yogurt)

For the beans: Over medium heat, combine the beans, oregano, and 1 tsp chili powder.  Heat through, cover, and set aside.

For the corn cakes:  In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, baking soda, flour, 1 tsp chili powder, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, melted butter and egg with a whisk.  Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and whisk for a few seconds until mostly combined into a lumpy batter.  Add the corn.

Heat a large pan (you’ll need to be able to flip the pancakes) over medium-high heat.  Brush the pan with the oil to lightly coat it, then pour in some of the batter to make whatever size pancakes you want.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, flipping once.  Repeat by wiping the pan and brushing more oil between batches.  Keep the cooked pancakes warm under foil while you are doing the others.

Top the corn cakes with black beans, and whatever toppings you choose.  Pretend you’re a cowboy!

[corn cake close photo]

Bad Dog

Alright kiddies, that’s all for today.  I’ll leave you with Exhibit A, which was found next to our dog Linus by the garden yesterday.  We can’t keep him out of there.  First the jalapeno plant, now this.  He even eats serrano peppers!  I have no idea how, because I tried once and nearly burned off my taste buds.  Somebody better shape up if he doesn’t want to be returned to the pound….  (Kidding, dog lovers.)

[chewed cucumber photo]

[linus photo]

See you tomorrow for Sweet-Tooth Friday with another healthy dessert from my sister Christine!



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  1. Back to the Future!

    • I would like to make the Corn and Black Bean cakes recipe in a 13×9 pan or some kind of casserole instead of cakes. Is that possible? If i just pour the batter into a casserole dish how long should it bake? Thanks!

  2. Oh Linus, you tricky little monkey! How is it that dogs seem to be willing to eat the craziest things?!

    The corn cakes look delicious and hooray for breakfast for dinner 🙂
    .-= katherine´s last blog ..Get In My Belly!! =-.

  3. For all your hard work writing and posting this entry I have one comment – WOW, THAT’S A CUTE DOG!!

  4. Oh fun dinner! I don’t believe Linus did that. He looks so innocent!
    .-= diana´s last blog ..A Push =-.

  5. hahahhaha your dog cracks me up! Maybe he wants to be a veggie too? 😉

    What a great looking dinner. mmmm I am book marking this to make for Josh and I! Its another veg recipe I know we would both love. Williams Sonoma rocks!

    I was at Starbucks yesterday and saw that Gazebo blend and thought of you- I almost got it! Now I’m wishing I had grrr. Next time!
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Chickpea Burgers =-.

  6. Great blog! I am going to link it, as I am a veggie athlete as well!
    .-= Nobel4Lit´s last blog ..The Green Monster Fad =-.

    • Thanks Nobel4Lit! A link is always wonderful 🙂 I’ll check out your blog; I like the name. I wrote a post with that title once; I was particularly proud when I came up with it. I’m sure you are too, since you have a whole blog called that!!

  7. you can probably find pretty detailed instructions online for that espresso maker. I got one for my sister and her husband, but we don’t have one so I’ve never used it! So cool, though.

    these corn cakes look so good! I may need to make these soon.
    .-= brandi´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Dad! and Breakfast =-.

  8. o my gosh i want some of those corn cakes! they look out of this world!
    .-= Lizzy´s last blog ..stacked up =-.

  9. Thanks for the warning about the prep being difficult – I always get so frustrated when a new recipe is difficult.
    .-= Runeatrepeat´s last blog ..Drip drop PB =-.

    • Hi RunEatRepeat, thanks for commenting! I hate when recipes have lots of prep too—it seems to happen a lot, especially with Rachael Ray’s stuff. But I was just kidding for this one, because there was essentially none!

      Hmm my new tagline is sort of similar to your blog name huh? I’m trying to think of a good one so it will probably change a little soon.

  10. Those “pancakes” look frickin amazing. Yum! I could live entirely off of Mexican flavored food for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. Yum. Your doggy is adorable 🙂 We are working on compromising between my dream yappy purse dog and my hubby’s dream furniature ruining Lab dog. We are at a standstill 🙂
    .-= amy (veganissexy)´s last blog ..VACATION EXERCISE: PLAY IN THE PARK =-.

  11. Those look great! That looks like something Greg would really enjoy too.

    I make vegan buttermilk at work by putting a teaspoon or two of vinegar into soy milk, stirring, and setting aside for a couple of minutes. The soy milk “curdles” and becomes sour just like buttermilk. I am not sure if almond milk would “curdle” in the same way, but just letting you know that there is at least one non-dairy option that works.

  12. This is the kind of meal I can get next to! I always say “I’m totally trying this recipe” but this time I mean it.

    A dog that eats vegetables, love it! Not all dogs will, I think you’ve got a special pooch there, even if he’s a garden mooch.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..The Feather =-.

    • Alison, you should try it; at the very least your kids will have fun having pancakes for dinner! I suppose I should be proud that my little guy (dog, no kid yet) likes his veggies.

  13. Laura says:

    you know, sometimes, dogs and vegetables make for lots of funny.

    enjoy the post. try not to snarf your coffee while laughing.

  14. Hey Matt

    When you stopped drinking milk, did you notice any difference in how you felt? I gess it would be hard to pinpoint since your whole diet was clean, but just curious.

    You know I love the coffee spotlight!
    .-= Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn´s last blog ..Sometimes I Can’t Run =-.

    • Hey Mel, like you said, it’s hard to pinpoint. But I can say that in the very beginning, I was eating some fish still but very little dairy, and I felt exceptionally good and energetic during that time. I enjoy cooking too much not to eat any dairy, but I can definitely see the appeal from an energy standpoint.

  15. I can’t wait for mango season here so that I can try those smoothies!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Unlocking the Fullness of Life =-.

  16. ok, I’m going to have to try this asap! We love cornmeal in our house and always try to make corn fritter/cake thingies, yum! Was it fluffy, or more like a tortilla? Looks wonderful, and I love black beans. Awh Linus! I can’t believe he eats peppers!
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..lucky gal =-.

    • Hey Eating RD, thanks so much for compliment! The corn cakes are definitely fluffier than tortillas, really, like pancakes. I have realized recently that I love corn cakey things, do you have any recipes on your blog?

  17. by the way really love your blog! I’m adding you to my roll 🙂
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..lucky gal =-.

  18. your dog is awesome! hey he’s just trying to be healthy 🙂 better the pup then mice…

    pancakes… yummm. i still haven’t gotten any after having my teeth pulled! 🙂
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..product review: sugoi moxie shorts =-.

  19. I don’t believe Linus is doing any of the things you claim. Just look at that sweet innocent face!! 🙂
    .-= Veggie Runnr´s last blog ..Plantains =-.

  20. That recipe seems… interesting. Never made anything quite like that before, I must admit.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Guest Post: Handing in my stripes =-.

  21. hi!

    i found your blog through your guest post yesterday on runner’s kitchen. i’m trying to qualify for boston right now too! and i’ve started blogging about it so i was psyched to find another blogger with my same goal (although i know there must be tons out there) i’m running philly in november which will be my third marathon. hopefully we’ll both make it to boston 2010!
    .-= liz´s last blog ..dinner and a movie =-.

    • Hi Liz. It’s always fun to meet another Boston hopeful! There are a few others with blogs, but actually not that many that I know of. Westford Mommy is one, and I just found out about Fit Chick In the City.

      Good luck in Philly! That’s kind of my backup race in case I don’t make it in October, though I’m not sure if/when their registration usually fills. It’s always been on my list to do, since it’s nearby, but hopefully this won’t be the year I do it!

  22. yummmm…another recipe to bookmark!
    .-= holly the healthy everythingtarian´s last blog ..Handsomely Rewarded =-.

  23. No Meat, those look so very good! I’m jealous that you found that book for so cheap.
    .-= Jess in NYC´s last blog ..Commitments =-.

  24. hahaha, let me just go grab a degree right quick before trying this recipe! you crack me up. i love the savory pancake idea, especially with the addition of black beans. i have a whole costco flat of black beans i need to use up… although i may need to get some spurs, chaps and a cowboy hat before attempting to eat this meal. did you enter my doggie giveaway yet? your pooch would love you for it, i am sure. i cant believe linus digs the spicy stuff!
    .-= janetha´s last blog ..11:08 PM: try to think of a title for this post. fail. =-.

  25. me too! There’s just something about the texture and it’s pretty darn affordable. I also like to make polenta. I’ve made a polenta-mushroom casserole with chipotle chilis in adobo (chicken can easily be eliminated or beans can be added), and a pot pie with cornbread topping (again the chicken can be eliminated and dairy alternatives used). I also like to just saute up polenta squares too and top them with pretty much anything like marinara sauce, wilted spinach and a poached egg. I am planning on making yours next week! Yum!
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..lucky gal =-.

  26. We have to shoo Lucy away from the raspberry bushes every evening. She “picks” the berries right off the branch. She likes most veggies but I don’t think she’d care for hot peppers!

  27. I made these last night for dinner! It’s fun eating like a cowboy.

    They were easy to do and yummy. I added a tablespoon of sucanat to the pancakes since you suggested they’d be better sweeter. But I couldn’t really taste that so next time I think I’ll do 2-3 tablespoons.

    Greg really liked them too!

  28. OK…these are AMAZING!
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Corn Cakes & A Crab =-.

  29. I’ve been following the recipes for “What to Eat the Week Before Your [Half] Marathon” and this was our favorite! They were all yummy though. Thank you! About to leave for race. First one! Ahh!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Lent =-.

  30. Tried these tonight for dinner and they were awesome. My kids and husband all loved them, too. 🙂

  31. Saw the last part of this about the pup and the cucumbers and had to laugh. My parent’s dog used to love to get cucumbers out of the garden until he confused the cactus next to the garden with a ripe cucumber. An hour of plucking quills out later, he doesn’t eat cucumbers any more.

  32. I just made these and I found them delectable in a spartan way.

    The pancakes cook well with 2 T of palm oil instead of butter.

  33. Ok, I took a chance and made these pancakes the first time vegan. They came out great!
    I used olive oil, a vegan egg substitute a combination of rice milk and rice milk cream.
    The beans however didn’t come out very good. I used dried beans that I cooked. Is there some other spice in the canned beans that I need to add?
    Thanks for a great dinner.
    Hope your pooch was ok with the peppers. My dog digs up potatoes that are growing in the garden and eats them raw. Amazing what stomachs these guys have.

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