Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Dieter's Dilemma

Like most brides-to-be, the thought of myself in pictures that I'd be looking at for the rest of my life sent a chill up my spine. I want to lose some of those extra pounds, but I've had such a miserable time on diets of old. I always found myself sacrificing home-cooked for prepackaged, if only because then I didn't have to spend tedious hours calculating how many calories I consumed, I could just look at the label. And I was always sabotaged by desperate cravings for my favorite sweets or breakfast foods. It would go something like this.

Saturday 8am.
Woke up. First thought: "I want pancakes!"
Looked up nutritional information on favorite pancake recipe. "Damn" And that's without syrup!
Ate an apple.

Saturday 9am.
"I want pancakes!"
Scoured all of my cookbooks and the internet for a low-calorie pancake recipe. Found nothing. "Damn"
Ate a cup of sugar-free, fat-free (taste free) yogurt.

Saturday 12pm.
"I still want pancakes"
Contemplated working out 2 extra hours to accommodate said pancakes. Decided there was no time for that. "Damn"
Ate a salad. Stuck my tongue out at the salad because it wasn't pancakes.

Saturday 5pm.
"I REALLY want pancakes"
Broke down and made myself fattening, maple syrup drenched pancakes cooked in lots of butter. Felt good while enjoying them. Felt fat and guilty afterwards. "Damn!"

Now, this time I was determined it will be different. I will not sacrifice time in the kitchen. I will not sacrifice my favorite foods. I will eat pancakes dammit! And I will lose weight. So here's my oh-so-yummy, crispy, creamy, sweet and buttery yet diet-friendly pancake recipe. Four - yes FOUR generously-sized hot cakes and 1/2 of the syrupy fruity goodness clocks in at just about 400 calories! That means if you have awesome willpower (which I don't), then you could presumably get by on 2 pancakes and keep your breakfast to 200 calories. But I wouldn't know anything about that, nor do I want to. I'm loading my plate with goodies and still smiling afterwards!

Four Berry Diet-Friendly Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes and a syrupy berry compote topping

1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla
zest of an orange (or lemon would be yummy too)
1/3 cup splenda or equal (or 1/4 cup stevia - which is all natural) - if you use sugar here it will be more calories, but still not bad
2/3 cup Trader Joe's Multigrain Pancake Mix (or any whole-grain mix - or make your own, but don't forget baking powder and soda)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 egg whites, beaten into soft peaks
butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

2 Tbsp Trader Joe's reduced sugar raspberry preserves
heaping 1/2 cup blueberries
heaping 1/2 cup blackberries
4 large strawberries, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp splenda, equal or sugar (or 1/2 Tbsp stevia)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cheese, buttermilk, egg substitute, vanilla and zest. When it is well combined, stir in dry ingredients, then fold in egg whites.

Spray a pre-heated pan with cooking spray and return to medium heat. Ladle in batter, cooking 3 pancakes at a time. Let cook until lots of bubbles appear at the surface and underside is golden, then flip and let continue to cook until golden on both sides. Repeat with additional batter.

Meanwhile, combine preserves, berries and splenda in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries are slightly softer and a nice syrup has formed.

Serve pancakes hot off the griddle for best texture. They should be light and fluffy, crispy on the outside and slightly creamy inside (from the cheese). Top 4 pancakes with 1/2 of the berries and syrup for a delicious treat of a breakfast that won't break your calorie bank or land you in the gym for hours every day for the rest of the week. Then tell yourself how good you are for making sacrifices. Then laugh.

P.S. You will notice there are only 3 shown in a serving here. That's just due to my inability to resist eating one right off the griddle without accompaniment before I take pictures. Like I said - no willpower!


Heather said...

hah! i usually eat one off the griddle, too. these sound delicious!

Kate said...

Saw these on foodgawker. These look great and I always love having fruit on my pancakes, it's so much more substantial than just maple syrup. I will definitely be making these bad boys.


Elizabeth said...

Those look absolutely delicious! I had pancakes this morning, but they were just from a boxed mix, nothing fancy. I love reading your blog and getting recipe ideas! :)

Anonymous said...

I love that post! Great idea and keep it up with the wedding bod efforts!!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Yum! Doesn't look like diet food at all. ; )

RecipeGirl said...

Fun Post :) We're in the same boat... I'm looking for nice, diet friendly recipes as well. Pancakes call to me on the weekends.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Loved your introduction to the recipe ;)

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