I wholeheartedly believe that living well and eating well are intricately linked.
Good, real, well-prepared food makes me a happier person. Cooking fresh ingredients (especially with a loved one, or two, in the kitchen), and then sitting down to a delicious meal nourishes both the body and soul.
This weekend has been the very definition of living well (in my opinion): plenty of good food, out door fun, and family time.
Last night Lane (who is a little nervous after my last blog post and spent a lot of yesterday evening Google-ing the ingredients in many of his favorite packaged food items to see if they met my "five-or-less" rule) prepared a homemade barbecue sauce, and then marinaded and grilled a couple of chicken breasts to perfection. Meanwhile, I tossed some sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon, then roasted them until they were crispy. (I would have also added some red pepper flakes but I skipped those so that the munchkin could eat them. His sweet potatoes ended up in Sadie's belly. What a waste.)
This morning- despite my very thorough and rational explanation to James that daylight savings time meant we were waking up at 5:30 am and he should go back to bed- I was up well before my husband. This gave me plenty of time to make a large pot of coffee, chase James around the dining room table on my hands and knees, and research a dish I had been dreaming about all night: pumpkin-pecan waffles.
I am a little pumpkin-obsessed during the fall months, and into a good part of the winter also. Once September begins, Lane starts to eye suspiciously anything that has an orange hue to it. This season, I have already enjoyed pumpkin cookies, cake, oatmeal, and pancakes. It was time for waffles.
I usually shy away from waffles because I am not patient enough to separate egg whites from the yolks, beat them "until a stiff peak forms", and then gently fold the foamy whites into the rest of the batter. I knew that whatever recipe I decided on, it would have to only require two bowls and no electric mixer.
I decided to go with a recipe I found on the Cooking Light website, but I pretty much overhauled it and made up my own, copying only the amounts of wet to dry ingredients that were used. The pecans and the freshly grated nutmeg are what really make this recipe. I always buy my pecans in bulk so that I can purchase just the amount I need and not spend a fortune. I believe that whole nutmegs are also sold in bulk, but lucky for me my mom continually replenishes my supply.
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
hefty sprinkling of cinnamon and of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 c milk
1/2 c greek yogurt
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp real maple syrup (plus more for drizzling)
1 egg, lightly beaten
heaping 1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/4 c chopped pecans (plus more for garnish)
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the next six ingredients (milk through pumpkin). Add to dry ingredients. Sprinkle with 1/4 chopped pecans, then stir all ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Cook waffles on waffle-maker. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with chopped pecans for serving. Enjoy.