Hi, my name is Mandiee, and I am a work-a-holic.
But actually. My family often jokes that I go into zombie mode for 9 months out of the year, studying like it’s my sole purpose in life. When school’s out for summer, I’m not the only one celebrating. I regain a quality of life, and my family regains a lively teenager. Seems like a win win, right? Right.
Unfortunately, after 9 months of hibernation, I do get a little rusty on certain skills. My texting especially has gone up at least 300%. (What do yo mean you can’t have more than 100%? If you saw my texting, you might think otherwise.) So in order to save my thumbs from under-training for the mass quantity of texts, I’ve been going out with my friends instead. Now that’s definitely a win win.
Last night I went out to dinner with my prom date, Mac (who will now be called M for simplicity purposes) to one of the only restaurants that has “Mandiee food.” They had veggies, tofu, and brown rice. Could I really ask for more? (As a side note, here’s a tip for vegetarians, vegans, healthy eaters, and those that have dietary restrictions: asian food is usually a good bet for finding something you will like with minimal difficulty. They often have plain rice (gluten-free!), tofu (vegan protein!), and lots of steamed veggies (YUM!) hanging around. For my gluten-free friends, make sure to ask if the soy sauce has wheat it in.)
Anyway, dinner was lovely, but what we did after was even better. It was actually M’s birthday; in addition to the cookies I baked him (naturally), he also received a soft top for his Jeep.
He had already put half of it together before picking me up for dinner but couldn’t wait to finish the rest. Since he lives so close to me, we decided to do it together. If nothing else, I was a good screw- and flashlight-holder. Wait, did I just say flashlight? Yes, my friends, we decided to put together a complicated Jeep soft top in increasing darkness. If you can imagine, it was M, M’s dad (who was recovering from eye surgery), and me all fiddling around with little car parts, tools, and directions (who needs ’em) under the cover of darkness and chilly weather.
I’m sure you can see where this is going. After some trial and error, we thought we finally had it right. Unfortunately, when we put it on the car, we realized we had it backward. Back to the drawing board we went! Not willing to give up quite yet, we sat in the garage on M’s removed back seat, redoing all the work we had just done twice already. On the up side, we were getting quicker with each time. On the down side, we still didn’t have it right. We actually laughed out loud when we still had it wrong. Um, why didn’t these parts come assembled in the first place, we asked ourselves?
milk!”]So we gave in. We took the parts inside so we could warm up and hopefully get our heads on straight enough to finish. This time we worked with lightening speed. Let’s just say if anyone needs to put together a soft top, we’ve got it down to a science. I guess the
third fourth time really is a charm.
After achieving victory, M and I celebrated by driving me home with the new top on. It felt so good.
This morning, however, I was ready for a little simplicity after last night’s debacle. Something I could count on to go right. Something that would satisfy my taste buds and appetite alike. Usually people think vegan and gluten-free cooking/baking is difficult and not worth the time. I beg to differ. Though I’ve had some minor glitches, I’ve yet to have a huge disaster (knock on wood). Fruit, flour (whole grain, freshly ground, of course!), and non-dairy milk—could it really be simpler?
Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, whole-grain
- 1/2 cup blueberries (73 g), mashed with a fork or food processor
- 2 TBS buckwheat flour (15 g)
- 2 TBS corn meal (16 g)
- 1-1/2 tsp coconut flour (4 g) (optional)
- 1-1/2 tsp chia seeds (7 g)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- ~1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4-5 TBS almond milk
- sweetener, if needed (I used 1 drop of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia)
- Mash blueberries with a fork or food processor (depending on how mashed you want them; I used a fork.)
- Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
- Preheat non-stick skillet (greased with oil or oil spray of choice) to medium heat. Let batter sit for a few minutes while your pan preheats. You may need a little more almond milk.
- Use a small ice cream scoop to dollop small amounts of batter on the pan. Flip pancakes when the edges start to firm up and the bubbles disappear.
- Finish cooking and devour.
- Steal one with your fingers…for taste-testing purposes, of course :).