When faced with this month´s theme about cooking our way through different cookbooks, I took an honest look at my bookshelves and actually got rid of a couple. The Moosewood Cookbook, however, stood out as one I hadn´t cooked from at all, but was worth exploring.
First of all, I know there have been tons of later editions and variations along the Moosewood theme, but the one I happened to buy from the thrift store several years ago is copyright 1977, and is delightfully hand-lettered. It looks like a creative friend was keeping a recipe diary just for you, complete with doodles and helpful little comments. I also appreciated how many of the recipes were truly centered around fruits and vegetables, not just meat-free versions of comfort foods. There were many recipes that could also be planned around seasonal produce (zucchini, summer squash, etc) that I would love to try when they are back in season.
I have been trying to up my produce (and protein) intake while watching carbs lately, so the Apple Cheese Pancakes recipe looked like a great place to start–it was higher in protein and fiber without nearly as much refined flour as any traditional version. Plus, I love the idea of “hiding” fruits and veggies in other foods or getting more of them in sneaky ways.
The Recipe: Apple Cheese Pancakes
The assembled ingredients
Cooking the pancakes (in a little coconut oil)
The final product
I did feed four people with them, but the recipe only yielded 9 pancakes (with the batter portioned out in 1/4-1/3 cup servings) and I´m not sure if that would be enough to “satisfy four reasonably hungry sorts.” The suggested garnishes would probably help round out the meal a little better–fresh fruit, yogurt, etc. I enjoyed the texture of the pancakes–moist and chewy–described by one of my fellow diners as “oatmeal-like.” My husband didn´t like the apple flavor but enjoyed the cheesiness, whereas I would have liked more apple flavor and am making a mental note to increase the cinnamon and nutmeg for next time.
I´m looking forward to trying out (and reporting on) more recipes from Moosewood and keeping it in rotation with my favorite cookbooks!
Education Notes: As of 2012, 84% of the students at my school are eligible for free or reduced school lunches, which means they also get free breakfast in the morning. Several years ago, students educated themselves about nutrition and lobbied the administration to get a “healthier” school lunch provider. Now, a new generation of students who were not involved in that decision are complaining about how awful the food is. I have noticed that for many meals, “healthier” just means switching white flour for whole wheat. With this pancake recipe incorporating fruit and protein, it seems more nutritious than simply an all-flour (albeit whole grain) version. I wonder how students would react to recipes like this that they wouldn´t necessarily get at home or at school…