easy breakfast crepes, 5 foodie finds, & 3 months

easy-breakfast-crepes-vegan-glutenfree-bring-joy

One of our family’s favorite foods is the crepe.

They’re so easy to make & contain no gluten, dairy, or oil. You can fill them up with lots of fresh fruit, drizzle a bit of maple syrup, & you’re good to go. I’m going to share the recipe with you today, but first,

Our dearly beloved PC dell computer died on Wednesday.

It was sad, but not unexpected.

It was a little ironic, since the day before, I posted an update on our debt snowball progress & admitted because of “unexpected” expenses we aren’t as far along as we’d like to be. And, wouldn’t ya know the next day our computer dies. I guess lesson to to be learned is that “unexpected” expenses are to be expected.

According to the very geeky guy from the Geek Squad at Best Buy, the computer had lived a long life & it was time to say sayonara. We did some number crunching & looking around & ended up buying a laptop for $650 at Costco. Between the add-ons–3 year drop & spill warranty (you bet we’re getting that one), Microsoft Office, Norton anti-virus–and the $100 it cost to transfer all my old files to the new computer, it set us back $1,000 bucks.

But, I’ve been wanting a laptop for some time now (better suited to writing whilst caring for the wee ones because I can transport it from room to room), but we couldn’t justify the expense. Until now, when we don’t have any other option. And a lap top is less expensive than a desktop.

It’s Fitness Friday!

And it’s been two weeks since I gave an update on the weight loss progress (why I use a scale & why I’m sharing my weight with you, here) & I have to be honest. After about 8 weeks into weight loss (you know this my 5th time around), I start to feel burned out.

You know, just tired of being careful & deliberate about what I’m eating & tired of thinking about that weekly weigh in & whether or not I’ve lost weight. So last week I took a break & didn’t weight myself.

This week, I was nervous (what if the scale hadn’t budged like a few weeks ago?).

I stepped on the scale today, & I’m down two pounds from two weeks ago. Not bad, but I’d rather be closer to a two pound loss a week than just one.  Don’t get me wrong, not griping here, just think I’m going to refocus my efforts on making sure I’m eating lots of raw leafy greens & getting in my daily sweat session in order to encourage a greater weekly loss.

starting weight: 204 lbs. 

bring-joy-before-pictures

present weight: 177.2 lbs. 

april-11-after-pictures

total loss so far: 27 lbs. 

{Here for a recap of previous weeks losses.}

My current BMI is 26. My pre-pregnancy BMI was 21, so I still have about 30 pounds to get there, but I’m making progress.

Like debt, it’s all about being consistent, making slow & steady (& sustainable) movement in the right direction.

(All the details for how I’m losing the weight can be found in my ebook–Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet.)

tyndale Tyndale is 3 months old today.

(Boy, he’s getting plump.)

He is such an easy baby. The easiest I’ve had. He is content–only cries if he’s hungry or tired. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome little man in my life.

The hardest thing about having a fifth kid, well two things–keeping up on housework & finding time to exercise. I finally caught up with getting my house in order this week (only took me three months!) & can I say, I feel so much better. I know so many women who say, “my house will be clean when the kids get older.” If I had that mentality I would have been living in a messy house for the past nine years! I can’t live that way.

I know a clean house isn’t everything, & inevitably, with kids you have to learn to let certain things go (like having a spotless kitchen floor) but when I’m at home all day, it really impacts my mood if my house is in disarray. In other words, I’m a grouch.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our messy times, but I’ve learned if I’m going to keep my sanity I must at least try to stay ahead of the storm (ie. laundry, dishes) if I don’t want it to swallow me whole. Also, I’m not the maid here–I have my kids do quite a bit of the grunt work as well, but as any seasoned mom knows, there’s a good deal of training involved that often makes the teach-your-kids-how-to-clean process much longer than if you just did it yourself. Teaching them how to do it themselves is an investment, I suppose.

As far as exercise, I’m so grateful for my double jogging stroller (got it on craigslist for $50!). I walk the kids to & from school as well as try & squeeze walking sessions in sometime during the day.

bringjoy

Last Friday I asked you how you fit exercise into your day.

Lots of good suggestions for making exercise a priority, but I especially appreciated what Lisa had to say about exercise vs. sleep.

“Like you said, illness (either mine or my kids’) or other stresses can easily sabotage those plans and it really just is what it is! Sometimes life gets in the way and you just do the best you can. One thing I try to remember is the importance of sleep. If I am sleep deprived all the exercise in the world isn’t going to do a bit of good.”

That is absolutely a lesson I’ve learned lately. If I’m not well rested–who cares if I’ve exercised? I’m going to be tired, cranky & I often find I eat more in hopes of perking myself up.

I’ve also struggled with running.

First, there’s the time factor. I have a jogging stroller, but I’m not a fan of pushing anything when I’m running, especially a stroller with two kids in it. Also, I’ve mentioned that all of the extra weight puts pressure on my joints & makes running really uncomfortable. Running with an extra 30 pounds to carry is something my knees don’t appreciate!

For now, I’m mostly walking, & it’s something I can do with the kids. And it’s free. Our swimming pool is open & it’s warming up, so I’m going to try & swim laps a few times a week there too, in addition to doing yoga/pilates/weights a few times a week at home.

For awhile now I’ve been wanting to share a few of my fave new (food) finds.

I think this may become a regular feature–if that’s something you’re interested in–since I often come across products & foods that I think, “hey! I want to share that on the blog.”

Here are five foodie finds I think are pretty great.

5-foodie-finds 1. PB2 powder

pb2-powder

If you haven’t tried PB2 powder, especially if you’re looking to lose weight, it’s a great way to enjoy peanut butter at 75% fewer calories. It’s simply roasted peanuts, pressed to remove the oil. It’s all natural with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. All you do is add water & it makes a delicious peanut butter that can be used in all your fave recipes. (One way I use it is to make my low-cal siracha sesame peanut noodles–yum.)

I’ve seen posts by some other bloggers who don’t recommend PB2 powder because it’s not a “whole food,” but my opinion is–it’s whole enough(!). For someone who loves peanut butter but doesn’t need all of the extra calories that come with it, it’s a great option.

I’ve found the best price for PB2 powder is on Amazon (I order the two pack, once a month). If you have a prime membership (I do!), shipping is free. If you don’t have a prime membership, you can try it out for free for 30 days, here. After that, it’s $99/year & includes other perks like unlimited streaming of their TV shows (which includes the seasons of Downton Abbey & more) & movies.

 

2. 505 Southwestern jarred roasted green chilis &
3. Next Organics organic dark chocolate covered coconut banana

coconut-banana-green-chilis

I purchased these at…Costco.

In fact the rest of the items here are all Costco picks (I swear I have no connection with them–I wish!).

The jar of green chilis runs about $7 at Costco but the nice thing is all the work is already done for you!  The ingredients in this brand are simple: green chilis, lime, & garlic salt. No roasting, just add the chilis to sauces, dips, enchiladas (in fact, I have an green chili enchilada recipe coming up!). Remember my hummus salsa recipe from last week? I’ve been replacing salsa & using green chilis instead. Soooo good.

The dark chocolate covered coconut banana is way more of an indulgence than a necessity. The bag includes dark chocolate covered coconut and dark chocolate covered bananas (they’re not together). I like the chocolate covered coconut better than the banana, but both are good. You can get it in on Amazon, but it’s a lot cheaper at Costco (less than $10, I think).

 

4. La Croix sparkling water

sparkling-water Again, another Costco find.

They’ve now begun carrying a case that includes three awesome flavors–berry, cran-raspberry, & pamplemouse (grapefruit) flavored. Joseph thinks I’m a weirdo for drinking this stuff (“I don’t know how/why you drink that,” I think are his exact words), but I think it’s delicious! Crisp, clean, with a hint of natural flavor & a little fizz (with no calories!). The cran-raspberry is my fave. I believe it runs under $10 for a case of 24 at Costco, but you can find this brand at many other stores as well.

 

5. Zevia natural soda zevia-sparkling-water

Darn Costco. Every time I go they have a new product that I must buy. Like this Zevia. Zevia in bulk!

I love Zevia, but I rarely buy it, because I can’t afford a six pack for $5 at Whole Foods. But now Costco has suddenly made it a lot more affordable by offering 24-packs of the good stuff for $9.99. Sheesh.

I’m not saying Zevia is healthy, or that it has any nutritional benefits. But, if you like soda but not the calories, Zevia is a better alternative to diet soda. It’s sweetened with the stevia leaf rather than aspartame or Splenda, like most traditional diet drinks. The ginger root beer is my fave.

Sure, plain ol’ water will hydrate you, but sometimes you just want something a little sweet & fizzy & cold to sip on. These will do the trick.

Now for that recipe.

It’s actually not a new recipe. I first posted it on the blog last year, but decided I should re-post it since it’s one of those I really think everyone should have in their arsenal of recipes.

As I was saying earlier, after a while of being in calorie-deficit mode, I want to eat something that doesn’t *feel* like diet food. I love soups & salads & veggies, but woman can not live on those alone. You must have some indulgent foods too. And crepes taste indulgent. Though, this recipe, unlike it’s egg/butter/oil/wheat counterpart (makes my stomach churn just thinking about it!) will not weigh you down & is quite nutritious.

I love crepes because, like burritos, you can stuff them full of goodness. This recipe is not sweet, which I like–that’s what the fruit & syrup is for, in my opinion. All of these ingredients can be found at a regular grocery store, or at Costco (which is where I got them).

easy breakfast crepes -- vegan + gluten-free

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 16 medium crepes

Serving Size: 1 crepe

Calories per serving: 165

Fat grams per serving: 5 g

easy breakfast crepes -- vegan + gluten-free

a gluten-free, vegan savory breakfast crepe

Ingredients

  • 2 c. brown rice flour
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats, ground
  • 3/4 c. whole cashews*
  • 4 1/2 c. plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk (not low-calorie) + up to 1/2 c. more to thin batter
  • *I have used both roasted salted cashews, as well as raw cashews. If you use raw &/or unsalted cashews, add 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. First, I should note, I use my Blendtec to make my flours. I use whole brown rice (2 cups) & blend into flour (process on manual at a 10 for one cycle on a Blendtec). I do the same with the oats. I think a regular blender can blend the cashews & milk smoothly enough, but it's unlikely that it will be able to make the rice flour out of brown rice, in which case, you'll need to buy rice flour.
  2. To get a good crepe (ie. one that doesn't fall apart or stick to the pan), half the battle is won with a well seasoned cast iron skillet. We have two--a small & large one. I use both to get a small crepe (good for the kids) & large crepes. Heat your cast iron skillet on medium high. You'll turn it down to medium once it's hot. Spray the skillet with non-stick spray or give it a coating of olive oil--& make sure to re-coat or re-spray after each one, or at least every other one to prevent sticking.
  3. In a blender, blend cashews, salt, & milk on high until smooth.
  4. Mix with flour. The batter should be thin (thinner than pancake batter, for example).
  5. For a large cast iron skillet, I've found about 1/3-1/2 c. batter works well per crepe. Pour batter on skillet & grab handle & tilt back & forth until batter is evenly spread on the bottom of the pan. If batter is too thick to do this, add a splash of milk to thin batter (about 1/4 cup cup--add 2 tablespoons at a time). Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the the top of the crepe is no longer wet & appears cooked.
  6. To get the crepe out of the pan, you need a thin, wide spatula. I've found that going gently around the edges, lifting the edges of the crepe away from the pan, & then removing the entire crepe helps to get it out without much damage.
  7. Adjust the heat of your stove as necessary. It shouldn't take more than 4 minutes to cook a large crepe. If it takes longer, chances are you are using too much batter (crepes should be about 1/8" inch when cooked) or your stove isn't hot enough. You don't want to burn the crepes either, so be patient. It may take a few crepes to get it down.
  8. NOTE: These freeze really well. Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container with crepes lying flat.

Additional nutrition info: 26 g carbs, 5 g protein, 2 g sugar, 46 mg sodium; 4 WWP points

I really think you should make these this weekend. For Sunday brunch maybe?

Hope you have a great weekend.

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Comments


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  2. weight loss
    on May 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm said:

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  4. Magic and Mayhem
    on April 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm said:

    Congrats on the weight loss and progress. From another mom of five, congrats on getting your house in order, too. I’m definitely bad at that part. :) Just a note to those who are gluten free because of allergies, oats are generally NOT considered safe for people who are Celiac or intolerant to gluten (even gluten free oats). Here’s more info: http://www.examiner.com/article/why-oats-are-not-safe-for-most-people-on-gluten-free-diets You should be able to substitute another safe flour for the oats, though. Crepes are usually very adaptable when it comes to flours.

    • Janae Wise
      on April 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm said:

      Hi Alicia!

      Thanks for the info about oats. I actually am aware of the contamination factor, but assume that people with Celiac are already buying gf oats &/or know that oats need to be certified gluten-free in order to be gluten-free. I wasn’t aware that Celiacs needed to stay away from certified gluten-free oats too. I have a gluten intolerance & have found that some brands of oatmeal doesn’t agree with me, while others are fine, but I don’t have Celiac. Do you have Celiac? I’m wondering if it would be helpful to put a note on all my recipes with oats re: the contamination factor, but I don’t want to be redundant.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  5. Shannon
    on April 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm said:

    I am blown away by how perfect those crepes are with such simple/wholesome ingredients. I’m definitely going to try these. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Janae Wise
      on April 13, 2014 at 7:47 pm said:

      Thanks Shannon!

      This is one of my fave recipes, because as you say, such simple wholesome ingredients, & such a lovely & delicious end product. Another piece of evidence that compassionate, nutritious food can be mind-blowingly good.

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  7. Iluska Ikeda
    on April 11, 2014 at 11:22 pm said:

    You look amazing!!!! Oh my goodness! And hey, I’m in the middle of a weight loss program as well (which is why I came to your blog…). Buying your book tonight. One way I fit exercise in my life everyday is nap time! I can get about 20 mins of it, and the rest I use for some chores. It’s made such a difference since I started doing it every day.

    Thank you for the crepes recipe. I’ll have to try that this weekend. Yum!

    Also, do you have a Kindle? I have a gift for you to be sent to the Kindle if you have one. Let me know. :)

    I know I’ve been absent, but your blog is always one in my mind.

    • Janae Wise
      on April 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm said:

      Iluska, you’re very sweet. Thank you!

      Oh, I love your nap time idea. Have you tried the Firm’s 20 minute workouts? 20 minutes is actually the perfect amount of time, I think. It’s long enough to get some good sweat time in & is totally doable when you’re tight on time (which is like, all of us!). Problem with nap time is, I have so many things I want to get done during that time. Usually that’s when I end up doing blog stuff. But isn’t nap time wonderful? I’m so glad my 3 year old still naps. It’s my saving grace.

      How’s your baby doing these days? Probably not a baby any more, right?

      Nice to hear from you, & let me know if you have any questions about the book–I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

      Have a great weekend!

  8. Beth @ Tasty Yummies
    on April 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm said:

    You look beautiful, before and after. You are glowing and happy, you can see it.
    And these crepes look amazing. Is it weird that I have NEVER had a crepe? Like ever ever.

    • Janae Wise
      on April 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm said:

      Thank YOU Beth–you are too too kind. You’ve certainly improved my day!

      And, what?!!! Never had a crepe? I don’t believe it. Girl, you better get crackin’. These things are amazing. The traditional crepe is anything but gluten-free so I can see why maybe you’ve never had one. And it’s typically loaded with butter & eggs & sugar. So again, I can see why you’ve never had one before. But this recipe is right up your alley :)

  9. Lisa C.
    on April 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm said:

    Well, someone just made MY day! ;)

    Isn’t Costco wonderful? I didn’t see the Zevia at mine when I was there last week, but you better believe that I will be looking next time! I love that stuff.

    Does yours have the organic apple chips? They are just crunchy, dried, organic apples slices. Nothing else is added and they are delicious! $6 for a huge bag!

    It’s really too bad that you live so far away. I think we should be next door neighbors. :)

    • Janae Wise
      on April 11, 2014 at 11:35 pm said:

      Ah Lisa, we would be besties in real life, I’m sure!

      I haven’t tried those apple chips yet…every time I see them there though, I am tempted. Joseph is always like: what new did you buy at Costco *this* time?!” And I’m like: “oh I could have bought so much more, believe me! you should be proud this is *all* I bought.” Though, the apple chips are going on my list!

      And yes, Costco, to me, is a magical place of wonder & happiness. Which is why, they get all of our money :) (or at least a good chunk of our grocery budget each month.)

  10. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    on April 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm said:

    Love the Crepe recipe! Cashews are my favorite nut :)
    You go girl on that weight loss! You are doing great XOXO

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