Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dressed Up Pancakes and Another Whole Foods Dinner

Sunday morning I decided to make myself a nice big brunch.  Without eggs or dairy in the mix, the best option I could think of was pancakes.  Fortunately, I love a nice sweet breakfast, so I got to work turning regular, boring pancakes into dressed up pancakes fit for a king ... or queen! 
This mix from Arrowhead Mills clearly anticipates a vegan might be using it, since the directions call for one egg "or egg substitute" and milk or "Westsoy soymilk or Westsoy rice milk".  I went out on a limb and assumed any old brand of soymilk would do, even if the Arrowhead Mills people weren't getting a kickback for it. 
I thought it was a bit odd, given the egg and milk substitutions suggested, that they didn't suggest an alternative for honey in the directions.  Either way, I just used agave nectar and everything seemed just fine.  Actually, I didn't even have canola oil on hand, so I melted down some Earth Balance vegan butter and used that instead.  I guess the only thing I actually used per their directions was the mix itself! 
To dress up the pancakes I added in some peanut butter (of course ... I'm obsessed!), chopped hazlenuts, and sweetened shredded coconut. 
The pancakes were amazingly delicious!  Actually, I guess I should say "pancake" because I poured way too much mix in and ended up making one giant pancake on my first go around, so that one pancake ended up being my brunch.  I made two more normal-sized pancakes to save for Monday.  Of course, I topped my pancake with a generous pour of maple syrup, just for extra sweetness. 
A little later in the afternoon my stomach started grumbling a bit, so I snacked on some instant grits with salt, pepper, and a bit of Earth Balance.  They don't look like much, but they tasted great and were perfect to satisfy just a little hunger. 
When it came time to start thinking about dinner my boyfriend and I decided to head out to grab a quick dinner and then go see Star Trek Into Darkness.  The same theater I went to for The Great Gatsby earlier in the week is just over two miles from our apartment, so we decided to walk down to the theater to enjoy the weather and get a bit of exercise before sitting for two hours in the movie. 

On our walk we passed by the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial, which is a relatively new memorial located just a few blocks from the Inner Harbor.  Though it's not well known and is a bit out of the way, the memorial is really beautiful in its simplicity. 

In the center of the plaza there is a statue depicting emaciated bodies engulfed by flames. 

Around the base of the statue it reads: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".  It's a beautiful, if emotionally jarring, piece.
As we walked further along we saw tons of beautiful flowers.  It's still spring for now ... but it's getting a lot warmer and these beauties will dry up before too long. 

Before the movie we darted into Whole Foods to grab dinner from their prepared foods bar.  Deja vu, huh?  This time I grabbed some roasted tomatoes, garlic pasta, curried eggplant, and one piece of General Tso's tofu.  Random, I realize.  The General Tso's tofu was actually really horrible, and the eggplant wasn't much better.  But the tomatoes and garlic pasta were quite good.  You really have to just learn what's good through trial and error here.  Which is why I like to try so many different things!  We didn't grab any movie snacks, so this dinner was going to need to hold me over until we got home. 

If anyone is curious, I had pretty mixed feelings on the movie.  I'm a pretty big Star Trek fan, so I understood and appreciated a lot of the "in" jokes, but my loyalty to the original franchise made me irritated by a lot of things too.  Not to mention I hate that Karl Urban is just doing a really bad Bones impression the whole time.  I won't give away the movie by discussing it too much.  I'll just say the acting and special effects are good, but the plot is severely lacking and really just relies on content from the original TV show and one of the movies to fill in story line they didn't feel like writing. 
Once we got home from the movie I was pretty pooped, not to mention sweaty.  (The two miles to the theater is basically all down hill, which means it's all up hill on the way back!)  So I dug into a mango popsicle to cool me down and to serve as dessert / a late night snack.  It was the perfect end to the day. 

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