Fool Your Taste Buds This April Fools' Day
Rather than play jokes on those so fortunate to be around you, fool yourself via the taste buds with pranks you’ll be happy to fall for. So trick (or treat) yourself to this fool-filled meal plan. On April 1st, you can almost get away with murder; but with these dishes, your body should gladly submit to sabotage.
Rolled-Oat Pumpkin Pancakes
Fluffy pumpkin pancakes – what’s not to love? The ingredients? The calorie-count? The preparation? With this health-friendly recipe, you’ll be pulling out a whisk, bowl and skillet faster than the speed of light. The trick to these round slabs of goodness is that they lack a key ingredient – flour.
Instead, the base of these pancakes is rolled oats. With rolled oats as a substitution, you can pack in fiber, vitamins and minerals. This is far better than white flour, which is stripped of many health benefits that often leave you hungry for more. But the health perks in these pumpkin pancakes doesn’t stop there.
Adding pumpkin to the mix increases anti-oxidants, packs vitamins A, C and E and can help maintain cholesterol and weight. The pumpkin’s high amount of carotenoids, which give it the vibrant orange color, helps prevent premature aging, heart disease and other infections. Pumpkin is a popular fall flavor, but not to worry; you’ll still be falling for these this spring!
½ cup egg whites
½ cup uncooked old fashioned oats
¼ cup almond milk
4 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons natural maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of pumpkin pie spice
1 mashed banana
Mix together the egg whites, oats, mashed banana, pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.
Spray a medium sized pan with cooking spray and set heat to medium-low. The lower heat is the key to making sure the pancake doesn’t burn.
Pour in pancake batter and cook until little bubbles form. When ready, carefully flip the pancake.
Cook until pancake is done in the middle.
Top with maple syrup, peanut butter, almond butter – the options are endless!
Black Bean Burger
There’s no denying that the hamburger is an iconic American food enjoyed nationwide. Top it with the classic mustard, ketchup, cheese and grilled onion fixes for a mouth-watering bite; but the beef’s grease and grime from high-sodium and trans-fats will wreak havoc on your heart, and could magnify your midriff.
So this April Fools’ Day, trick your taste buds with another type of patty. It, too, is round, brown and juicy. You will be fooled when you find out it is made out of black beans instead of meat. Even a die-hard carnivore will fall for this tasty trick.
Black beans are packed with protein. One cup of these little legumes provides over half of the recommended daily requirement for fiber. They are also a good source of magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure and maintain balanced levels of iron for ample red blood cells. These patties are bean-eficial, to say the least.
Makes 4 patties
15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Heat a skillet with non-stick spray and add the peppers, red onion, and garlic in to the skillet when warm. Cook until they begin to brown.
Blend cooked veggies with parsley. Pulse several times.
Add the beans and pulse five or six times. (The beans should be broken up but there should still be some small chunks. Don’t over process, as you want your bean burgers to be a little chunky.)
Transfer the veggie and bean mixture into large bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs and other remaining ingredients and form into four patties.
In the same skillet, heat on medium, spray non-stick spray and add the patties, cook each side until browned, about 6-7 minutes total.
Tune into your romantic side on the evening of the 1st with a pasta dish a la “Lady and The Tramp.” The two precious pups puckered over a decadent bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. This special recipe will keep the love on the lips and the pounds off the hips. But there’s a catch. Instead of carb-infused strands of the Italian delicacy, this pasta is made out of zucchini.
The long vegetable is ideal for peeling thin strands. Your mind will be easily fooled into thinking it is linguini. Since zucchini is mild in its taste, any flavors, garnishes, spices, and sauces can complement the vegetable. For a heartier, satisfying meal, top the zucchini linguini with meat sauce or tomato sauce with cut sausage. Trader Joe’s has a number of organic turkey and chicken sausages that are cost-friendly, organic and delicious. For a lighter flavor, garnish the zucchini with olive oil, basil, chopped tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and chili flakes to taste. Either way – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Kosher salt and black pepper (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise.
Add the zucchini slices to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes leaving the zucchini al dente.
Garnish with tomato sauce, meatballs, olive oil – your choice!
Recipes are insipred by those found on www.eatingbirdfood.com.
Reach Erika Ostroff here.