Um, this week flew by. I can’t believe it’s Saturday. If you’re participating, how is your Minimalist Foodie Challenge progressing? I’m happy to report that we fared way better than expected, but I do have a few lessons learned that I’ll be applying to Week 3, which starts tomorrow. But first things first. I am long overdue on the recipe sharing front, so let’s get this weekend kicked off right with this recipe for Whole Grain Waffles.
Whole Grain Waffles
Besides getting my kitchen act sorted out, one of the other projects I’m working on this year is to “show love”. Obviously cooking for my family and friends is my go-to method. What illustrates gratitude for those at your table more than a home-cooked meal? In addition to cooking for my loved ones, I like to show love by making sure that what I’m slapping onto their plates is nutritious and wholesome. Since embarking upon the Minimalist Foodie Challenge, developing recipes that are whole-food and sugar-free is even more top of mind, and these Whole Grain Waffles really step up to the plate.
I am no waffle connoisseur but my kid is, and he declared these “puuuuurfect”. When I asked him if they were better than the diner waffles he so loves, he said “Oh, definitely. I think they’re even better than those waffles mommy”. Let’s be honest – when the pickiest of all picky 7-year olds declares whole grain waffles as delicious, they must be so. My kid’s never met a white food he didn’t love, so to hear his enthusiastic approval was all the confirmation I needed. #winning #nailedit
These waffles are crunchy on the outside and light and cakey on the inside (as they should be), sweetened with just a touch of honey and vanilla extract. I used yogurt in place of the majority of the milk, which lends a slight tanginess, balanced by a healthy dose of butter. This recipe makes four generous Belgian-style waffles or eight standard ones. I use half whole wheat and half white flour to keep the texture on point but feel free to experiment with 100% whole wheat. You’ll likely need to add a little water or milk (2 or so extra tablespoons should do it) to thin out the batter, and you may want to use a full 8 tablespoons of butter instead of 6.
Many, if not most, recipes for waffles call for whipped egg whites. I’ve skipped that step here because time (and I don’t believe the final product is lacking in the airiness department). If you choose to go the route of 100% whole wheat, I recommend whipping your egg whites; it will help with the texture. To do so, separate your eggs and add the yolks only to the other wet ingredients. Then, whip the whites until soft peaks form and then fold them into the wet ingredients. Then, incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients and proceed as directed.
Minimalist Foodie Challenge Week 2 Feedback
Meal Planning. I used to be a diligent, and some might even say “overzealous”, meal planner. But when I started working from home about a year and a half ago, I fell off the wagon. It’s been a long time since I planned out our week far enough in advance to do all of my grocery shopping in one trip. The planner in me thinks “Well, of course, you’re going to waste less if you buy it all in one go, instead of letting yourself pick whatever the heck you want each day”. So far this strategy has proved useful – we did much better on food waste this week than we have in years, and I credit that with planning the week out. I do miss my daily walks to the grocery store, but I have some extra time in the day. So I’m gonna call that breaking even.
Leftovers. Leftovers were more generous than I’d anticipated. Either that or my stomach is shrinking. Whatever the reason, we still have several portions of leftovers we need to consume despite eating them for lunch daily.
Snacking. Another surprise for me was that I snacked way less than typical. Having a plan for breakfast and lunch make me actually eat breakfast and lunch, instead of grazing all day. This significantly slashed my snackage throughout the week, and I will adjust my snack plan accordingly in weeks to come.
Considering Our Schedule. Cameron and I had a freelance job this week for a food client, and we had quite a bit leftover from that shoot. Because their meals are freaking delicious and also 100% whole foods, we indulged in their leftovers all day long on Thursday, which covered both lunch and dinner. Chances are, you’re probably not a food photographer, but this is a good reminder not to overlook work events, meals with friends and family, or other activities that pop up and disrupt your otherwise impressive menu plan.
These factors resulted in me cooking only five out of our seven planned meals this week, and I still have enough leftovers to feed us well for lunch and dinner today. The ingredients for these meals are still good, so I’ll either make those recipes this coming week or incorporate the ingredients into other meals. For Week 3, I’m going to plan out a total of five dinners and see if that puts me in a happier waste space at week’s end. But so far we haven’t thrown away a single leftover or rotten food, so I’m giving myself a gigantic pat on the back there.
The best success of the week? Most definitely breakfast. I completely underestimated the power of a densely nutritious vegetable and protein packed breakfast, and how well it would set my foodie mood for the rest of the day. So much so that I only had oatmeal, opting to have veggie hash or leftover roasted vegetables from dinner topped with an egg. About half the week I didn’t even have my smoothie because I was still full from breakfast. It was also easier than I expected to fit time into the morning to prepare a proper breakfast, although I’m sure the task was made easier by how great I knew I’d feel. I’m super stoked to find and develop more veggie-packed breakfasts to share with you.
I will see y’all tomorrow with the Week 3 meal plan! xoxo
Whole Grain Waffles and Week 2 Wrap-Up
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c all-purpose white flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter melted
- 1.5 c greek yogurt
- 3/4 c milk
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- real maple syrup
- Heat up your waffle iron. I use a medium heat setting on mine, which makes the exterior crunchy, but prevents the outside from getting too browned.
- Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a second bowl, combine the melted butter, greek yogurt, milk, honey, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk all wet ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly until combined. You may need a few extra splashes of milk or water to thin it out. You want the consistency to be like brownie batter.
- Scoop the batter into the waffle iron and bake until done, 3-5 minutes or so, depending on what type of iron you're using. Your waffle iron will also dictate how much batter to scoop in. For Belgian waffles, I put a scant 1/4 cup into each well.
- Serve immediately. These keep well in the fridge, reheated in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes.