Easy Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly)

Easy Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten Free, and Allergy Friendly)

This week while perusing social media (aka Facebook), I saw this really interesting set of pancake recipes from Buzzfeed. They had a set of about four recipes including peaches, blueberries, mixed berries, and banana chocolate chip. It looked really easy and good so I thought about how to change it to a vegan, gluten free, and allergy friendly diet. As you can see below, it’s pretty easy.

Though I must admit, I have the hardest time flipping pancakes. As funny as it is, this recipe is absolute perfection for my lack of flipping skills in the kitchen.

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Banana and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Now as I was looking at the ingredients, it seemed pretty easy overall. You have a dry pancake mix, eggs, milk, and toppings. It’s pretty easy overall to substitute the eggs and milk for vegan versions. For me, I used home made hemp milk and flax eggs to replace those two. The pancake mix I used was from Namaste though you can use any pre-made mix or even your own dry mix. Also, since my baking sheet is small, I halved the recipe and it still came out perfect. Below is the half recipe. For the full recipe, you can find it on Buzzfeed here. The directions are pretty much the same as the original recipe. I just used a smaller temperature¬†in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pancake Dry Mix
  • 1 cup Nondairy Milk
  • 2 Flax Eggs
  • Toppings of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. In the meantime, grind a couple tablespoons of flax seeds into a flaxseed meal. Add 5 tablespoons of water to 2 tablespoons of the flaxseed meal in a bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. In your electric mixer (or bowl), add all ingredients except your toppings. Then mix together.
  5. Pour the batter into the sheet pan and spread to the edges. Add your toppings then place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
  6. Once fully cooked, serve immediately and enjoy!
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Chicken Tacos Over Rice (Vegan Options)

Chicken Tacos Over Rice (Vegan Options)

Tacos are just one of those meals that are easy to prepare yet savory for a busy weeknight. Most of the time, it’s beef or pork that you get in the various restaurants but the chicken is pretty awesome too. If you’re vegan or interested in going a vegetarian route, the Lightlife brand has some amazing soy crumbles which are perfect and less expensive than a pound of hamburger.

If you’re not into rice, it also tastes amazing on top of a bed of lettuce as a salad. Lately, when I make my chicken “tacos” (I don’t have any home made tortillas on hand when the craving hits at times), I just toss it onto a bed of lettuce and add all my toppings from non-dairy queso cheese sauce to home made guacamole with a bit of extra lime squeezed over everything. It tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts (approx. 1lb) (If Vegan/Vegetarian, use soy crumbles or extra firm tofu! ūüôā )
  • Taco seasoning (ex. McCormick, Old El Paso, or even home made is fine)
  • Rice of choice
  • Bell peppers sliced thin
  • Sweet onion sliced thin (1/2 to whole onion)
  • Medium to High heat oil of choice (I use canola oil)
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Prepare rice in your rice cooker or saucepan as directed on the bag of rice.
  2. Cut chicken breasts and add to large frying pan with oil. Turn heat on medium to medium low.
  3. Cut bell peppers and onions fajita style. Set aside till chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, add the vegetables to the pan. Add a bit more oil if necessary so the vegetables do not stick to the pan. Stir then cover with a lid. Occasionally, remove the lid and stir the chicken and vegetables till the vegetables are desired softness.
  5. Add taco seasoning and water according to instructions on the seasoning packet.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes on low heat or till sauce is thickened.
  7. Once rice and your chicken tacos are ready, plate and serve over the rice.

Options (Vegan/Vegetarian): If you’re vegan or wanting a vegan/vegetarian option, try replacing the meat above with soy crumbles or even extra firm tofu.¬†

Option 2: If you want to add an Asian flair to your meal, try a Thai Sweet Chili sauce instead of taco seasoning. 

How to Make Easy Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free, & Non-Vegan Options)

How to Make Easy Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (Vegan, Gluten Free, & Non-Vegan Options)

I don’t know about you but since fall weather is approaching (Yay for no scorching heat days!), I tend to want warm, hearty meals for breakfast. What better breakfast than oatmeal? It’s simple, you can make it sweet or savory, and it can be vegan or non-vegan too!

My all-time favorite flavoring for oatmeal has been maple and brown sugar. Ever since I was young, this has been my ultimate go-to. Usually, it was instant oatmeal, as it was quick and easy to make, but now that I am experimenting more, I like using my own ingredients to make it rather than just using it out of a box. It has fewer chemicals and preservatives overall. Below is a photo of the ingredients I used minus the oatmeal. I love purchasing Gerbs Gluten Free Oats as they are allergy friendly and I can get a 4lb bag for about $30 on Amazon Prime.

Ingredients Maple & Brown Sugar

Ingredients – Cinnamon Powder, Vanilla Extract, Light Brown sugar, and Maple Syrup

The longest wait, I must admit is getting the water to boil. I love my pans but getting the water to boil on medium heat seems to take forever! Though must admit, doesn’t everything seem to take forever when you’re feeling hungry? Anyways! I hope you all will enjoy the simple and semi-healthy (at least less of a chemical storm really) for your morning breakfast!

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Gluten Free Oats Cooking in sauce pan

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked Gluten Free Traditional Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 heaping Tbs of Organic Light Brown Sugar
  • A Dash of Vanilla Extract
  • A Dash of Ground Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup to taste

Directions:

  1. Add water to soup pot and boil.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, add oatmeal.
  3. Bring water back to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes.
  4. Cover and remove from heat for about 5 minutes till oats are soft.
  5. Pour cooked oatmeal into a serving bowl (or 2 if your sharing!). Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Enjoy while hot!

Optional (vegan): Add fruit like cut bananas for an extra healthy and sweet bonus! Another option would be to add some flavored tempeh or extra firm tofu possibly with a sauce drizzled on top.

Optional (non-vegan): If you’re not vegan, you can add ham, bacon, eggs, and perhaps a bit of spice like chili flakes or sriracha¬†on top to make it more savory and have an added bonus of protein and heat. The possibilities¬†are endless!

Frankies Fun Park in Raleigh

If you’ve never been to a “fun park” per se, this place would be a good experience. One could think Frankies in Raleigh is a mix of county fair meets Dave and Busters arcade. Lots of flashing lights inside and a bit noisy but thats to be expected in an arcade. But rest assured, this place isn’t just an arcade with lots of lights. Nope. They have a lot more they offer. Some of the attractions are:

  • Laser tag 
  • Bumper cars
  • A couple racetracks
  • Bumper boats
  • Mini golf
  • And more.

Granted I just enjoyed the arcade part while my friends/coworkers enjoyed going on one of the racetracks and the arcade. Outside, they have multiple rides as mentioned in the list above that seems like a county fair in a way but a lot of fun and a decent open space so it doesn’t feel too crowded. Of course I was there when not too many people were there so was a good time overall as I figure come summer and when schools are out, it must get crowded at least.

Inside the building where the arcade is located, they have card machines that can be used just about anywhere, a food court type of area (which I didn’t venture to but was tempted to see about an iced tea or coffee), of course the laser tag, and also a 3d type of game. They also have skee-ball, an air hockey pac man game, some basketball hoop games, bowling, and more. They do have quite a few prize machines, a fruit ninja game (which sadly froze on me after the third game or so oops.), a walking dead and jurassic park games, and a couple photo booths too.

They do have ample parking though they could use a few more handicapped parking spots. The building is also pretty colorful with reds, blues, and yellow/orange colors. It certainly grabs one’s attention. The only downer (besides being a bit expensive) is that when driving up, you have to pass it and make a u-turn at the next opportunity to get on the correct side if your coming from Route 40 east/Rt 147 onto Alexander Drive. Other than that, its pretty easy to get to the park.

I would definetly go back again and enjoy more of the games! I’ve included a link below for anyone who might be planning a trip to the area or who, like me before today really, has never heard of this arcade fun park.

Frankies Fun Park in Raleigh