Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I am ushering in the New Year by cooking up a storm today! Started with wholesome vegan whole wheat chocolate-coconut pancakes (using unsweetened chocolate and coconut, there is plenty of sugar in the syrup). Then making spicy black bean soup, roasted chickpeas (for snacking), a nice big salad for the week, and HOMEMADE SEITAN!! So much cheaper, and better, to make your own, and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple weeks. Woo Hoo!!
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Pancakes (single serving)
1/2 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water
1/2 unsweetened milk alternative (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened (or semi-sweet) dark chocolate chips (vegan)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Mix dry ingredients until combined. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and coconut. You may need to add additional milk (by the tablespoon) to get batter to desired thickness. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat and add 1/2 the batter. Cook until bubbles form on top and flip. Cook until set. Repeat with remaining batter. Top with vegan butter spread (optional) and pure maple syrup (or other toppings of your choice).
I don't like to say I am making a "resolution", I prefer to call them goals. I have several for 2012. One of those goals is to post to this blog at least once a month. I also have running-related goals; I will run a race a month in 2012, I will complete a half marathon in 2012, I will run 4 days a week in 2012, I will increase my weekly mileage to 20-25 miles per week. I continue to lose weight by exercising and eating a healthy diet.
The race a month goal is hardest in the winter. There are only a handful of races in January and February. I am already planning on running The Thaw (4.5 miler) on January 14th. February's race is still undetermined. I also have 3 half marathons I am considering. The soonest is April 7th, Race the Runways, and I am already registered for the Second Annual Old Port Half Marathon (I was actually registered for it last year, but was sidelined with an injury so they graciously deferred my registration). Developing a 4-day 20-25 mile a week habit will take some time... perhaps the entire year. But it's a very worthy goal and one I'm willing to be patient to develop.
There are certain times of the year when I can't help but be optimistic and full of hope for the future and New Year's is one of them (I tend to get this way in the fall and spring as well). The coming year is filled with possibilities and opportunies to increase happiness, joyfulness, knowledge, and health.
What are you doing to celebrate a new year?

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