Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gladiator Pancakes

Last weekend we flew from Rome to the UK for a weekend trip to Richmond Upon Thames, outside London. We spent the weekend walking along the Thames, playing on the green and visiting with friends for P's birthday. It was a much needed change of air and scenery. I realized that feeding a toddler can be challenging while on the road, and I have spent the last two days since we returned home making sure he gets salmon, broccoli, kiwi and what has evolved into "the Breakfast of Gladiators."

When I was pregnant with Roman, my enormous belly got a lot of attention and Romans around the city center would say he must be a campeone or gladiatore, which always made me smile. Since I am the sole "provider" in the kitchen, I take our meals very seriously, and even more so since I'm raising a gladiator.

Enter the pancake. In its "pure" form of white flour and butter, it's not the healthiest choice for breakfast. But with a whole lot of tinkering in the form of cooked oatmeal, spelt flour, grated apple and cottage cheese, it makes for a complete meal, not to mention one that is portable and stroller (or shall I say "buggy") friendly.

Gladiator Pancakes

All winter long I have been making some form of this pancake. When I started I would use the homemade fruit purees that Roman never ate. The pancakes in the photo above have coconut oil and pumpkin puree. There was also a version with pureed prunes and apricots. You can also add ricotta instead of the cottage cheese.

1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cooked oatmeal (3/4 cup uncooked oats and 1 cup water, prepared in microwave or on stove top)
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 apple or pear, grated

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon with a whisk. Add the milk and beaten eggs. Stir in the cottage cheese, cooked oatmeal and grated apple or pear. Cook on a skillet with butter for several minutes each side and serve hot with pure maple syrup. Freeze any leftovers and reheat in the toaster oven.


  1. Thanks for all the variations on the recipe. I wanna make some pumpkin spelt!

    I totally messed up your cecina recipe. I think I made them too thick and they are staying watery. They're in the oven for the second time now, trying to dry out ;)

  2. I might try with ricotta. I don't think I'll be able to get my Italian to eat cottage cheese—even if it is cooked in.

  3. The cecina was still a little soggy and thick, but really, it reminded me of polenta a lot! I actually think I might start using it as polenta. I think what happened is I got my measurements wrong. I needed to convert to cups.

  4. a true breakfast of champs! i like your unusual additions. I am going to try adding cooked oatmeal. and i just happen to have some spelt flour around which I bought to make a bread starter. Roman is definitively going to be a great gladiator!

  5. Hello,

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