Comfort Food on the Griddle

February 5 is International Pancake Day. Give your pancakes a tasty twist with these healthy mix-in ideas from IHOP. If

February 5 is International Pancake Day. Give your pancakes a tasty twist with these healthy mix-in ideas from IHOP.

If you like blueberries in your pancakes, you’ll love blackberries or red raspberries.

If you like apples and cinnamon, you’ll love pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts, and diced apples.

Comfort Food on the Griddle
If you like strawberries, you’ll love dried sweetened cranberries.

If you like bananas, you’ll love diced pears, mangoes and pumpkin pie filling.

If you like nuts, you’ll love almonds, oatmeal, granola and honey.

If you like chocolate, you’ll love roughly chopped good dark chocolate, which provides a healthy dose of antioxidants.

From Light & Tasty

You’d never guess there’s bran in these moist, tasty pancakes that are drizzled with a sweet orange sauce. “My children are grown, but they still request this for breakfast when they come home,” writes Marie Cockerham of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Your family will surely flip over these flapjacks, too!

Category: Lower Fat
Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 15 min.
Total: 30 min.

You Will Need
Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup All-Bran

Orange Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 medium navel orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped

What to Do
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. In another bowl, beat egg; stir in milk, orange peel and bran. Let stand for 1-2 minutes or until bran is softened. Add to dry ingredients; mix well.
3. Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot nonstick griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown.
4. For syrup, combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Gradually stir in orange juice, butter and orange peel. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in chopped orange. Serve with pancakes.

Serves 7

Nutrition Facts: One serving (2 pancakes with 2 1/2 tablespoons syrup) equals 272 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 432 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1 fruit.

From Taste of Home

Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min
Total: 10 min

You Will Need
2 slices wheat, rye or sourdough bread
2 tablespoons softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 slices white cheese (brick, Monterey Jack or Swiss)
2 slices yellow cheese (cheddar, pepper or taco)
1 red onion slice
1 tomato slice

What to Do
1. For each slice of bread spread cream cheese on one side and spread butter on the other. On one side of bread, with cream cheese side up, layer the white cheese, yellow cheese, onion and tomato. Top with the other slice of bread, cream cheese side down.

2. Toast sandwich for 2-3 minutes on each side or until bread is lightly browned. Remove from the heat; cover until cheese melts.

Serves 1

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich equals 747 calories, 59 g fat (36 g saturated fat), 173 mg cholesterol, 1,484 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 26 g protein.

From Taste of Home

Prep: 20 min.
Total: 20 min.

You Will Need
4 slices Italian bread (1 inch thick)
4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese or provolone cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

What to Do
1. Cut a 3-inch pocket in each slice of bread; place a slice of cheese in each pocket.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, Italian seasoning and garlic salt.

Soak bread for 2 minutes on each side. Coat with bread crumbs.
3. Cook on a hot griddle for 1-2 minutes on each side or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 310 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 186 mg cholesterol, 856 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 17 g protein.

From Simple & Delicious

Hefty Grilled Ham ’n’ Jack Cheese sandwiches from Jayne Ward in Eldon, Missouri, are “fast, filling and nice enough to serve company,” she says.

Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 10 min.
Total: 15 min.

You Will Need
4 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices Texas toast
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
16 thin slices deli ham
4 slices red onion, optional
4 tablespoons ranch salad dressing
4 slices pepper Jack cheese

What to Do
1. Butter one side of each slice of Texas toast. On the unbuttered sides of four slices, layer cheddar cheese, half of the ham, onion if desired and remaining ham; spread with ranch dressing. Top with pepper Jack cheese and remaining toast, buttered side up.

2. On a hot griddle, cook sandwiches for 3-4 minutes or until bottoms of sandwiches are browned. Carefully turn; cook 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4

From Weeknight Cooking Made Easy

These hot grilled sandwiches are a yummy choice for last-minute meals.

Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mixture, is available in mild and hot varieties and can be found in the Italian or pickle section of your grocery store. You can also cook the sandwiches on an indoor panini grill.

Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 10 min.
Total: 20 min.

You Will Need
2 packages (12 ounces each) refrigerated breaded chicken breast tenders
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 slices Italian bread
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup giardiniera
8 slices mozzarella cheese

What to Do
1. Heat chicken tenders in the microwave according to package directions.

2. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices, buttered side down, on a griddle or panini grill.
3. Spread each slice with 1 tablespoon tomato sauce; top with two to three chicken tenders, 1 tablespoon giardiniera and two slices of cheese. Top with remaining bread, butter side up.
4. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, turning once if using a griddle.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich equals 653 calories, 33 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 145 mg cholesterol, 1,567 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 41 g protein.

From Cooking for 2

Grilled indoors, this delightful sandwich can be enjoyed any time of year. “The honey mustard dressing gives the chicken plenty of pizzazz, and the apples and pecans lend a lively crunch,” notes Lisa Huff of Birmingham, Alabama.

Prep: 20 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Total: 25 min.

You Will Need
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon snipped fresh dill
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
6 slices white bread
4 teaspoons butter, softened

What to Do
1. In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, apple and pecans; add dressing and toss to coat.
2. Spread half of the chicken salad on two slices of bread. Top each with another slice of bread, remaining chicken salad and remaining bread. Spread butter on both sides of sandwiches.
3. Cook on a panini maker or indoor grill until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Serves 2

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich (prepared with reduced-fat mayonnaise and reduced-fat cheese) equals 730 calories, 42 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 116 mg cholesterol, 1,155 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 39 g protein.

From Taste of Home

Chicken Florentine Panini, from Lee Bremson of Kansas City, Missouri, brings an Italian flair to this speedy meal. The grilled sandwich combines chicken with provolone cheese, spinach and red onion.

Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 15 min.
Total: 25 min.

You Will Need
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 slices sourdough bread
1/4 cup creamy Italian salad dressing
8 slices provolone cheese
1/2 pound shaved deli chicken
2 slices red onion, separated into rings

What to Do
1. In a large skillet, sauté spinach in oil for 2 minutes or until wilted.

2. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread the unbuttered side of four slices with salad dressing; layer with a cheese slice, chicken, spinach, onion and another cheese slice. Top with remaining bread, buttered side up.

3. Cook in a panini maker or on a griddle until golden brown on both sides.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 582 calories, 26 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 1,688 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 23 g protein.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest