Tag Archives: breakfast

Three Random Breakfasts, and Pomegranate Seeds

I’ve been trying to add more variety to breakfast lately.

tofu potato scramble

Here’s my favorite tofu scramble with potatoes, sweet red peppers, and onions. Served with Ezekiel sesame toast and cranberry salad.

 

cinnamon chip pancakes

Maple cinnamon chip pancakes, made for Lance. These were ok. I like the base pancake recipe I use (this time minus the sweet potatoes), and I added maple flavor, brown sugar instead of granulated, and some cinnamon chips (vegetarian). I was not impressed with the cinnamon chips.

 

granola with pomegranate seeds

Cherry flax granola with pomegranate seeds and coconut milk.

I love pomegranate seeds! I have tried pomegranates before, but didn’t love them until I learned how to de-seed a pomegranate without a big red mess all over my (mostly white) kitchen.

 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodSweet potato lends subtle flavor and a nutrition boost to these simple pancakes. Lance loved them, and he’s not a big sweet potato fan. They pair well with Herbed Breakfast Sausage patties from Vegan Diner, our favorite vegan breakfast meat.

I cook the sweet potato in the microwave to save time. Scrub it well, pierce the skin a few times with a fork, and microwave on high power for about 4 minutes, until fork-tender. When the potato is cool enough to handle, slice it in half, scoop out the tender insides, and it’s practically mashed already.

 

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes

Makes about 12 3-inch pancakes.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about one medium sweet potato)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I use SoDelicious coconut beverage)
canola oil, for oiling griddle or pan (optional)

Directions:
Start heating a nonstick griddle or well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Blend well with a fork. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, combine mashed sweet potato, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Blend well. Whisk in non-dairy milk with a fork until well-blended.

Add sweet potato mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just blended. The mixture may puff up as the baking powder starts leavening it.

When the griddle is hot (a drop of water should sizzle when it hits the surface), spoon on the batter onto the griddle in circles to form 3-inch pancakes. When pancakes look dry around the edges, they are ready to flip. Turn then over and cook for about 3 minutes on the second side, until lightly browned.

Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodDid you know that a machine has been invented with the sole purpose of turning your frozen bananas into frozen desserts? What specialty gadget will they think of next?

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I’m all for this healthy idea, but I have a machine that does this already. It’s called a 13-year-old blender. I guess I’m not a specialty kitchen gadget kind of person.

brown smoothie

My blender made this oddly-colored smoothie many times last week. It has a base of frozen bananas and SoDelicious Vanilla coconut milk, plus kale, dark red cherries (or strawberries, I can’t remember), cocoa powder, and hemp oil. It tastes very much like a chocolate shake, has no refined sugar, and is completely kid-approved. Lance asked for it every day last week. We’ve been plowing through bananas like a herd of wild apes around here.

sausage muffin

When I’m not in the mood for a drinkable breakfast, I’ve been heating up some Herbed Breakfast Sausage patties from the freezer and eating them on toasted English muffins, along with some vegetable juice or a piece of fruit. The patties are from Vegan Diner. Like bananas, they also freeze well.

When it comes to breakfast, the freezer is your friend. It’s easy to keep a few containers of frozen fruit on hand, and a container of non-dairy milk in the fridge to make smoothies. My frequent mix-ins like cocoa powder, agave nectar, cinnamon, and ginger are all within an arm’s reach of my blender. And kale is an easy addition. Just rinse it off, strip off the stem, and place it in the blender. I have the best results when I add the milk first, then put the kale on top of that, then top it off with frozen ingredients. The kale seems to blend more finely when it’s on top of the heavy frozen stuff.

Are you eating breakfast? Did you know that eating breakfast is a characteristic common to successful weight loss maintainers and may be a factor in their success?

 

Baked Peach Pecan Oatmeal

peach pecan baked oatmeal

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodI like oatmeal for breakfast, but sometimes I need a change of texture. This baked oatmeal can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week. It can be eaten hot or cold, but I think it’s best served warm, with a drizzle of agave nectar.

If you’re not familiar with agave nectar, it is a sweet syrup extracted from the succulent agave plant, the same plant used to produce tequila. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Amber agave nectar is darkly colored and adds a subtle maple flavor in addition to sweetness. If you would like to substitute agave for other sweeteners, refer to this guide.

This oatmeal could be made with whatever combination of fruit and nuts you desire. I would try blueberries and slivered almonds, dried cranberries and walnuts, or apples and raisins.

This recipe was adapted from the Fooducate blog. It’s not a vegan blog, but has a lot of interesting articles on whole foods and nutrition.

baked oatmeal in a pan

Baked Peach Pecan Oatmeal

Serves 8.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp flax meal
6 tbsp cold water
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup non-dairy milk
3 tbsp amber agave nectar
2 1/2 cups chopped fruit (I used frozen thawed peaches)
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine ground flax and water with a whisk until well combined. Set aside. Mixture will thicken.

Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish or round casserole. In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add remaining ingredients and flax mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon into pan and cover with foil or lid. Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil or cover, and bake for another 25 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy hot, cold, or room temperature. If well covered, this will keep in the fridge for one week.

C-U Vegan Meetup, August Edition: Brunch

August’s Meetup for the C-U Vegan Meetup Group featured the most underrated meal of the day: brunch. Our small group gathered at Jason’s house to admire his staghorn fern (vegan taxidermy!), discuss how it gets watered, contemplate restroom fixtures and the people who love them, and enjoy some delicious vegan brunch dishes.

vegan chorizo scramble

Amber scrambled up a delicious combination of Soyrizo, tofu “eggs”, potatoes, peppers, and onions. I could eat this every day.

raspberries and cucumbers

Dana found a great sale on red raspberries and shared the bounty, along with some cucumbers from her CSA.

masala spiced donut bites

Dana also made Masala Spiced Donut Bites from Meet the Shannons. She did not disclose the calories per bite, which she actually dared to calculate. They’re baked, but rolled in melted Earth Balance and spiced sugar, resulting in deliciousness.

Amelia's coffee cake

Amelia baked a delicious coffee cake, filled with cinnamon streusel and walnuts. It contains yogurt, and was extra rich and tasty.

vegan diner herbed sausage patties

Amelia and Chase also brought delicious Herbed Breakfast Sausage Patties The recipe is from Vegan Diner, and the author, Julie Hasson, is a genius with seitan. I need to make these at home NOW since I found vegan English muffins last week. Veg McMuffin, anyone?

I missed getting photos for my own Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, but Dana managed to get great photos of some other yummy dishes, including baked french toast, tofu scramble, carrot and raisin muffins, tofu frittata, homemade tomato bagels topped with Parma!, roasted potatoes, and vegan egg rolls.

And on top of all this goodness, this weekend I found the scribbled-on-a-post-it recipe I made for Seitan Gyros! So now I just need to find some sumac and give it a little tweak, then unleash it upon the world. I’m contemplating shaping it into a big cone and steaming it that way for a little more authenticity.

 

Random Eating: Aug. 28 – Sep. 3

seitan fajitas

Seitan Fajitas: Simple Seitan from Veganomicon (similar recipe on Post Punk Kitchen), sauteed with taco seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion, garlic), water, and vinegar. I was going for a chorizo-type flavor. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure about the texture of simmered seitan. I like it more chewy, like what you get from the Julie Hasson steaming method.

peaches and greens smoothie

It was still hot this week (it’s September already!) so I had a few smoothies. This is a Peaches and Greens Smoothie: coconut milk, agave nectar, kale, frozen bananas, frozen peaches.

ukranian borscht and waldorf salad

Lunch at work: red peppers and basic homemade hummus, grapes, waldorf salad (granny smith apples, black raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, low-fat Vegenaise), with Ukranian Borscht from Common Ground Co-Op.

portabella steak dinner

Portabella steak dinner: steak sauce-marinated mushrooms, yellow basmati rice, sauteed zucchini.

zaatar

This week I finally tried Za’atar. I am SO addicted! I’ve seen this many times at World Harvest foods, always sold in what seemed like very large bags, and wondered… who would need that much of a spice? Now I know.

Za’atar is a mixture of thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and other spices that you can mix with olive oil and use as a spread, dip, or condiment. I like it mixed with olive oil on bread. I sprinkled it on some spring mix salad. It’s also good with hummus.  I should make some chapatis for dipping.

channa masala with zaatar

Here is more za’atar, with basmati rice and channa masala.

mobile crockpot unit

Despite the 90 degree heat this week, I made a big hot crock pot of vegan chili to share with colleagues. Everyone liked it. I’ve made chili twice in the last two weeks, and I’m a little tired of it, so I think I’ll freeze the leftovers for later.

Vegan Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

vegan biscuits and sausage gravy

The phrase “stick to your ribs” comes to mind here. If you like hearty, peppery cream gravy (without the cream), this is a breakfast (or lunch or dinner) for you. Feel free to add as much pepper as you like.

The flaky, buttery biscuits come from the Veganomicon recipe for Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits (pg. 172) and they’re so easy to make. Just make the biscuits as directed, cut them into circles, and bake on a cookie sheet in a 425 degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Everyone in my house loves these biscuits. And I love Veganomicon! Everything from this book has been fantastic.

The sausage gravy recipe makes enough for a crowd. You can half the recipe, or refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. Add a little more soy milk when reheating to thin the gravy to a consistency appropriate for serving.

Vegan Sausage Gravy

Makes about 8 cups, so I hope you’re hungry!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound LightLife Smart Ground sausage
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (2 sticks)
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 tsp ground sage
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
dash of nutmeg
1-2 shakes Tabasco
2 tsp vegetable bouillon concentrate (I like Better Than Bouillon)
7 cups unsweetened soy milk

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Crumble in Smart Ground sausage and fry until golden, breaking up into small crumbles. Season with coarsely ground black pepper. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. *

Melt Earth Balance sticks in the saucepan. When fully melted, add flour and whisk until fully incorporated. Add sage, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, Tabasco, and bouillon concentrate. Cook over medium low heat (mixture should be bubbly), stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until flour is toasted.

Add soy milk and whisk mixture until flour incorporates with milk. Bring to a simmer, and stir frequently until mixture thickens, about 15-20 minutes. Add a little more soymilk if mixture becomes too thick. Just before serving, add sausage back to mixture, and season to taste with salt and more freshly-ground black pepper. (We like it peppery!)

* Tip: I have tried making the roux right in with the sausage, as I have done for non-vegan sausage gravy, but it doesn’t work with Smart Ground, which absorbs liquid and becomes rather flabby when simmered in sauce. If you want a really close texture to actual sausage, add the Smart Ground back to the gravy right before serving.

buttery flaky vegan biscuitsHere are the biscuits flying solo. So light, flaky, and fluffy.

vegan biscuits

This biscuit looks a little worried! He’s about to be eaten with homemade blueberry jam. (Another one of Lance’s creations.) These babies are also great with a little amber agave nectar.

Today’s Smoothie with Zucchini

I hope that today’s smoothie helps me fight off whatever annoying bug is trying to take over my body. I woke up with a foreboding throat tickle and sinus congestion. Yuck.

vegan smoothie with melon, cherries, romaine lettuce, and zucchini

Cinnamon and ginger are going to be a regular addition to smoothies. And though it’s not listed on the photo, there is a little agave nectar in here too.

The zucchini is just some “scraps” left over from making zucchini pasta ribbons. I peel the outside meaty parts off with a vegetable peeler, and save the seedy insides for smoothies. You don’t taste the zucchini at all.

Corn Blinis with Dill Cream

corn blinis with dill cream
Kelley gave me a huge amount of dill, which didn’t even make a dent in her backyard supply. I have yellow flowering heads, green seedy heads, and a lot of fronds. Our refrigerator smells like pickles. Look for a super-easy refrigerator dill pickle post later this week.

I made these corn blinis for breakfast. The recipe is heavily adapted from The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking. At 500+ extra-large pages, this hefty volume has an extensive catalog of vegetable varieties, storage, and preparation. I’ve owned it for years and haven’t cooked much from it, but it has a lot of good ideas.

The dill cream recipe is approximate. Feel free to season with more black pepper, more or less dill, or add some crushed or roasted garlic to taste. The key components are the sour cream and dill.

Corn Blinis with Dill Cream

Ingredients:
2 tbsp ground flax seeds (I used golden, but the dark variety would work)
4 tbsp water
1 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 C fresh sweet corn kernels; or frozen corn, thawed
canola or olive oil, for the griddle

For the dill cream:
1/2 C vegan sour cream (Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream is good)
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp chopped fresh scallions
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat a griddle pan or heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium high heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the flax seeds and water together. Let stand until it forms a thick gel.

Combine soy or almond milk with lemon juice and let stand while you measure the dry ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in flax mixture, milk mixture, and corn kernels. Stir until just combined, so that no dry ingredients remain. Do not overmix.

Brush the griddle or frying pan with a little bit of oil. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the griddle. Cook until holes appear on the top and the mixture begins to set around the sides. Flip the blinis and cook briefly on the other side. Keep warm in a low oven until all are cooked.

To make the dill cream:
Blend the sour cream with the dill, scallions, salt, and pepper.

Serve blinis warm, topped with dill cream.

Makes about 9 3-inch blinis.

A Batch of Breakfast Burritos, and Mexican Rice

breakfast burritos

I made ten breakfast burritos last weekend, which I froze or refrigerated for future grab-and-go breakfasts. Each burrito contains:

  • a flour tortilla
  • a smear of vegetarian refried beans
  • Mexican Rice (see recipe below)
  • basic scrambled tofu
  • breakfast potatoes
  • a little hot sauce (Cholula is good)
a batch of breakfast burritos in a bag
Why not use the tortilla bag to hold them together in the freezer?

The process took about an hour. All components except the refried beans were prepared from scratch. A lot of the time was not hands-on, such as when the rice was simmering. I could have used two separate skillets for potatoes and scrambled tofu and cooked them simultaneously, but I wanted to keep dirty pans to a minimum. I cooked the breakfast potatoes in the skillet, followed by the scrambled tofu.

The breakfast potatoes are simply diced potatoes sauteed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.

These burritos are very filling. I prefer to let them thaw a little in the refrigerator overnight (or longer) before microwaving. I heat them on medium power to avoid hot ends and a cold middle.

I tossed one in my bag this morning and it was an excellent post-run breakfast.

Mexican Rice

This recipe makes more than double what you need for ten breakfast burritos, but reheats well. Use any type of rice you prefer, including long-grain or basmati. I used a medium-grain rice because that’s what I had on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups medium-grain rice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock concentrate (Better Than Bouillon is what I use, or substitute 2 cups of broth)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
In a deep saucepan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add rice and stir to coat. Toast rice for a few minutes while preparing liquid mixture, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a 4-cup measuring container, combine tomato sauce, spices, and vegetable stock concentrate or broth. Add enough water to make a total of 4 cups of liquid.

Stir liquid into rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. (Be sure to follow cooking time guidelines for the rice you’re using.)

Uncover rice and remove from heat. Stir to separate grains and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: When reheating rice, it helps to sprinkle a little water on it before microwaving, in a covered dish. It keeps the rice moist.