Tag Archives: Brunch

Banana Oatmeal Chia Pudding

3 Aug

With almond butter, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds. Yum!

 

Friends, colleagues, and comrades,

Quite a bit of time has lapsed since my last blog entry and even longer since my last recipe installment! For this, I apologize. It has been one crazy summer, unfortunately mine did not include John Cusack (movie reference, whoa!). My jobs and the exhaustion and stress that come with them have kept me from being able to devote any time at all to this blog, let alone to thinking creatively about food or even wanting to pretend that my kitchen is a chemistry lab/art studio. Also, living with quite a few people and sharing a large (but often occupied and cluttered) kitchen space really puts a damper on wanting to be in the kitchen at all or even wanting to be creative about food.

To be honest, this past year I’ve survived on mostly large salads, easy pasta dishes and stir-frys, and a variety of sandwiches and fruits. In other words, foods that don’t put me in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes. It’s been frustrating and at the same time really empowering because it’s basically forced me to eat a lot of food without prepping and in raw form. I think I’m healthier for it, sort of. But, I sure do go through a lot of produce (as if that’s ever a problem for healthy vegans)!

So just to catch up, because I know y’all totally care about my personal life–since my last post, I quit one of my jobs–the big one, the one that was making me very miserable and tired and unhealthy. It has been a month and since then a lot of really great things have happened including lots of sleep, lots of eating, lots of exercising, lots of traveling, lots of food sharing, lots of dog kisses, cat snuggles, and even baby sparrow cuddles, and lots of hang-outs with crucial friends, old and new, advocates and otherwise.

It’s been a really uplifting, healthy experience for me and I’m very happy to be able to wake up and take care of myself first, for once. One of the ways I’ve been practicing self-care is by making sure I eat a really good, nutrient dense breakfast. No more running out of the house with a piece of toast or a banana in my hand. I know, it sounds cliched, but it’s so important and so true that breakfast is a very important meal, if not the most important.

But I know you’re really here for the food so let’s talk about it!

I’ve been eating a lot of loaded non-dairy yogurt breakfasts as of late. Basically, almond milk/coconut milk based yogurt with  heaping portions of nuts, dried and raw fruit, hemp seeds, raw oats and my favorite…chia seeds. It was in noticing what chia seeds do when they are mixed with liquid and allowed to sit for some time–they become soft and almost gel-like, like tapioca–that I thought to bring you this next recipe. This recipe is so simple, anyone can make it, any time. All you need is a jar and a refrigerator, really. It takes only minutes to prepare and minutes to eat, and it conveniently fits in jar that you can take with you if you’re on the go!

When I had this yesterday, I calculated that it has at least 20 grams of protein (that’s half of my daily requirement!), 43% of my daily iron requirement, 49% of my daily calcium requirement, and 25 grams of fiber. Not to mention a ton of Omega 3′s and antioxidants thanks to the chia! Whoa. I can’t tell you how much this breakfast fueled my body for the day. I was sustained by this well after noon and, having planned to dedicate hours on my feet in the kitchen baking and to running errands, it was the perfect energy boost I needed to get my day started off right.

Here are two more awesome facts: when you make this it means that breakfast is ready right when you wake up and it’s delicious. Want more? This can easily be made into a chocolatey dessert–just use chocolate flavored non-dairy milk. Or, for you coffee lovers, you can make this a mocha-licious morning treat! I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I tried my hand at a coffee version and the results are in–it’s caffeinated and it’s good. I added spices to my coffee version (which you can leave out if you wish) because being raised by a Dominican mother, you know to always put spices in your coffee, especially nutmeg. So what are you waiting for? Make your breakfast tonight and enjoy it tomorrow! Continue reading

Apple Walnut Breakfast Cake

13 Oct

Holy week from Hell! I’ve been away for far too long, friends! I’m really very sorry to have left the MoFo world hangin’, but I’m in the process of packing, moving out of state, not cooking in my own kitchen, working two jobs, and as if that wasn’t enough, I was sick with a high fever for two days. But now that everything’s calm — if only for one a day before the big move — I have some lovely recipes to share!

This recipe is just a simple old thing I put together in the spirit if Autumn and with a need to have something quick to wrap up in a napkin and take along with me for my long commute to work. The best part is that if I did have time, this would still be a great mate for a sit-down-coffee! This cake is easy to put together and will only take about 10 minutes to prep. It’s a bit dense because of the whole wheat flour, but if that’s not your thing try regular all purpose flour instead. It’s also very mildly flavored — that’s not to say it’s bland — it’s just to say that the focus is mainly on the natural flavors of apple and cinnamon. And so, it’s light on the sugar. You may want to add more if you like sugary foods to go along with your coffee or tea. I don’t so, I kept the sugar light and then just drizzled a little maple syrup on top of my cake to add a touch more sweetness and a flavor reminiscent of spending Autumn in New England. I like this cake a lot because there’s nothing flashy about it and because it’s so easy to put together. If you like simple, wholesome, hearty, healthy, lightly sugared sweets — this cake is for you.

Hopefully, my next post will feature me in my new kitchen! Until then, happy MoFo-ing!

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Baked Apples with Oatmeal Cookie Stuffing

1 Oct

Hello, friends! After a long, unintentional hiatus, I’m back in action. In the time I’ve been away, I’ve been keeping busy with work, losing sleep, driving back and forth between states, moving back to Boston, and doing some animal rights advocacy. I recently had an article of mine published in Vegan:UK’s online  magazine, “The Abolitionist.” Check it out!

I’ve also been coming up with recipes for the fifth annual VeganMoFo and  as a result, for the entire month of October, I’ll be keeping to a theme (as best as I can). The theme is “Autumn in New England.” Basically, what this means is that if you like comfort food, pumpkins, squash, apples, and food that pleases just about anybody — you’ve come to the right place. The folks over at The Vegan Month of Food require that a blogger post at least 20 entries for the entire month of October in order to remain on the blogroll. So, as you can imagine, this means I have at least 20 ideas for recipes for the month of October. So, roll up your sleeves, get your flax-egg whipping arm ready, get in the kitchen and start feeding the masses! Here we go!

Ok, so here’s the first MoFo recipe. It’s a little funny that I should start with this given my widely known distaste for apples. The only way I can eat an apple is 1) baked and loaded with sugar or 2) there is no 2. That being said, please don’t judge my apple cooking/baking skills on the fact that I don’t like apples. I know how to make them taste good because I work hard to make their flavor acceptable to me.

Here’s a very easy, very satisfying recipe that I love, fully centered around apples and my favorite kind of cookie. Nothing says “Autumn in New England” more than apple picking, warm oatmeal, and maple syrup. I especially love these because the oatmeal takes on a crunchy cookie-like texture at the top, but as soon as you cut into the soft, warm apple, it’s like eating a gooey, chewy oatmeal cookie. These are sure to please any age at any level of apple enthusiasm. Serve them for breakfast, brunch, or with a side of vegan vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Note: You can use any type of apple you want. I chose Cortland apples because they’re good for baking and not too sweet or too tart. Roma apples would be good in this recipe, as well as Granny Smiths, if you want something a little more tart. Continue reading

Sweet Nutmilk Pancakes

23 Aug

I’ve never liked pancakes. I’m just not a pancake kind of girl. I prefer french toast (I have a thing for toast). One of my brothers is pancake obsessed though. He likes them practically raw in the middle. He doesn’t know it, but I’m basically his type of pancake maker, because up until recently, no matter how hard I’ve tried to make them perfectly, I’ve always made pancakes with a gooey center. Ugh. It’s terrible, I know. Well, I think I finally figured it out. I’m so embarrassed to even be admitting any of this. Pancakes have a lot to do with being patient and up until recently, I’ve not been the most patient person in life so it makes sense that I’ve never waited enough time for them to cook in the middle before flipping them.

After three solid days of working on this recipe (and having consumed 21 pancakes in that time and being the proud owner of a new chin), I think I finally got it right. I know this may be simple enough for many of you, and you may be wondering, “Wow. This girl can make a vegan cheesecake, but she can’t even make a pancake?! For shame!” But honestly, I think sometimes, simplicity eludes me (I know plenty of people who know me who are nodding their heads at that last statement, haha). Bear with me, please. This is what I figured out:

1. Don’t overmix the batter. It should be lumpy, this is how you make “fluffy” pancakes!
2. Don’t use too much butter or non-stick spray to grease the pan. You’ll end up frying and burning the pancakes.
3. Only grease the pan once.
4. Cook the cakes slowly, on medium heat, if you are using a pan on a stove (not an electric griddle).
5. Wait until bubbles form all around, and especially in the middle of the cake, before flipping.
6. Flip quickly using your wrist, not your hand.

Those are the rules. Stick to them and your pancakes will be just right. These pancakes are  gosh darn tasty. My aim was to make something reminiscent of the classic buttermilk pancake and I think it’s pretty close. Since vegans are all about nut milks (and the occasional soy) I thought, “Screw you, buttermilk! Nutmilk is the real deal!” and went to town. This is also a really great way to use up some cashew cream if, like me, you make about 2 cups at a time for a dish that only requires 1 cup and thus get stuck with leftover cashew cream.


Despite how many of them I’ve eaten in the last 36 hours, I am now officially a fan of pancakes. I really enjoy how sweet these are. The batter reminds me of the boxed Bisquick pancakes my mom used to make us, but I honestly think this batter tastes a whole lot better and it’s probably because there isn’t a raw egg in it! These cakes are just sweet enough to eat without syrup and still taste good! And they are fluffy just off the pan, like they’re supposed to be, too! I added flax seeds just because I thought they’d give the cakes a nice look and because they’re nutritious and can’t be tasted, so why the heck not? You can leave them out if you want. I thought to make these with flax eggs in place of Egg Replacer, but that didn’t work out so well (that was day 1). Pick up a box of Ener-G Egg Replacer if you don’t already have one. It’ll last quite a while and comes in handy more often than you’d think!

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Vegan Scallion-Pepperjack “Cheese” Corn Muffins

9 Jul

Corn muffins. Delicious, delicious corn muffins. I love corn muffins. Especially when they’re cake-y and not crumbly and dry. These corn muffins have a soft, almost cake-like texture and they are subtly sweet with just the perfect hint of that savory taste that’s reminiscent of breakfast. I’ve seen similar versions made with bacon and I was going to incorporate tempeh bacon into the mix, but it’s really not necessary. This was just enough. If you like butter and jam on your toast, you’ll probably like these. All I know is that I made six, and I ate three in one sitting and three later that day. I feel no shame. No shame.

Although I’m not super impressed with how the sprinkled cheese looks on top (because if you don’t cover Daiya in the oven it doesn’t get all gooey) they still taste fabulous and the flax seeds give it a nice speckled look! If you want, you can make an aluminum foil tent to cover them while they’re in the oven and see if that works to make the cheese all gooey-like on top, or you can simple put all the cheese in the muffin. Again, it doesn’t matter, these are so delicious no matter what you do! Serve these up with your next batch of tofu scramble or chili, or just whip ‘em up for your next on-the-go breakfast — I like mine with a little Earth Balance Butter. Either way, I’m sure they’ll put a smile on your face. This recipe is a standard corn muffin recipe, feel free to improvise with different flavors!  Continue reading

Agave Sweetened Strawberry Banana Bread

12 Jun

It’s rare for me, but it actually happened — I had leftover bananas, too ripe to eat raw. Now, if you already couldn’t tell from all the banana-centric posts, I absolutely love bananas. I especially love it when they stealthily infiltrate traditional treats like chocolate chip cookies or brownies by way of being a replacement for eggs. This time though, I decided to be a little more traditional. And this time, the strawberries decided to foil my plans of tradition. I also decided to use agave instead of sugar. There’s no fancy reason for that other than that I am baking in someone else’s kitchen and so I didn’t have any unrefined (vegan) sugar to work with. I actually really liked it better this way because the bananas are sweet enough as it is. Sugar may have been overkill. So this is it: a sweet and tasty take on a classic — perfect for summer berry picking season.

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

2 Jun

I am and have been completely enthralled by lemons and blueberries lately. It seems that I want to put them in everything. Perhaps it’s the brightness of the lemon rind, or the wonderful color a melted blueberry brings to a dish. I know this combination may sound odd to some, but to those who naysay without trying: I beg you to consider the wonders that came of mixing strawberries and rhubarb, lemons and poppy seeds, or bananas and walnuts. Lemons and blueberries were destined for a civil union! Especially with summer coming on.

This bread isn’t really “bread,” in case you were wondering. This is as much “bread” as a muffin is a cupcake. It’s a lot like banana bread, meaning that it’s basically cake. That being said, it’s moist (even days later), sugary, and delicious and yet, I’m sure you can convince yourself, like I have, that because it’s not technically cake, that it’s wholesome enough to eat for breakfast. Three chins later, you’ll still be glad you did it.

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