Tag Archives: breakfast

The Dr Seuss Omelet… aka Green Eggs and Ham

Okay, so… obviously, being vegan, this isn’t gonna be your typical green eggs and ham recipe!  Today,  March 2,  is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so I wanted to make some kind of tribute to this wonderful story-teller who practically lives on a shelf in every home in the entire world.  I thought about trying to make this whole blog rhyme, but I thought that’d be a waste of time, so it’s fine… now lets dine!

I have made both of these recipes before from my Vegan Brunch cookbook and I can vouch that they are truly outstanding examples of vegan breakfast food.  (Hmmm… I’m not quite sure what the rule is on sharing other people’s recipes straight up… but I hope Isa Chandra Moskowitz can forgive me this once, since I’m always giving links to her awesome cookbooks! Thanks, Isa! 🙂 )

I should mention, the eggs here are not scrambled (nor are they like fried eggs in the actual story)… this is actually the closest thing to a vegan omelet I have ever eaten.  And what makes it green is pureeing spinach into the omelet batter (this was my personal addition to the recipe!). Voila! Green “eggs”! You could also make a green tofu scramble by using food coloring, but I’m not a big fan of that stuff. (Another idea to make your omelet “green” is by stuffing the inside of the omelet with greens, like spinach, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus… or anything else green!)

The “ham” in this case is homemade tempeh bacon. (Hey, faux bacon is the same as faux ham in my book.  At least in this kind of recipe.) You can easily buy Fakin’ Bacon or SmartBacon, both of which I enjoy… a lot… but you will find this tempeh bacon to be delicious and there is something very satisfying on making your own tempeh bacon!

(In regards to that, I have decided that I’d like to try to make my own homemade versions of these things more often instead of buying them.  Of coarse, I will still continue to use the store-bought stuff sometimes, just for the ease of doing so, but I’d definitely like to strive to do as much natural cooking as possible!  Some days it just seems there isn’t enough time and dinner sneaks up on me!  Though I must say, all the soy products I use are non-GMO.)

One more thing, if you don’t want a green omelet, just omit the spinach to the puree – you can always fold it into the inside of your omelet instead if you’d like!

Tofu Omelet

 Puree together the following:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 block silken tofu or soft tofu (I recommend Nasoya brand soft tofu for this. The vacuum packed mori-nu kind is not recommended for these)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • > 1 tsp indian black salt (aka – kala namak… it is actually dirty pink in color – this particular salt has a sulfuric taste that is similar to what you find in an egg- I had to order this online, though you may be able to find it in a health food store or indian grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • spinach – as much as it takes to green up your omelet!  (1-2 cups, or two giant handfuls)
  • water if necessary – I added 1/2 cup
  • filling for omelet (whatever veggies & soy cheese that you please)

Chop the garlic and throw it into the food processor with the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric, and salt.  Puree until smooth.  Add the chickpea flour and arrowroot and puree again for about 10 seconds until combined.  Make sure to scrape down the sides occasionally!  Pulse in the spinach until green color is as desired.  You may end up needing to add a bit more water to the batter because of the spinach addition.  (See tip** below.)

Preheat a LARGE non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Lightly grease it and  pour 1/2 cup increments into the skillet.**  Spread the batter gently into about 6″ circles using the back of a spoon.

Let the batter cook about 3-5 minutes. The top of the omelet will become dry and matte looking when its ready to be flipped. If it starts to fall apart, give it a little more time. When its ready to be flipped, the underside will be speckled with light- dark brown spots.  Flip and cook about a minute on the other side.  Fill omelet with you choice of ingredients then fold it.  (This makes several omelets, so you can keep them warm on a plate covered with tinfoil as you make remaining omelets.)

**The right batter consistency depends on the tofu used. You can do a mini test omelet by pouring 2 Tbsp of batter in a pan.  If the batter spreads a bit on its own and firms up when cooking, you are good to go.  If it sits there like a mound, add up to 1/4 cup water to the batter and try again.

This is the tofu I use

Here we go….

There’s nothing traditional about a green omelet… this mushroom/onion/pepperjack omelet is served here with soysage and a homemade biscuit with jelly.

Tempeh Bacon

In a wide shallow bowl, mix the marinade and add the tempeh slices.  Let marinate at least an hour.  Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Pan fry the tempeh for 5-7 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade when you flip.  These will last several days in the fridge (if you don’t eat them all at once, that is!)

The marinade…

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

And for cooking …

    • 8-12 oz tempeh, cut width-wise into 1/4″ slices
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Serve with toast and grits… while reading the book Green Eggs & Ham, if desired!

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Chocolate-Chip Walnut Scones

My kids are just like me – they can’t resist a good scone or muffin!  And it sure comes to our advantage that I enjoy baking so much… We’d be spending a fortune if all the baked goods that we consumed on a regular basis were store bought… hmmm…. yeah, I think maybe owning a bakery would be a good idea!  I am my own ideal customer 🙂

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Chocolate-Chip Walnut Scones

The first time I made these scones, I used a boxed egg replacer.  They turned out so perfect, that I have just stuck with this recipe ever since… I would love to try these sometime using a flax egg, but I just haven’t wanted to change a thing!

  • 1 “Egg” (I like to use Ener-G-Egg Replacer for this recipe)
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter (aka Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • cinnamon/sugar mixture for sprinkling (optional but recommended)

1) In a small bowl, make 1 “egg” with egg replacer & set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

3) In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture using a fork.  You want it to be crumbly, like bread crumbs or slightly larger like pea sized crumbles.

4) Stir in the chocolate chips, walnuts and strawberries.

5)  Mix the soymilk with the egg and whisk well.  Pour into the flour mixture and mix by turning and kneading the dough until it is all mixed and there are no large clumps of flour. You may be tempted to use a tad more liquid but I assure you it won’t be necessary if you keep kneading the dough and flipping it.  (If you feel it absolutely necessary to add more liquid I urge you to only add an additional tablespoon where needed or your dough will end up sticky.)

6)  Gather the dough into a ball and flatten on a lightly-floured surface.  Pat dough down gently until its about < 1 ” high and cut into 8-10 pieces, obscure shapes or triangles, whatever pleases your eye.  Place the pieces on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  I like to make mine in zig-zags 🙂

Getting the dough ready to flatten out and cut my shapes. I decided to go for 8 this time around...I think the cinnamon/sugar zig-zag makes them pretty.

8 mostly triangle-ish shapes

The cinnamon/sugar zig-zag makes them even yummier... is that possible?

7) Bake about 15 minutes until tops are just starting to turn golden.  (Watch the bottoms for they tend to brown faster than the tops.) Cool on a wire rack.  Devour.

Voila! Stack them as you please (or just eat them)!

Soysage Casserole

This is a great breakfast or dinner casserole.  I could literally eat this for every meal – and so could my kiddos 🙂  It can also be made ahead of time, which is great if you are a busy body.  I included this in the “child’s play” category because it’s easy to assemble, but mainly because the kids love helping tear up the bread (though obviously they can’t help cook the “soysage”!).

For this recipe, I prefer using Lightlife Gimme Lean “sausage”, though any other kind of vegan sausage would surely work (though I have never used another kind).  Some people don’t care for all these “fake meat” products, but for the most part, I find them tasty and a quick healthy source protein.  Having been vegan for 10+ years now, I have tried almost every brand of fake meat, cheese & other non-dairy products out there and I’m always open to trying anything new that I see. Some faux-foods have been not-so-great, but I definitely also have ones that I truly enjoy & find delicious!  If you ever want to know my opinion on a product, don’t be afraid to ask! (P.S. I do not get paid by any company whose products I show… If I am endorsing it, it’s because I truly think its great to use in my recipes.)

That being said… onto the bread!  I find that the heartier/granier the bread the better the casserole.  I would not recommend using a really soft bread, as I have found through experience.  I really like using Masada 6-Grain bread. I cannot stress this enough-  a thick, hearty (or grainy) bread makes the best casserole!

This recipe has been adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Planet, though I have made several changes to the original recipe.

~Soysage Casserole~

  • roughly 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups crumbled soy sausage (I like to use two tubes of Lightlife Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, prepared as directed below)
  • 2 blocks soft or firm tofu, drained and then crumbled
  • 2 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground or whole fennel seeds (if using whole, chop them up into little bits – this is usually what I do)
  • salt and pepper
  • 8-10 slices of bread

1)  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the soysage* and cook, stirring until browned. This will take several minutes.  Once browned, remove from heat & set aside.

*If you are using Gimme Lean Soy Sausage, do this by tearing it into little bits (roughly 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces) and throwing them right into the skillet.  It’s a little sticky and mushy… just keep ripping it into small pieces (you can chop them up further with a spatula if necessary while you’re stirring them around with the onion) then continue following recipe above, cooking until lightly browned.

2) In a large bowl, combine the crumbled tofu, milk, thyme, fennel, and a little salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well, then mix in the sausage mixture and set aside.

3)  Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and place in a lightly oiled shallow 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Pour the sausage mixture evenly over the bread and set aside several minutes until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes or overnight. If it looks a bit dry anywhere, it doesn’t hurt to add a splash of soymilk where needed.  (If you do refrigerate until morning, let it come to room temp before baking.)

4)  Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake until the casserole looks puffy and lightly browned, about 45 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.  Let cool slightly. Devour!

Mmmmm! I could eat this for every meal!

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

When someone asks me what I would do if I had all the money and time in the world… several things come to mind.  First off, I love being a mom.  Trying to teach my kids how to be good people is the most important job in the world to me. But that is a job that will never go away, regardless of time or money!  So… next up is helping animals – I am extremely passionate about animals. I love rescuing animals (all 4 of my current pets were rescued) & teaching others to respect and love animals, and I love to show people how many ways there are to help animals, like eating vegan (hence my blog). I would love to operate an animal shelter and rescue/foster animals that need help.  Another thing I love and completely lose myself in is producing art, but it seems (at the moment) I have less time for that now that I am chasing down two little kids!  And last, but certainly not least,  I LOVE to bake!  Cookies, muffins, scones, bread… I definitely feel I am more of a “baker” than a “chef”.  And not only does my baking come from the heart, but it also helps (in a small but important way) bring my love of animals to the table – no pun intended!! I love to produce yummy things from the oven and simultaneously introduce people to the joys of baking without using animals as ingredients 🙂

That being said, I would love to share with you one of my most favorite breakfast scones recipe. No one can deny the goodness of the combination of bananas and chocolate.  (And yes, you can easily find vegan chocolate chips – and I’m not talking about carob chips, which I personally don’t care for.)

Here's one of my favorite kinds of vegan chocolate chips! These chocolate chips are tiny, cute & delicious!

I also find that using part whole wheat pastry flour gives a fluffy end result that wouldn’t turn out the same if you used only white flour. Mmmm. I just pulled mine out of the oven and they smell so good I can barely wait for them to cool for 5 minutes!!

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1  1/2 cups chopped bananas (or about 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • <1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 6-7 Tbsp soymilk
  • capful of cider apple vinegar (about >1 tsp)

1) Mix both flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder in a large bowl.  Mix well.

2) Cut in 1/3 cup canola oil with a fork and crumble well to eliminate all balls of oil.  Start with a fork and then use your hands if you wish.

3) Mix in the fruit / chocolate chips

4) In measuring cup, measure the maple syrup, soymilk & vinegar.  The liquids should measure (total) just at 3/4 cup. Whisk them together well, then pour the liquids into the dry mix and fold until it is just mixed.  It may take a minute, just keep folding it over and over from all directions until all the flour is mixed in and no big patches of flour are present.  The batter will be thick.

Measuring out the liquids... be sure to whisk it together well before adding it to the bowl!

5)  Scoop by using a 1/2 cup measuring cup onto a parchment covered baking sheet.  When I do it this way, I get 7 scones.  Press them down slightly in the middle  (they will spread a little tiny bit in the oven).

6)  Bake at 400 for about 12 minutes until bottoms & sides are lightly browned.

Bake until golden brown & yummy looking!

If you ask me, nothing goes better with a delicious chocolate chip scone than some delicious coffee in a Cookie Monster mug!

Variations: You can replace the chocolate chips with nuts, or add nuts to the batter as well.  You could also use strawberries instead of bananas, though I have never done that with this recipe.  I have another recipe I prefer for strawberry/chocolate chip scones with walnuts, which I will probably share another time!

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

Some days, we all need something we love to give us some comfort or to give us relaxation. Maybe for you its wrapping up in your favorite super snuggly blanket and watching a movie… maybe it’s something warm, like a really great cup of coffee or tea… or maybe it’s reading a good book with a glass of wine.  With all the hurry and running around that life throws at us on a daily basis, we all need to feel taken care of sometimes (yes, all of us, whether or not we want to admit it).  One thing that does it for me is eating some good-old comfort food.

We all have our list of favorite comfort foods, and one of mine is (simply)… biscuits. I love biscuits because they are so versatile. You can make a breakfast biscuit by layering it with veggie cheese and “soysage” or fakin’ bacon.  You can stuff it with tofu scramble. You can serve it up with gravy.  You can serve it up with some grits & tempeh, or you can just eat it all by itself with some jam.   A good biscuit can multi-task as well as some of us parents 😉

These biscuits are my current favorites.  Sometimes I add garlic, veggie cheese and oregano to the batter when I know I will be eating them with tempeh, soysage or making a tofu scramble.  Other times I like to leave that stuff out so I can spread them with my favorite jelly.  Busy morning?… Heat up some tofu-chicken (I suggest Gardein vegan chicken tenders) for a yummy quick faux chicken-breakfast-biscuit (cheese optional) that you can eat on the run (even in the car). The biscuit-ilities are endless!

~Old-School Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits~

  • 1  1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • heaping 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1  3/4 tsp sugar (omit if making the garlic & cheese biscuits)
  • > 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 2 Tbsp soy margarine, chilled and chopped into bits
  • > 3/4 cup soymilk
  • < 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

If making garlic & cheese biscuits, add to dry ingredients:

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • (set aside to add in last) 1/2 cup vegan cheddar cheese, chopped (I prefer follow your heart vegan gourmet cheddar)

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Cut in the shortening and margarine with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Whisk together the soymilk & lemon juice (this makes “buttermilk”).  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Next, add the vinegar.  Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquids. Gently fold together – don’t overmix! (At this point, add cheese if using.)

With floured hands, consolidate the dough into a ball (if it feels too sticky, give it a light dusting of flour) and move the dough ball onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle dough lightly with flour and flatten gently into a big round circle until about 1/2″ – 2/3″ thick.  Use the rim of a glass or a biscuit cutter and make 9-12 biscuits, depending on how thick you have them.  (I usually shoot for 9 biscuits that are about 2″across.)  Place them in the center of a baking sheet with the sides just touching.  Bake 12 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown. If desired, you can brown the tops lightly under the broiler.

Garlic-Cheddar Biscuits with Grits & Tempeh Bacon... this dish should be called "the southern delight!"

( I included these biscuits in the category “childs play” because my little girl LOVES to help stamp out the biscuits with a round cookie cutter!)

Today's Tempeh & Grits made a "flower"... sometimes we eat the "tempeh graveyard" - that's when we put vertical tempeh pieces in the grits like gravestones... Aww man, maybe I should have shared that idea before Halloween! Oh well!

Cinnamon Rolls

When I think of Halloween, I think of fall… pumpkins… having fun… dressing up (more fun)… and let’s face it – SUGAR!!  If you have kids (or are a big kid at heart), you’ve probably been pretty busy lately going to pumpkin patches and Halloween parades.  For Halloween this year, I’ve decided to share with you my most recent, most favorite, most-sugary, non-candy, yummy homemade treat… a.k.a cinnamon rolls!

I have warm fuzzy memories of eating cinnamon rolls throughout my life… There’s the Pillsbury ones I used to eat as a kid that you popped right out of the refrigerated tube & baked… & there’s the ready-made, full-of-preservatives boxed kind (that sit on store shelves for days before being eaten)… sadly(?), neither are vegan – which I have decided is probably a good thing! If you are vegan, you probably know it is practically impossible to find a vegan cinnamon roll, let alone a freshly baked one.

Once upon a time, there was a vegan bakery here in Athens (the Green Scene Baking Company) that made some out-of-this-world delicious vegan cinnamon rolls, baked fresh on the weekends, but the Green Scene sadly closed a few years ago when the owner decided to move to New York 😦 We miss you, Green Scene!

I definitely have a love affair with sugar, and I have dreamed of making cinnamon rolls for what seems like FOREVER. I’ve long ago book-marked all my cinnamon roll recipes in my books, but still kept putting off making them.  I guess they just seemed like too much work or time.  Well, let me just say, there is definitely something to be said for homemade cinnamon rolls.  For one thing, they do take some effort (kneading the dough… and being patient while the dough rises), but that effort turns into the most delicious treat that you simply cannot replicate from a can. Personally, I think rolling & cutting the cinnamon log is fun!  I was practically drooling from the anticipation of eventually eating one!

So, make these yummies and pat yourself on the back (or tummy) for doing some actual work!  I promise you, these babies are so much better than store-bought rolls or tubes. They are worth the extra effort!  If you have a mixer with a bread hook, let it do most of the work for you!  If not, get those arm muscles ready to knead some dough!

~Cinnamon Rolls~

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup soymilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pack yeast (or 2  1/4 tsp if you are using yeast from a jar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2  1/2 –  3 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup softened earth balance (or other soy margarine)
  • a little raw sugar to sprinkle on top before rolling the dough

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • < 2 Tbsp almond or soymilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

RITA’s TIP: I like to let my mixing bowl sit with some hot water in it to warm it up first. Just don’t forget to dump it out before starting your recipe!

First, make the dough:

Heat the water, soymilk & sugar in a small saucepan until warm.  If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast – if it’s too cold, the yeast won’t grow, so think like Goldilocks and make sure it’s just right! Put in the dough-mixer bowl. (I have a Kitchen-Aid mixer with a bread hook attachment.)  Add the yeast and wait until its bubbly/foamy looking, so you know the yeast is “alive”.  Add the oil, cinnamon, salt and 2  1/2 cups flour.  Mix (using bread/dough hook) until it’s not sticking to the sides, adding more flour as necessary.  If you do not have a mixer with a bread hook, you will have to knead this by hand!  Knead for 5-7 minutes until dough is nice and smooth.  (Don’t skimp on the minutes here – the kneading process is vital (no pun intended) to making the gluten activated in the dough.) Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Make the filling by mixing the filling ingredients together while the dough is rising and set it aside.  After dough has risen, punch it down and then let it rest about 10 minutes. Then roll out the dough into a large rectangle (try to shoot for a large rectangle, 12″ x 18″).

Spread the filling evenly over the dough and give it a little (or a generous) sprinkle of raw sugar. Next, carefully roll the dough as tight as you can into a big log, pinching it closed when you get to the end (spread a little water on the edge to help seal it shut).

Cut the log into 12 rolls.  I like to cut it in half and then cut each half into 6 even pieces.  They should roughly be 1″ thick.

Arrange them, slightly spaced out, on either a baking sheet or a 9 x 13″ pan.  As you can see, I first used a round baking dish but the rolls got too big and were popping out as they were baking, so I would recommend not using a small round pan. Give them a little room to rise and cover them loosely with plastic wrap or a towel*.  Let the rolls rise for another 30-40 minutes until almost doubled.

* At this point, if you tightly wrap the prepared rolls, you can put them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  When ready to bake them, take them out of the fridge & let them come to room temp for about 30 minutes and then wait until they double in size before baking.

The rolls looked good in this pan until they grew more in the oven and were popping out!

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until rolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped.  Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes – in the meantime, prepare the icing by mixing ingredients together well with a fork in a small bowl. Drizzle the icing on the warm cinnamon rolls and ENJOY!

This is after baking...See how they are all popping up and out of the pan?! I would recommend using a different pan with more room for them to grow! This is before I put icing on them.

The end result - a stunningly delicious homemade cinnamon roll!

P.S. I came up with this recipe after reviewing several other cinnamon roll recipes, taking & giving here and there… I have only made these once, so feel free (as always) to comment and give me some feedback!  I decided to only make these on special occasions or when I have guests because there is no excuse to eat 2-3 cinnamon rolls a day by oneself!  Not to mention, my kids tried to eat one for every meal!

Zucchini Muffins

If you have trouble getting your kid to eat zucchini, look no further!  These light fluffy muffins are packed with zucchini, yet they are moist & delicious (and they also happen to be gluten-free*)! They are perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.   I really like the flavor that using sucanat adds, but if you have trouble finding sucanat, regular light brown sugar will do.

* Spelt flour is a good subsitute for people with a low intolerance for wheat, though some people with serious wheat allergies, such as those with celiac disease, are also allergic to spelt.  In that case, you should try replacing the flour with a 100% gluten free baking mix (most grocery stores carry a blend for general flour replacing).

I have been experimenting with some gluten-free cooking lately, which was inspired by one of my sisters, who is also soy free (be on the look out for my gluten & soy-free pumpkin pie around the holidays)!  I love learning about different kinds of baking… its all science really. Sometimes your experiment ends with a truly amazing result… sometimes it doesnt turn out like you hoped.  Thats when you try a different ingredient, a different flour… one tiny change in a recipe can take it to an entirely different place.  I love baking more than any other kind of cooking!

~Zucchini Muffins~

  • 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk… Stick with almond milk if you are making a soy-free muffin)
  • 3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2  1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or use half oil, half applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup packed sucanat**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray/grease muffin tin.  In a small/medium bowl, whisk the milk & flax well.  Add the vinegar, mix, and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Add the canola oil, brown sugar & vanilla to the milk mixture.  Make a well in the center of the flour bowl & pour in the liquid mixture.  Stir to combine then fold in the zucchini.

Fill muffin cups and cook 25-28 minutes, until tops are firm and knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out free of batter.  Since spelt flour is tender, let the muffins cool for about 15-20 minutes in the muffin pan before transferring  to a wire rack to cool completely, to avoid the tops breaking off.

You’d never know these were gluten-free muffins!

** Sucanat is made by simply crushing the sugar cane to squeeze out the juice, heating it until it’s a rich syrup and aerating it by hand-paddling to create a porous granule.  It hasn’t been separated, blended, refined or filtered. It has a distinct molasses flavor that enhances many foods.  You can use sucanat as a 1-for-1 replacement for refined brown sugar.  It is found with the other brown sugars in the grocery store/health food supermarket.

Coffee Muffins

In the morning I really like my coffee… sometimes with some more coffee on the side.  If you are anything like me, you will love these delicious coffee & chocolate muffins.  I don’t ever give my kids soda, so I feel that the small amount of caffeine they ingest is minute in comparison.  Plus, you could make these muffins decaf if you wanted to anyway!  I would definitely recommend using organic applesauce since apples can be high in pesticides.  I must warn you… these muffins are highly addictive!

~Coffee Muffins~

  • 1 cup almond milk (I recommend almond milk for these muffins, though you could always use a different non-dairy milk)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp instant coffee crystals
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce (or organic cinnamon applesauce, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Lightly grease/spray your muffin tin/cups.

In a large measuring cup, mix the coffee crystals with 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring to dissolve.  Then mix in the rest of the milk & vinegar and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt. (I like to use a whisk to mix my dry ingredients cause it helps not fling flour everywhere.)

Take your coffee/milk/vinegar mixture and add the applesauce, canola oil, & vanilla to it. Whisk together well.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mix.  Mix together until just mixed. Try not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill all the muffin cups evenly and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick/knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from tins and set them on a cooling rack for further cooling. 

These reusable muffin cups are great & they keep you from having to buy more stuff!

Variations: These can also be made jumbo, by adding an additional 7-10 minutes to the cooking time.  You can also skip the applesauce if you don’t have any handy and use a 1/2 cup canola oil.

who doesnt like coffee & chocolate?!

(This recipe was adapted from a recipe in the book, ‘Vegan Brunch’.

Heavenly French Toast Sticks

You know those days when you don’t care so much about eating healthy?!  Well… save this recipe for one of those mornings!

I concocted this recipe up one day when I was missing those fast-food french toast sticks I ate when I was a kid.  They are soooo yummy and sweet – they are too good to be true!  It’s also a wonderful way to eat some of that older bread you have sitting around!  I don’t think it’s necessary to say it, but my kids absolutely love these!  I served these today with some mock sausage (GimmeLean) to make our breakfast a little bit healthier!

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Heavenly French Toast Sticks

Whisk ingredients.  Cut 4 pieces of bread into 4 sticks each (or 3 if you like fatty sticks).  Give each stick a good soaking in the dip & pan fry on med-high heat on a non-stick skillet until browned.  Flip and cook the other side. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (if you dare) & serve with maple syrup as dipping sauce. Relax & enjoy your trip down sugar lane – oops!- i mean memory lane!

  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pumpkin Waffles

These waffles are SO delicious! This recipe is from the book ‘Vegan with a Vengeance’ by Isa Chandra Moskowitz… and this girl knows her way around a vegan kitchen. The original recipe (posted below) makes 24 regular waffles or 12-14 Belgian waffles. I halved the recipe this morning in my cuisinart Belgian waffle maker and got 7. I went ahead and put the halved recipe amounts in parenthesis for you on the right!

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour…………………………………..{1 1/4 cups}
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder………………………………………..{1 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda……………………………………………….{1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt……………………………………………………………{1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon………………………………………….{1 tsp}
  • 1 tsp ground ginger ……………………………………………… {1/2 tsp}
  • 1/2 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg………………….{1/4 tsp}
  • 1/4 tsp cloves………………………………………………………..{1/8 tsp}
  • 2 cups rice or soy milk……………………………………………{1 cup }
  • 1 (15-oz) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) { 1/2 can}
  • 1/3 cup oil……….{measure w/brown sugar below to = 1/3 cup total}
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar ……………………………………………….{ ” ” }
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract ………………………………………………..{1 tsp}

Preheat your waffle maker to manufacturer’s instructions. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt & spices. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the soy milk, pumpkin, oil, brown sugar & vanilla until well emulsified. Pour the wet ingredients in the dry and mix. Prepare waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. ENJOY with real maple syrup!!