Tag Archives: Vegan Breakfast

Thanksgiving 2012

It was good to have the family together after too many years and to celebrate with some flexibility in my eating habits.  😉

For breakfast I made pumpkin-cranberry scones from a mix from Trader Joe’s (had to get some pumpkin in somewhere)

My Dad made a ham, so I tried to think of hearty vegetarian entrees that would complement that.  I decided that pineapple would go well with sweet potatoes (much better than the classic/gross marshmallow topping) and then found this lovely recipe for pineapple upside down sweet potatoes.  It was wonderful!

 

I also made my Nine a Day Salad, which is always a hit. 

and some collard greens with pecans

 

 

some simple garlic mashed potatoes (made with soy milk)

cornbread stuffing mix from Trader Joe’s to which I added sauteed onions and celery + corn kernels

My sister made the classic/delicious green bean casserole: a huge crowd pleaser.  My Mom made Pilsbury crescent rolls and 2 pies: apple and pecan.

Everything was absolutely delicious!  I was thankful for an abundance of good food and family.

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Pumpkin Fanatic

When I was a kid we had a cat named Dusty II who would go to great lengths to get my Mom’s homemade pumpkin pie.  She would climb on top of the fridge, chew through saran wrap, get lids off with her paws, etc.  When autumn rolls around, I AM Dusty.  I can’t get enough pumpkin soy lattes, pumpkin sweets, pumpkin-scented candles, and even savory pumpkin entrees.  I would like to think that it’s due to some kind of seasonal vitamin A deficiency, but I’m pretty sure it’s all about mental comfort.  There ARE worse dependencies, though, right?

Cartoon Found on Pinterest

Anyway, when I saw Amber Shea’s Creamy Pumpkin-Pecan Oatmeal on Almost Vegan, I HAD to try it!  I modified it for the microwave because I hate washing dishes.  I just mixed the following in a bowl:

  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sweetener of choice (I used a drizzle of agave nectar)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans

Then I microwaved it for about a minute and then let it sit for about a minute.  It was like pumpkin pie for breakfast: sooooo delicious!

  • 1/4 cup quick oats: $0.02
  • 1/4 cup soy milk: $0.05
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée: $0.20
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon: $0.03
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract: $0.05
  • Sweetener of choice (I used a drizzle of agave nectar): $0.02
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans: $0.05

=$0.42 for a perfect breakfast!

Also recently I made some pumpkin cupcakes for a friend’s birthday party.  I used the easiest recipe in history.  Just mix:

  • 1 box of spice cake mix
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Spoon into 12 muffin cups, then bake at 350 for 22 to 24 minutes.

These come out fluffy, moist, and super low in fat!

In keeping with the whole low-fat thing, I decided to frost them with a healthy chocolate-pumpkin frosting.  Just mix:

  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 
1 tsp. vanilla extract

This stuff tasted good.  I liked that it wasn’t too sweet.  BUT I was really disappointed with the consistency.  The picture on the Web site has a perfectly piped petal pattern, but my frosting was gloppy, runny, and ugly.  No problem.  I spooned a SMALL amount on each cupcake and then ran to the corner store for some sprinkles.  When I got to the party, the frosting was pretty smooshed, but sprinkles hide all decorating sins.

People said they liked the cupcakes, including one guy who normally doesn’t like pumpkin.

  • 1 box of spice cake mix: $1.29
  • 1 can of pumpkin: $1.79
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract: $0.10
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin: $0.40
  • 
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder: $0.36
  • 1/4 c. honey: $0.75
  • 
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce: $0.17

=$4.86 for a dozen cupcakes or $0.41 each

I won’t give up on my pumpkin obsession until after Christmas.

 

 

Breakfast-for-Dinner Potluck

Our latest potluck theme was Breakfast for Dinner.  Yum!  Sara graciously hosted and made mimosas!  Thank you, Sara!

I made Herbed Whole-Wheat Drop Biscuits with Smoked Almond Gravy from a cookbook called Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskovitz.

Jenny brought amazing vegan cinnamon rolls from the health-food store.  A new friend brought spinach-artichoke quiche (not vegan but I don’t care)!

Another friend brought French toast (also not vegan), and somebody else brought chocolate-pumpkin muffins that just happened to be vegan!  They were made using a low-fat recipe that calls for mixing a box of cake mix with a can of pumpkin.  The result is moist and delicious.  Kate brought one of her famous pies, which also happen to be vegan.   Her crust is always light and flaky, just about the best I’ve ever had!  The strawberry filling was perfect too.  She also provided some super flavorful home-grown strawberries from her garden.

Breakfast for Dinner was a delicious carb-fest success!  We definitely need to fit in at least one more potluck before I leave.  We’re thinking maybe Italian food or maybe a nachos bar.  The food is always great, but it’s really the company that makes these lovely affairs.

Herbed whole-wheat drop biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet.  Mix:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (I used fresh and added it with the wet ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut in:

  • 3 tablespoons cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cold non-hydrogenated margarine (I didn’t have any shortening, so I just used 5 tablespoons of margarine)

Stir in:

  • I cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk.  I used soy)

Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough on baking sheet in mounds (about 1/4 cup each.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until firm.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

Smoked almond gravy

In your food processor or blender chop:

  • 2 cloves garlic

Then add:

  • 1 cup smoked almonds (I was disappointed to find that Trader Joe’s didn’t have smoked almonds.  No problem.  Instead I used regular almonds and added several grinds of TJ’s South African SMOKE Seasoning Blend.  This was probably even better because I was able to control the amount of smoky flavor, and this stuff is gonna be great on lots of vegan foods)

Then process the almonds into fine crumbs.  Add:

  • 1 1/4 cups water (I used unsweetened soy milk instead)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Process until smooth.  Don’t worry if it seems thin right now.  Pour it into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened.  That’s it!

Another Absolutely Wonderful Trip to San Francisco

First of all, I would like to point out that this blog is now one year old!  Woo hoo!  Thank you to all of my readers and supporters over the last year!

Now, down to business…photos from California!  Breakfast on the first day was a hearty veggie curry pastie from John Campbell’s Irish Bakery on Geary Street.  Yum.  Granted, this was probably not 100% vegan, but it was vegetarian and savory, and perfect for eating in Noor’s Land Rover on the way to Peet’s Coffee, which has the best coffee EVER (+ 2 vegan cookie options!)

For dinner one night we headed across the Bay Bridge to Oakland to eat at the incomparable Zaki Kabob House.  Noor really wanted to take me there, because he noticed that the menu has a whole column of vegan dishes!  It was hard to choose!  As an appetizer we shared the Mashweeya salad: tender roasted eggplant, fresh tomatoes, crisp red onions, lots of garlic, and good olive oil.

For my entree I ordered the Zaki Mediterranean Plate so that I could try a little bit of everything.  It had hummus, baba ghanouj, dolmas, falafels, and unlimited pita bread.

They provided complimentary fresh mint tea, and I also ordered a Jerusalem Mint Lemonade, which was SUPER minty: the perfect way to wash down a delicious meal.

This is a wonderful family-owned restaurant with a lot of integrity, definitely a new favorite.  The other purpose for our Oakland trip was a stop at Fenton’s Creamery, where Noor did get me to sample their heavenly Toasted Almond ice cream, but even there I did manage to find a vegan option in the raspberry sorbet.

All of their treats are freshly made by hand.  This was a far cry from the hard-frozen sorbets at the supermarket.  It was soft, flavorful, and not too sweet.  I know that Oakland gets a bad rap, but I had a great time there!

The next day I took the bus downtown by myself because Noor had to work.  At SFMOMA I got to see a work by one of my favorite artists.  Here I am in front of Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather.  In this piece she cast self-portrait busts in both chocolate and lard.  Then she slowly erased her identity by licking the chocolate and washing with the soap.

After working up an appetite by looking at art, I really wanted to eat at The Plant, having read about it on Amber Shea’s Almost Vegan blog.  However, I got there and found that it is closed on Saturdays!    The location in the Financial District is only open Monday through Friday.  Oh well.  I wandered a bit and then headed over to the Ferry Building.

The Ferry Building is host to an upscale (and fairly pricy) farmers’ market, but it was winding down for the day.  I did find some wonderful food from The Slanted Door at their to-go window, called Out the Door.  I ordered the Vegetarian Curry and Iced Tea and walked outside and found a bench.  This was my lunch:

This was where I ate my lunch:

…and this was my dining companion:

Not bad, huh?  The curry was lovely.  It was a Vietnamese curry: not heavily seasoned, but hearty.  With potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, it was almost like a good stew.

In addition to trying some great new places, I also got to enjoy some old favorites.  On Sunday morning/afternoon we had brunch at La Palma Mexicatessan while listening to the church bells.  I got the Vegetarian Burrito (no sour cream or cheese) again, but this time I tried the tomato-basil tortilla (last time I had the spinach tortilla).  Yum.  Here it is untouched but already bursting at the seams with goodness:

…and here it is after I destroyed half of it.  Noor also got me some chips and guacamole and vegetarian sweet corn tamales to take back to his place (because he knows the way to my heart)

They accidentally gave us the cinnamon tamales, but they were good!

We also went down to San Jose to visit our good friend Scott, and, of course, we hit up Falafel’s Drive-In.  I had the Falafel Sandwich again, and it was awesome again!

In San Jose I also got to say hi to our friend Jane’s chickens. These are some happy chickens.

This one thinks she’s a cat and roams around the house looking for spiders under the furniture.

Needless to say, I felt no qualms about eating some eggs from THESE chickens!  Thank you, Jane, for the wonderful eggs!  Look at how pretty the colors were:

Noor made me another potato omelet, which I devoured!


I think the steam was fogging up my camera lens here, and I was too hungry to care, but you can still tell how rich and yellow the egg yolks were: not at all like the ones from the store.

Noor also made VEGAN CHILI for me!  Yeah!  It had black beans, quinoa, Morningstar crumbles, tomato paste, and onions, and was well seasoned with chili powder and cumin.  It was thicker than what I usually make.  In fact, the texture was downright meaty!

On my last day we got breakfast at the farmers’ market in the parking lot of the mall by his apartment.  I love that you can’t swing a dead cat in San Francisco (not that a vegan would ever do that) without hitting a farmers’ market.  It was a foggy, misty morning: very pretty but no good for taking pictures.  We got a nice loaf of French bread, and then we happened upon a hummus stand.  The hummus guy was a very good salesman.  He let us try all of the flavors, including yummy Artichoke, Tomato-Basil, and Avocado-Cilantro.  He explained that their hummus has a super creamy texture with half the oil and tahini of traditional hummus, thanks to a special blade for blending it smoothly.  It was super yummy and only 250 calories per tub.  We chose the Cilantro-Jalapeno Hummus and also the Italian Caponata (a yummy eggplant-tomato-olive spread).

After putting a big dent in our bread and spreads we also each had a piece of bread with some off-brand Nutella that happens to be vegan as our “breakfast dessert.”  Then we headed over to Peet’s to wash down a fabulous breakfast with the BEST coffee.

What a great trip!  I can’t wait to go back and get some more of that hummus!  I love that I’ve spent enough time in San Francisco now to have old favorite restaurants but that I also had the chance to find some new favorites.  I also love it when my BF cooks for me.  I’ll have to make him a nice meal when he visits me in KC next month.  If you were a (mostly) vegan cooking for a confirmed omnivore, what would you make?

Tomato-Rosemary Scones

I used to live near a Whole Foods, and I got addicted to these savory Tomato-Rosemary Scones from their bakery.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found the recipe in the book Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (* I have successfully made these gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and adding 1 teaspoon xantham gum)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary , chopped (about 4 sprigs)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • In another bowl, combine wet ingredients and rosemary.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Gently mix with a wooden spoon.
  • When the batter is loosely holding together, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead until a soft dough forms. DO NOT overmix. Some patches of flour are good. Add a little extra flour if the dough seems sticky. Divide dough in two and form each section into a 6-inch disk. Slice each disk into six pieces (cut in half and then cut each half into thirds). OR if you are lazy like me and don’t need your scones to be pretty, you can just scoop the dough into 8-12 mounds on the cookie sheet (like drop biscuits).
  • Place scones on the baking sheet and bake 14-16 minutes or until the tops are firm. Remove and let cool a bit on plate or cooling rack. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

I think some chopped sun-dried tomatoes would be a nice addition to the dough.

I like to serve these with either Earth Balance brand non-hydrogenated margarine or Trader Joe’s brand vegan cream cheese.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour: $0.15
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder: $0.06
  • ¼ cup sugar: $0.04
  • salt and pepper: $0.01
  • 13 cup olive oil: $0.27 (Isa says you can use canola to make it even cheaper)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce: $1.79
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar: $0.03
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary: $0.99

=$3.34/12 scones

=$0.28/serving!

If I remember correctly, the Whole Foods bakery was charging $2.50 per scone.  That’s almost ten times more!!!

My New Favorite Breakfast: Baked Beans on Toast

I crave protein in the mornings, so my go-to breakfast is peanut butter on toast.  This is much more interesting:

I think it was Noor who mentioned that baked beans are often eaten at breakfast in England.  I always think of them as a picnic/BBQ food, but generally avoid them at such events because they usually have bacon and/or pork fat.  Luckily, supermarkets carry fat-free baked beans, which are almost always vegetarian.  And if I spoon them on a slice of toast, suddenly they seem like a breakfast food!

  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted: $0.13
  • 1/4 can baked beans: $0.37…mixed with…
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup: $0.02

=$0.52 for a nice, heartier-than-peanut-butter breakfast!

Feel free to garnish with more ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, green peppers, or onions (if you’re into that sort of thing first thing in the morning).

Copycat Breakfast Burritos

I crave protein in the morning, but a lot of vegetarian breakfast options are sweet/starchy.  That’s why Amy’s Breakfast Burritos are one of my favorites, but at $2.50-$3.00 a piece, the cost can really add up.  Recently, I tried my hand at making my own version.

I started by reading the ingredients on an Amy’s Breakfast Burrito wrapper, then I purchased my ingredients.  Obviously, I had to estimate the amounts.  I decided to go with a jalapeno pepper instead of bell pepper, but you can always adjust the recipe to your own spice preference.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 potato
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can black beans
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas

My main concern was preventing the burritos from being soggy, so I started by draining my tofu.  I sliced it in half lengthwise and wrapped half in a clean dishcloth:

Since I was only using half for this recipe, I stored the other half in a container of water in the fridge until I was ready to use it for something else.  Then I placed a cutting board on top of my wrapped tofu and put a can on top of it for about 30 minutes to gently squeeze out most of the water.

  • Meanwhile, I sauteed the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a little oil.
  • Next, I cut the drained tofu into cubes and added it to the pan and cooked it over medium-low heat until nice and brown (about 20 minutes).
  • Then, I drained the beans well and added those.
  • I drained the tomatoes, saving the juice for soup, and added those.
  • I stabbed several holes in the potato with a fork, then microwaved it for about 4 minutes.  I let it cool, peeled and cubed it, then added it to the mix.
  • I cooked all of this together for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors melded.   Then I divided the mixture between the tortillas.

Next, I folded up the tortillas, wrapped each one in Saran wrap, put them all in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and stored them in the freezer for busy mornings.  In the morning, I pulled one out, wrapped it in a paper towel, and microwaved it for about 1 minute on each side.

  • 1/2 pound extra-firm tofu: $1.40
  • 1 onion: $0.33
  • 2 cloves garlic: $0.10
  • 1 jalapeno pepper: $0.56
  • 1 potato: $0.28
  • 1 28-oz can  fire-roasted tomatoes: $3.39
  • 1 14-oz can black beans: $1.99
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas: $2.59

=$10.64 /6 servings =$1.77/burrito

So, if the average cost is $2.50 at the supermarket, I saved $4.38 by making 6 burritos at home.  If I ate one of these every day, I would save $266.45 over the course of the year (versus buying them at the store).  Not bad.  And, of course, I made these with all-organic ingredients from the co-op.  If you bought non-organic ingredients at the supermarket, you could make it even cheaper.

The best part is that you can tailor this recipe to your own taste.  It would be really good with a sweet potato or squash instead of a white potato.  You could also add other veggies like spinach or mushrooms.  The possibilities are endless.