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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

5 Jan DSC_0334dit

This past week there was torrential rainfall in the Midwest and we happened to be affected by it. We live in an older house that I love, but the previous owners decided to finish most of the basement. This usually isn’t a problem: we have extra space for entertaining and a whole extra room to display some of my husband’s Marvel action figures.

Until it floods.

And yes, he collects action figures. Our bathroom is actually Simpsons themed. You can totally tell we’re adults who grew up in the 90s. My husband had taken a few days off between Christmas and New Years, and spent most of that time on his hands and knees tearing up laminate. This week, we have people installing a sump pump (I didn’t even know what that was) in our basement. These nice guys actually went through the effort of hauling away all of our basement flooring, so I decided to make these cinnamon rolls for them.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Little did I know, one was on a diet, so after I shared with the other guy, I ate four. So it goes.Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

28 Nov Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I’m still enjoying experimenting with the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg because as I’ve admitted before, I tend to get “committed” (read: obsessed.) It’s been sold out by most retailers, but it should be coming from back to Amazon and Vegan Essentials soon! I’ll be checking regularly with the rest of you, because I know I’m going to run out!
Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

The carton of VeganEgg contains a recipe for quiche florentine, but I wanted to put my own twist on it by using a hashbrown crust and vegan sour cream. This came out even better than my previous tofu quiche texture, and I usually never admit to improvement. I think I could eat this daily for breakfast and never get sick of it. Like a proper Midwesterner, we ate this with ketchup for dipping, because in the Midwest we put ketchup on everything. Or maybe that’s just me and I’m using my location as an excuse. I guess we’ll never know.

Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I would highly suggest prepping this early by getting your cold water ready, or even preparing your filling and crust the night before if you want to serve it for breakfast.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

12 Oct Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Today is my husband’s birthday and one of his usual requests is something with chocolate. I knew I needed to use up these bananas from my freezer, so chocolate chip banana muffins were a great way to satisfy both his sweet tooth and my desire to declutter.

Aquafaba makes a great egg replacer in these muffins and no one would even be able to tell they’re egg and dairy free. I actually brought them in to share with his coworkers and they gobbled them up.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

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Soy Yogurt

10 Sep

So you want to make your own yogurt? I said the same thing a couple years ago and have tried many different methods, milks, cultures, etc. The great thing about yogurt is that once you have a culture going, you can keep culturing multiple batches. It’s kind of like friendship bread in that way. The first method I tried was using a slow cooker to heat the milk to just under scalding, then letting it come back down to culturing temperature and culturing in the pot in an oven. It worked quite well, but never got extremely thick. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or yogurt maker, I would highly recommend this method.

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Culturing needs to be done at 110°F, which is why an Instant Pot or yogurt maker will work best. I always sterilize all of my tools and yogurt containers before starting this. You can either use a dishwasher to sterilize or boiling water, whatever works best for you.

There are several different brands of yogurt culture available. I tend to use Belle + Bella, but Cultures for Health and any other non dairy yogurt can be used. If using non dairy yogurt, use somewhere 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup to start your culture.

I use either Westsoy Organic Unsweetened or Silk Unsweetened Soy Milk to make my yogurt, but try to use it upon first opening it. If you use it after it has already been open, there’s a chance that other bacteria can contaminate the batch and grow during the culturing.
You can also use homemade soy milk, if you want to go to that much effort. Other plant milks won’t thicken well because of the lack of protein, but the cornstarch can help them come close to the thickness of dairy yogurt.

If you don’t mind a little sweetness, you can add a little sugar which will help the yogurt culture quickly. You can also use a premade vanilla soymilk with added sugar if you want a sugary yogurt (it will still have less sugar than the store-bought kind.) The bacteria in yogurt use sugar as food, so the more sugar in the milk the quicker it will culture.

This yogurt can also me made without the cornstarch, but it won’t be as thick as pictured. I’ve found I prefer the texture of the thicker yogurt and straining with a cheesecloth has never helped me much.

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If your cornstarch clumps on you, and immersion blender can be used in the pot to break up the clumps. Cornstarch does tend to cause a skin to form, so be sure to give it regular stirs in the pot to avoid this. I use a regular instant read thermometer to check the temperature, but if you miss the 108-112°F window, you can easily heat it up a bit to get it to the right temperature.

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Healthier Banana Bread

8 Sep

I’ve been making the same banana bread for well over a year now. It’s a solid recipe, but sometimes I feel guilty for the high amount of sugar (especially after adding chocolate chips.)

I’ve also been making these lactation cookies regularly. I wanted to combine the idea of oats and extra nutrition from flax seeds and nutritional yeast with my normal banana bread recipe.

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I was really worried these loaves would be too soft to hold together, but they are tender and delicious. I ate at least three slices with zero guilt last night and couldn’t get over how delicious it was.

I hope you try it too!

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Ham and Cheese Quiche

2 Sep wpid-fb_img_1441138097157.jpg

To tell the truth, I’ve only ever eaten quiche once in my life. I remember it’s silken fluffy texture well, but I haven’t thought about it in years. I saw this recipe from Minimalist Baker and I thought, “well, I have an hour before work, might as well.”

Ham and Cheese Quiche

I changed my filling a bit and decided to make the entire thing in a cast iron skillet, because I often think I should cook in cast iron more. Thinking back on it, I should have doubled the filling because of the increase in size. I bet this would work really well in a pie pan as well; it would come out quite a bit thicker. I’d also like to petition that all quiches be made with a hash brown crust, because that stuff is delicious. Pastry crust would work to, but the only downfall is it’s not potatoes.

Ham and Cheese Quiche

This makes a perfect meal for demolishing before work or when you baby wakes you up at 4 a.m. or breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire day.

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Breakfast Pizza

24 Aug

In my post about peanut butter and jelly macarons I talked about “breakfast pizza” that was often served in my high school cafeteria. It still holds a special place in my stomach and I always enjoy the challenge of veganizing an old favorite.

You can definitely use your own favorite scrambled tofu recipe or homemade sausage in this. My favorite cheese on this is the mozzarella from the Non Dairy Evolution.

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Cream Cheese

31 Jul

Since making Nina’s vegan butter a few days ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I added cashew cream to the mixture. When I get ideas like this in my head, they tend to stick there until I actually make them. Some might call it “obsessive”, I call it “dedicated.”

I never think to plan ahead to soak my cashews, so I boiled them for 15 minutes to soften them for blending. This recipe will be much easier for you if you have a high powered blender – I only have a Ninja and it worked well.
I also added a few more ingredients to increase the “tang” for the cream cheese. It might seem really tangy originally but it will mellow a bit in the fridge. There isn’t a great substitute for the vegan lactic acid powder, but it’s not that expensive to purchase on Amazon or Modernist Pantry and it will really kick up your vegan mac and cheese! You can try 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a similar acidic flavor.
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Blueberry Muffins

16 Dec

When Ken and I first started dating, we took a trip to a blueberry farm in Illinois. We spent hours picking (and mostly eating) berries, until I got tired and lost our group. I ended up trying to call him multiple times from a stranger’s cell phone and surprisingly there’s very little cell reception on a blueberry farm in the middle of nowhere. After waiting awkwardly on a bench for an hour, we finally found each other, and we left that farm with a cooler full of blueberries. Most were frozen and eventually made their way into loaves of banana bread, but some turned into these excellent muffins.

I made a huge batch of these  to freeze before having my baby, so feel free to do the same. You can even substitute chocolate chips for the blueberries and pretend like it’s a healthy breakfast. I promise not to tell.

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Ham Style Seitan

26 Nov

One of the things I miss most from my meat eating days is ham. Not the cruelty and death that comes with it, or even the texture, but the smokey, sweet flavor that’s perfect on pizzas, in salads, or with Sunday dinner. I’ve been on the lookout for a ham seitan recipe for a while, and this recipe seemed to combine all the good flavors of ham in one place.

We ate this sliced into rounds on pizza, but I think this would be a great alternative to Tofurky at a thanksgiving dinner. It would be perfect baked with a glaze and slices of pineapple.  This seitan is a bit soft as is, but if you bake it in the foil for 30 minutes at 350° F it comes out perfect for snacking and slicing.

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