Posts Tagged ‘vegan breakfast’
The Ultimate Tofu Scramble
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I know, I know, it’s lame that my triumphant return to blogging is sans photo, but I just perfected my new tofu scramble recipe, and it was so good that I forgot to take a picture.

This recipe is my attempt to recreate a tofu scramble that we were served at The Gentle Gourmet, a vegan B&B in Paris. We visited about a month ago, and I finally think that I have out amazing host’s recipe down.The real trick is that it’s more of a hash than a regular tofu scramble. I use firm tofu that isn’t packed in water (you can get it blocks at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s). I’ve figured out that this is the way to go as far as tofu is concerned, because you just have to give it a quick squeeze to release any excess moisture, instead of having to press out the liquid for 15 minutes.

Le Scamble de Tofu

1 c. potatoes, diced

4 oz. of tofu cut into 1/4″ cubes and coated in cornstarch

1/4 bell pepper, cut into slivers

4 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c. frozen spinach (that’s 1/2 c. while it’s still frozen).

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. dried minced garlic

1/2 tsp.  sea salt

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1. Dice potatoes, cut peppers, and slice mushrooms. Then, take the frozen spinach and defrost under warm running water.

2. Add  2 tsp. oil and garlic to a skillet, heat over high heat, tilting the pan to coat. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the thyme and black pepper.

3. Coat the tofu in cornstarch and add to the pan, along with the mushrooms. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to sweat and the tofu starts to brown.

4. Add the peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 3 minutes).

5. Season with sea salt to taste and serve.

C’est Le Pumpkin
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Bonjour and welcome to a French-themed edition of Mis-Adventures. My boyfriend and I are both hard at work with our Rosetta Stone, and by hard at work I mean that some days when we’re not too busy, we work in a lesson. He is better about it than I am, but I also took French in college, so it’s mostly been review for me. The other day, I decided to help him with his studies by creating some flash cards. They included handy sayings such as “I am a vegetarian”,  “I do not eat dairy products”, and most importantly “Where is the House of Chanel?”.  To help get us in the spirit (and also to satisfy my insatiable appetite for pumpkin), we came up with a way to make pumpkin french toast. This is based off a recipe that uses bananas in place of eggs, but we substituted pumpkin for the banana and reintroduced egg replacer powder to bind it all together. Since this was a part of my Mcdougal week, we broiled the french toast instead of frying it up in a pan. It was not only brilliant, but it was also delicious.

Recipe Review: Banana Bread
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Unfortunately, there is no picture to document the absolutely delicious and fat-free banana bread that I put together. It is August in  Southern California, and that means it’s not a good idea to make banana bread, wrap it in plastic, and leave it on the counter overnight. It gets moisture-ridden, icky, and fruit flies move in. I had to toss what was left of the loaf and disinfect the entire kitchen.

I’m not terribly sure how a fruit fly invasion starts, but we had the beginning of one this week. I responded by getting rid of any fruit that had been sitting out. This was a shame because I usually rely on buying bananas when they are a little under-ripe and then letting them sit out on the counter. Until the weather cools down, I guess that I will have to be a little more careful about picking out riper fruits and leaving them in the fridge, which I am slowly learning is where food belongs in the summer.

Anyway, you can find the recipe that I used over at fat free vegan http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/06/blueberry-banana-bread.html. Sometimes her fat free recipes don’t really work out for me, but this one was pretty good. Originally, I planned on making the bread to share with some friends, but when it came out it just wasn’t up to par with something I would serve to a bunch of non-vegans. I’ve found that when feeding non-vegans, it has to be REALLY good, lest you risk tainting their opinions of all vegan food. However, for someone who is used to the texture and density of fat-free vegan baked goods, this recipe is amazing.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
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OK I guess that I have to live up to it. After a very successful first week on the McDougall plan, I fell of the wagon. In spite of my McDougallings, my body started retaining water like crazy(more on that personal issue later, I promise). I quickly grew frustrated with my body. It was a lot of work to avoid ALL oils, and going through that trouble without seeing any results was a disheartening experience. I just had to give up the McDougall plan for the time being, with the intention of returning to it.
Of course there is one major exception, and that is that I continue to cut back on oil when I cook at home. By eliminating some of the empty calories that were coming from oils, I’ve been able to work in more whole grains. They’re full of fiber and really do help control your appetite. Last week, I made some delicious oatmeal for breakfast. The recipe serves two, so you can either find a breakfast partner or save half for the following day. It tastes just as good re-heated, so I give this recipe a D for delicious.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

  • 2 c. apple juice
  • 1.25 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 2 TBSP. raisins
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1TBSP. cinnamon

1. Bring the apple juice and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat. Add the oats and cook for 5 minutes, or until the liquid disappears.

2. Add the cubed apples and stir. Sprinkle with raisins and brown sugar and serve.

Breakfast Bran Muffins
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One of the many diet books that I have consulted over the years was the Fat Smash Diet. Yes, that’s right, it’s written by Dr. Ian from VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club. He actually has a degree from Harvard, so I felt comfortable listening to his advice. Unfortunately, that diet was hard to maintain and I came upon it before I really discovered willpower. However, the one thing that always stuck with me was how much Dr. Ian loathed muffins. He would have taken every muffin from every coffee shop and bakery in America, rounded them up, and marched them to their deaths. Why?
Because muffins are totally bad for you. Starbuck’s Apple Bran muffin has 470 calories. It’s a bran muffin! It’s supposed to be healthy, or so one would think. Wash that sucker down with a frappuccino, and your breakfast has 800 calories in it. To give you some perspective, my caloric intake is somewhere around 1800 a day to maintain my weight. So, I could have that “healthy” muffin and some sugary syrupy goodness, but what would I do about the rest of my day?
Now, I wouldn’t actually ever eat a Starbuck’s bran muffin, because it has little baby animals in it, and I do not eat little baby animals. That whole rant was just a hypothetical exercise. Anyway, since regular muffins are so unhealthy, and since I decided to try out the McDougall plan for a week, here is a decent recipe for oil-free bran muffins. They’re very dense and chewy, and it is my experience that one is more than enough for a filling breakfast.
Disclaimer: It’s not the most delicious muffin ever, but If you are looking for non-fat recipes, than this is the way to go.



Oat Bran Muffins

  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 c. oat bran
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c. apple juice

Sift together the dry ingredients and add raisins and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients and stir until the two are just mixed together.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serves 12 at 171 calories each.

Oil-Free French Toast
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Wow, or as the French would say, Oo-la-la. I am a girl who loves sweet foods for breakfast. However, when I think of French Toast I can’t help but feel a little guilty thinking about all of the fat involved in cooking. Veganism took care of eliminating the cholesterol, Dr. McDougall took care of eliminating the fat. I, however, will take credit for my brilliant elimination of processed syrup by replacing it with a date compote.
Last month, I made my first-ever trip to Farmer’s Choice, a brand new produce store on Pico in Santa Monica. It is in the same shopping center as the Trader Joe’s and it is absolutely amazing. The produce looks, feels, and tastes as fresh as a farmer’s market, but it’s also incredibly cheap. On my second visit, I managed to buy 90% of the weekly produce for 2 people, and it only ran me $17. From talking to the checkout girl, I learned that they get most of their produce shipped in daily and use local sources whenever possible.
I ran in there to pick up some raspberries, but ended up taking a “quick look” around. My quick look turned into an excuse to fill my basket with fresh fruits and vegetables, including some of the sweetest, softest dates I’ve had in a long time. I previously have sworn by the date lady at the Virginia Avenue Park farmer’s market. However, I am switching my allegiance over to Farmer’s Choice.
Oil-Free French Toast with Date-Raisin Compote
For the Toast

  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 1/4 c. raw cashews
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon

Compote

  • 6 dates
  • 2 TBSP raisins
  • 1/4 c. sugar free apple juice
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425. 
  2. Blend the cashews with the water and then mix in the remaining ingredients. 
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. 
  4. Dip both sides of the bread in the cashew mixture and lay it on the parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees. Flip the toast and cook on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. While the toast is cooking, remove the pits from 6 dates. Cut each date into roughly 4 bite-size chunks. 
  6. In a small saucepan, combine dates, raisins, apple juice, cinnamon, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it thicken while the french toast finishes baking.

french toast serves 2 at 330 calories each, compote serves 2 at 110 calories each

Tex-Mex Breakfast!
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OK, so I probably talked a lot of shit about tex-mex breakfast when I found the recipe on the McDougall website. I probably continued to poke fun at it as I reworked the recipe. I continued to be a smart-ass even as we sat down and ate tex-mex breakfast. However, I was eating my words once I realized 1: it’s delicious and 2: it’s really, really good for you.
I made this breakfast a few weeks ago and substituted tofu for the brown rice recommended by the officiall McDougall recipe. Some members of my household can’t really get behind the entire “rice for breakfast” idea.
On the day I took the picture, I may have undermined the entire “oil-free” concept by adding some crumbled vegan sausage. The reason behind the addition was pretty straightforward. I had the vegan sausage patties on hand from before I went on my McDougall bender, and didn’t want to let it go to waste. I’m big on not letting things go to waste.

Tex-Mex Tofu Scramble

serves 2 at around 400 each

1 c. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
6 oz. firm tofu
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of tumeric
2 vegan breakfast sausage patties
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/3 c. frozen corn
1 tomato, chopped
pepper to taste
2 whole wheat tortillas

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 425. Lay the potatoes in a single layer and bake until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, crumble your tofu by hand and mix with the tumeric and garlic powder. Prep all of your vegetables.
3. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, crumble the sausage patties and add the green onions. Cook for a minute and then add the frozen corn.
4. When the corn begins to thaw, add the crumbled tofu mixture and chopped tomato. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes. If it starts to stick to the pan, or dry out, add a few tablespoons of water.
5. When you add the tofu to the skillet, toss the tortillas in the oven next to the potatoes.
6. When the tortillas are warm, place them on a plate and spoon out the tofu mixture on top. You can wrap these up like burritos if you are so inclined, but I was not. Serve with the potatoes and possibly some sort of fruit. I used a tangerine.

Pirates Chai for Breakfast
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Due to a ridiculous language requirement at USC, I spent about twelve thousand dollars (that’s three semesters worth) trying to cultivate an interest in the French language and culture. I know a few words “Je suis la jeune fille” for example, but for the most part all of that classroom time was wasted. I really wanted to learn French, but trying to do so while also working, taking a full courseload, and slogging through my Freshman year of college was not a good idea. I did, however, come away from the class with two things: 1: a new appreciation for The Cure’s Killin an Arab and 2: a real love of crepes.
It only makes sense that I would be into crepes, considering the fact that I am mad about pancakes. It’s worth noting that lately I have been reserving pancakes for weekend mornings and getting by with tofu scramble during the week. I do, however, make a pretty impressive crepe. I think there are a few very key elements to a good crepe.
1. Mixing the batter: I like to use my stand-up blender for this one. It gets the batter really smooth which is important.
2. The flour: you want to use a fine-ground whole wheat pastry flour. It will be light and smooth enough to make your crepes delicate.
3. A large spatula: for flipping.
4. A kick-ass filling: for my crepes I used a filling very similiar to bananas foster, except that I made a mockery of it.
5. Patience: you have to cook the first side of the crepe for a little bit longer than you think, because the top should be pretty much firm before you turn them over.

Vegan Crepes

  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pirates chai

Blend all ingredients in a stand up blender until smooth, and refrigerate mixture for half an hour.
Bring a frying pan to medium heat and spray lightly with oil.
Ladle out about 1/4 of a cup of batter in a thin layer. Let the crepe cook on one side until the top is firm, flip, and cook for about another minute.
Serve with your favorite fruit filling.

Bananas Foster (even though I’m sure this is nothing like the real thing)

  • 1 banana, slices
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/2 a shot bacardi
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Warm the banana and molasses over high heat.
2. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the bacardi and vanilla and stir until the alchohol burns off and everything reduces nicely.

Strawberry Banana Pancakes
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I think that it’s really commendable that I am so good at beating a dead horse re-inventing this vegan pancake recipe. At this point in the game, I’m doing it just to challenge myself and see just how versatile of a little recipe this is. Future implementations will include granola, chocolate (not chocolate chip, actual chocolate), and coconut macadamia. Maybe I should open up my own vegan pancake restaurant. I suppose that I would need some savory pancakes to round out my menu. I would also need capital: lots of capital. I’ve been toying lately with the idea of writing my own book. The concept would be a guide to healthy living, a way of turning your life around, through improving your diet, exercise, and lots of delicious and nutritious recipes. I worry that no one would want to buy it, so feel free to post reassuring comments about how you would buy two if you had the chance.
The other day I ended up with a banana on the edge. You know what I’m talking about. The skin is starting to develop some brown splotches and you know that a matter of hours stand between you and a wasted quarter. I knew that I had to act fast. I really love bananas. The potassium in them is great for light-headedness, which I sometimes have a problem with. Some people argue that 100 calories for a piece of fruit is excessive. Those people are stupid, bananas are great, and here’s a new recipe.

Strawberry Banana Pancakes
1/2 a ripe banana
3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp. water
1 c. soymilk

In a mixing bowl (or I used my magic bullet), mash a banana. Add sugar and soymilk.
In a seperate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet (again, I just pulsed on high for 10 seconds), adding water until you reach a good pancake-like consistency.
Dice the strawberries into little chunks and add to the batter, mix but do not pulse if you are using a food processor. 
Pour out onto a hot pan coated with nonstick spray.

Makes about 6 pancakes at 92 calories each.

Vamping on French Toast
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Being vegan doesn’t always have to mean being healthy. In fact, I have seen a number of people who are vegan, but continue to eat shitty diets full of carbs and oils. So, this conception that all vegans are rail thin with perfect skin is not something that is always true. Although, it is something that this particular vegan aspires to, and 95% of the time, I eat meals that further this goal. On the other hand, sometimes it’s the morning of my birthday and I feel entitled so something just a little more special.
Before moving to West LA and becoming one of those people who needs to work up the motivation to journey east of La Cienega, I used to reside in uber-hip Los Feliz. Out of habit, I still go to the doctor over there every couple of months. I used to always round out the trip with a little visit to Fred 62, which used to be my favorite kitschy diner until I discovered Swingers’ and her vegan pancakes.
Fred’s is a great place, if you are willing to look past a less than stellar wait-staff and the fact that sometimes you have to wait an hour for a table. The food is absolutely delicious, and one of my favorites was always the Bearded Mr. Frenchy, a french toast coated in corn flakes and then deep fried. Even before I went vegan, I felt that the dish was a little heavy, which means that to someone with normal taste buds, it probably tasted like a lard parade. Anyway,I made this special occasion-only breakfast in April when I wanted something absolutely bananas for my birthday.

A joke I heard the other day.
How many vegans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Answer: Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to read the ingredients. Ba-dum-ba. Here’s the recipe.

Corn-flake Crusted French Toast

  • 3 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer
  • 1/4 c. soymilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 c. cornflakes
  • oil for frying

Mix the egg replacer, soymilk, vanilla and cinnamon and pour into a shallow bowl or dish. Crumble the cornflakes (each flake only needs to be crumbled in half) and place in a seperate dish.
Dip both sides of the bread in the milk mixture (don’t let them sit in it for too long) and press into the cornflake crumbs. Flip the bread and press in the other side.
In a large frying pan, heat 1/4″ of oil over high. Wait until the oil is piping hot (I’m talking close to smoking here) and drop the coated pieces of bread into the pan. Let them cook for a minute on each side and drain them on a paper towel before serving.
Serve sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Serves 2 at a bazillion calories.