Category Archives: Breakfast

Apple Ring Pancakes

On the hunt for a healthier breakfast and craving pancakes simultaneously lends itself to a predicament that most of us face. What to eat for breakfast that’s healthy and tasty?

As I perused my kitchen for my available selection of ingredients, I noticed I had some apples, and thought to myself “What if I dip the apple in the pancake mix and then cook it?” And this is what happened:

What you will need:

  • Enough pancake mix for your family or you can use this recipe to make pancakes from scratch. I used 1 cup of pancake mix and prepared it according to the directions.
  • Enough apples for your family, peeled, cored, and sliced into rings. I used one large apple for me and Sugar.
  • Hot buttered skillet.Buttered skillet
  • Real maple syrup.

Method:

  1. Prep pancake mix. Batter
  2. Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch thick rings. Apple
  3. Dip the apple ring in the batter. Let the excess drip off. Apple dip
  4. Cook in a buttered skillet until golden brown. Apple fryApply cooking
  5. Serve with maple syrup and your favorite sides. Breakfast 2
  6. Mmmmmmm!

Until next time, I send you peace, love and good energy!

~Sharon

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Creamy Avocado Spread/Dip (Vegan)

Ever on the search for a better breakfast alternative, I dreamed up this creation to satisfy my desire to eat more avocados, as well as an alternative for a breakfast/snack/dip that was savory, but not unhealthy.

Avocados are so good for you: according to californiaavocado.com “Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.”

There’s the facts … here’s the spread:

What you will need:

  • 1-2 avocados
  • a drizzle olive oil
  • lemon/orange juice
  • a splash of dairy-free milk (optional)
  • spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika

The Method:

  1. Half the avocados and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. (I used 1.5 small avocados)
  2. Pulse until it starts to get creamy. 562
  3. Add the lemon/orange juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and the spices of your choice. Pulse until creamy.561
  4. If it is still really thick, you can thin it with the diary-free milk, or the olive oil.

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Serving Suggestions:

  • Spread onto toast for a great breakfast or snack. 
  • Spread onto a sandwich in place of mayonnaise.
  • Put into a bowl for dipping chips or veggies.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

Sprouted Breakfast Oatmeal (No Cooking Required!)

Raise your hand if you actually wake up and prepare breakfast for yourself before leave the house in the morning… … … If you’re anything like me, your hand is not raised right now. I’m so busy that I need to get as much sleep as possible, and unfortunately, that does not mean waking up early to make a healthy breakfast. I had to come up with a solution I would eat. I turned to oatmeal.

There is nothing more bland and tasteless than oatmeal. I’ve never been a huge fan of it … a hot bowl of slimy goo that I was supposed to like because it was flavored and covered and sugar. Not for me. I’ve tried, in vain, for years to like oatmeal … but no success, until now!

So what changed? The oats. The method of preparation. The ingredients.

The method is simple … you make it the night before and BAM!!! – breakfast to go in the morning. No more waking up early to make yourself something. No more stopping on your way to work for something “quick” and unhealthy. This recipe makes enough to last us all week – we each take about 1/2 cup about 3 times per week. This breakfast gives you sustained energy to get up and going for the day.

What you will need:

  • a medium glass bowl
  • 1 cup of oats (I use steel-cut – but rolled is fine, too)
  • 2 cups of cashew milk
  • a few tablespoons of molasses or 1/2 cup of dates
  • a tablespoon or two of cinnamon
  • agave nectar, optional (for added sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup of fried fruit – we use cranberries but cherries or anything else will do fine.
  • nuts or seeds

The method: Do this the night before.

  1. Put the cashew milk in the blender, add the molasses or dates and cinnamon. Blend.20130127_180050
  2. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking – if you prefer a little more sweetness add a tablespoon or so of agave nectar.
  3. Put the uncooked oats into the glass bowl. Pour the cashew milk mixture on top. Stir to combine. Add dried cranberries. (I also threw in 1/4 c. flax-seed).20130127_18003920130127_180110
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). The next morning you will have either a solid mixture if you used rolled oats, but if you used steel-cut you will have a slightly soupy mixture.

Personally – I prefer the slightly soupy mixture. I just scoop enough in my to-go container and bring it with me to work. I eat it cold. Sugar prefers to warm his up by microwaving it for a few minutes at work.

You can also vary this by adding nuts, seeds, other fruits, other spices … the sky is the limit.  Make your own custom flavor by changing the spice, sweetener, and add-ins.

How do you feel about eating sprouted oatmeal?

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

How to make your own cashew milk

Being one of those people who is allergic to dairy makes life tough. However, I feel so much better with cow’s milk out of my life – no more upset tummies! I love soy milk (even though there are reports out there that soy isn’t good for you), hemp milk, and sometimes almond milk … but those cartons are expensive ($4.98 for a quart of hemp milk!). When I found out how easy it is to make your own cashew milk … I about fainted. Not only is it quick and easy … it only requires two ingredients and will cost a fraction of what you’re paying for your non-dairy beverages. Get ready for your mind to be blown:

What you will need: 

  • blender
  • 1/2-2/3 cups of raw unsalted cashews (buy in bulk section of your grocery store)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 minutes of time

095Assemble your blender. Add cashews, water, and blend on high for 2 minutes. Bam! Cashew milk … not kidding you.098

This beauty will replace any milk or non-dairy milk. I use it to make oatmeal, my egg-less french toast, to dip cookies in, and anything else you like milk in. It has a light flavor and the taste of the cashew is nearly gone, but yet has a subtle richness. Try it out – you won’t be disappointed.

I made some cashew milk for hot cocoa the other night … it was a hit … everyone loved it. So, I challenge you to take out your blender, make some cashew milk, and tell me what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Until next time, I send you peace, love and good energy.

~Sharon

Who needs a good laugh? (with Gluten-free Bread recipe)

Okay … so you remember in my other post New Years Eve 2012 where I told you I was going to bake my first loaf of gluten-free bread? Well, I did. She isn’t pretty, but she sure is tasty! My Sweetie remarked that it tasted like a coconut flavored cornbread. I will say the texture was very similar to a cornbread. It was particularly tasty toasted with butter and jam on top. It made a great snack while we were skiing today … hearty and filling, and loaded with good energy and protein.

I used a recipe from Annmarie Cantrell posted here and posted below:

Ingredients

  • 6 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 tablespoon raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup ghee, pastured butter or coconut oil (if you want a dairy-free version, use either ghee or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cups sifted coconut flour (sift first, then measure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum-free)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a small (9″x5″x3″) loaf pan.
Step 2
Blend together eggs, ghee, honey and salt.
Step 3
Combine coconut flour with baking soda and mix with liquid ingredients until there are no lumps.
Step 4
Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Step 5
Remove from pan and cool on rack.
Step 6
Serve with ghee, nut butter, or use in sandwiches.

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I did use a breadmaker … and I’m not sure if that mattered … since this is my first time ever baking bread. So, I think I will make it again once we finish eating the brick I baked. However, I think I will skip the bread maker and bake it in a traditional bread pan in the oven and see if that makes a difference. I will report on that. I still think what I made tastes good … but I think it could be better. So here’s a picture of the beauty I baked up:

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Okay, so it stuck to the sides a bit and I couldn’t get it out with a butter knife … so I had resort to digging it out with a spoon. Don’t judge me.

This is a learning experience and I will get better. It is one more step away from pre-packaged and processed foods for me and my family. It’s not easy getting back to basics.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

Easy Healthy Breakfast Cups

Hello Everyone! I hope your holidays were bright and filled with love!!!

Now that life has slowed down a bit, I can get back to blogging about the things I love and start developing new recipes to share with all of you. Here is one I whipped up last night for my Sweetie and my brother. I’m still on a no-egg kick … but these looked tasty … even that cats stole one off the counter! (Naughty kitties!)

I made this the night before for a quick “breakfast to-go” in the morning. Or you can make them up, not cook them, and then throw them in the oven when you wake up. Otherwise, make ahead, take two with you, warm them up at work and enjoy! No more eating crappy breakfast foods!

What you will need:

  • muffin tin
  • olive oil/butter
  • 6 slices of your favorite deli meat … I used tofurkey deli slices
  • 6 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • grated cheese – I used Romano
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin tin with oil or butter
  3. Line each cup with a slice of meat
  4. Crack an egg into each “meat cup”
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Top with grated cheese
  7. Cook for 20-30 minutes … or until the eggs are set. (check on them at 15 minutes and jiggle the pan to see if they’re still raw).
  8. Pop out of the tins and enjoy right away or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.

785786What’s your favorite “breakfast to-go?”

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

 

 

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy: Vegetarian Style

One of my absolute favorite breakfast dishes in the whole-wide world is biscuits and gravy. My Dad would always make it for me on my birthday when I was little. He would even make it for my friends when I would have sleepovers. (What a great Dad, huh!?!)

When I moved out, I would still crave this comforting dish. Unfortunately for me, I found out I’m highly allergic to cow’s milk, specifically the protein casein. I’m not the typical “lactose intolerant” gal. The type of allergy I have wreaks havoc on my digestive tract days after consumption. This prompted me to find an alternative that was just as tasty as the original. Hence, this recipe was born.

My Sweetie now begs for this dish like I used to as a child. I smile with the thought that I have passed on my love for this dish that will always remind me of my Dad. Recently, when my family (Dad included) visited for the holidays, I made them my version, and everyone ate it up like the recipe hadn’t changed. Woohooo! I call that a success!

Serves two.

Adapted from a recipe by Chez Bettay, original recipe found here:

Biscuits:

Makes 4 biscuits.

Get out a food processor or mixing bowl (it can be done both ways – just be sure not to over-mix). 

Add the flour to your food processor with the coconut oil, sea salt, and baking powder. Pulse until slightly combined.

Add the goat milk to the flour mixture. Pulse to combine. 

Now add the apple cider vinegar to your soymilk to create a vegan “buttermilk.” Slowly drizzle this into the food processor to gently combine. Being careful not to over mix. 

Turn out onto a floured board.  If slightly wet, knead in some more brown rice flour. You want the mixture to be slightly wet, but not falling a apart. 

Pat dough into a 3/4in to 1 in thick. Slice into 4 parts. Take each part and form into a biscuit. Or use biscuit cutters.

Place onto a greased cookie sheet. Brush tops with a little more melted coconut oil.  Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Sausage Gravy:

While the biscuits are baking we can start making the gravy.

Brown the sausage over medium high heat.. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium/medium-low. Add the coconut oil and flour to the pan and cook to make a roux. Cook slightly to get rid of the floury flavor. 

Add the soy milk, and whisk quickly to combine. One combined, turn up the heat to medium high. 

Add a ton of fresh cracked pepper (to your taste), add some salt and a little sprinkle of sage. 

Bring to a simmer and cook until thick. Add the sausage back in, and stir to combine. Check your gravy for seasoning … add more salt, pepper, and sage to your liking. 

Keep some extra soy milk on hand if the gravy begins to thicken too much. You will be able to thin it out by adding a tiny bit of soy milk at a time until you get the gravy consistency you like.

Slice open your biscuit, butter it, and then top it with heaping spoonfuls of gravy. Now eat up!

What is your all-time favorite breakfast? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

I will note that you can make your own “veggie sausage” with TVP by moistening the TVP with water or broth and then seasoning it with sage, salt, and pepper (which I did in this recipe since I was short on sausage patties). If you would like to know more about how to cook with TVP, please let me know in the comments section.  

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

Hashbrown Breakfast Skillet

I hate a boring breakfast … that’s why I’ve created tasty-wacky creations such as my Cornbread Breakfast Skillet. This next recipe is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts. It can be changed up to be taco-style with salsa, cheddar cheese, and sour cream on top. Or it can be dressed up as gourmet with goat cheese and pine nuts. Here’s one of my basic recipes. I threw in the artichoke hearts in because I needed to use them up. Feel free to add or subtract any of the ingredients to fit your family’s taste.

Serves Two Moderately Hungry People

What you’ll need:

  • 6 small red potatoes, shredded
  • 2 morning star patties, crumbled
  • 2-3 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 ounces of artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 3-4 eggs
  • blue cheese crumbles, for garnish
  • butter/oil
  • salt & pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add shredded potatoes, boil for 1-2 minutes, drain into fine mesh sieve or colander. 

In a large cast iron skillet heated to medium, add sausage, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Fry until slightly brown and crispy. Remove from skillet and set aside for later. 

Get the skillet hot again. Add oil or butter of your choosing. Then add the shredded potatoes. Fry until brown and crispy on both sides, about 6-8 minutes on each side. Add more oil/butter as needed to keep frying the potatoes up nicely.

*Note* The trick to great crispy hash brown is not moving them around too much. If you move them around … the starch in them gets all gooey and that’s what gives you chewy potatoes. The blanching process we started out with helps rid the potatoes shreds of some of their starch so they will fry up nicely.

Next, layer the sausage, mushroom, artichoke mixture on top of the hash brown layer. Crack the eggs over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. I like mine well-done. Top the skillet with a sprinkle of blue cheese and serve it up!

How do you overcome the boring-breakfast blues?

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

Cornbread Breakfast Skillet

Cornbread for breakfast? Yes! I just said that. I have an on-again/off-again relationship with eggs, and I want a healthy meal that’s not the same old boring breakfast items you can find anywhere.This is what my silly brain came up with this morning while I was drifting somewhere between sleep and consciousness.

I will note I was under a bit of stress as to what to do with the large amount of leftover cornbread from last night’s vegan chili extravaganza – which explains my wierd dreams of cornbread for breakfast today.

What you will need:

  • Some left over cornbread
  • 3 eggs
  • vegetarian sausage
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced thick
  • a bit of onions, sliced
  • 2 T. soy milk (or whatever milk you like)

In a skillet on medium, add some oil or butter. Then add the sausage, mushrooms, and onions to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. 

As you can see, I had two morning star sausage patties, and two links … I just used a mixture. Once everything is nice and brown and yummy, remove from the pan and set aside to be added back in later. (I chopped up the sausage into bite-sized chucks).

Next, scramble the eggs in a bowl with the soy milk. Season with salt and pepper. Then, crumble the cornbread into the bowl in bite sized chunks. This sort of reminded me of making french toast. I mixed the chunks around until the cornbread had absorbed most of the egg mixture (there was still a bit of egg at the bottom – no big deal)

Now be sure to add a pat of butter or some more oil to your pan before you put your egg-cornbread mixture in there. Add the mixture, and fry up over medium to medium low heat. You want the eggs to cook, not burn.

Once the eggs look cooked, and the cornbread is a bit toasted looking, add the mushrooms, sausage, and onions back in. Mix to combine and warm through.

I plated mine by topping it with grated cheese, some green onion, and added some hot sauce to the side. It was savory, satisfying, and filling! This is definitely not a boring breakfast.

How do you spice up your breakfast? Please tell me in the comments.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon

The Great Tofu Scramble Adventure

Okay, I know what you might be thinking … “tofu scramble sounds so gross!” Others may be thinking that this sounds incredibly yummy. Still, others might just be curious to see what the heck I’m talking about. I encourage everyone to keep reading. There is delicious food to be had!

For long-time tofu connoisseurs, this is nothing new. For me, this is an alternative to morning scrambled eggs. I don’t know why, but lately eggs have been … how do I put this nicely? … eggs are making me queasy and I just can’t eat them!!! So, I embarked on a googling adventure to find an alternative to the morning staple and here’s what I came up with:

Now, please forgive me in advance, I am of Italian descent so I do not measure anything when I’m cooking. I will give you my best approximation of how much I used of each ingredient. Ready or not … here we go!

What you’re going to need:

  • 12-16 ounces of firm to extra-firm tofu
  • vegetables of your choice: I choose mushrooms and broccoli
  • 2 T. of butter or olive oil (or whatever you use to cook with)
  • spices: I used about 1/4 teaspoon of the following:
  • cumin
  • thyme
  • curry powder
  • salt & pepper to taste (I used garlic salt)
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

First thing’s first … What is nutritional yeast??? Since I’m no expert, here’s what wiki has to say, and I tend to agree with this definition. Don’t be scared of nutritional yeast, it is yummy, I promise. Now let’s get back to cooking:

Warm skillet with butter (or oil) on medium to medium high. Drain your tofu. I like to tear my tofu to give it a better texture when cooking (so it sort of looks like scrambled eggs) but you can cut it into bite size pieces. Slice up your veggies and set those to the side.

Tofu tends to be wet, so be careful when adding it to your pan so you don’t splatter yourself with hot cooking oil (I have scars from this). Start frying your tofu. It takes a little while to get it browned up. I like mine a little crispy so be sure to let it cook for a bit before you stir it. If you stir it too often, it won’t get brown and crispy.

Cooking tofu take practice and patience, so don’t be discouraged if it turns out chewy or hard on your first try. Also, if you find that your tofu looks like its taking a bath in the skillet rather than frying, simply scoop the tofu out, drain the pan, wipe dry, add more butter or oil and keep cooking.

Now, get out those spices! But not the nutritional yeast … we will add that at the end.

Sprinkle your spices on. Remember to add or more or less depending on your taste. I ended up up adding a lot more of the spices, but I love the flavors. Start with a small amount and build to your liking.

Next, add your veggies. I added my mushrooms first since they take a little more time to cook.

Once the mushrooms are browned it’s broccoli time!

Your tofu and mushrooms should be getting brown at this point. I like my broccoli a little crunchy, so I don’t cook it very long.

This is what mine looks like right before I add the nutritional yeast.

Time to sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.

Stir to coat the tofu and vegetables in the yeast and serve with your favorite sides. As for me, I like mine with skillet potatoes, vegetarian bacon, and tortillas.

Now go enjoy the delicious tofu scramble you just made!

Please comment below with any questions or if you have any suggestions for other recipes you would like to see. I would love to know your ideas.

Until next time, I send you peace, love, and good energy.

~Sharon