Category Archives: Breakfast

Cardamom Spiced Granola

I haven’t made granola in quite some time and a brunch with friends tomorrow is all the inspiration I needed. Best part — I was able to pull it together in about 10 minutes with things I had on hand. There were a couple of things I didn’t have on hand — thus sunflower seeds and pistachios from The Kitchn‘s original recipe are M.I.A. but that’s OK. I just added more almonds, pumpkin seeds and oats to make up the difference.

This recipe couldn’t be easier and it’s delicious. My favorite local granola (or granola of any kind anywhere) also has cardamom in it so I knew I would like this. I’ll definitely be making it again soon, probably with walnuts in the mix I think. That’s what I love about recipes like this — you can really make them your own.

• 2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
• 3/4 c. shredded coconut
• 1/2 c. sliced, raw almonds
• 1/2 c. raw pistachios, shelled
• 1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
• 2 tsp. ground cardamom
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• A good pinch of salt
• 3/4 c. maple syrup
• 1/3 c. coconut oil, softened (I imagine you could easily sub this with another oil if you don’t have coconut on hand)
• 1/4 c. tahini paste  (Tahini gives it a mild nutty flavor in the background. If you don’t have any, try almond butter!)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, shredded coconut, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and salt together. Drizzle in the maple syrup, coconut oil, tahini paste and vanilla extract — I whisked them all together then drizzled them in. Toss to coat.

2. Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet — no need to oil the pan or anything. The oil, etc. in the granola should take care of that. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The granola is done when deeply golden and toasted. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Vegan Hollandaise


Hollandaise sauce has been a bit of a vegan kryptonite for me. I love it. I grew up eating it on asparagus and I’ve been known to eat just that for dinner in the summer when asparagus is at its best. My veg honeymoon (You can read Part 1 HERE. Sadly, Part 2 is yet to be written. Soon!) included a stay at Stanford Inn vegan resort in Mendocino, CA, where I had two amazing vegan meals each day. More than once this included vegan Hollandaise and I decided it was time I find a version I like.

Well, it took two and a half years, but here you go. I’ve been making this version, from Vegetarian Times, for a few weeks now. I’ve made various versions of tofu benedicts and paired it with tofu and capers as part of an entrée. The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. silken tofu, but I triple it, which uses one whole package of it, then use it throughout the week. I’ve got a new addiction and I love that instead of eating butter and egg yolks, it’s tofu and other healthier deliciousness.

• 1 16 oz. package silken tofu
• 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
• 1 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (the sauce gets a little spicier as the week goes on!)
• 3/8 tsp. turmeric
• 6 Tbsp. oil (original recipe calls for corn oil, I’ve used olive and grapeseed)

I make it a little differently than the original recipe called for. Puree the tofu until smooth in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients except oil and puree, drizzling in the oil as it’s running.

Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low/simmer until it’s just warmed through and serve. Enjoy!

Raw Fruit Crisp


If you’re a person who deprives yourself of dessert because of the sugar, empty calories, etc., I’m about to change your life and blow your mind. Or at least your tastebuds. I would challenge anyone to make this and tell me you don’t think it’s delicious. It’s so hard to believe that you’re eating fruit and nuts and that’s it! You won’t miss the butter and oats and sugar, I swear.

I started making this a more than a year ago for a raw vegan client and was instantly hooked myself. I got the original recipe from a raw cookbook (I think it was blackberry crisp) and we experimented with different fruits until she found her favorite, which was pear-blueberry.

Today, I decided to make it for breakfast. That’s right. Dessert for breakfast and it’s not full of garbage. I can’t believe I didn’t think to do that before! I enjoyed it with a cup of tea and a tall glass of fresh (kale-carrot-apple-beet-plum-ginger-apple-clementine) juice. It was perfect and felt so indulgent.

I’ve tried lots of different fruit in this — anything soft will work, including berries, pear, peaches, mango, etc. This is a really great thing to make when you have fruit that’s starting to turn, which was the case in my house today. I used pears, peaches and grapes. It turned out great!

• 4 c. fruit, chopped/diced
• 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 3/4 c dates, pitted and soaked in room temp water for (ideally) 30 minutes +
• 8 dates, pitted and NOT soaked
• 2 c. walnuts and/or other raw, unsalted nuts
• 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
• 1/2 c. golden raisins
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
• 1-2 Tbsp. raw cane sugar (optional)

1. Place walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (if using) in your food processor and pulse a few times.

2. Add UNSOAKED dates, raisins and sugar (if using) and process until until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and will stick together if you press it together with your fingertips.  If your dates aren’t the freshest you probably want to run your knife through them real quick so your food processor doesn’t have to work so hard. Pour mixture into a bowl. (This can also be frozen if you want to make a big batch of it and save some for the next time you want to make some crisp!

3. Place half of the diced fruit into the food processor, along with soaked dates and lemon juice and process until smooth. Mix this with the diced fruit.

4. Press half of the nut mixture into a dish. I find a full recipe fits perfectly into an 8 x 8 glass pan. I often make half of a recipe, which fits perfectly in a loaf pan (as pictured above).

It’s great at room temperature, but if you want it to be a little warm and still raw, heat your oven to 200, turn it off and place it in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Of course if you have a food dehydrator, you can put it in there too. I often pull all the trays out of mine and place it in there at 115 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Vegan Asparagus Frittata

My Aunt Janet wins the award for Family Cheerleader. If anyone in the family passes a test, graduates, posts a photo to Facebook or sneezes, she is johnny-on-the-spot and “Likes” it, commenting something encouraging, within seconds. Following my culinary victories (I don’t so much share the failures! Except for that one time…) has been no different.

When my family visited her and her husband, Harv, in Orlando last February, she was excited to expand her culinary horizons into the vegetarian/vegan world and we took a little tour of the nearby Whole Foods.  One big introduction that day was my beloved vegan Daiya cheese (which just came out with a new block form of cheese, though I have yet to witness this in person). She was excited to experiment with it and we made some simple pita pizzas the next day for lunch.

The funny thing about Janet is that she was the epitome of a picky eater as a kid, or so the story goes. As one of six children, Grandma June wasn’t about to tailor make dinner  for each of the kids. Apparently Janet chose to make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich almost nightly versus eating what the rest of the gang was eating. And now, here she is in her snowbird condo, reinventing her diet, just as she as continued to reinvent her life. It makes me happy when she reports in that she made an I Eat Veg recipe and I love getting texts from her with pictures of something new she tried.

This was true on Wednesday night when I got this picture of a vegan frittata — her first experience with tofu — and she loved it! I asked her to share the recipe and definitely will be making this at some point.


Thanks Aunt Janet!

Here is the recipe for the Asparagus Frittata…..we both loved it and it warmed up beautifully the next day!

• 2 Tbsp. unrefined peanut oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 c. asparagus, sliced in 1/2-inch diagonals
• 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
• 4 ounces vegan cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
• 1 lb. firm tofu
• 1/4 c. water
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large
skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, asparagus and bell
pepper; cook, stirring, until the asparagus is tender crisp, about 5
minutes.  Add the cheese; remove from heat.  Stir until the cheese
begins to melt.

2.   Pulse the tofu, water, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, salt and
pepper to taste in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour
into a large bowl.  Stir in the vegetable mixture.  Pour into an oiled
9-inch pie pan, oven-safe skillet or shallow casserole; smooth the

3.   Bake until set, 45 minutes.  Let cool before cutting into wedges,
ten minutes.  Serve warm with (optional) salsa.

I didn’t use any salsa and I used some pepper jack and cheddar Daiya
cheese because I wanted to use them up and I sprinkled a little extra
on top before baking 🙂   I think it would be equally delicious with
broccoli, mushrooms, or anything else that sounds good!

My Twist on Vegan Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t until I saw someone make some on The Food Network a few years ago. Then my friend Tara did a guest post here on her version in 2008, but I never made them. This week I came across a recipe in a magazine, but didn’t really read it… So I decided to make some anyway today — or at least something that resembles them!

To my knowledge, chilaquiles involve chips, sauciness and cheese, you bake it and dig in. It wasn’t until after I popped mine in the oven that I poked around online to discover that calling what I made chilaquiles might be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to call it that anyway!

Here’s what I did — and keep in mind I was working with things I already had on hand (like frying some tortillas, because I was lacking the amount of chips I would use). So, feel free to substitute just about anything for anything. 🙂 I think next time I might add some veggies to the sauce too.

• 1/4 bag tortilla chips (more would be ideal, but this is what I had…)
•  8 corn tortillas, cut into small strips/chunks and lightly fried in oil
• 1 lg. (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 pkg. Trader Joe’s vegan, gluten-free chorizo
• 1/2 medium red onion, diced
• 1/2 to 1 tsp. each: cumin, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
• 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
• olive oil for cooking
• Trader Joys alternative soy cheese, mozzarella flavor, grated
• Things for Garnish: tomato, onion, spices, lettuce, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce

1. Cut soy chorizo out of plastic casing and cook in a bit of olive oil with garlic and onion.

2. When it starts to stick to the pan and the onions are soft, add can of crushed tomatoes. I started with half of the can, but it was really thick and I wanted it to be saucier, so I tossed in the whole thing. It was perfect.

3. I added spices to taste — a little salt and pepper, about 1 tsp. cumin (maybe a bit more) and several dashes each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

4. I let this cook for a bit while I heated the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, I chopped up several corn tortillas and quickly fried them in some oil. They were just semi crispy, but that worked for me. I think this recipe would have worked just the same if they had not been fried or if I had made a layer of whole tortillas.

5. Using an 8×8 glass dish, I put all my blue corn tortillas chips in the bottom, put a thick layer of chorizo sauce, then a layer of the fried tortilla pieces, a thin layer of the sauce and topped with grated cheese. If you’re not going vegan, here’s where you can water down some sour cream and pour it over the top too (according to those recipes I discovered after the fact).

6. I let it bake for about 20 minutes or so, until the cheese looked sufficiently melty.

7. While it was baking I made a bit of a salsa fresca —  chopping up a bit more red onion and fresh tomatoes, adding a little salt, pepper and cumin to the mixture. I topped my portion with some of the salsa fresca and served it with chopped romaine and sliced avocado. You could top with sour cream or Tofutti sour cream to serve too.

This is one of the most flavorful things I have come up with in a long time! I really loved it and would definitely make it for a brunch for 5-6 people. It was just a little bit spicy, but leaving out the cayenne would help with that if you don’t do spice.

I’m happy to have discovered this vegan chorizo too — I think it would be excellent in chili or would be a perfect taco filling as is.

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Since my squeeze’s new favorite oatmeal involves pumpkin, I was sure to scoop up several cans during post-Thanksgiving grocery store sales. But the other morning I decided to do something more with it and quickly googled a recipe for vegan pumpkin pancakes.

I ended up adding a little more water than is recommended to make slightly thinner cakes and added 1-2 Tbsp. of sugar since so many of the reviews said they needed it. I was going to go with molasses, but apparently I’m out! I like that, for this recipe, you don’t have to come up with an actual egg replacer too.

This recipe made at least 20 pancakes — it would be a perfect recipe to use if you’re having a bunch of people over for brunch. They were easy and filling, not too heavy and not too sweet or pumpkiny. I had about 10 leftover (after D tasted mine, he had to have Breakfast, Part 2) and I wrapped them up in foil packets of two, so we could just grab one, unfold it and nuke them for the pup before school now and again. She loved them and had no idea she was actually getting some nutrients in her pancakes!

I’ll definitely make these again.

• 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
• 2 1/2 c. water (I added about another 1/3 to this too)
• 1/2 c. soy or almond milk (I used plain, unsweetened almond)
• 2 Tbsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 c. mashed/pureed pumpkin
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. allspice
• 1-2 Tbsp. sugar or other sweetener
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or white if you need to)

1. Combine almond milk and vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes, allowing it to curdle. This is like using buttermilk — and the same thing I do for banana muffins.

2. Stir together pumpkin, spices, water and soymilk in mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients until just moist and stop. Let it sit for a bout 5 minutes, then stir again and let it rest a few more minutes before cooking.

3. Cook on a griddle on medium heat — I found that to work the best for the most even cooking. They are delicious topped with Earth Balance Buttery Spread and whatever else you normally enjoy on pancakes!

Deceptively Delicious Oatmeal

I bought Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious months and months ago, in the hopes of infusing some extra nutrients into some of the food our picky eater. I finally got around to making one of the recipes — D and I had it for breakfast yesterday — not the little one — but it was delicious either way.

It was a real stick to your ribs kind of breakfast. It didn’t take much to fill either of us up.  I accidentally put in too much peanut butter, which I think thickened it up a bit, but it tasted delicious either way. Oh — and it only took about 10 minutes to make. Can’t beat that!

• 1 c. milk (I went with almond milk)
• 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
• 1/4 c. pumpkin or sweet potato puree (I used canned pumpkin)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional, but I included)
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
• 1 c. old-fashioned oats ( recently got a big ol’ bulk container of organic old-fashioned oats in the produce section of Holiday Market for less than $2, which inspired me to finally make this!)
•  2 tsp. natural peanut butter (optional)
• dried fruit and nuts (I had brown and golden raisins and slivered almonds on hand)
• Pure maple syrup to drizzle over the top when serving (which I forgot…)

1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the oatmeal.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oatmeal is soft and creamy (I went more like 5). Then stir in the peanut butter, if using.

3. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls, sprinkle with fruit and nuts if you like, and serve with maple syrup.