Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

Recipes

Oatmeal is an easy and filling breakfast staple. Mix it with fruit and you’ve got yourself something really tasty. This particular version uses my Easy Sugar-Free Applesauce recipe, or you can use your favorite applesauce instead. I do add sugar as well but if you prefer to leave that out feel free to do so. I love the kick of the ginger especially as a morning pick-me-up and the almond milk added at the end gives this oatmeal the perfect creamy texture. The portions here make about 4 servings so adjust as necessary for your family. It also keeps well as leftovers in the fridge for a few days if you enjoy meal-prepping.

Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

1 cup old fashioned oats

2 cups water

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup applesauce

2 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Almond milk, or other milk alternative for topping

  1. Bring water and oats to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow oats to cook fully.
  2. Add all ingredients except almond milk and mix well.
  3. Make sure all ingredients are warmed through.
  4. Serve in a bowl and top with desired amount of milk alternative.
  5. Enjoy!

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Recipes

Do you ever wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you want for breakfast? And not just knowing, but absolutely craving one particular thing? That was me this weekend. I lay in bed drooling over the idea of a big plate of biscuits and gravy. I scoured my phone for vegan breakfast joints to no avail. I couldn’t even find a place that offered a vegetarian version. I was crushed. But then, I realized that I actually had the exact ingredients I needed to get my butt out of bed and make my own. Seriously, though, Sacramento, you need a vegan breakfast place, or at least a vegetarian one, or maybe even just a place with more than just one veggie option for us plant-eating peoples. Anyway, I jumped out of bed and got to the kitchen, hubs got the coffee going and I got ready to make some biscuits.

Now you may think of making biscuits on a Saturday morning as a chore, but I say nay! Especially not with the super easy and delicious vegan biscuit recipe from one of my favorite cooking sites – Minimalist Baker. Their Best Damn Vegan Biscuit recipe is super easy to follow, quick to make and perfect for a Saturday morning. They paired deliciously with the rest of this dish and were even amazing the next day with some vegan butter and strawberry jam. Since I got this biscuit recipe from their site, I won’t repost it here. Simply visit the link above to make your biscuits before heading into my recipe for vegan sausage and gravy.

Not all vegan sausage is created equal – at least in my mind. For this recipe, I recommend something that crumbles up nicely like a ground sausage typically would. I used the Gimme Lean Sausage from Lightlife and love how it turned out. This sausage is also a great option for breakfast because not only can you crumble it, but if you want to use the rest for later you can cut it into patties too! Anywho, you’ll only use about half of the 14oz pack for this recipe, but obviously if you like more or less sausage than me you can adjust that how you’d like. I also used almond milk for this recipe, but I imagine you could use whichever dairy-free substitute you prefer. Let’s just go ahead and get into it, all this typing is making me hungry!

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

**Make biscuits using the Best Damn Vegan Biscuit recipe here.**

1 package of Lightlife Gimme Lean veggie sausage

4 heaping Tbsp flour

1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

Oil of choice for cooking sausage

  1. Cook the sausage according to the package directions using oil of choice.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, dust over the top with the flour and stir to combine.
  3. Add the almond milk slowly, while stirring to the sausage-flour mixture. The milk will not thicken all at once, so simmer for a while and continue to stir frequently until you reach your desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add more milk and if too thin add more flour.
  4. Pour gravy sausage mixture over your homemade biscuits and enjoy!

Vegan Smoothie Freezer Packs

Recipes

Making meals or smoothies ahead of time (also known as meal prepping) has quickly become one of my favorite weekend rituals. Having a stock of items that are prepped and ready to either eat or quick to prepare makes it so much easier for me to eat healthy. It eliminates so much time spent planning, thinking and preparing that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to not having at least an item or two in my arsenal that is ready to eat. These vegan smoothie packs are a great lunch meal replacement. I made 4 packs on a Sunday to blend throughout the week. I’d take a pack out of the freezer in the morning, blend it all together, put into an insulated cup and place it back in my freezer at work until it was time for lunch. These would also be great for breakfast or for a snack.

This particular combination was made with items I had on hand that I didn’t want to go bad, but you could literally do this with any items you like to have in your smoothies. I think this combo ended up being great because it has protein (spinach), loads of antioxidants (berries) and potassium (bananas). It also tastes great! Of course if you don’t want to freeze your items you could also use them raw, just be sure to add a cup or two of ice so your smoothie gets cold. You could also add protein powder or chia seeds for some extra protein. Simply place all ingredients in a freezer zip bag and place in the freezer. I had them in the freezer for the week and the items kept well. When you’re ready to blend, add about 10 oz of almond milk (or your favorite dairy free substitute). I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Smoothie Freezer Packs

1 large handful of spinach

1 cup of blueberries

1 cup of strawberries, sliced

1 banana, broken into halves

Place in the freezer for future consumption. When ready to eat, break items up as best as possible and place into the blender with about 10 oz of almond milk. Blend for about 3-4 minutes or until items are smooth.

Vegan Breakfast Smoothie

Recipes

Smoothies are a great way to get in a quick meal while sticking to healthy goals. This particular smoothie is one of my favorites for breakfast because it is a great source of protein that keeps me full until lunch. It’s nice too because it only requires 5 ingredients (or less) and blends up quickly. Cocoa powder is an added ingredient that you can leave out if you wish. My husband and I like the cocoa because hello, chocolate. This smoothie would even work great as a dessert, you can even leave out the chia seeds. I like to use almond butter for this recipe because of it’s high protein content and also because it has less fat than peanut butter, but any nut butter will work. Same with the almond milk – if you prefer soy or a different non-dairy milk feel free to use that as well. Another added step is to freeze your bananas. This removes needing to add ice to your smoothie to make it cold. I prefer this method because the consistency of a frozen banana is better to me than using crushed ice. Just toss all of your ingredients into a blender and enjoy!

Vegan Banana Breakfast Smoothie (for two!)

2 frozen medium banana – cut or broken into halves

3-4 Tbsp of almond butter

10 oz of almond milk

1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Add all items to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

Recipes

I’m calling this recipe a benedict, but really I think it might just be a fancy toast. The main reason for this being that I royally screwed up my hollandaise sauce. But does a benedict have to have sauce? Does a benedict have to have meat? If so, then this is totally not an eggs benedict, although it still feels like one when you’re eating it. I’d like to think that the main components of a proper eggs benedict are the english muffin and the poached egg. I’d like to believe that as long as you have these two components you can mix in whatever other ingredients you like and still have some version of an eggs benedict. And so, with that notion, I give you, Vegetarian Eggs Benedict.

The most difficult part of this recipe is the timing and the cooking of the poached egg. I just started poaching eggs myself as I’ve always been terrified by the process, but it turns out it’s actually quite simple. To begin, I fill a pot of water and place it on the stove to boil. Once it reaches it’s boiling point, I turn down the heat and it’s ready to use. I use a spoon to stir and stir and stir until a small whirlpool-like element is created in the middle of my pot. I then take my egg, which I’ve already cracked into a bowl, and pour it gently into the middle of the whirlpool. This creates the spherical shape of the poached egg. The egg sits for about 3-4 minutes and then gets pulled out with a slotted spoon and rests on a plate to release excess water before adorning my meal. It’s a simple process, but it can take a while to make multiples. I’ve got some plans in the works on how to rectify that, but for now I just make one poached egg at a time.

I like eggs on bread. Something about it just screams breakfast, and this recipe is no different. What makes eggs and bread even better? Avocado. I mean, let’s face it, avocado makes everything better. This recipe also calls for spinach. In other versions of this dish I’ve seen people sautee their spinach. You are more than welcome to do this, however I did not care for the somewhat soggy consistency it created once topped upon my english muffin. I prefer my vegetables to be fresh and crispy. I’d imagine you could use a variety of different greens on this. Spinach is a good option for me because it tastes good and provides an extra nutritional boost to my breakfast/brunch. So without further adieu, let’s give you this recipe.

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict (for two!)

2 english muffins, halved and toasted

4 poached eggs

2 handfuls of spinach

1 tomato, sliced

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all of your ingredients first (ie. slicing, pitting etc.), then start your eggs. Once the eggs are going add your muffins to the toaster. Once they are complete, place the muffin first, then the spinach, tomato, avocado and lastly the egg. Top with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Berries and Cream Crepes

Recipes

Crepes are probably one of the fanciest breakfast foods I can think of. Of course you could also serve them for dessert or any other meal really, but I think they feel especially fancy in the morning accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee. Sometimes the weekends call for fancy. These crepes were a perfect reason to stay home and concoct a special dessert-breakfast. They are sweet as hell and filled with a cream cheese mixture and fresh berries and topped with homemade whipped cream. Seriously, does breakfast get better than this? I don’t think so.

Keep in mind, that this crepe recipe can be stuffed with other things too if you’re not feeling particularly sweet. Some ideas would be scrambled eggs with your favorite veggies, caprese salad ingredients, or even peanut butter and jelly. If you’re sweet tooth is calling out more than usual you could also make it even sweeter – hello, Nutella and bananas. However you spin it, crepes are such a versatile ingredient and I can see myself using this recipe again and again. I do want to mention that I found this recipe on https://www.yourhomebasedmom.com. Her blog is so incredibly beautiful and filled with so many great recipes. I wish my post was as pretty as hers, but hey, I’m still here sticking to my resolution so whatevs.

Making crepes can be time consuming and a bit daunting. This was my first time ever making them and I was impressed with how easy they actually were. The most important part is to remember to pay attention closely while you are cooking the crepes to make sure they don’t overcook and to really focus on the swirling of the pan to ensure they are thin when they are done. Otherwise, it’s like making very thin pancakes. I’ve burnt more pancakes than crepes if that tells you anything. Seriously, if you want to impress someone with food, make them crepes. It seems like the most difficult thing in the whole world until you do it and then you feel like a kitchen boss. I’ll be making these again soon. I can already hear the Nutella and bananas calling my name!

Crepes

2 C all-purpose flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 C whole milk

1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth. You could also use a blender as the link above suggests. Pour batter in 1/4 cup fulls into a heated non-stick pan. Swirl pan in circles to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and make the crepes thin. Once the bottom is lightly browned, flip over and cook the other side.

Cream Filling

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 C powdered sugar

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Fill crepes with filling and some berries and roll like a burrito.

Whipped Cream

1 C heavy cream

1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Chill a mixing bowl and a whisk for best results. Mix together on high setting until peaks are formed. Careful not to over mix.

Top your crepes with whipped cream and more fresh berries and enjoy!

Soaked Oat Groat Cereal

Recipes

Groats. According to Wikipedia, groats are the hulled kernels of various cereal grains, such as oat, wheat, rye, and barley.

Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain, as well as the endosperm.

Groats are an excellent source of fiber as well as potassium iron and zinc which all help fuel a healthy diet and prevent disease such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues. They are also very filling which makes them a great addition to any meal if you’re trying to watch your caloric intake.

My mom introduced me to groats one day with a bowl full of something cinnamon raisin scented. I took a bite and was impressed with the crunchy but chewy texture and the simplicity of the recipe. My mom said that all she did was soak the oats in water overnight and then added raisins and cinnamon. Instantly, I thought of my usual overnight breakfast oats using regular Quaker brand oats, and I wanted to find a way to use these oat groats instead. I liked that the texture was different from the usual sort of mushy overnight oats. But I also liked that I didn’t need to add yogurt, milk or sweeteners to make a delicious easy breakfast or early lunch. My mom sent me home with a care package that day that included a bag of oat groats, a jar of homemade almond milk as well as some other items, and I knew almost right away how I wanted to try out this new recipe.

I love fruit with oats. It’s pretty much a must for me, especially if I’m not adding and sweeteners. Dried fruit is even better in my opinion because it lends another interesting texture to the mix. For this recipe, I wanted to stick to items I already had at home, so I ended up using dried cranberries instead of raisins. I also used my mom’s homemade almond milk instead of water to hopefully lend a hand in softening the oats while also providing more nutrients than with just plain water. Lastly, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top which I think paired well with the cranberries and gave the oats a little bit of kick in flavor. Overall, the recipe was super easy to concoct and was super filling and delicious as lunch the next day. The next time I try it out, I think I will try soaking the oats a bit longer than just overnight to see if it softens the groats even more. I was satisfied and full after eating it though and so I thought I’d share my recipe here. I hope you enjoy!

Soaked Oat Groat Cereal

1/2 cup raw oat groats

1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

A handful of dried cranberries (or dried fruit of choice, in small pieces)

A dash of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake until well combined. Place in the refrigerator to soak at least overnight or longer. That’s it, enjoy!

Homemade Plain Bagels

Recipes

I am a breakfast fanatic. It is hands down my favorite meal of the day and one of my favorite meals to cook. It’s even more satisfying to make breakfast with breads that I’ve made myself. I’ve used my french bread recipe for french toast, regular toast and avocado toast – all of which were made so much better by having homemade bread. But what’s the next best bread you can get for breakfast? Bagels. You can make bagel sandwiches, toast them and add cream cheese, top them with avocado and tomato and pretty much anything else you can think of! Heck – you can even use bagels for lunch! So when I found this bagel recipe from 2009 on a blog called Sophisticated Gourmet, I knew I had to try it. It ended up being much easier than I expected and the results were delicious. Bonus – not only do they taste great they look so impressive! The first time I made them I was dorkishly proud of myself for having accomplished what I thought might be a total disaster.

Making bagels for the first time was a little terrifying – not gonna lie. Not only is the shaping part a bit daunting, but did you know you have to boil bagels before you bake them? But don’t worry! These are actually super easy to make. I think the hardest part is getting the shape right, but I was able to do it easily on only my second batch. These are also fun because of the combinations of fillings and toppings you can add. So far I’ve used sesame seeds and chia seeds on top and have really loved both. I left out the egg wash mentioned in the original recipe in order to keep these vegan, but if that’s not an issue for you you could always do an egg wash to make a sticky seal for your toppings. I found that adding the toppings after boiling made it sticky enough even if some of the seeds do fall off (doesn’t that happen to all bagels?). The next time I make these I want to try either blueberries or raisins and cinnamon. The original recipe doesn’t say how to do this exactly, but I think I’ll play with it a little bit and post an update if it ends up working.

Like I said before, the most difficult part of this recipe for me was the shaping part, so I wanted to talk a little bit about that. Once you have your dough separated and ready for shaping, you want to make sure you do it on an unfloured surface. I used flour my first batch when trying to roll “perfect dough balls” and quickly realized I made a mistake. The extra flour actually made it more difficult to remove the creases and folds. Roll the dough balls on a clean, unfloured surface to make sure you can get good smooth textures on your dough balls. I found that creating little round loaves first made it easier. Do this by slightly flattening out each peach of dough and then folding and pinching the edges underneath. This will give you a rounded top with all the seams on the bottom. Then you can roll the seamed bottom on the counter top lightly with your hand to smooth it out as much as possible. I went to Youtube and looked up “how to roll out dough balls” and that helped me, but maybe it’s not as difficult for other people. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the recipe.

First ever batch of bagels

Plain Bagels

1 packet of active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)

1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar

1 1/4 cups of warm water, split into 3 parts – 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup

3 1/2 cup bread flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

Toppings – you can really put whatever you want on top, I used sesame seeds and chia seeds

  1. Add the yeast and the sugar to 1/2 cup of warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. At the end of 5 minutes, stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. While the yeast mixture sits, combine your bread flour and salt in a large bowl and create a well in the middle.
  3. Once yeast mixture is foamy, pour into the well in the flour along with an additional 1/3 cup of warm water.
  4. Using a stand mixer and a bread hook, mix ingredients together slowly adding remaining 1/4 cup of warm water until a firm but somewhat sticky ball of dough forms in the bowl.
  5. Once dough is form, use the stand mixer to knead for about 5-7 minutes. You want a firm dough at the end.
  6. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with damp paper towels. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. After 1 hour, punch dough down and let rise another 10 minutes.
  8. Once dough has risen, separate into 8 equal parts. You can use a scale for this, but I just estimate it by sight.
  9. Roll each section into dough balls. You want these as smooth as possible on top. Once you have all your dough balls set out, cover a finger in flour and press through the center of each ball to create a hole. You want the holes to be fairly large as they will shrink quite a bit in the next rise and when they back in the oven.
  10. Once all of your dough balls look like little raw bagels, let rise for another 10 minutes on a baking sheet (covered in another damp paper towel, or I use the same one from earlier).
  11. While the bagels are rising, bring a large pot of water to boil and preheat your oven to 425°F.
  12. Once the bagels are done rising, turn down the heat on your boiling water and gently place each one into the water using a slotted spoon. You can do these one at a time or do as many as you feel comfortable at one time. I do batches of 4. Boil each side for 1-2 minutes. The longer you boil, the chewier the texture of your bagels will be.
  13. After you’ve boiled each side, place them back onto you baking sheet and add desired toppings. Make sure they are still a bit soggy when you do this so that the toppings will stick.
  14. Place bagels in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  15. Once completely baked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
  16. Pat yourself on the back because you just made your own bagels. Take that Noah!
  17. Enjoy!

Easy Egg Muffins: Meal Prep

Recipes

Sunny California hasn’t been so sunny the last couple of days, at least in my part of California. Pouring rain and whipping winds are starting to make it feel like I’ll be stuck inside for the unforeseeable future. To make things even better (insert sarcasm here), this weather is supposed to continue through this week and into next weekend. Goodbye, Sun. See you never. But in all seriousness, the one great thing about all this gloom? All of the things I can accomplish at home. Today’s challenge: meal prep for the week and make more bread (because we’ve pretty much demolished almost the entire loaf from last night, oops). So I settle in, batten down the hatches and preheat the oven as I try and ignore the whistling wind sounds coming through my overhead vent. My first meal prep task of the day is breakfast.

I feel like breakfast has become a bit taboo as of late with the trend of intermediate fasting. Basically what that is is a fast that lasts 12-16 hours every day and a window for eating that is the length of the remaining hours (web search for more info). People have had great success with this method from what I’ve seen, of course still based on at least a semi-proper diet and some exercise. I tried out this fasting thing for about a month. I stopped eating at 7pm and didn’t eat again until at least 12pm every day, and while I did seem to notice slight results, I really, really missed the ability to have breakfast. I’m not necessarily a “breakfast is the best meal” kind of person but I enjoy the occasional morning meal every now and then. And having something small to eat during the week sometimes seems to perk up my brain and energy levels while at work (not sure if this is an actual thing, but hey). So I say, eat breakfast when you want, don’t when you don’t want, at least that’s what I do. And when I do eat breakfast, I like it to be something small, tasty and filling and preferably something that won’t break the bank (meaning no drive thru or coffee shop breakfasts). These egg muffins fit that bill perfectly.

Egg muffins are perfect for a weekly breakfast snack. They are easy and quick to make and only require a few ingredients or less if you prefer (seriously, you could make these with just eggs if you like your snacks plain). I like to keep the ingredients fairly simple for these but I imagine you could also probably go a little crazy if you wanted to. I make eight muffins at a time, for my husband and I – that’s two muffins per day for four days. Four fit perfectly in a square flat container and each of us gets one to take to work for the week. The final day of the week we usually sub in something like oatmeal or a breakfast shake (or donuts). I love how easy they are and think having a little mini frittata muffin for breakfast is pretty special. I mean, more special than a prepackaged instant oatmeal for instance. Just pop in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and enjoy!

Do you eat breakfast? What are your favorite breakfast meal prep recipes? And, what would you add to your own egg muffin?

Easy Egg Muffins

These are the filling ingredients I use for mine, but you can really put whatever you want in there!

12 red grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup green onion, sliced

8 large eggs

Muffin pan

  1. Grease 8 cups on a muffin pan, if needed (my pan is nonstick so I skip this part). Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup, spoon eggs evenly into 8 prepared muffin cups.
  4. For each muffin cup add 3 halves of tomatoes and a finger pinch full of green onion (use more or less to suit your taste).
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through (use the toothpick out clean trick).
  6. These will puff up quite a bit during baking, don’t worry! They will settle once you pull them out of the oven. Remove from oven and let rest.
  7. Once cool enough, remove from tin and place in desired container. Refrigerate.