Tag Archives: vegan brunch

More Vegan Brunch: Muffins and Frittata

So I’m still steadily making my way through Vegan Brunch – don’t you worry. First up, Blueberry Ginger Spelt Muffins! Made with half the fat (hello applesauce!) and a little bit of whole wheat flour because I ran out of spelt at 1 3/4 cups…

These muffins had such a nice springy texture and didn’t crumble apart in the slightest. Spelt’s the best, yo. And who can resist those bursting trickles of bluebie juice and little nubs of crystallized ginger peeking out of that muffin top?

I also made the Curried Cauliflower Frittata. This was good, but I didn’t loveee it.

I added an extra carrot because adding extra veggies is always better, but besides that, didn’t make any changes!

Here it is after inverting it. I kind of liked the first way better though…maybe I just don’t know what a frittata is supposed to look like?…

I definitely thought it needed a bit more salt, and the curry flavor was a little bit strong (to be fair though, Isa does warn that you might want to decrease the curry powder). The worst part of it was that I started making it with my friend Jo, but she had to leave halfway through and never got any. Sorry, Jo. Good thing it wasn’t amazing, or I would have felt really bad!

So, this post isn’t just brunch! I have a cookie recipe too. I made some significant changes to an old recipe I had lying around. I made these for a democratic event that my mom was volunteering for, hence the picture after the recipe. These cookies are delightfully chewy with a crisp exterior, and the lemon-cranberry-almond pairing – er, tripling? – is to die for! The banana flavor is subtle, but there. Enjoy.

Oatmeal-Lemon-Cranberry-Almond Bundle Cookies
(Adapted/healthified from my school’s coffee house’s recipe)
Makes two to three dozen

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 cup sugar
2 bananas
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the sugar, banana, EB, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients, finishing with the cranberries and almonds. Form cookies into small balls and slightly flatten on a lightly greased baking tray (they won’t spread much at all). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops turn golden brown (they’ll firm up a lot on the tray, so don’t overbake them!)

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Sweet Potato and Tempeh, Together Again + Broccoli Quiche!

Sweet potatoes and tempeh have always been two of my favorite foods, but recently (starting with my Sesame Scrambled Tempeh and Kale with Sweet Potatoes), I’ve begun to realize that the only thing better than tempeh or sweet potatoes are tempeh and sweet potatoes together. So, to continue the trend, of course I had to make the Sweet & Sour Chipotle Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! This guy’s been bookmarked forever, so it’s about time!

This dish is absolutely loaded with good stuff in addition to the tempeh and sweet taters, like pineapple and bell peppers! Also, be warned, the recipe title does not lie – the sauce really is sweet (among its many ingredients are 1/4 cup unrefined sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup ketchup, and 1 tsp molasses, and that’s coupled with pineapple and sweet potatoes). My dad and I thought it was great, but it was a little too much for my mom. I think next time I might knock the sugar down a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit – it is supposed to be “sweet and sour” after all!

I served it, as Dreena suggests, alongside some Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice, also from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Sprinkled with cashew bits:

The rice is great – simple enough to yield to the bolder flavors of the entrée, but the coconut milk and lime juice/zest give it just enough character to give it a presence as a side dish.

Next up, my first eggless quiche (or maybe my first quiche, for that matter)! I made the Classic Broccoli Quiche from Vegan Brunch to serve as my family’s breakfast–or lunch, or dinner, or midmorning snack–throughout the week. I followed the recipe to a tee, except for adding a little extra turmeric for maximum egg color-replication power! Bow chicka bow bow! I used a Wholly Wholesome whole-wheat pie crust instead of making my own (the same crust I used for my Peanut Butter-Carob-Cookie Dough Pie, actually!) Oh, and I did add a significant amount of salt to taste, in case you give this quiche a go! Since Isa told me to, I decorated it with cherry tomatoes like a good girl.

Mmm, so delicious. I’ve definitely been quiche-deprived since going vegan. As it was in the oven, I wondered why Isa didn’t call for the same “eggy”-tasting black salt here that she calls for in her omelets. Don’t get me wrong – the quiche ended up being awesome as it was, and maybe black salt wouldn’t work well. But that said, I’d like to try it next time with some black salt and see if the addition would make it even more quiche-like. Gotta love experiments.

Look, the little tomato on top is as shriveled as the colons of all the omnivores who are eating nasty, egg-laden quiches.

Oh, did I mention that my sister and I whipped up Dreena’s Maple Banana Loaf a couple days ago? Oops! Because we definitely did!

Banana bread is probably my favorite–and most nostalgic because I always loved my mom’s growing up–baked good, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so I can someday proclaim one of them to be the ultimate banana bread. The Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon has always been my go-to, but this one was probably just as good (and had less fat: only 1 Tbs of oil!). Next time, I might make it without chocolate chips though so the maple flavor could really shine through because I didn’t think the bread actually tasted like maple. It was more like banana bread that happened to be sweetened with maple syrup, ya know? Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the very small portion that I allowed myself to have since I’m still trying to avoid gluten for the most part.

Sesame Scrambled Tempeh and Greens with Yams

I made the Sesame Scrambled Tempeh with Greens and Yams from Vegan Brunch (I subbed tempeh for the ‘fu the recipe calls for). Three of my favorite foods! Anyhow, it was absolutely delicious. It’s a pretty simple recipe – besides the ingredients in the title, the recipe just includes some garlic, ginger, red pepper, and soy sauce, but that’s about it!

This dish was rich and flavorful, sweet and salty, but still simple and down to earth (and quite easy to prepare). I’m sure I’ll try the recipe with the intended tofu at some point, but given that tempeh’s my favorite out of the holy trinity of vegan proteins – tofu/tempeh/seitan – I was definitely happy with it this way! I just used the cooking method that Isa gives for Basic Scrambled Tempeh a few pages before.

I’ve kind of dropped off the Vegan Brunch radar since my initial kick, but this recipe reminded me that I need to get back in there! So you have that to look forward to.

Carrot Bisque, Berry Muffins, and Norabars

My kitchen has been a happenin’ place of late! First up, the deliciously simple Carrot Bisque from Vegan with a Vengeance! I like the short ingredient list on this guy–I love intricate recipes, but sometimes I’m just not up for a 1/2 page-long spice list! Most of the flavor comes from (light) coconut milk, curry powder, and a touch of maple syrup.

Garnished with soy yogurt for some added refreshing creaminess!

At my mama’s request, I also made the Bakery-Style Berry Muffins from Vegan Brunch using blueberries and raspberries! I’ve made these before, but in my muffin top pan, which didn’t work as well as I’d hoped–they sort of came out like small, thick pancakes, and didn’t get crispy at all.

I think the way to go for killer, crispy muffin tops is just to overfill the tins (as Isa mentions in Vegan Brunch herself). She says to go for 10 for big tops, but I did 9. The batter was pretty thick, so each tin was probably filled a little over the top. They were much nicer than the flattish muffins I usually make, but next time I’m doing 8, so I can get–I don’t know if this is the best way to describe it–like, giant mushrooming tops. Haha.

How cute is that! I got such a shock when I was taking this shot and found myself in a staring contest through my Rebel’s viewfinder. He’s winking! I named him Berry Bob.

What a crumb.

I also made my own energy bars yesterday! I haven’t told you guys yet, but I signed up for the Disney Half-Marathon on September 6th with my good friend Chelsea from Pomona. I’ve always wanted to run one, and when she asked me to do it with her, I knew it’d be a great opportunity! I’ve never done anything like it before (I played soccer for 10 years, and 1 year in college, so at least I’m semi-athletic), and the most I’ve ever run at once was 5 1/2 miles in 8th grade at my summer camp’s race. But, I’ve found a training schedule, so I should be good!

Anyways, my point is, I wanted a good pre-run snack because I’ve discovered my body can’t handle very much food before I run. My stomach needs to be as empty as possible, but I obviously need fuel. So, semi-bored of the few Larabar flavors we always have, I made Norabars! They’re Cinnamon-Pecan with Cacao Nibs! I actually liked them better than the Larabars I’ve had (but don’t get me wrong, Larabars rock…they’re just expensive).

Cacao-Cinnamon-Pecan Norabars

1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans*
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process dates into a thick paste (it’s okay if there are chunks). Remove from food processor and place in a small bowl. Pulse toasted pecans until roughly powdered (again, you can leave them as chunky as you want), and add to the bowl of dates, along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Finally, pulse the cacao nibs until they’re slightly broken up, and add those to the bowl as well. Now, get your hands dirty and knead all the ingredients together in the bowl! To make the bars, divide “dough” into 4, place each lump on a piece of saran wrap. Wrap them up, then shape into bars by molding them through the plastic. Chill in fridge for a bit, and there you go! Homemade ____bars (insert your name there). If you’re making a bigger batch, you could also press the dough into a pan and cut it up into bars once chilled.

*Note: You can use raw pecans if you like, but I figured, since my cacao nibs are roasted anyways, I might as well toast the nuts for extra flavor. (It makes them taste more like cookies!)

Makes 4 bars.

Mexican Tofu Omelet!

I finally got around to making Vegan Brunch‘s Tofu Omelet this morning! It’s funny because Bianca just posted about how I encouraged her to make the Tomato-Rosemary Scones, and I knew I had to make Tofu Omelets ASAP after seeing her post on them. She went a more traditional route with a spinach, mushroom, and mozzarella Teese filling, but I decided to flaunt my Southwestern AZ pride by filling mine with the Rancheros Sauce and Beans (from the Polenta Rancheros recipe), and topping them with Fried Plantains and Trader Joe’s Spicy, Smoky Peach Salsa.

The Rancheros Beans recipe is very forgiving (as I’ve found most of Isa’s recipes to be–it’s definitely the mark of a good cookbook!). Instead of 2 cans of black beans, I used 1 can of pinto beans and one can of vegetarian refried beans. Plus, I subbed a half can of fire-roasted tomatoes combined with a whole pureed tomato and some garlic chipotle salsa in order to “make” a 15 oz can of tomato, sauce. Haha, so ghetto.

And, I’m not gonna lie, I was definitely worried that the omelets wouldn’t stay together. The directions are so detailed, and there seems like so many places you can go wrong (and I used Mori-Nu silken tofu when she explicitly tells you not to do so). But, miraculously, they somehow came out perfectly. I ended up with fluffy yet firm, lightly browned, beautiful vegan omelets. And, Bianca’s right–Isa IS a genius for unleashing the eggy powers of black salt (kala namak)! It really works! As good as this omelet was, I can’t wait to make one with more standard, less intensely-flavored filling/toppings so that the “egginess” can shine through even more!

Messy, half-eaten money shot. ¡Arriba!

Love you, Isa.

Coffee Chip Muffins

From Vegan Brunch of course! I brought these charming little guys into work yesterday! They were a big hit. Thanks, Isa. :)

Didn’t make many changes. Just used unrefined sugar and white whole wheat flour (by the way, I think I like whole wheat pastry flour better. I think WWWF makes baked goods a lot denser than WWPF. Anyone else have that experience? I’m just trying to use up the bag of WWWF at this point). I think next time I’d add more (maybe even double) the amount of instant coffee crystals–you could barely taste them, and they’re Coffee Chip Muffins! Still, delicious. Even better with a big gob of peanut butter and eaten with–you guessed it–a nice cup ‘o Joe (Roasted Pecan, to be exact!)

We’re having my family birthday dinner tonight (2+ weeks late, haha), so dessert will be decadent! You’ll see tomorrow!

Pesto Tofu Scramble, Tomato Rosemary Scones, and Lemon Pepper Roasted Potatoes

Y’all ready for Vegan Brunch Round 2?!

We had our good friends over for dinner last night, but instead of having the boring old “dinner party,” I wanted to have a brunch party! The cornbread waffles and mole from the day before were so good, I knew that no other book would cut it. And also, let’s all just be honest here. Brunch is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and therefore, we should basically have it every meal, every day. K, glad that’s settled.

I went for an Italian theme–I guess I’m pretending that I’m still in Italy (speaking of which, I WILL post those pictures this weekend. You guys have to hold me to it). I made the Pesto Scrambled Tofu with Grape Tomatoes, Tomato Rosemary Scones, and Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Pepper (but lemme tell you, every other variation was calling my name almost as loudly).

Obviously, brunch was a success! I’m telling you, if you make a meal with a lot of carbs and olive oil, they will come (like the Field of Dreams). Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad…I replaced a bit of the olive oil in the pesto with water (don’t worry, I would never do that to pesto if I weren’t mixing it into a tofu scramble…it just seemed excessive), and, like always, used white whole wheat flour and unrefined sugar in the scones!

Oh yeah, the scones. Highlight of the meal by far. Not only are they an absolutely charming shade of blushing orange flecked with vibrant green, but they’re deliciously light and flaky, even with the whole wheat flour. :)

The potatoes were crispy and caramelized, but perfectly creamy on the inside, with just the right amount of kick from the pepper. The scramble was a nice change from your everyday tofu scramble, but I think the classic Vegan with a Vengeance one is still my favorite (I think it’s the same one she has in Vegan Brunch, actually. No?). Still, the whole grape tomatoes, bright red and juicy, looked quite pretty amidst the fresh green hue of the pesto. Definitely a good-lookin’ dish.

But, the scones. Make the scones.