In this VB6 phase, oatmeal will only take me so far. So I’m always on the lookout for other delicious vegan breakfast options to carry me through the week.
This weekend I dove into a new recipe: vegan banana muffins. And they were a HUGE success. I think they might be the best muffins I’ve ever made, vegan or otherwise!
Check out the recipe at AllRecipes – my version was modified slightly:
- I replaced the cup of canola with 1/2 cup olive oil (because I didn’t have canola) and it gave them a great depth of flavor
- I filled in with the other half cup of oil by just adding more coconut milk
- I only used lite coconut milk – it’s fatty enough anyway!
- I used 2.5 bananas (having eaten half on the way home from the gym…) – I don’t think you can have too much banana in a banana muffin!
For next time, I’m going to try to cut down on sugar, which this recipe has a lot of. Overall, this made 24 medium-to-small muffins, which is how I like them – you could easily make one dozen plus a loaf of bread if you wanted.
What’s your go-to breakfast option? Bonus points if it’s vegan and thus can make my mornings brighter!
For those nights when you can’t get enough cheese… when you want to use as few pans as possible… when you want leftovers you can eat for a week – this meal is for those nights!
Easy Cheesy Frittata
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
- 2 whole eggs, beat
- 8 egg whites
- 2 cups cheese (I used a 4 cheese “Mediterranean” blend of sharp Provolone, feta, Kasseri, and Romano)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved, or two large tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Caramelize the onions in a small frying pan, cooking over medium heat with olive oil until golden. Remove from pan and set aside in large bowl.
- Sauté the broccoli in a pan with water until it’s lightly steamed. Add chopped garlic and cook until easily cut with a fork. Add to the bowl with onions.
- Beat the eggs and cheese together, add to the bowl with cooked veggies and chopped tomatoes. Mix together and transfer to large baking dish.
- Cook for 25-30 mins or until cheese is melted and eggs are set. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between!
Quiche and I have a solid history – I used to make them for and with my grandma, I made them a ton when I moved to Boston, I buy them for lunch sometimes at this delicious place downtown. But what do you do when you really don’t need that crust anymore, and would rather save the calories and room in your stomach for something else?
Cue the frittata.
I came up with this recipe, which is the kind of frittata that falls somewhere between “crustless quiche” and “baked eggs”, because I wanted something light for dinner that could also serve as breakfast or lunch, and I wanted it to taste like summer – as fresh as possible. I ate this for almost a whole week and never got tired of it – so good!
Broccoli, Egg White, and Basil Frittata
- 3 cups broccoli, chopped and steamed
- 1 cup onion, chopped and cooked
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 eggs
- 1 carton egg whites
- 1 bag of shredded, low-fat Italian cheese mix (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 6 tbsp basil (about 10 leaves, chopped)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F) while you steam the broccoli in bite-sized pieces and cook the onion with a little oil and the garlic in a frying pan.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, cheese, and half-and-half in a large bowl. When blended, add the rest of the ingredients, with the basil last so it doesn’t cook too much in advance. Pour the entire mixture into two glass pie plates.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, until eggs are set. Eat hot, and then refrigerate when cool, including freezing some for later!
This recipe and its simple ingredients make two whole pies worth of delicious frittata, for 4 PointsPlus for 1/8 of the total serving. Since I used similarly sized pie plates, this means I could eat 1/4 of a pie (2 pieces) for less than the value of two pieces of toast with peanut butter. So good, so simple, so healthy!
What’s your go-to breakfast, for now and later?
Long, long ago, in a living room far, far away, I lost miserably on my Oscar ballot. But I like to think I still won the night with my Oscar-themed menu, with one item from each Best Picture nominated film. Check below the photos for the specifics on each recipe.
- Hershey kisses for Amour
- 70s-tastic and undercover-disguise ready peanut butter chocolate mustaches for Argo, with some “escape to Canada” Canadian Dry on the side
- Life of (Pumpkin) Pi(e) dip
- Southern corn muffins and red pepper jam from Beasts of the Southern Wild (our store didn’t have the ingredients to make hushpuppies!)
- Southern Comfort in honor of Lincoln (with cranberry and a splash of gingerale = best drink ever)
- Pigs in a blanket, perfect for eating in front of a football game a la Silver Linings Playbook (note: I never even got to eat one of these despite delivering them in two waves = major party pleaser!)
- … served with smokey BBQ sauce for Django Unchained
- A loaf of French bread and baked brie, courtesy of Valjean in Les Mis
- (Coke) Zero Dark Thirty
Overall, it was a great bash and it taught me that you can never put out the red carpet too early, there’s no such thing as too many little hot dogs… and we need a bigger living room.
Argo mustaches – made with simple chocolate molds from Michael’s – super fun and a good team activity to try to get everything perfect before it sets!
Pumpkin Pie Dip – based off of this recipe, and I made the pumpkin pie seasoning from scratch!
Corn Muffins – made from store mix, with NH-made red pepper jam (I loooove this stuff)
Pigs in a blanket in the classic style – just get some mini hot dogs, subdivide some Pillsbury crescent roll dough, and cook until the dough is lightly browned. One thing of dough and one of hot dogs is enough to make two batches to feed a hungry bunch (minus me, since they were all gone by the time I sat down!)
Baked Brie inspired by Les Mis based on my crowd-pleasing recipe from last year.
Special thanks to my sous chef Sara, my partner in crime, Katie, my coworkers who helped me come up with menu items, and everyone else who came to celebrate and talk over Seth Macfarlane’s offensive commentary with us!
The hosts of the evening, on our red carpet (which we MIGHT have left out for an extra week or so…)
I am the definition of a breakfast person.
I could eat it three times a day – eggs for breakfast, cereal for lunch, crepes for dinner. Bring me to a diner at any hour and I am 99.9% likely to order hash and poached eggs. I simply can’t live without a good meal to start off my day. But when I combine my love for breakfast with my tendency to hit snooze a million times (right family?), it gets to be an expensive habit that ends up with me stopped in at Dunks on my way to work.
Luckily, I saw this pin the other day and decided to whip up some planned-ahead breakfasts so I could save some money and time in the morning. These tartlets came out great, and in 45 minutes, I was able to pack up 6 healthy breakfasts to eat and freeze for the week ahead.
Quiche Breakfast Tartlets
- 5-8 oz of baby spinach
- 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 links chicken sausage (optional)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (low-fat preferred, or another kind of shredded cheese works too!)
- 3 eggs and 6 egg whites (I use them from the carton) (alternatively, you can use 5 eggs)
- Dash skim milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a frying pan, heat up 1 tsp olive oil and cook the mushrooms. Cut the chicken sausage into small pieces (1/2 dime sized or so) and add to mushrooms, browning lightly. Remove from pan. Wilt spinach in frying pan. add to mushrooms and sausage.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into lightly greased muffin tins, making sure that each section has all types of filling as well as some liquid.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until edges are browned and tops are solid. Remove from tins and let sit before freezing/storing.
By the end, you should have 12 muffin-sized crustless quiches (mine actually made 5 mini muffins as well – use it all up!) which are each worth 2 PointsPlus each (I recommend two as one serving). In one travel-sized bite, you have cheese, eggs, meat, and veggies, or as I like to call it “perfection.”
These quiches are super versatile to whatever you have in your kitchen – asparagus and red pepper, cheese and more cheese, garlic and onion, you name it. My recommendation: go light on the fat, especially in the cheese. I only had full fat cheddar around, and these were a little more oily than I would usually eat, but they’re still quite healthy and definitely delicious.
What’s your go-to breakfast food?
There is basically never a time when I don’t want a stuffed artichoke since my college roommate first introduced me to this delicacy. (Hi Jill!) It’s not the fastest thing in the world to make, but it’s completely worth it, especially when you can start eating it before going out with your friends and finish the rest when you come home starving after a night of dancing… if you can stand to not eat it all in one sitting.
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs (or plain bread crumbs with Italian seasoning added)
- 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic (I use jarred but this is about 1 1/2 cloves)
- 2 small to medium artichokes
Stuffing in progress
- Lightly toast bread crumbs in a frying pan – no oil needed. Put water on to boil with a steaming basket big enough to hold your artichokes upright.
- Cut off the top 1/4 (or so) of the artichoke with a knife, and trim the stem except for the last 1/2 inch or so. Fan out the remaining segments of the artichokes and cut off the spiky tips with scissors. You should only need to cut off about the top 1/3 per section but you should make sure you get all the sharp bits even if it means losing a little more of the ‘choke.
- Mix everything else together and start stuffing! Start at the outer pieces and put the bread crumbs as far down in each segment as you can. If you separate the pieces as you go, you should be able to get a good amount in each section. When you get near the middle, keep stuffing – that’s the best part!
- Stand up the artichokes in your steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and cook for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your artichokes. Add more water to the pot as needed.
C’est tout! Just peel off the segments and eat them from the base, and then attack the middle with the fork once you get past the rougher outer layers.
Did your college roomies ever share tasty treats from home? What do you put inside your stuffed artichokes?
No lightbulb required!
With Christmas approaching, I pulled out one of my great gifts from last year – a Silpat baking mat. I wanted to see if this mat could amplify my love for tofu (and if starting cooking before I was starving would give me time to bake tofu for once) and I was not disappointed. Here are a few steps to perfection:
Easy Baked Tofu
- 8 oz of firm tofu (I used TJ’s small block, but you could just double this if you were working with a bigger block of tofu)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3/4 tbsp soy sauce (or so – I intended to use more but mine ran out!)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- Dash of hot sauce
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder as desired
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tofu into thin slabs, about 1/4 or so thick and as wide as you can get them and still have them stay intact when you mix them with the sauce.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl with a fork. Add the tofu and let sit for 5 minutes (or longer if possible).
- Place slabs of tofu on a baking sheet (I used mine lined with a Silpat mat) and bake for 10-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Enjoy! I ate mine with spaghetti squash and poured the remaining marinade over the whole dish (bonuses of cooking with tofu: you can stop to eat the ingredients at any time AND you can reuse any leftover marinade safely.)
PS: I do actually cook more than just tofu – proof is here! For Thanksgiving, I made a new Brussels sprout dish and lots of different egg concoctions. What have you made or eaten lately?
Yes, it exists. I love tofu in any form, but this recipe is the only one I can make and want to eat the tofu raw, and a few pieces usually get sacrificed to “taste testing” before they can reach the pan.
All it takes is mixing a few items together:
2 tbps Mirin (a sweet Japanese seasoning made from rice alcohol – keep this in your cupboard for tons of recipes!)
1 tbsp sesame oil (hint: you can get this cheap at the Christmas Tree Shop! I use it basically every day.)
1 tsp Tamari (soy sauce)
1 tsp Teriyaki sauce (I used the low sodium version)
Cut up the tofu into small cubes and pour the sauce over the top. If you have time, try to marinade for an hour or two, stirring every once in a while. If you’re in a rush, just let this sit while you prep everything else.
You can either add the extra sauce to the pan after, or use it on a side dish – I threw mine, along with some extra Mirin and Tamari, over some asparagus I was cooking at the same time. Incredible!
What’s your favorite way to give tofu some flavor?
An acorn squash shell, to be exact.
My obsession with simply-cooked acorn squash has me buying them in multiples every time I go to the store. Settling down to one for dinner (or as part of dinner) is the perfect way to end a blustery fall day.
All it takes is a small acorn squash, goat cheese, and brown sugar. Start by cutting the squash in half, and scooping out the seeds and the pulp with a spoon. Then put both halves of the squash cut-side down in a small microwave-safe casserole dish (mine is about 10″ across) with 1/2 inch or so of water in the bottom. The goal is to give the squash enough water to steam, but not so much that it will take a long time to get hot.
Cook on high for 5 minutes, then poke the outside of the squash to see if it’s soft. My small squash tonight took 15 minutes to cook fully, but it’s a good idea to check every 5 minutes and then just add more time to the clock if it needs more. The inside should be bright orange-yellow and the outside should be tender when poked for it to be done to my standards.
Remove from the dish, top with goat cheese, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. And voila – you’ve got dinner! This is also really good reheated the next day, but I’ve only made it that far once and have succumbed to eating the whole thing every other time. If it’s all you eat for dinner, you might be hungry later – this dish is only worth 3 PointsPlus (aka super healthy).
What’s your favorite fall food?