Category Archives: Breakfast

♥ Chorizo Breakfast Scramble

Have you tried Julie Hasson’s method for making tofu scrambles yet? We LOVE it; it makes a wonderful tofu scramble with a fantastic sog-free (is that a word?!) texture. This scramble has become a weekend staple for us. It’s a hearty and filling breakfast that keeps us full for hours.

I don’t think that I ever tried “real” chorizo in my pregan days. After snapping this photo of a random package of beef chorizo in the grocery store, I can see why I was never brave enough to try it. The first three ingredients, in order, are: beef salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat. If that alone wouldn’t deter a person, how about 320 calories and 31 grams of fat (13 grams of which are saturated) and 1,170 milligrams of sodium per each 2.5 ounce serving? One package (usually one meal) contains five servings. Yikes!

The first three ingredients of our favorite chorizo (Trader Joe’s brand) are textured soy protein, soy oil and distilled vinegar. The same serving size as the beef chorizo has only 140 calories, 10 grams of fat (1.5 grams of which are saturated) and 700 milligrams of sodium. Personally, I like these numbers a lot better. And, according to the man who actually tried the nasty beef crap in his former life, the flavor is so much better.

J likes his scramble in a warmed tortilla. I like it rolled up in a cabbage leaf. And it’s pretty darn good simply served in a bowl, too. To make this an even heartier meal (say on breakfast-for-dinner night), add some black beans to the mix. Top with salsa or green pepper sauce. Muy bueno!

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Chorizo Breakfast Scramble

Ingredients:

1 container of firm or extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed and pressed

3 cups sliced mushrooms

1 poblano (or bell) pepper, diced

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 bunch green onions, sliced (or same amount of chopped red onion)

1 12-ounce package of soy chorizo

1 cup of frozen corn

1 cup cooked black beans, optional

1 cup diced tomato, optional

1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

Rinse and press the tofu while prepping the vegetables.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add a spray of extra-virgin olive oil so that the bottom of the skillet is very lightly coated.  Crumble the tofu into pieces and add to the hot skillet. Break up any large pieces of tofu with a flat-edged spatula.  Let the tofu cook, stirring occasionally, until the tofu has released its extra water, and has turned golden brown.

Add the mushrooms, pepper, oregano and red onion (if using). Cook until the mushrooms are tender.

Add the chorizo and stir to combine. After that, add the green onions (if using) corn, black beans (if using), tomato (if using) and the pumpkin seeds. Continue to cook, stirring, until heated throughout and the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the scramble warm.

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♥ The Hair Of The Dog

Happy 2012! My condolences to those that over-indulged while celebrating last night, because hung-over is kind of a sucky way to start a brand new year.

But, help is here: the Bloody Mary is supposed to be a surefire hangover cure. It’s also a great brunch drink. And a yummy happy hour drink. And a veggie snack-in-a-glass, too. The booze is strictly optional.

Many thanks to my fellow planning goddess, Karen, for this fabulous adult beverage recipe. Rumor has it that she sweet-talked a bartender in Yakima, Washington out of this coveted recipe. I don’t doubt it.

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Bloody Mary Mix

Ingredients:

46 ounces organic tomato or vegetable juice

3 ounces sour mix (see note)

1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce

32 dashes (more or less) Tabasco sauce

1 Tablespoon garlic salt

1 Tablespoon celery salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and store in a large container in the refrigerator for several hours before using. I use a large Rubbermaid pitcher with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before serving.

To serve, pour the mix into a pint glass half-full of ice and add the desired amount of vodka (or tequila for a Bloody Maria); stir well. Add a tablespoon of green olive juice, if desired.

Garnish your Bloody Mary with green olives, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus, fresh celery, etc. Enjoy!

Note: most commercial sweet and sour mixes list high fructose corn syrup as their first ingredient. And most of the commercial mixes contain nasty artificial dyes, too. So, we make our own sweet and sour mix and you should, too. It’s really easy: dissolve 1/2 ounce of agave in 1/2 ounce of water, and mix in 1 ounce of fresh lime juice and 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice.

♥ Breakfast On The Go

Weekends are busy; and we are usually on the go. Around here, running errands (beyond the grocery store basics), means a drive down from the mountain. That means a fast and easy breakfast is in order. No, not the drive through!

My standard travel breakfast of peanut butter on whole wheat toast was getting old. I’ve had “Oats In A Jar” in the back of my mind for a while now and, finally, I gave them a try. With our daily peanut butter habit, we produce a lot of (almost) empty peanut butter jars. Overnight Oats, or Oats In A Jar, makes use of the peanut butter jars and provides a yummy travel breakfast, too (travel is not required, though). Easy Peasy and better than plain old toast any day!

This recipe for Oats In A Jar is wonderful and it was the first that I tried, actually. Most days, however, I make my favorite go-to oatmeal recipe (below).

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Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

1/4 cup organic thick rolled oats

1/2  to 3/4 cup coconut milk (depending upon how thick you like your oats)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons dried fruit (raisins, goji berries, cranberries, etc.)

2 Tablespoons nuts (sliced almonds, chopped almonds, chopped pecans, etc.)

1 small organic apple, peeled (optional) and diced

1 to 2 heaping Tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in an empty 16-ounce peanut butter jar (do not rinse!). If you don’t have an empty peanut butter jar handy, use a pint Mason jar with a secure lid. Shake well and store in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, give the jar another shake or a good stir before eating*.

* On cold mornings, I microwave my jar of oats for about 60 seconds to take the chill off.

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I feel I should update this draft post from a month ago. My new favorite “to go” breakfast is now green juice!

I received a Champion juicer and a wheatgrass juicer for Mother’s Day and I have used them both every morning since. In fact, wheatgrass juice has replaced my morning cup of Joe. After 25 years, give or take, the monkey named “Joe” is finally off my back!

The juicer now sits on the kitchen counter where the coffeemaker once was and the coffeemaker is now collecting dust in the basement. And my Starbucks travel cup has been re-purposed. A higher and greener purpose, most definitely!

♥ An Eggless Easter

The Easter Bunny came early this year! I grew tired of hearing J whine about giving up Marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury Eggs, so I arranged for a special delivery in time for Easter. And I am now the “coolest wife ever” (thanks, J).

Pictured above are Skipper The Bunny and Peepers The Chick from Sweet & Sara with two chocolate cream-filled Good Eggs from Rescue Chocolate. All vegan and all-delicious! Be forewarned, though: if you leave Peepers on the counter all day in a sunny kitchen, his color made fade a bit. That’s okay, though. It’s always better to eat a faded yellow (but naturally derived) colored treat than a glow-in-the-dark  FD&C yellow created in a laboratory! As if eating vegan treats doesn’t make you feel good enough, Rescue Chocolate donates 100% of net profits to animal rescue organizations around the country. How cool is that?!

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Just because we don’t eat eggs anymore doesn’t mean that we have given up omelets. In my previous egg-eating life, I was never able to make a perfect omelet. And, nothing has changed in the years that we have been vegan, either: my omelets still are not perfect!

To make the perfect omelet, according to those in the know, a non-stick skillet is essential. I am a bit phobic about using a non-stick skillet, and I only cook with cast-iron skillets if I can help it. So, in exchange for not breathing in potentially toxic fumes while I cook, I am willing to serve the less-than-perfect looking omelet. The taste, however, is perfect enough!

Practice makes (almost) perfect. If not perfect, just add salsa or more cheese to hide the “imperfections”!

I owe the inspiration for my go-to omelet recipe to both FatFree Vegan Kitchen and Vegan Comfort Food. Cooking times and oil amounts specified are approximate. It may be necessary to adjust both for your skillet choice and other variables that I have encountered in my (almost perfect) omelet quest, such as burner fuel type and altitude.

I make my omelets in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet with a lid. Lately, we’ve been using grated homemade pepperjack cheese from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, instead of Daiya, our always on-hand cheese choice.

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Eggless Omelet

Makes 3 omelets

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil

Filling Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

3/4 cup green onions, diced

3 cups fresh baby spinach (about half of a 5-ounce package)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers, optional

3/4 cup fresh tomato, diced

about 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar or pepperjack style shreds

Omelet Ingredients:

1 12.3-ounce box of “lite” firm or extra firm silken tofu

1 Tablespoon tahini

2 Tablespoons non-dairy milk or creamer

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Indian black salt (Kala Namak)

2 Tablespoons garbanzo bean flour

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:

Warm 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 to 12-inch skillet (with a fitted lid) over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and the green onions and cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid; then add the spinach and place the lid on the skillet. Cook until the spinach is wilted and a vibrant green. Season with the crushed red chili peppers, if using, and remove the vegetables from the skillet to a plate. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, place all the omelet ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. I use a stick blender; it’s easier to measure out the omelet batter that way.

Warm 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Pour a third ( about 1/2 cup) of the omelet batter into the hot skillet and smooth with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle one-third of the cheese over one half of the omelet. Spoon one-third of the cooked vegetable filling and one-third of the diced tomatoes over the cheese. Fold the omelet over and continue to cook, covered, an extra 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Periodically lift the lid and loosen the edges of the omelet with a spatula while cooking.

When the omelet is done, gently lift (or slide) the omelet onto a plate. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Repeat the cooking procedure for the next two omelets.

To serve, garnish with salsa (J’s favorite) or green pepper sauce (my favorite).

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We don’t have the standard chicks and bunnies at our house for Easter, but we do have regular visitors of the bird . . .

and (cute) rodent variety, nonetheless!

In closing, here’s a sneak peek at tomorrow’s brunch dessert: mini lemon pound cakes. Sunshine on a plate . . . oh, my!