I am kind of lazy, and I love a quick breakfast. It takes me a while to wake up in the morning, and I am frankly pretty unpleasant to be around until I have had some coffee. Needless to say, I want to do as little work with food that I use to break my fast. When I was younger, I was super down with pre-made pancake mix, frozen waffles and cereal. Once I started to get older and cared a little more about what I put into my body, I began to discover easy options for breakfast that also actually made me feel good. I actually usually wake up nauseous because I am so hungry in the mornings. So, quick is where it is at.
Lemon poppy seed muffins are one of my favorites, but I actually feel like I get the flavor of those delectable treats in a quick and easy pancake. Also, who doesn’t want maple syrup on everything in the morning. My husband and I have been trying to implement brunch into our regular weekend schedule, just because, it’s super fancy, right? In response to the every weekend brunch challenge, here is one of the most delicious pancakes I have had!
I had my four year old daughter help me with these, so you know it’s easy, she then proceeded to eat three of them (and she doesn’t eat very much) so you know they are good. Light and airy, crispy on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside. I dream of pancakes like these! P.S. My pancakes were not perfectly round, I cut them with a large round cookie cutter. Since we are being real here, I would like to say that my first shot at these were inedible, like I spit out the bite I tried. In the spirit of what I preach, which is never giving up, I tried and tried again, until I got it right.
Light and bubbly and full of lemon zest, juice and poppy seeds. Just the perfect thing for all your breakfast or brunch needs. Adapted from The Joy of Cooking.
A while back, I was making some regular vegan yeast doughnuts, just experimenting with glazes and toppings, and I was getting really tired of frying them one or two at a time. Not to mention, I realized how super greasy they became, and how unhealthy they really must be. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good fried doughnut as much as the next person, I just can’t really function afterwards. Generally, I want to slip into a food coma and do nothing the rest of the day.
So, I got to thinking, the only baked doughnuts I really ever see are the cake style doughnuts, and those are formed in a pan. I am also into the cake style doughnut, but most of the time when I think of a doughnut, and I am really craving one, all I can picture is that light, fluffy, sweet and tender yeast style. I began to develop some ideas about just trying to make a basic yeast flavor, letting it rise like I was going to fry them, cutting them out like I was going to fry them, but just baking them instead at a really high temperature.
The results were nothing short of totally amazing, and drool worthy. Also, something unbelievable happened, I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out for the rest of eternity. I actually felt pretty good.
Deciding on the flavor combo was of course a no-brainer, as Fall is upon us and my favorite season. My husband loves snicker doodles more than life, so bam! Pumpkin Snicker Doodle!
This dough is incredibly easy, and for anyone who has ever been intimidated by yeast dough, this is a good place to start. I implore you to give it a shot, you will be fine. The flavors for this dough can be switched up pretty easily, and I will definitely be making more doughnuts like this in the future.
Light and fluffy, but not greasy, these are the stuff of dreams. I hope you enjoy!Adapted from Baked by Rachel
Heat the almond milk in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, you want it to be between 110-115 degrees. You should be able to put your finger in it, but it should be warm.
Add the yeast and a tsp. of sugar to the almond milk, and let proof for 5-10 minutes. It should be bubbling.
In a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixer fit with a dough hook, add all of the dry ingredients, including the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar, and stir slightly to get it mixed.
Add the yeast mixture when it is ready, and begin to knead, either by hand or with the hook.
Add the maple syrup and pumpkin puree and continue to knead for 3-5 minutes until it forms a nice smooth ball.
Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let proof in a warm, dry place for 1 hour. Until doubled in size.
Once dough has proofed, roll out to about 3/4 of an inch thick, and cut into circles with a cookie cutter, and punch a hole out of the center with a small circle cutter. Place on a prepared baking sheet, cover and proof for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400. When done proofing, bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Until cooked through.
While hot, dip entire doughnut into bowl of the mixed cinnamon and sugar. Consume!
Recently, my husband and I were discussing what flavor combinations we absolutely love. Chris mentioned the Take 5 candy bars that are chocolate filled with a pretzel, peanut butter and caramel. He is right, that is basically my idea candy bar or snack, sweet and salty, definitely with a pretzel involved. Trader Joe’s has one of the most epic snacks of all time as well, peanut butter filled pretzels! While in talks of making a fancier and healthier version of the Take 5 bar, I came up with, these Sweet n’ Salty Pretzel Brownies.
They can be made either gluten free and vegan, or just vegan, and I have instructions for both. Once you take your first bite of these, the heavens will part, and you will wonder how you lived without these beauties all your life. At least that is what happened to me. It is literally every flavor and texture that I want in a perfect snack or dessert.
The actually brownie batter makes a killer and super easy brownie on it’s own, but this combination is just to die for! I had to give some away just so I didn’t eat the whole pan by myself. They were kid approved, husband approved, family approved and friend approved. I feel like this is a great fall treat, or any time of the year.
Super fudgey, and moist, but still fluffy and not too heavy. Crunchy and creamy, sweet and salty. Oh my goodness, you will not be disappointed. I made a bit of a mess with these, I can not say they are a one bowl recipe, but I promise it is so worth it! Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, combine crust ingredients, except vegan butter and pulse until pretzels are crushed into a semi fine consistency.
Pour into medium sized mixing bowl, and pour melted vegan butter on top. Mix until fully combined and pour into a prepared 9×13 baking pan. Press crust down with a cup.
Make the brownie batter. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together sugar and vegan butter, add vanilla. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients, flour, (xanthan gum if using) cocoa, and salt.
Add the dry to the wet alternating with the almond milk until all combined.
Pour batter over crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool, and melt dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, then melt peanut butter in a separate bowl for 30 seconds.
Once cooled, drizzle with chocolate, peanut butter and caramel. Eat em’ all!
I have been thinking a lot recently about what my mission is, and why I wanted to start developing plant based healthy recipes in the first place. I have been thinking about how busy people live and people who really don’t know how to cook or hate cooking. I won’t lie, this recipe is a bit time consuming, but it is super simple, and you can make seitan ahead of time and keep it in the fridge and just use is whenever. So a little but of prep ahead if time, actually will make this a really fast recipe. So, back to my previous thought, people eat fast food, all the time. I actually don’t pretty much ever, mostly because I don’t have a lot of options, but also, my stomach is very sensitive and doesn’t like processed and greasy food. So, I often forget the fact that many people love fast food, and they get used to it and crave it. I have asked myself, what can I do, as part of my original mission to get meat eaters to eat a little better and realize how easy it actually is to vegan!
One of my fellow food bloggers who is super amazing, Janine who runs Nuts and Blueberries had an idea to get all us healthy food bloggers to create a plant based healthier version of some fast food for a #healthyfastfood4 carnival! I was immediately on it, as this is something I have been wanting to work on for a while. I thought back to what my favorite fast food item was when I was a kid, and something I would love to share with families everywhere! Chicken sandwich! It also just so happens that my husband makes a killer homemade seitan!
Now, you can totally buy seitan at the store and do the same thing if you want, but my husband’s seitan recipe is out of control amazing. However, some people don’t have time to make the seitan, and I don’t want to limit anyone low on time! This sandwich is better than a real fried chicken sandwich, I promise, and it isn’t even fried, it is baked!!!Yeah! You don’t have to feel guilty about giving this to your children, vegan, refined sugar free(I saw a lot of chicken sandwiches with powdered sugar in the flour mix) and totally amazing! If you want more ideas, please check out all the submissions for the #healthyfastfood4 carnival on Instagram and on Janine’s amazing website. I hope you enjoy!
If you have any questions about this recipe or any other, just let me know. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, or just leave some feedback if you want so I know if I am doing a good job or not!
Vegan Seitan Chicken Sandwich with Quick Pickle and Sweet Mustard Sauce
Make the seitan, you can make this days before, (you can also half that recipe if you only want to make the four sandwiches, but I like to have it on hand) and save it in the fridge.
When you are ready to make your sandwiches, make the pickles, by cutting the cucumber in thin slices. Then mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and letting the cucumbers marinate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 450. To make the “chicken” patties, cut the seitan into thick slices, and then mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together in one bowl. Then mix all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Dip the seitan into the almond milk mixture, into the dry mixture and repeat. Place the patty on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other slices. I sprayed mine with a little avocado oil to make sure they got brown.
Bake for 30-45 minutes or until brown.
Make sauce by whisking all the ingredients together.
When patties are done, assemble with sauce , patty, pickles and lettuce and onion or tomato if yo want!
Seriously guys, you can not tell this is not feta cheese. Period. Hands down. I love feta, and used to think it was really fancy cheese when I was a kid. I would put it on everything, especially all my salads. A few things I have made with this vegan feta recently, that I currently can’t stop thinking about include but are not limited to: Mediterranean couscous salad with olives, vegan feta, artichokes and oil and vinegar. Holy crap! Everyone in my family immediately said that could not tell it wasn’t cheese; a Greek vegan chicken salad with feta! Dear lord! I know I have made a winner when I take a bite and scream “I am a f#$@%ing genius!” I also had a wrap recently with hummus, feta and veggies. My mouth is watering while I type this.
You literally can’t mess this up, you are so close to having all the cheesy goodness you can ask for. I love having staples like this in the fridge, so when I get really busy, I can just throw together a quick lunch. There are so many options with this recipe. As always, let me know if you have any questions about this recipe, any others, or just vegan cooking in general.
There is something about the smell of Chai that comforts me to my core. It is warm and spicy and some days, that is just what I need. Every morning here in Florida, I am hoping for cooler weather, and I can can feel it and smell it coming, but it isn’t here yet. I am dreaming about needing a hot Chai latte and some hot chocolate and a sweater. I love sweater weather, but my favorite is when you need a sweater and sunglasses. I can lay in the sun all day when it is cold outside. In the spirit of my ultimate happy place coming soon, I give you the Chai Spice Bundt Cake!!
This super simple cake will make you feel all good feelings! You can actually make it even easier if you just find a chai spice mix, I made my own, but either way is fine! This made my whole house smell like Fall, and made my mouth water. This cake was devoured really quickly by the family and then I got an immediate request for another one! I love using bundt pans, it makes it look like you did a lot more work and you a super fancy, but this is actually way easier than any other cake. No frosting to worry about, and cuts the calories in half! I actually almost made a glaze for it, but once I tasted it, I knew that was not necessary!
You can also take it step further if you want and use whole wheat flour and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, and make this uber healthy! I tested it with half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour and it was delicious as well. I try to make my recipes super versatile, so that you, the reader can switch it up if you want. I want them all to be easily converted to sugar free and gluten free as well. This is a good one to try some different options with.
This cake is moist, fluffy, sweet and spicy, Fall on a plate! I dusted with a bit of powdered sugar and added some fruit, a voila, your friends will be so impressed! I hope you enjoy, and comment with any questions, I am happy to answer any questions about this, another recipe, or vegan cooking in general! Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
All salads are not created equal, and I have to say, this salad falls into a new category of totally amazingly delicious salads. Young Lauren also thought all salads were healthy. I had decided that if you put anything on top of lettuce it automatically made it a health food. I would put cheese and croutons and ranch on top of lettuce and feel super proud of myself for eating a meal that was really good for me. Ha ha. I could fill a room with stuff I did not know about being healthy, and now I think I could fill a stadium with things I do know. One of my favorite, not-so-healthy-salads, was a Caesar salad. I loved the creamy dressing and the crispy croutons and the crisp romaine. When I became a vegetarian was the first time I actually realized the dressing was not only not vegan, but also not vegetarian.
Sadness, I really felt like I was missing out on that Caesar dressing taste I loved. I soon forgot about it though, as I did with many meaty food items I use to partake of. Then, a few years ago, my husband and I were in Gainesville, Florida, and there is an amazing restaurant there called The Top. I love it, they have so many vegetarian and vegan dishes, but also plenty of meat for those who are interested in that (like my husband). They have pecan crusted tofu to die for. I also discovered that their Caesar salad is vegetarian, and this was when I was still vegetarian and not fully vegan. So, I was super pumped and devoured it. Since becoming vegan, I have had the wheels turning, thinking of all the ways I could make a delicious vegan version of my beloved Caesar dressing and how to make some amazing croutons that taste cheesy. Thus this salad was born, and I would wager a guess that it is actually healthy. I added some more veggies, and made the dressing full of protein with a few calories as possible. It it also pretty fool proof, and you can change the seasonings pretty easily for your preferences.
These are literally the most delicious croutons I have ever had, by the way. They smelled so amazing, I ate a “few” right when they came out of the oven. I really hope you enjoy this versatile salad. You can really create whatever you want using the dressing and croutons, add your favorite veggies or protein. The next day I added vegan chicken strips to it and had a vegan chicken caesar salad! Have fun!
A few days ago, I stepped out of my car, and my glasses didn’t fog up. This may seem like a small thing, but for me it is huge. I find everything about summer terrible, and this is a huge annoyance to me. I have worn glasses since second grade, I can’t see anything without them, and having them fog up literally every time I transition from the indoors to the outdoors is super not cool. Generally, the harbinger of summer for me is that first day they fog up when I get out of the car, and I feel oppressed and outraged until the first day of the year that they no longer do. So, where am I going with this? A few days ago they did not fog up, which to me means FALL IS COMING!
After dropping my little lady off at school, I thought about a recipe I having been wanting to try out, but felt it was more of a fall breakfast item. Well, today was the day! I went to Trader Joe’s and got myself an amazing vegan loaf of bread and got to work. This is insanely easy, and I am pretty sure no one could mess it up even if you have never cooked before. The caramel is a little more technical, but just barely, and if you are afraid to try to make the caramel, you could always just top these beauties with maple syrup and call it a day. I like to try things that scare me though, so, I say give it a try!
I almost died when I took my first bite. Crunchy on the outside, super moist on the inside, and the friggin’ maple caramel, come on. I was really starving when I had the first one, so that may have led to the added euphoria, but I am not really sure, since the rest of my family reacted the same way. Also, not only are these babies vegan (duh!) but they are refined sugar free, which makes me feel a lot better about eating them! I hope you enjoy!
Cut your loaf of bread into small cubes and set aside.
Make the custard, by adding all of the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl, and whisking until smooth.
Add the bread to the custard and stir gently to combine and make sure all the bread is soaked in the custard. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight. This would be a great way to have breakfast ready in no time. Having it ready the night before.
Once the bread has sat for at least two hours, preheat the oven to 375.
Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray, and fill the holes with the bread mixture. Bake at 375 for 15- 20 minutes. The muffins shouldn’t look wet any more, so make sure they are done all the way, you can leave them in a few more minutes if necessary.
While the muffins are baking make the caramel sauce. In a small sauce pan, add all the caramel ingredients and whisk. Don’t stir again. Heat on high until it begins to bowl, reduce to medium and using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture up to 240 or 250 degrees, the “soft ball” stage.
Remove from heat, and let cool.
Once muffins are done, let cool, and then top with salted caramel and serve! So freakin’ good!
I love tacos! Any kind, any day. A few years ago, I lived in Tampa Florida, and there is a magical place called The Taco Bus. This particular Taco Bus is not actually a bus, it started as a small taco truck and now has like four or five permanent locations. Why? Because their tacos are the f$#%&ing best! They also have at least five vegan taco options! Win! Not only that, but they are open 24/7. At this magical time, in this magical place, I worked right around the corner from one of the locations. Lunch time? Tacos. Three in the morning? Tacos. It was the greatest. I have really been missing the wizardry at the Taco Bus lately, and we were supposed to head down there this weekend, and the Hurricane Hermine hit north Florida this past weekend. Not only did I not get my amazing various vegan tacos, but we didn’t have power for days. So sad. The second our power came back on, I set out to make the perfect vegan taco. I hate to toot my own horn, but I think I nailed it.
Now obviously I have not had a fish taco possibly ever, but I have always liked the idea. I loved fish when I was a kid, I think it creeped me out a lot less than eating meat, and I like the salty sea like flavor. When I became a vegetarian a million years ago, that was the only thing I really missed. It quickly became no big deal, but I still love the flavor of seaweed! I wanted something that paired really well with a light fishy flavor, and I thought avocados and mangoes were the way to go!
These tacos are everything I have been dreaming of. Taco Bus will always hold a special place in my heart, but until I can get down there, these are insanely satisfying. Crispy “fish”, sweet and spicy mango salsa, velvety avocado cream. All the things you need in life! I hope these tacos bring you as much happiness as they did for my family!
3tbsp.Kelp powder ( I got mine at Whole Foods, but probably available at any health food store)
1/2cAll purpose flour
1Mango (Make sure it is ripe)
1/2of a jalapeno
1/4of a red onion
Juice of half a lime
Drained your tofu, and slice into sticks. Place on paper towels, and cover with more paper towels. Set something heavy on top, and let dry out a bit while you prep everything else.
Make your mango salsa by cutting up all the ingredients into small pieces and stir together. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Make sure to wash your hands after touching the jalapeno!! Set aside.
Make the bread crumb mixture, by adding the bread crumbs, kelp powder, dill, Old Bay, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a food processor and pulse a few times just to combine. Be careful not to process for too long, you don’t want it to get too fine. Set aside.
Make the avocado cream. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and puree. You can just wipe out your food processor from the bread crumbs to make it easier on yourself! Set in fridge.
Now that the tofu has been drying for a while you can bread them. Preheat the oven to 450. Set up a breading station with three bowls. One with the 1 cup of almond milk and the tsp. of lime juice to make a buttermilk, another with the bread crumb mixture, and another with the half cup of flour. Take a tofu stick, dip it in the vegan buttermilk, the flour, back into the buttermilk and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place on a prepared baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray. Repeat process with all the tofu sticks! Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes or until crispy and brown, Be careful not to burn, if your oven runs high.
Warm up tortillas, place a few pieces of “fish” inside and top with mango salsa and avocado cream!