Tag Archives: breakfast

Early Morning Simian Craving

Friday morning I woke up with a need for something involving chocolate and bananas – and I had 2 hours to get to a meeting on time. It was one of those weeks. Yeah. So, my mission was clear: The World’s Fastest Banana Bread. I ‘used’ the Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon, but it would be a shame to credit this loaf to Isa and Terry because I didn’t have any time for measurements. Only time for eatin’. So this bread didn’t turn out quite how I’d hoped – a little uncooked in the middle and brown on the bottom. I think I had a manic attack of the stirring-arm so the bread was also a bit gummy due to overmixing. Too much apple sauce too. But you know what? Whatever. Whatever! Chocolate chip banana bread is what I wanted and it’s what I gots. It’s actually pretty great after hanging out in the freezer and getting toasty in the toasty toaster oven. Besides, I got to prove to myself yet again that my measurement-eyeballing skills are not quite honed. And that, my friends, is a good lesson to learn.

Come On Baby Light My Fire Curry Tofu Scramble

Ever since my last (obnoxiously difficult)* bike ride to India Sweets and Spices, I have been jonesing for Indian food on the daily.  The problem with my style when it comes to cooking Indian, is that I haphazardly toss in every spice in my kitchen without regard to measurements.  Ok, it’s not really a problem until the time comes to write down my ‘recipe.’  Unless you count, “Ummm throw in some like coriander.  Like a little. And then a little more until it smells real nice,” as a recipe – then I think we’re all at a loss here.  So I’m going to do my best to explain what happened on my spicy Indian tofu morning adventure as coherently as possible.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 block extra-firm silken tofu

1 T canola oil

1 large white onion, chopped int 1/2 in pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t ginger, minced

1/2 C brocolli

1/2 C frozen peas

1 pre-grilled red pepper

2 T curry powder

1 T garam masala

1 t cumin

1/2 t cayenne pepper

2 T soy sauce

1 t turmeric

Directions

  • Get out your big ole favorite skillet and heat the oil.  Add onion, and toss until coated.
  • Throw in your garlic and ginger too.  Continue to heat onion, ginger, and garlic on a medium-high flame until onion appears slightly transluscent.  Don’t burn this stuff because burnt garlic is nasty.
  • Add brocolli, peas, and peppers to the pan and toss until everything is slightly glistening from the oil.  Sautee veggies for about 2 minutes.
  • Crumble the tofu into the pan, and stir until the tofu crumbles are incorporated into the vegetables.
  • Add the curry powder, garam masala, cumin, soy sauce, cayenne, and turmeric, tossing to cover everything in the pan.
  • Sautee for another 3 minutes or so, until the tofu just begins to get a hint of a toasty color.
  • Serve that mess up with some roti! Or a dosa – even better.  Mmmm.  Someone make me a masala dosa.  NOW.

* Los Angeles, WTF.  Seriously, where are your bike lanes?  Why do all the sidewalks on Los Feliz Blvd. end abruptly with a foot-and-a-half drop-off?  Why do you hate happiness so much?  I get that a 35 MPH zone really means drive as fast as you can possibly go, but damn.  Chill out, people in cars.  We’re all trying to get to the same Indian grocer in the sky.

Ladies Tea Party in the Park

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The other day, I recieved a package in the mail from my mom full of chocolate and pens topped with bunnies and plastic eggs. I scratched my head, wondering what game we were playing that involved mailing one another sweets and baby animals and went out to find a raccoon to FedEx back to her. After disguising myself under piles of garbage and hiding in a dumpster for an hour or five, I decided the lasting stench wasn’t worth it and carried myself home in the early morning light. Much to my surprise, when I arrived back at my apartment, there were hoards of small people rifling through my yard. I don’t like when neighbors trample our roses, so I ran screaming into the yard – flinging banana peels and cereal boxes along the way. How dare someone enter my private property to loot flowers – and on a Sunday morning! It was then, with the dozen or so sobbing tots dispersing in a mass flee and the hoard of angry looking adults encroaching on my personal space, that I remembered what holiday it was. And I thought Easter was in April?

What better way to recover from such a jarring realization than to hold a fancy ladies’ tea party in the park!? OK, the truth is I DID forget it was Easter and planned a tea party on Saturday without that knowledge – but it became an Easter-themed party anyway!

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The whole shabang complete with Green Jasmine and Peach teas.

I made currant scones from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This was my first time using this cookbook, and I was not disappointed! The scones I made are really small -roughly the size of a golf ball – and the tiny currants and cinnamon made them a perfect companion to afternoon tea.

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I also made my first pie from scratch! This is a Blueberry Lemon Pie based on Veganyumyum’s Cherry Lime Pie. The Sound of Music was on television, so I whipped out my apron and felt like a serious domestic goddess rolling out chilled pie dough and prancing around my kitchen table with Julie Andrews.

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The only thing I changed about the pie was, well … guess. I think next time I will half the sugar, only because after eating the pie I was able to run my PR time on a 5K distance. Guess we know what I’ll be eating next time a race comes around! Just call me shakey!

Finally, I made some *presh* chocolate birds nests with marzipan eggs. These were so cutesy I nearly shed a tear. I basically melted a chocolate bar and mixed in some crumbled Weetabix, formed them into nests in a mini-muffin pan and let them chill out. I made the marzipan eggs using food coloring and marzipan. Eeeeasy, bro.

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Ain’t no robins in here!

I put out some real food too, including carrots with hummus and crackers spread with Tofutti cream cheese and an olive tapenade – only to pretend that I’m an adult who doesn’t eat pie and chocolate for every meal (What, mom? I swear I don’t).

It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to document it. We have made plans to turn this into an official ladies’ club and do lovely feminine things all the time now. And some not so feminine – midnight bike rides anyone?

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Tree climbing commenced shortly after tea. I’m in the hat. Jay-Z told me hats are so necessary.

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More beautiful tea party ladies!

Los Bruncheles

So things ’round here are picking up again thanks to the end of the writers strike (hooray for the WGA!) When the weekend rolls around, there’s nothing I like more than to unwind with my bros and my hos(?) on a Sunday morning. And stuff myself with baked goods. And stuff them with baked goods. That and mimosas. OK, really, take everything away but the mimosas and I’m still pretty damn happy.

ANYWAY.

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Mini Tofu Quiches, French Toast with Maple Syrup and Banana Slices, Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, Strawberries, Dates, and OJ!

I hosted our “weekly” brunch club at my place this time. I say “weekly” because we tend to forget about it for a few, um, months, and then pick back up again. This time it was completely rad because it was our first fully vegan jam and I felt really happy to share my goodiegoods with some precious people! On to the food:

Susan’s Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches

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I am a huge fan of the FatFree Vegan Kitchen and this is one of Susan’s most popular recipes – for a reason! This recipe is so healthy and incredibly delicious. I want to make these all the time using different veggies and spices! This time I threw in onions, garlic, tomatoes, swiss chard, and mushrooms. Luckily, I chopped everything into small enough pieces that the tofu still held together. A word of warning though, don’t throw any huge pieces of veggies in there because thangs will get messy. A couple people were confused, thinking I was serving them EGGS! Ah, vegan trickery and her wiley ways.

French Toast

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Not the prettiest picture, but french toast doesn’t require glamour shots. She’s got enough sassy spice to stand out, non?

Recipe

12 pieces of whole-wheat bread

1 cup soy milk

2 T nutritional yeast

1 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 t salt

1/4 cup AP Flour

oil as needed for the pan

Instructions

  • Combine soy milk, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and flour in a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat oil on a medium flame in a large pan/skillet – I used a wok because I’m wacky.
  • Dip a slice of bread into the soy milk mixture, coating both side of slice.
  • Drop bread slice onto pan or skillet.
  • Fry just until bottom is browned, then flip and repeat.
  • Continue until you’re out of bread and everyone is standing around you drooling and looking at you longingly.

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

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I’ve made these before and I’ll make them again because they rule. This time I mixed it up and used whole-wheat flour and almonds instead of walnuts. The muffins were a lot denser, and just as delicious!

This was a rad brunch and the cute couple from across the hall even brought us pancakes! So nice to just sit around and shoot the shiitake with cool people. I can’t wait for the next one.

Gigantor the Killer Strawberry!

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Boozy Cinnamon Rolls for Sinners

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When it comes to cinnamon rolls, I do not play. I do. not. plaaay. These are serious, put on yer happy fat pants, dance around like you just had some brandy soaked cinnamon rolls. Cause you did. You had like three of them. And you ate them really fast. Now what are you gonna do? You’re gonna BLOG it.

I made these to to send off my boyfriend and his bandmates on their maiden voyage to Japan. They had an early morning flight out of LAX and they’re talllll boys riding coach all the way to Tokyo. No better way to get through an 11 hour flight than booze and pastries, right? P.S.Check out their music!

Recipe

Dough

1 t active dry yeast

1/4 C unbleached sugar
1/2 C soymilk, slightly warmed
1 egg worth of En-R-G
1/4 C Earth Balance margarine, melted
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour

1 C whole-wheat flour

1 t salt

Filling
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
2 T ground cinnamon
1/4 C Earth Balance margarine, softened

1/3 C raisins soaked for 1 hour in brandy

Icing

I used the recipe for Buttercream Frosting in VCTOTW and added:

2 T maple syrup

1 T brandy (yeeeah more of that)

Instructions

  • Mix yeast, sugar, and warm soymilk together in a large mixing bowl and let it hang out until it looks foamy (about 5 mins)
  • Add en-r-g, melted margarine, flour, and salt. Mix well and knead for 5-10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp towel for 30 minutes so the dough will double in size.
  • In a medium size bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, drained raisins, and margarine.
  • Roll dough out into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread filling mixture evenly over dough. Roll dough and cut into sections about 2 inches wide.
  • Put rolls in a 9×9 inch baking pan, cover with damp towel, and set aside for another 30 minutes let the dough double in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Finally! Pop those cinnamon dough-babies into the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  • After taking the pan out of the oven, drown those kids in your icing. Seriously, break it down. We’re certainly not counting calories with this recipe so don’t skimp on the good stuff!

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Yeeeeah boy. The heat of the alcohol adds something special to an otherwise pedestrian breakfast item. And hey, no one’s going to get on you for breaking out the bottle before noon once their mouths are stuffed with gooey sticky sin-namon greatness!

Dinner Party & Game Night

The cold rainy weather here in L.A. is forcing everyone into warm cocoons of blankets and mountains of DVD’s. I think everyone was getting tired of holing up every night, so we decided it was time to break out of the rut and host a dinner party/board game night!

Luckily I had a ton of groceries sitting around begging to be used, so I improvised with what I had.

First was the mustard encrusted tofu over stir-fried kale and onions:

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I sliced some silken extra-firm tofu, pressed it with paper towels to dry, slathered it in a mixture of spicy brown mustard, sesame seeds, and cornstarch and pan fried it on the stove. For the kale, I chopped up two garlic cloves and an onion and sauteed them until slightly brown. Then I added the kale and about 1/3 cup of water and sauteed until the onions were carmelized and the kale got soft. This recipe got rave reviews (hooray!) from my dining mates. The tofu was crispy and spicy on the outside and soft inside – perfect with the slight crunch of the kale and onions.

Next! Butternut squash fries! Love of my life!

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I could seriously eat an entire squash in one sitting prepared this way. Ok, maybe I already have … In any case, these disappeared completely in about five minutes! My boyfriend especially loved them (you will notice that I couldn’t even get his hand out of the way to take a picture). I sprinkled them with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and roasted them in the oven at 450 degrees until crispy – about 30 minutes – flipping them over halfway through. Sooooo much healthier than french-fries and I swear they taste better too.

Dessert was Blueberry ‘Splosion Muffins following this recipe .

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I made the strawberry version a year ago and about every month get a request to make them again! They’re so delicious. Sweet fruit bubbling out of the inside and the cinnamon struesel topping? Are you kidding me? Amazing. I made 12 and only had one left this morning for breakfast!

My favorite part:

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Watching everyone dig in! This meal fueled us for a grueling game of Trivial Pursuit and a youtube viewing of the Democratic debates. Mmmmm brain food.