Tag Archives: brunch

New favorite breakfast

20 Nov

My blood sugar has been giving me trouble lately — as in, I’ve been crashing almost every day this past week. It usually means my B12 and magnesium are low, so I bought eggs to help with the former and started taking my multivitamin again to help with both. I’m already feeling a little better, so that’s half the good news. The other half is that I found a new favorite breakfast:

Polenta topped with a fried egg. The recipe is pretty easy, but it’s insanely delicious and perfect for a cold morning. Or afternoon. Or evening.

Polenta Topped with a Fried Egg

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • Salt, pepper, and other spices to taste
  • Handful of arugula
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg

Add the faux milk and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cornmeal slowly in small amounts at a time to the pan, stirring with a whisk or a fork thoroughly before adding the next increment. The goal is to prevent lumps. Once it is all added, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue stirring. Add salt, pepper, and another other spices you want to taste. (I used oregano, nutritional yeast, and crushed red pepper.) Stir, stir, stir until it’s thickened and creamy. It takes about 10 minutes. Right before you remove the pan from the heat, stir in the arugula. Pour the polenta into a bowl and set aside. In a frying pan, quickly cook the egg in spray oil to your desired doneness. Place it on top of the polenta and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 1.

The first time I made it, I overcooked the yolk. I highly recommend a runnier yolk, like this one, if you’re down with that. It adds more flavor to the dish. I used beautiful eggs from Healthy Family Farms, as always, and they are leaps and bounds better than store-bought, cruelly raised eggs. The yolks are bright, and the whole egg is so flavorful.

This weekend, I had some left over canned pumpkin from my oatmeal, so I decided to try making a pumpkin latte of sorts. I’ve only tried the Starbucks variety once, and I did not like it at all. I am clearly not normal. All the same, I wanted to see if something homemade (and vegan) (and not full of chemicals) was more up my alley. I looked at some renditions online and then winged my own. Also, I didn’t have coffee, so I went for a tea latte instead.

All I did was boil water and then brew strong black tea. Then I added 1 cup of coconut milk, 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a small saucepan. I brought it to a boil and then reduced to a simmer. To the pan I then added 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla. When it was all combined, I stirred in an attempt to get some foam, but that failed, so I just poured half over the top of the hot tea. After tasting, I thought it should be sweeter, so I added another pinch of sugar. I also didn’t think the spiciness was enough, so I dumped in some cinnamon. All in all, it was decent, but I much prefer chai or Swahili Ginger ‘n Milk Tea. Starbucks can keep their pumpkin spice.



19 Nov

I made a couple of bready things — yes, with the sourdough starter — that I thought were worth sharing. The first were these adorable Sesame Bagels:

Aren’t they precious? I followed this recipe, though I halved it and skipped the egg or milk wash, so my sesame seeds didn’t stick very well. I used both the shaping methods. In the picture above, the rope ones are the back row, and the punch-a-hole-in-the-middle variety is in the front. Both were fun and tasted the same, but the latter method looks prettier. They were delicious topped with cream cheese and served alongside fresh orange juice and tea for a weekend brunch:

I also made burger buns, but I can’t for the life of me find the recipe! Aren’t they cute and puffy, though?

They made a perfect vehicle for a portobello sandwich:

Roasted portobello mushroom, mustard, cheese, avocado. Simple and tasty. The rolls were also great toasted with melted cheese on top:

I promise to share the recipe if I ever find it. This is exactly why I shouldn’t get so far behind on my posting!

Breakfast three ways

16 Oct

I tend to be in a breakfast rut of some kind or another, which you have definitely seen here (hello, a month or two of overnight oats). I’ve been mixing things up slightly of late, so I thought it would be fun to share three easy ways to get your mornings started off right. We have two different seasonally appropriate oats recipes and one savory pancake. Let’s start with the sweet stuff.

This week, I’m enjoying a new baked oatmeal recipe that I prefer to my old method. I present:

Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (generally two large or three medium bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon liquid coconut oil, optional
  • Handful of chopped pecans, optional
  • Handful of chopped chocolate, optional

Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease or spray an 8×8″ baking dish or pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, spices, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt. Now add the banana, vanilla, milk, and coconut oil if using and stir until combined. Fold in the pecans and chocolate (I used half a square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, chopped small, but feel free to use semisweet or chocolate chips or none, of course) if using. Spread in the prepared baking dish to fill the bottom. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top fairly evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then place the dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize the sugar.

Serves 4.

This recipe is firmer and a little more cake-like than my pumpkin version, but it’s still best eaten with silverware. It isn’t overly sweet, so if you prefer a little more dolcezza in your mornings, feel free to up the sugar or drizzle a little honey or agave on your slice. I made this batch Sunday night and will eat it through Thursday morning. It reheats beautifully.

Here’s another seasonally appropriate oat recipe that serves one:

Butternut Squash Oats

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A few pecan halves

In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, and butternut squash. Heat over medium-high until it reaches a boil, then add the oats and reduce to a simmer (low on my hot stove, medium-low on a normal one). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the oats reach your desired consistency, about six minutes. Right before they’re done, add the sugar and spice (everything nice). Serve topped with pecans.

Butternut — or really any kind of sweet winter squash — is very similar to pumpkin in flavor profile, so while it isn’t a typical oatmeal add-in, it doesn’t taste out of place at all. The spices and pecans make it a warming, wonderful breakfast. Plus, it’s a great use for leftover roasted squash that is too scant for a lunch or dinner recipe.

And finally, I offer a savory take on breakfast or brunch:

Zucchini Sourdough Pancakes with Tomato Sauce

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 3 pinches of salt, divided
  • 2 drizzles of olive oil, plus more for cooking pancakes
  • 1/3 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (blended if you prefer that texture)
  • Fresh or dried oregano, to taste (I used three sprigs of fresh, but 1/2 teaspoon dried would be great, too)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fresh hot pepper, minced or a pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed
  • 3/4 cup flour (I prefer white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground pepper

Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred using a food processor if you have such fancy things or a cheese grater. Add to a bowl with one pinch of salt and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it’s softened. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, vinegar, pepper, and a pinch of salt and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce simmers and thickens, squeeze the moisture out of zucchini and add to a medium bowl. Combine with the sourdough starter, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt, and drizzle of olive oil just until mixed together. Now heat a skillet over medium or medium-low heat with a little oil. When hot, add 1/4 to 1/3 cupfuls of batter to the pan, careful not to overcrowd. (I did 1/3 cups and made two batches of three pancakes each. Sprinkle pepper over the top and let cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom stops being batter.

Flip and cook another 2 minutes until set. I like to press down slightly after flipping. The pancakes are done when they firm and lightly golden.

Top with tomato sauce and eat immediately.

Serves 2.

These were a fun departure from normal pancakes, and they tasted especially delicious after my five-mile run Sunday morning. If you don’t have sourdough starter, you can also make them using your normal pancake base — just don’t add any sugar or sweet spices.

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Are you a savory or sweet fan? I like both, though I try not to add too much sugar to my sweeter breakfasts because then I crave it all day long. I like to use fruit to sweeten as much as I can.

This post has been linked up with In Her Chucks’ “What’s in the Box? #47”!

Weekend eats

9 Oct

Here’s a round-up of what I ate this weekend.

I was flying solo on Friday night due to Mr. X being on set into the wee hours. The fridge situation was weird, so I went for a random combination. The result was this:

Roasted butternut squash, white beans (yes, we are STILL eating these), Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno. It was surprisingly tasty. I would 100% make the combination again.

On Saturday, X requested my Asian Noodle Salad, so I made a quickie version for lunch:

Romaine for all the leafiness, red pepper (and no green), whole wheat spaghetti noodles, Armenian cucumber, and toasted cashews. The dressing was more or less the same, though I used way less oil. It was quick and tasty.

Dinner was also at my sexy Latin man’s request:

Yep, pizza using my sourdough crust, though I used whole wheat flour for half the recipe since I ran out of white whole wheat. The result was extra nutty and really good. We topped it with Roasted Tomato Sauce (made from canned tomatoes this time), red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and Tofurkey Italian sausage. Yep, no cheese! X is doing the vegan thang with me this month in solidarity, and to lower his cholesterol. This pizza actually tasted better as leftovers the next day when we reheated it in the oven. Who knew? The peppers and mushrooms just got a little extra soft, so next time I will lightly saute both before layering them on the pizza.

And on Sunday, I ran my four miles and then devoured a fatty slice of leftover pizza. At 1:30, I met some coworkers and other ladies for brunch (fo’ free — holla!) and enjoyed this delicious meal from Mohawk Bend:

So good. It was the House Smoked Mushroom Hash (“tofu scramble romesco, choice of toast” — I had sourdough). There was also a Bloody Mary (totally vegan!) and a nibble of their signature Buffalo Style Cauliflower, both of which escaped my iPhone. And then there was sauv blanc. And then a Moscow Mule (or two). I passed out early. Shocking.

Fridge shopping

30 Sep

We didn’t end up cooking much this week for various reasons, so today I decided to meal plan based on what we have in the kitchen. I don’t know it’ll last the whole week, but I’m interested to find out. Here’s what we have:

-Whole pots of cooked black and white beans
-Three Armenian cucumbers
-A ton of regular cucumbers that need to be turned into pickles
-Summer squash
-Three Japanese eggplants
-A butternut squash
-Half a honeydew
-Half an avocado
-Garlic, onions and hot peppers
-A pound of potatoes
-One banana
-Fresh ginger
-Fresh sage, parsley, and basil
-Half a container of shiitake mushrooms
-Five corn tortillas
-Red and white wine
-Sourdough starter
-One slice of sourdough bread
-Coconut milk

-One can of tomatoes
-Chipotle peppers
-Uncooked barley and black rice
-Oils (olive, coconut, toasted sesame)
-Vinegars (balsamic and white)
-Baking stuff (flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, etc)
-Nuts (cashew, pecans, and almonds)
-Basic condiments (Dijon, ketchup, barbecue sauce, salsa, soy sauce, spices, etc.)


I am thinking a Mexican-style scramble with home fries for brunch and a Veganomicon butternut/white bean dish for dinner. Tomorrow’s lunch will probably be black bean soup, and I’m thinking a barley/mushroom main for dinner. And maybe pizza later in the week? I’m not sure, but I’m excited to have the challenge!

And now back to the Jets/Niners game.

Saturday. Sunday.

25 Sep

Saturday started with a burger from Umami:

I got the only veggie option, the Earth Burger (“mushroom and edamame patty, white soy aioli, truffle ricotta, cipollini onions, lettuce, slow-roasted tomato”). Frankly, I was unimpressed. It was decent, but I was expecting so much more because of the hype. Mr. X said his burger was really good, though, so maybe it was just the vegetarian option that was lackluster.

Anyway, we were then off to the beach:

Unlike the previous Saturday, it was cool and cloudy, so the crowds were much thinner. It was perfect weather for lying down and reading, but we still got plenty of swimming in, too.

Saturday night was the gourmet meal I posted about yesterday. Sunday morning was my CSA pick-up, which you saw the day before that. The market is right by Trader Joe’s, so I park in their garage, do my pick-up, and then get the rest of the groceries (followed by Ralph’s, when needed). My favorite thing about the underground parking is this genius contraption:

Yeah, a special escalator just for your cart. It’s freakin’ awesome.

I came home and made brunch, my other favorite weekly tradition. For Mr. X, it was an omelet stuffed with roasted zucchini, cremini mushrooms, smoked Gouda, and fresh basil:

Mine was the same ingredients, but I had a scramble instead:

We both had home fries on the side. To make them, you just saute onions. Add garlic and peppers. Saute some more. Add chopped potatoes. Saute even more. Season with salt and pepper. Easy.

The rest of the day was spent in a haze of cleaning (me) and watching football (X). Dinner took about 12 seconds to prepare. His:

Two slices of homemade sourdough bread with Dijon, jalapeno-jack cheese, and avocado, with Snapea Crisps on the side. Hers:

Almost the same, except I had barbecued tofu instead of cheese.

And then I passed out. The end.

Tuscan Squash Pie

21 Aug

Remember my love of brunch? Well, it’s carried over into the work week in the form of my lunches. The dish turned out really delicious, so I wanted to share the recipe. Behold:

Isn’t it adorable? Here’s the recipe:

Tuscan Squash Pie

(adapted from the World Vegetarian cookbook)

  • 1 medium or half a large summer squash, sliced thinly
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat (or whatever lightly flavored kind you have) flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond (or other) milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 to 2 scallions, sliced
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the squash in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Drain the water and pat the squash dry.

Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a medium bowl, beat the egg well with a fork. Then add the flour, beating to combine. Now pour in the milk and water, beating to combine. Finally add the garlic, nutritional yeast, scallions, salt and pepper and — yes — beat well to combine.

Using an 8-inch pie or cake tin/dish, line the bottom with the squash, but do not overlap. Pour the egg mixture on top, and then place the rest of the squash on the surface. Top with more pepper, if desired, and drizzle on the olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes. It’ll get lightly browned and pull away from the sides. Serves 2.

I’m enjoying mine with some slices of tempeh bacon:

Perfect! I used half of my large pattypan squash for this recipe (which I plan to make twice), as well as some of the scallions.

As a bonus, here’s last night’s dinner:

That’s Black-Eyed Peas with Herbs, a quick potato salad, and roasted okra. The potato salad is so simple that it doesn’t require a recipe, just a method:

  • Chop potatoes into chunks and then boil until tender.
  • Meanwhile, make a sauce/dressing out of a combination of Dijon (or flavored, or both together as I did) mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Put potatoes in a bowl, top with dressing, and mash the chunks with a fork. Toss. Chill. Eat.

I loved having a healthy, Southern-style meal after a long day. Expect to see double takes of most of these dishes in Wednesday’s post.