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Friday, October 31, 2014

French Toast for One

Just because you don’t eat eggs doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of life’s greatest brunch pleasures: French Toast!

1/3 cup almond milk
1 dash vanilla extract
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons flour (millet, coconut, almond meal, all-purpose—your choice)
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 shakes of cinnamon
A small pinch of ground nutmeg
An even smaller pinch of salt
2 slices slightly stale bread, sliced about ¾” thick
Oil for the pan (coconut, canola—your choice)
Powdered sugar, vegan butter, maple syrup, and fresh fruit for toppings

  1. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a flat bowl or a deep plate.
  2. Smoosh the bread into the mixture so that it’s thoroughly coated, flipping and turning it to make sure that it’s all wet. If it’s a bit soggy, that’s dandy.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the bread slices into it and cook for a few minutes per side, until golden brown.
  4. Serve with powdered sugar, a tiny bit of vegan butter, maple syrup, and fresh fruit

You can make this gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread. This is one circumstance where fluffiness is irrelevant.

  • Don’t limit yourself to the standard toppings of faux butter and maple syrup. Try peanut butter and strawberries.
  • Try applesauce and blueberries on that stack. Yum!  
  • Ice cream. Chocolate sauce. Need I say more?
  • Try smearing a thin layer of faux cream cheese on one piece of toast and topping it with the other piece. Then blop a healthy amount of orange marmalade on there. I promise. It’s decadent, and you’ll think you’re in heaven.
  • For extra wow, do the faux cream cheese smear, then put the orange marmalade on that first slice, cover with the second slice, and then smother it with faux butter and maple syrup. OMG.

In this photo, I didn’t have any orange marmalade and had to make do with White Fig Jam. <swoons dramatically> 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nomlette for One

This is a surprisingly fluffy omelet. You’ll want to try it on a weekend—it doesn’t take that long, but it’s filling enough to keep you going for your whole Sunday hike.

8 oz. (1/2 package) silken tofu
1 TBLSP almond milk
1 TBLSP nutritional yeast
1 TBLSP corn starch
1 teaspoon tahini
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of kala namak (black salt) (optional—adds an eggy taste)

Omelet filling options (you need about a cup’s worth, once it’s all cooked down):
Green onions
Faux cheese
Faux meats (seitan or brats)

  1. If you want your filling ingredients cooked, do that first. For the omelet in the picture, I sautéed onions, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil, and just as they were finishing up, tossed in spinach and chopped olives. When it was ready, I set it aside in a nice bowl. It’s important that the filling ingredients not be very wet. If you want your filling ingredients raw, skip this step. 
  2. In a blender or food processor, whirl away at the tofu, milk, yeast, corn starch, tahini, onion powder, turmeric, salt and pepper, and kala namak until it’s smooth.
  3. Spray or wipe a non-stick skillet or omelet pan (one that has a cover) with oil and heat it on medium high until it’s very hot. Pour the tofu mixture into the center of the skillet and smear it in a large circle evenly around the pan. It should be about 6-8 inches across. You might use a spatula or a spoon to smooth the top, just to make sure there aren’t any thin places.
  4. Once the batter is starting to firm up, place your filling ingredients on one half of it. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, checking it often.
  5. When the edges have dried out and the middle is no longer jiggly, loosen the omelet by sliding a spatula under the edges. You might want to work your way around, making sure that the omelet is free on all sides. If it’s not moving loosely in the pan, it’s not set, and if you try the next step too soon, you’re going to have scrambled tofu instead of an omelet.
  6. If you’re adding faux cheese, this is the time. Sprinkle it liberally around the whole tofu disk.
  7. When it’s set, fold the empty half of the omelet over the full half. If your naked omelet half is oriented away from the handle of the pan, you can tip the pan and let gravity help a bit as you use your spatula to lift the rest. You can’t really flip this omelet the way you might an egg omelet or a crepe—it’s neither thin nor dry enough.
  8. Slide it onto a plate and serve immediately. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sweet Potato Hash for One

In the mood for something substantial yet quick? This little darling of a breakfast will fill you up without taking half the morning to prepare. And it’s pretty, too!

½ a sweet potato (a third, if it’s a really big one)
1 slice onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
1 mushroom, sliced
A handful of leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale, whatever you have on hand)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup cooked pinto beans (or other bean), rinsed thoroughly and drained

  1. Slice the sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. You can peel them first, if you like, but there’s a lot of nutrition in the skins, so I like to leave the peels on.
  2. In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Add in the cubed sweet potato, onion, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir it up so that everything is coated in oil. Then add some water, maybe 1/3 of a cup, to help the sweet potato steam. How much you use depends on the size of your pan.
  3. Rinse and drain the greens. Chop up any large pieces to something manageable for eating.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are starting to be soft in the center (after about 20 minutes), add the mushrooms, beans, garlic, and the greens. Cook until the greens are just wilted.
  5. Serve immediately.

I made a little nest of chickpea, wheat berry, fenugreek, lentil, and kamut sprouts and centered this hot dish in it to serve. Yummmmm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cinnamon Roll for One

This tasty treat takes a while, but it’s a good reward breakfast. See, what you do is you make the dough, then go for a run or to the gym, and when you get back, the dough will have risen to its full glory. Believe me, you’ll want to try this little bread. And the frosting? You can also use it for gingerbread cookies, carrot cake, donuts—the frosting alone is worth the wait!
Makes 2 rolls.

3 TBLSP almond milk
1 ½ TBLSP vegan butter, divided
1 teaspoon instant yeast (about 1/3 of those little packets)
1 TBLSP sugar, divided (3 teaspoons equals one tablespoon)
Pinch of salt
½ cup plus 1 ½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
Canola oil (to coat the bowl)
Sprinkle of cinnamon

  1. In a small bowl in the microwave, heat the almond milk and ½ TBLSP vegan butter until warm and melted, but don’t boil it. This should take 20-40 seconds. Let it cool, if necessary, until you can put your finger in it, but it’s still pretty warm.
  2. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it activate for 10 minutes. If your yeast is healthy, it should be all bubbly and happy-looking. Otherwise, open a new packet and make a fresh milk and butter mixture.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of the sugar (about a third of it) and all of the salt, and give it a quick stir.
  4. Add the flour and stir until you have a sticky dough. Dump it out on a sheet of waxed paper (for easy clean-up) and knead it for a minute or so, until it forms a soft ball. (Save the waxed paper for rolling the dough later.)
  5. Clean the bowl out and coat it with canola oil, and put the dough back in, rotating it to coat it with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Tra-la-la…. Lubricate a baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. It should be about 6 inches wide and perhaps 6 inches long. Okay, so maybe it’s a square. It depends on your rolling skills, really.
  2. Melt the rest of your vegan butter (1 TBLSP), and brush about half of it all over your lovely dough rectangle.
  3. Sprinkle the other two teaspoons of sugar onto the buttered surface, and then sprinkle the cinnamon on top of that.
  4. Roll the rectangle into a log, capturing the cinnamon and sugar inside. With a very sharp knife, cut the dough in half—there should be two 3-inch segments. Curl those little guys up on themselves like a snail shell. The dough will be very soft and malleable, so you can moosh the ends in neatly. You’ll want to moosh well, though, because they tend to unfurl as they rise.
  5.  Put the rolls on the prepared baking pan with the curly-cue side up. Brush the tops with the remaining vegan butter, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise while you heat the oven, just five or ten minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving—or frosting. Or let them cool for a few minutes before frosting and serving. As you wish!

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting, if you want.

Cream Cheese Frosting for Two Cinnamon Buns

This makes more than you need, so you might make a little carrot cake (for one) to sop up the rest.
½ TBLSP vegan butter, softened
2 TBLSP vegan cream cheese, softened
A splash of vanilla extract
½ cup plus one TBLSP powdered sugar

  1.  Combine the vegan butter and cream cheese until it’s fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla, and stir until well-combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. You might not want all of it, if you want a thinner, more drizzly frosting.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cardamom and Coconut Polenta Porridge for One

I’m not normally much of a polenta fan, but if it’s creamy and cardamom-flavored, count me in! This is a great warm way to start the day. It would also make a nice side-dish for a holiday meal!

1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 TBLSP polenta (I like the coarse kind) or grits (oatmeal would be nice too)
A sprinkle of ground ginger
2 pods of cardamom, broken open and the seeds ground with a mortar and pestle
2 teaspoons ground almonds (run them through a coffee grinder or food processor)
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 TBLSP unsweetened shredded coconut
6 TBLSP almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 TBLSP water
Chopped or sliced almonds to garnish

This goes FAST, so get all your ingredients ready before you turn on the heat.
  1. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the polenta granules, and stir frequently, until the polenta is golden brown and fragrant.
  2. Add in the ginger, cardamom, ground almonds, sugar, and coconut, and stir to combine.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add half of the almond milk. Stir until the milk is absorbed and then add in the rest. It will take about 3 minutes for the polenta to be completely soft and fluffy.
  4. You can thin the mixture with more milk, if you like it a little runny.
  5. Top with sliced almonds, fruit, if you want, and eat it while it’s hot!

Note: The photo has a doubled recipe for visual prettiness. It’s very filling, though. You won’t really need to double the recipe. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gingerbread Protein Pancakes for One

Not as sweet as “regular” pancakes, these fluffy little treats are almost good for you, with extra protein in every bite. I like mine with maple syrup, but a little faux cream cheese and jam would be like visiting your childhood!

2 TBLSP unsweetened apple sauce
4 TBLSP almond milk (or any non-dairy milk that suits you)
½ TBLSP blackstrap molasses
¼ cup all-purpose flour (you can use a gluten-free flour too)
¼ scoop protein powder (I like Raw Protein plain from Garden Up, but a vanilla version would be nice too)
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of baking soda
A sprinkle of cinnamon
A sprinkle of ground ginger
A sprinkle of ground cloves
½ TBLSP coconut oil (or other oil that suits you)

Topping Thoughts: Banana slices, clementine segments, chopped nuts, maple syrup, agave nectar, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, marmalade, jam, etc.
  1. Whisk the apple sauce, milk, and molasses together in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (up to but not including the coconut oil).
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just barely combined. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk.
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  5. Add half of the batter to the pan in a nice blop. I like to flatten it with the back of a spoon to make a four-inch pancake, but you probably have your own methods. Once bubbles form and pop (in about 2 minutes), flip the pancake over and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side, until brown and lovely. It will be quite dark.
  6. When the second side matches the first, remove it to your serving dish.
  7. Repeat with the other half of the batter.
  8. Top with fresh fruit, nuts, syrup—whatever you can imagine! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scalloped Cauliflower for One

Are you in the mood for something warm and filling but not in the mood to slave over a hot oven? This is one of those quick-to-assemble meals that you just heave into the oven and forget until the timer goes off.  I like to serve it with a salad. Mmmmmm.

3 teaspoons vegan butter, divided
¾ cup (approximately) almond or soy milk, divided
3 teaspoons flour (you can use almond or rice flour, if you prefer), divided
1 cup cauliflower, sliced or diced
¼ cup yellow onions, diced small
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. In the bottom of a single-serving casserole, put 2 teaspoons of vegan butter, 2 teaspoons of flour, and 1 teaspoon of almond milk in the bottom and smoosh it all together.
  2. Place a layer of cauliflower and then a layer of onions on top of it.
  3. Cut up another teaspoon of vegan butter and put it on top of the cauliflower and onions. Sprinkle another ½ teaspoon of flour on top of that, and then drizzle another 2 teaspoons of almond milk on top.
  4. Keep building layers until your cauliflower is gone and the casserole is full. The last layer should be butter, flour, and enough milk to fill the casserole about half-way.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before devouring!

  • Add faux meats, like Tofurkey dogs (I like their Beer Brats).
  • Add cooked beans. You could keep it pale, like cannellini beans, or go for contrast, like kidney beans.
  • Add a little color, like string beans or broccoli. When I do this, I also like to add a little Dijon mustard and speak with a French accent.
  • Throw a few nuts into the mix and some faux cheese on top.