Category Archives: Breakfast

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins

I have been reading Jenna’s blog for years, which means that for a long time, I have been drooling over her recipes! But it’s possible that I have either a) never made any of them myself or b) I have but it’s been so long that I can’t remember.

Well, whichever situation it is, I finally remedied that!

Jenna has a lot of vegan recipes on Eat Live Run but I chose to recreate her originally non-vegan Cinnamon Toast Muffins because I knew they were something my husband and friends would enjoy and that I could easily make some substitutes for myself in order to make it vegan.

Vegan Cinnamon Muffins (adapted from Cinnamon Toast Muffins by Jenna @ Eat Live Run)

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Ener-G egg replacer “egg” (1.5 tsp powder + 2 tbsp warm water)

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

Dash of salt

Topping: 4 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1 heaping tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in one big bowl and the wet ingredients in a second, smaller bowl. Combine the two together and mix until well combined (I always have trouble with flour sticking to the bottom of my bowl so I make sure to scrape the bottom really good as I mix). Bake in a greased muffin tin for 25 minutes, poke center muffin with toothpick to make sure they are done.

To make the topping, melt the butter on the stove and then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. I thought mine was too chunky so I added a little water, then it was too runny so I couldn’t get it to stick very well. Next time I will just roll the muffins in the chunks 🙂

This recipe yielded 8 muffins for me, I actually used the wrong measuring cup for the flour, milk, and sugar and you will see that Jenna’s original recipe called for more of those three ingredients, so if I had managed to do that correctly, I may have gotten 9 or 10. But they were still awfully delicious!

I took these for dessert to my in-laws house a while back and everyone seemed to enjoy them, but I also had some for breakfast, which I have to say they were probably better suited for. I recommend 10 seconds in the microwave, plus a smear of peanut butter.

Thanks Jenna for sharing amazing recipes with the world. I will definitely make this one again!

Have you tried any great recipes recently? Feel free to share in the comments section!

Rainy Saturday

Good morning!

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It’s raining all day today but there is nothing wrong with a day spent hanging out on the couch with my dog, going to a yoga class and later knitting with a friend. It’s a new hobby I’ve picked up, I’ve also been crocheting. I will post about this soon.

Life is good! Have a great day 🙂

It never gets old

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I still remember the time a few years ago that I decided to try peanut butter in my oats (another great thing that came from reading other blogs). It was so good that I can’t remember how I ate them before!

Oats with fruit & peanut butter is a breakfast that works well for me because it’s cheap, easy to make, delicious and it doesn’t matter where I am — if they’ve got hot water, I can make it work 🙂

I ate this at my desk this morning. I used to eat breakfast at 6 a.m. but have found that if I wait until I get to work, not only do I get more done at home in the mornings and also am not starving by lunch time.

Happy Tuesday friends!

Earth Balance and Fakin’ Bacon

When I decided to go vegan back in October, I learned that Smart Balance Light was a buttery spread that fit right in with my dietary preferences so I have been using that for a while now.

I mostly use it on sweet potatoes, some veggies, on warm toasted bread. Like 1 tsp at a time! So containers last me forever. I also occasionally use it in what little baking I do these days 😉

But recently, my last container of SBL ran out and I decided it was finally time to try what I hear so many of my vegan blogger friends brag about…EARTH BALANCE!

I was amazed at the variety there was to choose from (even at Walmart!) but I decided to start with the basic natural buttery spread. It is soy free, vegan and a good source of Omega 3’s.

Earth Balance has more calories per serving than Smart Balance Light, but it also has fewer ingredients. And I have found the two to be quite different!

I first used Earth Balance on a sweet potato I had with dinner one night this week.

I was amazed at how well and quickly it melted. Plus it had a very light “buttery” taste (for lack of a better word).

I next tried it on an English muffin, which I also topped with some preserves.

It tasted so good and the preserves didn’t cover it up at all. It melted on there perfectly.

Okay, so here’s what I have determined: Smart Balance Light is a vegan substitute for MARGARINE. Earth Balance is vegan BUTTER. There is a difference and your personal preference will determine which one you use more of.

I think I’m sticking with this one for a while. It melts better, tastes better and you can cook with it. Smart Balance was always so hard to blend in with baking ingredients.

Oh! I almost forgot…wondering what that bacon-like food is up there?

You guys remember how I recently tried tempeh and loved it so much (that I haven’t had tofu since then)?

Well, my friend Sam highly recommended that I try the Fakin’ Bacon which are smoky tempeh strips that you cook on the stove and serve up with breakfast (or in vegan BLTs, which I’m so going to have to try next).


They kind of fell apart on me a little bit and I wasn’t able to get them very crispy but that was because I got impatient and wanted to eat them!

They tasted great though and I think next time I will just cook them a little longer to desired crispiness. I love tempeh!!

Waffles on the brain

I’ve been reading Heather‘s blog for a long time and here lately she’s been eating a lot of waffles! 🙂

I will freely admit that seeing what others eat sometimes influences my own food decisions. Especially since I haven’t had frozen waffles in what seems like ages!

But now that I am vegan, I have to be extra careful to read the ingredients list and get a good box for a decent amount of money.

First up:

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I’ve like Nature’s Path brand products for a while now, so I figured these were a safe bet.

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I have to tell you, I had the hardest time getting these to come out right. It says on the box to let them sit out and thaw a little bit, but when I’m ready for breakfast as soon as my feet hit the floor, it’s hard to be patient.

So I ate a couple of these soggy, a couple burnt, then finally one time I think I got it right (when I had to take breakfast to go).

These were just okay. Kind of bland, even for maple cinnamon.

Next up:

I decided to stick with the Nature’s Path brand and just try a different variety. These caught my eye due to the “flax” and “omega 3” which are key words for this gal.

Oh my gosh! So much better. These came out great and all I had to do was put them in the toaster on a low setting. No sogginess, no burnt edges, no thawing out!

I think I’m just a plain jane girl when it comes to waffles and a few other things. Might as well start out with something basic and wholesome, then dress it (or flavor it) up however you want at that particular moment 😉

I think I am going to try the Hemp Plus next before I move on to another brand.

What are your favorite frozen waffles?

If you bring it, they’ll eat it

This past Sunday, I started a new “coffee shop” at church for our youth group before Sunday School. Each week, our goal is to have coffee, hot chocolate, tea, OJ, etc. for them to enjoy, plus some snacks (or breakfast for some of them) to munch on while they hang out with their peers before their classes start.

As we were planning for this the week prior, there were some suggestions made about what sort of snacks I could get. But I decided almost immediately that if I am in charge (and I am), there was no way I going to promote unhealthy eating  (donuts, pastries, and other junk like that). When I was their age (12-18), I was overweight, then obese, because of the foods I ate and my lack of regular exercise. So it’s a sensitive area for me.

I am not going to be preachy or try to make anyone feel bad, but I am going to do my best to make sure that these kids get some healthy snacks, while they are in my “care” at least.

So, in lieu of donuts and other nutritionally void items that have unfortunately become a staple in our community, I covered the counter of my “coffee shop” with a big ol’ plate of fruit (apples and bananas), granola bars (low cal, low fat), and two dozen vegan muffins!

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Well, okay, so really like 21 because I ate one of each to make sure they were edible and the second batch only yielded 11 muffins to begin with. 😉

First, I made a batch of Apple Spice muffins from one of my vegan cookbooks. When I remember which one, I’ll post it here.

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I took the suggestion of the author and made this using applesauce instead of apples to save time. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for these very much. They just didn’t have enough spice to them and they stuck to the paper, a lot. I may try to tweak this recipe at a later date!

However, these Banana Nut Muffins from another one of my cookbooks and they were phenomenal! No sticking either 😉

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I used two very ripe bananas in this recipe and they came out so moist and sweet. I may have to make these again just to have at home!

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The best part about all of this is that the kids ate everything! Even the sort of bland apple muffins I made. They had no idea the muffins were vegan either. 😉 

No one complained about there being no donuts. And they kept coming back for more fruit! It made me feel so good. I can’t wait to do it all over again this Sunday.

Speaking of which, I need your help: healthy muffin recipes are endless but I’d like to change it up a bit too so we’re not having essentially the same thing every week.

What other healthy (and fairly inexpensive) breakfast foods should I make (or buy) for the coffee shop?

I’m thinking one week, I’ll try out an oatmeal “buffet” but perhaps after they’ve gotten to know me a little better 😉

Farmer’s Market strawberry pancakes

I used one of my finds at the St. Matthew’s Farmer’s Market to make some really tasty pancakes on Sunday!

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Well, pancake rather. I ended up making one big one instead of two smaller ones. I used the Hodgson Mill Buckwheat mix and added 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk (for the milk), 1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer (for the egg) and 2 tbsp applesauce (for the oil). Josh didn’t want any, so I had leftovers the next day.

The texture was a little different (fluffy but kind of gritty) but I think that was the egg replacer. In the case of pancakes, flax egg works much better 🙂

But they were still tasty, including the Farmer’s Market organic strawberries!

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I have a lot more fun products, recipes, and whatnot to share with you guys, so much that it is starting to pile up on me. But I like the way the blog is going right now. Simple posts and more of a foodie feel, as opposed to a food journal. I’m past that point in my life now, so my blog should follow me. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Vegan cream cheese

It has been a long time since I have had a bagel with cream cheese.

When I first went vegan, back in October of last year, I didn’t really have an interest in too many “fake” products that replaced what I might eat if I wasn’t vegan. But after having banana oats every day for a straight week, I decided I needed a different breakfast to change things up a bit.

It just so happens, I also needed this for a recipe too, so I said “Why not?”

Another thing I had been missing that I wasn’t really aware of were meatless breakfast patties. The Morningstar brand used to be my favorite (ooh, the maple flavor!) but unfortunately, they are not even close to being vegan and have an ingredients list a paragraph long.

These Yves patties were on sale at Whole Foods, so I decided to try them out (they still don’t have the best ingredients list but at least they got all the animal products out):

The result?


I could not tell a difference at all in the Tofutti cream cheese; it tasted just like regular cream cheese to me! I love that I was able to eat a bagel with cream cheese, not get a stomach ache from it and no animals were harmed in the process! 😉

The meatless patties weren’t the best I’ve ever had but they definitely satisfied my craving. They are also low in sugar and contain some fiber and protein, which is good for satiety. I’m thinking I should try to make my own next time!

What is your favorite “faux” product?

Feeling squashy

I started off Wednesday with some more oatmeal. I have had the same thing for breakfast almost every day this week!

Hey, if it ain’t broke

I’ve been alternating between sprinkling a tablespoon of milled flaxseed and raw wheat germ on my oatmeal. Both have great nutritional benefits (see links)!

Along with green juice, I have also been enjoying homemade iced coffee with unsweetened coconut milk 🙂

I snacked on some natural almonds.

For lunch, I had another Sunshine garden herb patty inside of a pita pocket with a tomato slice and salsa verde.


The tomato I used was purchased from Huber’s Farm, which is located about 45 minutes away from me over in Indiana. I felt good about making a semi-local purchase, but I was still sure to wash and scrub the tomato as I’m not sure what might’ve been on there.


I also had some cauliflower to round out my meal!


For “dessert” I had a new to me fruit: a champagne mango!

Since I didn’t bring a knife to cut it with, I just bit right into it.

The skin had a little bit of a funky taste, so I ended up peeling it back and eating the fruit inside. It was so good! It had a slightly different taste than a regular mango and I found this one to be much juicier and sweet than most mangoes I’ve had.

For my afternoon snack, I had a Larabar. One of my favorite flavors!


Then I went home and took Suzie for a walk instead of going to the gym. It was a good choice!

I was hungry when we got back so I had some raisins, which is what I was craving 🙂

Then for dinner, we headed over to Beth’s house for our weekly girl’s night potluck. On the menu this week: Squash!

Beth made a delicious dish of summer squash baked in garlic herb tomato sauce. It looked very simple but was bursting with flavor.

Between this dish and my beloved spaghetti squash, I can declare: I LOVE SQUASH! I love how it is technically a vegetable (?) but you can make it the main component of your meal. It is quite versatile since there are so many varieties of squash and ways to cook them.

I also had a side salad with diced tomatoes and onion with Annie’s natural goddess dressing and some warm, soft and chewy Meijer bakery bread, which I have absolutely no willpower to turn down 😉

For dessert, Margie brought a lovely rice milk treat.

I have had this brand before and their ingredients aren’t too bad and the sugar content is moderate, which I think being made from rice milk helps that. I thought it was pretty good too!

I enjoyed this while we watched New Moon. I never read the books but it’s fun to watch the movies and find out what everyone is obsessing about, ha ha. From an “outsider” perspective, I thought the second movie was better (but a little long), since the first one just made me laugh.

Do you like squash?

What I’m enjoying this week

Green juice!

For some reason, I just have NOT been feeling the green smoothies this week, but I have been craving green juice. This particular one contains a lot of good for me stuff!


If only I had a juicer, I could make some myself. Hmm…perhaps an anniversary gift? 😉

My new coffee mugs!


Courtney got me these for my birthday. Aren’t they adorable? I hope to visit some of these cities someday and definitely NYC again 🙂

Larabars!

Because I had a coupon, they are delicious and contain very few ingredients. I seriously don’t want/need to eat any other bars, unless I make them myself one day.

“Natural” nuts:

They cost a lot more, which seems wrong to me (shouldn’t we pay extra for roasting and salt?) but they are so much better!

Banana oats and lots of ’em!

Usually by now it is so hot, even in the mornings, that hot cereal does not sound good to me. But that hasn’t happened just yet 😉

And lastly…


My favorite nighttime snack/dessert…a small cup of oat bran with PB and chocolate chips. Oh how I’d missed chocolate! A little bit never hurt anyone 😉

What are you enjoying this week?