Follow Your Heart VeganEgg 

I was never a big egg fan, but it was nice to be able to scramble up a quick breakfast on occasion. Especially for my son is screaming because he’s straving. But me being vegan and his egg allergy, not gonna happen anymore. 

Then I heard that Follow Your Heart was making vegan egg substitute product. And not just another egg replacer for baking, these could be used just like real beaten eggs. Scrambles, quiches, omelette, and baking! 

My first question was what the heck is it made of? Jack is also allergic to soy and cashews, two very common sources of vegan protein. I asked on their Facebook page and they quickly answered it was soy and nut free!  It’s main ingredient is an algae dervitive, algal

My mom asked what she could make for me and jack instead of scrambled eggs for Christmas Brunch, so I decided to order some finally. Luckily a local vegan grocery store in Portland Food Fight had some in stock, so they arrived just in time before Christmas morning. 

They come in cute little eggs cartons, but inside is really a package of powder. 

   
The instructions are easy and straightforward. In a nutshell, add correct amount of powder to correct amount of water, get lumps out, cook in a hot pan until firm. The key is to do what the directions say (duh). Too much water and they come out rubbery. Too much powder and they come out clumpy. And they are dead serious about letting it cook the full 6-8 minutes in an already hot pan. Otherwise it’s just goo that has no resemblance in texture to eggs. 

  

So how are they? I can happily say good! The texture is totally on point. Not too slimy, not to dense.  Fluffy and satisfying feel.  The taste is pretty close, but just a tiny bit off. I can’t really explain how it’s off…it’s like lacking that umami taste satisfaction. But I added a little sea salt and paprika before cooking and it helped a lot. 

 Did they pass the toddler test? Kinda. But Jack was more excited for the ham and maple syrup. He took a bite of the scramble, didn’t hate it but didn’t love it. 

I think this is a great product, I plan on buying it again and hope it becomes available in stores soon. A great vegan protein source that is soy-free. I’m going to try baking with it soon so look out for that recipe.  

 But For now, I highly suggest some over toast with salsa and hot sauce for breakfast. 

Pumpkin Date Muffins

Want to know what statement that makes a cook feel horrible? “I didn’t know what to have for breakfast so I skipped it. And you forgot to make me a lunch so I just had ramen.” Most days I do feed my husband good meals. I make him nice lunches most days and make sure there is something he can heat up for dinner (usually my leftover lunch). But some days Jack doesn’t let that happen. Michael knows I am busy all day trying to care for the baby and working in the evenings. He isn’t mad, and isn’t the ‘I expect dinner on the table at 6 sharp women!” kind of guy. But I love to cook and feed people, so hearing this was a dagger in the heart. I decided to make some freezer meals. This way there is always something to eat and it would save us money in the long run. I made 6 recipes total, so look out for the rest. Also, this recipe is also good for Baby-Led Weaning, the way we are introducing solids to Jack.

So, Michael never has to skip breakfast again. I decided to make muffins that he could eat in the car or at his desk. These muffins aren’t your those fluffy cake-like store bought muffins. Do you know why Costco muffins taste so good? They aren’t muffins, they are cake. You are eating giant cupcakes without frosting. Totally not the breakfast of champions!  My muffins are sweet but dense, and full of nutrition. A great way to start the day!
This recipes make 24 muffins or one 8 in by 12 in baking pan.
Pumpkin Date Muffins
2 tbs flax seeds
4 tbs hot water

1 29 oz can of pumpkin puree

2 cups chopped dates
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 tbs vital wheat gluten (or flour works fine too)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray the pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, add the hot water and flax seeds. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the pumpkin puree and dates. Mix well.

Add the oats, vital wheat gluten, brown sugar, flax seed mixture, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until combined. It should be thick and lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Fill it all the way to the top, these muffins don’t rise much.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.

Eat them hot, let them cool for later, or freeze them for the rest of the week! A tasty breakfast any time.

Vegan Potato Pancakes

Potatoes pancakes just might one of the best foods on the planet. Salty and flaky on the outside, while soft and warm on the inside.  Do I even need to say anymore?

I grew up knowing them as Polish dish, but they are pretty much the same as Jewish latkes. That’s why I decided to use a Manischewtiz Potato Pancake mix—along with some fresh potatoes. I also used olive oil, not vegetable oil for frying.
And yes, fried white potatoes are not the healthiest thing ever, but they are a nice treat once and awhile. Just eat them in moderation and watch your portion sizes. And these are especially good with a side of homemade apple sauce (I’ll post that recipe soon).

This makes 6 servings (not gonna lie, we ate them all).

Vegan Potato Pancakes
1 box ( 3 oz) Potato Pancake Mix, with no eggs or dairy in it
1 large russet potato, shredded or riced (I riced mine)
1.5 tbs Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 tbs water, mixed together
3/4 cup cold water
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine the mix, shredded or riced potato, egg replacer mixture and water. Mix together well.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Don’t put too much oil, this is just shallow pan fry.

Once the oil is hot, drop in a big spoonful (like up to 1/4 cup). It should naturally flatten and spread out. Repeat a few more times, without over crowding the pan. I fit four at a time in mine.

Fry until they are golden on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side.

Remove from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel or wire rack.

Repeat until the batter is gone.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some apple sauce and you have one tasty meal!

Small Meal Ideas

source

I mentioned in my last post that I am suffering from horrible heartburn/acid reflux right now. Guess my little son decided that my stomach was annoying and shoved it out of his way. As a result, I had to start eating 6 to 8 smaller, more simple meals to keep my stomach happy. I thought I would share the list of small meal ideas I came up. These are not only great for heartburn issues. Try them for kid’s lunches, party finger foods, and smaller meals for diets.

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked with rice milk with a 1/2 a banana mashed and 3 chopped up dates
  • Smoothie: 1/2 an avocado, splash of apple juice, handful of spinach, and 1/4 cup blackberries
  •  Burrito: 1 warmed medium flour tortilla,  1/2 an avocado, handful of kale,  handful shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter spread on a piece of whole grain toast, and half a banana
Lunch:
  • 1 cup of my Feel Better Vegetable Soup
  • My rice cheese or Soy Cheese Quesadilla , but with salsa or hot sauce
  • Half Sandwich or wrap: 1 medium tortilla or 1 slice of bread, 2 tablespoon avocado, handful of greens, half a handful of shredded carrots, and a bit of stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup of plain cooked lentils over 1/2 cup rice with a bit of kale or spinach
Dinner:
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta, a bit of olive oil, handful of sautee kale or spinach, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 of cup of chopped vegetable salad with a light apple cider vinegar dressing
  • 1/2 cup whole pinto beans, 1/2 cup brown rice
  • A plain Tofu Scramble—light or no spices, no tomatoes, and no onions
Snacks:
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 8 dates
  • 8 carrots and 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1 small apple with 1 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 ounces soy or rice yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber and 1/4 cup whole wheat crackers

And remember to stay away from sugary drinks. Drink as much water as you can. Try coconut water to keep your electrolytes up.  And try some low sugar apple juice with a splash of apple cider vinegar to settle your stomach and soothe your throat.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes

This is a delicious but simple breakfast I like to make weekend mornings. I used Bisquick (it’s vegan), but you can use any other pancake mix or make them totally from scratch too. I add pumpkin puree to this recipe for more fiber. And acts as a binder. Plus it gives them a lovely golden color.

This recipe makes 6-8 pancakes and will serve two people.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes
1/2 cup low or no sugar strawberry jam or preserves (also make sure it has no high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 water
2/3 cup Bisquick
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
4 tbs peanut butter, chunky or smooth is fine
1/4 cup soy milk, as needed

In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, mix together the strawberry jam and water. Heat up it, but do not let it boil. It should be runny is like syrup, not thick like jam.

Cover the pot and turn off the heat, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the Bisquick, pumpkin puree, and peanut butter. Mix together well, trying to work out all the lumps. Add a little soy milk at a time to help it smooth out. The batter should be smooth but still on the thicker side.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.

Once the pan is heated up, pour on the batter. I like smaller pancakes so I used about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. If you like bigger ones, do as much as you like.

These will not bubble up like traditional pancakes, so you will need to check the bottoms occasionally to see when to flip. Once the bottom is slightly browned, flip.

This side will puff up like a traditional pancake, but still check the bottom occasionally until it’s slightly browned too.

Plate up your pancakes and drizzle on your jam syrup.

Now dig in and enjoy! A very filling and comforting breakfast.

Potato and Leek Hash

I wanted a hot and tasty breakfast when I woke up this morning. Something filling, but not heavy. I had a few potatoes that needed to be eaten so I thought a hash was in order.

I got another organic vegetable box delivered the other day so I decided to add some veggies for more nutrition. The box came with two giant leeks. I think leeks are a seriously underrated food. They have the texture of a very soft celery mixed with a shallot. The flavor is like a mid onion and garlic. They are high in vitamin K and vitamin A. Like their cousin garlic, it also helps support the cardiovascular system. I love leeks because they provide that garlic/onion flavor, but with a bit more crunch.

This recipe makes one large serving (that is surprising low in calories!).

Potato and Leek Hash
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup water
1/2 of a leek stalk (the lower, whiter part—I have a recipe for the leafy part coming up), sliced thin
1 small carrot, diced
1/2 of a broccoli stalk, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a skillet with a little oil (I used coconut) over medium heat.

Add the potatoes and cook until slightly golden on the outside.

Add water and cover. The steam will cook the inside of the potatoes. Stir occasionally so they do no burn.

Once the water is evaporated, remove the lid. Add all remaining veggies. Cook until the carrots and broccoli are soft, and the leeks are slightly golden.

Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

I served mine over some basic scrambled tofu with some hot sauce on top.

A healthy and easy breakfast, great way to start off my day of cleaning and laundry :-/

Chai Chaos Smoothie

Chai pumpkin, vanilla, and strawberry? I know that sounds weird, but that is what I wanted this morning (hey, I’m pregnant, give me a break). It was actually really good! I am in love with smoothies right now. Michael found a NutriBullet on a special sale at Target (they were out of some toaster so they restocked it with a NutriBullet for that price, making it around 40% off). I am in love! It’s so much easier to use than blender and cleans way easier than my food processor.

Even if you don’t have a NutriBullet, try this smoothie, no one flavor over powers the other.

This make one of the tall NutriBullet cups, could be a meal for one or a snack for two (Michael and I shared one on the way to work).





Chai Chaos Smoothie
4 tbs of Tazo Chai Tea Pumpkin Pie Concentrate 
1/2 frozen strawberries
2 scoop vanilla soy protein powder (I used Trader Joe’s brand and any type of plant-based powder is fine)
2 cups soy milk (any non-dairy milk is fine)

Add all ingredients into the your blender or NutriBullet, and blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass or twist on your lip rings.

Now enjoy the spicy sweet, and creamy treat! Makes a great wake-me-up on your way to work.

Vanilla Pancakes with Apple Compote

I just made this recipe up Sunday morning for a nice treat. It’s easy and came together quickly. I used the Mexican Vanilla my mom brought back from her trip to Mexico.  I make small pancakes because they are easier to manage.

This recipe makes two servings, 5-6 small pancakes total.

Vanilla Pancakes
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp Vanilla

Spray a pan with cooking spray.

Heat the pan over medium heat.

While it heats, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix just until combined, it is okay to have a few lumps.

Once the pan is hot, pour about 1/6 of the batter into nice circle on the pan.  Repeat 2 to 3 more times, depending on how much space you have on the pan.

Once the bottom browns lightly, flip and brown lightly on the over side.

Repeat the previously two until all the batter is gone.

Apple Compote
2 Honey Crisp apples, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 cups water
1 tbs cornstarch
Dash of salt

In a small sauce pan, add the chopped apples, sugar, and water.

Bring the pan to boil over medium-high heat.

Continue to boil until the apples soften slightly and turn a light golden color.

Reduce the heat and add the cornstarch and salt.

Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Then remove from the heat and top your pancakes with it.

Flavorful and fluffy pancakes with sweet crisp apple compote, good way to start the day! I had some soy bacon on the side.

Almost Fat Free Hash Browns

Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to eat out for vegans. No eggs, bacon or sausage. Plus most places use milk and butter in their pancakes, waffles, bread & etc. We are usually stuck with two options, fruit or hash browns. It is important to ask if they use butter on the hash browns, and if they can leave it out if they do. Most of the time they might look at you funny, but will do it.

Luckily I love potatoes so I am content with a small order hash browns. However, they are not the healthiest thing in the world. They are usually fried or pan-fried in tons of oil. A few years ago I discovered if you use a good non-stick skillet and a bit of cooking spray that you can get them as crispy as restaurants without all the bad fat.

Every kitchen should have a good non-stick skillet, so I highly suggest investing in one. Like I mentioned before, Michael and I moved into his grandparents old house. I use the non-stick skillet that came with house, and for some reason I cannot find the name brand on it. It works great, so just goes to show you sometimes you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a quality product.

This recipe makes 2 servings.

Almost Fat Free Hash Browns
2 small russet potato
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
Non-stick skillet (Must be non-stick)
1/4 cup water

Wash and peal the potatoes.

Grate the potatoes.

Pat dry with a paper towels. Try to get as much liquid out as possible.

Shape into a large, flat patty. I suggest doing this on a plate.

Spray the non-stick skillet cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

Once it is hot, place the potato patty in the skillet. If you used a plate, you can simply flip it over into the pan.

Add the water and cover quickly. Keep covered until the water is evaporated, usually when it stops sizzling.

Uncover and let it cook until it is golden on the bottom.

Carefully, flip the hash brown over.

Let it cook on the other side until golden too.

Season with more salt and pepper, or anything else you like! You can add condiments and make it the main dish. Or, you can serve it as side with some Tofu Scramble and soy bacon. I sautéed some bell peppers and onions, and added a few spoonfuls of salsa.

Orange Waffles with Blackberry Sauce

I actually made this breakfast back on Halloween, but have not had the time to post it yet. Like I mentioned before, Michael loves waffles, and also loves the Giants. So to celebrate them winning the World Series, I made orange and black waffles.  Rather than use chemical food coloring or artificial flavoring, I decided to use fresh fruit. These came out so good that I am adding them to my regular breakfast rotation.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Pancake and Waffle mix,  but you can use any mix you like. Or you can  make them totally from scratch. This makes four waffles.

Orange Waffles with Blackberry Sauce

Sauce:
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blackberry
Juice from half an orange
pinch of salt

Waffles:
1 and 1/2 cup waffle mix ( I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic 7 gain Pancake and Waffle Mix)
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp oil
Juice from half an orange
Zest from one whole orange

For the sauce, in a small pot over medium,  add all the ingredients for the sauce together.

Bring to boil, the reduce heat to a simmer.

Let it cook down until it reaches desired consistency. I like mine a little on the runny side.

For the waffles, heat up your waffle iron according to the directions.

Mix together all the ingredients just until combined.

Pour the batter into the waffle iron and cooking according to the directions.

Once the waffles are done, drizzle on the blackberry sauce and enjoy!

A lovely hot waffles, loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. Great way to start the morning and celebrate the Giants!