Tag Archives: recipe

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I remember reading some blogger saying that every vegan cookbook has some sort of corn chowder. Clearly I didn’t get the memo. I think I’ve only made this corn chowder in my whole adult life. The recipe is originally from Vegetarian Planet, a super old school book my mother gave me when I went vegan. My mother is not a vegetarian, but you can blame her for my open mind to veganism. I probably ate less meat, and I probably ate a wider variety of food than most children. This cookbook has always been on our shelf. I never thought it was weird until my husband shot me a weird glance when I mentioned cooking couscous for dinner. I mean every small American child eats couscous right? No? He also hadn’t heard of knishes before, which is one of the rare potato foods I actually like. But then again, I have a thing for food wrapped around a dough.

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Anyways, what I love about Vegetarian Planet is that the recipes are written by a meat eater, but aren’t bland. Most omnivores who make a vegan recipe always taste like it needs a little something extra, or it is so low calorie it is almost pointless. But Didi Emmons just loves vegetables, and isn’t afraid of a little fat and calories. In fact this recipe calls originally for 6 cups milk with the option of replacing a cup of milk for heavy cream. No thanks, but I like your enthusiasm Didi.

I am also not against “fake” foods, but I do like when vegan cookbooks stay away from them. Why? Well, it just makes everything seem more approachable. I think when transitioning to a new diet, having a whole new world of wheat gluten, soy products, and fake cheese can either be fun, comforting, or intimidating. I feel like if a person who wants to go vegan could easily pick up this book and cook almost anything from it without many new products (you probably would need to remove cheese, or sub soy milk/fake butter.)

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Todays prompt was all about cooking with colors we rarely make, and even though the past two posts have featured some intense yellow, I don’t actually cook with that color that often. This was my attempt to make something yellow. And color perfectionist me is just unhappy with how green and brown it is. Damn my background in color theory. But close enough right?

So how does my recipe differ from the book? Well, the original recipe uses 6 cups of milk, and I couldn’t blow that much cash on a dinner! So I cut down to 4 cups soy milk and 2 cups vegetable broth. The recipe also is suppose to use fresh corn and their stalks. But I made it so you can make it in the winter, when you probably want to eat a rich cup of hot chowder anyways. So it uses frozen corn.

There are also nice chunks of sweet potatoes in there. I wanted to use a white sweet potato, but I grabbed an orange one instead. Oops. That’s the problem with my CSA, I tend to mix up my white and orange sweet potatoes up by the time I get home and they all just get mixed together. It isn’t that big of a deal except for the different cooktimes. 

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Anyone else use a non-vegan cookbook often?

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I love a good bowl. I don’t eat them often, as I tend to be the type of person who just makes one big dish. Curries, chilis, soups, stir-fries, and casseroles are more up my alley. But truthfully a well balanced vegan bowl is easy to do, especially if some prep work is done before hand. For example, I use already prepared hummus, some frozen protein balls I’ve made earlier, and the eggplant was pickled a few days earlier. All I had to do was pop everything in the oven and cook the couscous!

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Funny thing is that making a dish with as many colors in the rainbow can be hard. But I tried my best here using all produce from my CSA. I love being able to eat a dinner that is almost all from the same place. So what is what in the rainbow?

  • Red & Orange: bell pepper, last of the season
  • Yellow: pickled turmeric eggplant (again last of the season)
  • Green: green leaf, arugula, and radish greens
  • Blue: the bowl- duh!
  • Purple: roasted beets
  • Brown: hummus & chickpea beanballs
  • White: Pearl Couscous tossed in soy yogurt

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Overall, it took about an hour for dinner to cook, but there was a lot of down time. The beets that took the longest to roast. It might take longer than an hour if you choose to make your own hummus and beanballs/falafels. But I strongly suggest making doubles of a falafel/beanball recipe and freezing the extras for bowls like this.

For anyone who is wondering- you will need to prepare the eggplant two days ahead of time. I am a big fan of this refrigerator pickle recipe, and it is a great way to preserve some extra eggplant from the summer. If you aren’t a huge eggplant fan, this really alters the taste and the traditional mushy texture. I personally used Wegman’s brand hummus, just the good old classic hummus, though you could go for any flavored hummus if you like. And finally the balls were the Chickpea Eggplant Hemp Veggieballs from Protein Ninja. But there are lots of falafels now that you can find in the freezer section, like Trader Joe’s.

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pumpmaca0

I have no idea if these are cupcakes or muffins. I kind-of get annoyed by American standards for muffins. When I use to work at the coffee shop my current bosses ran, they would taste baked goods from various bakeries to choose a supplier. Their biggest complaint was the muffins were too gritty or dry. When they asked for my opinion, I replied with “they’re muffins, not cupcakes.” Sadly we ended up picking frozen buckets of muffins and baking them on location. My bosses were so proud of their decision, I hated those muffins, too soft, too sweet. Muffins are suppose to be low-sugar, have some whole wheat, or spelt flour, or something of the like. Sure you can have a chocolate chip muffin, if most of the sweetness is tied up in the chocolate. Muffins should be a limbo stage between bread and cupcake.

But what about these? I originally was going to call them cupcakes, originally tossing in some chocolate chips and a crumb topping. Surely that would make them decadent enough to make them cupcakes, right? Well, the crumb topping melted after a day, so I scrapped that. I had to make a second batch, and ran out of chocolate chips. So the new photographed results felt like a lie to have a recipe for naked cupcakes. But I personally like them without a glaze or frosting. But they are surely very soft and tender. So muffins they will be called.

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Many of you guys know that I have been going nuts over Macaccino. I don’t like promoting brands like this (unless I am making money, come on macaccino! give me money I can keep making these recipes!) but I am loving the powder form and the unique flavor. But you can skip the macaccino in the recipe and use espresso powder, or brewed coffee to make more a Pumpkin Spice Latte muffin. Variations will be in the recipe below.

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You can also switch things up by using half whole wheat flour instead of just all purpose flour to make these more muffin-y. But since I’ve been eating these as a midnight snack, I didn’t feel like it was needed. In fact that is kind-of why I love macaccino! I don’t have to worry about caffeine levels late at night. No I don’t think it would have much if you use espresso powder or real coffee, but just one less thing to worry about.

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Other little tips about these muffins. The first batch I made I used home roasted pumpkin (actually long pie squash to be exact.) If you make your own home roasted pumpkin you might have to take an extra step to puree the squash. You can be lazy (like me!) and just mix all the wet ingredients in a blender. But if you are using the canned stuff, like I did for the second batch, you can mix everything perfectly fine with a fork.

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What about nutrition? Well, I think of these like a dessert, hence why I am eating them as a midnight/bedtime snack. Below are the vitamins and minerals in recipe. There will be variations, clearly, if you are using hemp milk instead of soy, or if you decide to add chocolate chips or coffee. No none of these numbers are particularly high, but I don’t think it is too bad for 220 calories (10% of the calories for most people) and for something that tastes like such a dessert.

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pumpblack0

Ever made a recipe and have it be so awful that you had to revisit it again? This happens to me often. A recipe is floating around with some great flavor back bones. You think they should have a perfect flavor combo but it just lacks basic cooking know how. This happened with some pumpkin black bean burgers. The recipe was made by a non-vegan, and clearly didn’t know how to bind together the burgers. In their defense, they were probably also trying to avoid grains.

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So when Vegan MOFO did the prompt asking what my “easy cook” meal would be, the answer was frozen burgers. But I know it would of been pretty boring if I pulled out some existing burger from my freezer and slapped it on a bun. So it gave me the chance to make a much better tasting pumpkin black bean burger. 

When given the chance I ALWAYS try and bake my burgers. Why? It makes freezing much easier. It also makes grilling much easier. I can just grab a few burgers from my freezer and hand them to a host of a BBQ. People will always ask how to “grill” it, and I just say load up on oil, and heat all the way through. You can also toss these guys back in the oven, or just flip them in a small skillet. Heck sometimes these burgers make their way crumbled on a salad or in a wrap (did you check out my WIAW yesterday?). 

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This recipe specifically makes A LOT. I mean 8 on the low end if you like big thick burgers, 12 if you like small burgers for those store bought bagged hamburger buns. I am a firm believer that if you are using a food processor, you might as fill that bad boy up since it takes up so much space on the drying rack.

Now that I have baby on the way, these burgers will get eaten for sure. There will be too many nights where I won’t want to or don’t have the time cook.

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Curious about some nutritional information? Well I happened to plug the recipe in Cronometer and I am happy to report these burgers are pretty good for the body (and soul). Remember these numbers are for if you divide the recipe up into 11 patties, so if you get 8 patties the numbers per burger will be higher. I got 7 grams of protein in that small patty, 5 grams of fat (with 37% of your omega-3!), and 27 grams of carbs (with 8 grams of fiber.)

I just screencapped the nutritional values for people see. And if you are thinking that isn’t that many, it just gives you more reason to eat a second burger, or make a double stacked pattie! I mean we haven’t even added the nutritional values from the lettuce, tomato, onions, hummus, bun, or whatever your imagination can think of the dress up that burger.

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buffcaul0

I can hear my Aunt groaning all the way in Florida. “Oh honey, that’s no po’boy” in a heavy Southern accent is ringing in my ears. My Aunt Sheila is originally from Louisiana, and she is a recipe purist. I’ve been told that if I make a roux with oil instead of butter, you have a completely different recipe on your hand. But I am jumping ahead of myself. What does this recipe have to do with the first vegan mofo prompt?

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Well, we are suppose to be talking about our favorite foods. I was a little stumped. My answers are pretty easy: calzones and ice cream. But I’ve already given my recipe for a standard calzone (very ricotta-y just the way I like it), in fact it was the second post for Vegan Mofo last year. I couldn’t make a recipe for ice cream mostly because my freezer is PACKED. If there is leftovers it is getting frozen for post baby exhaustion.

So I asked Jon, what HIS favorite food was. His response was “a really good sandwich.” I got what he meant, there is something really nice about having a good loaf of bread, and the right fillings. He gets stuck with PB and J too often for his lunches for work, so I think when he gets something different, it makes him happy. At first I was going to do a buffalo tofu sandwich, since I love anything with buffalo sauce. But I think my lack of veggies in my diet made me go a little crazy with the craving, so I made a cauliflower buffalo wing po boy.

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So now, let’s go back to the beginning- what the heck is a po’boy? This is important because there has been too many times where I’ve eaten a sandwich named a po’boy but lacked many of the defining qualities of the sandwich. There is a fine line between a cupcake and a muffin and so is a sandwich and po’boy. A po’boy is a sandwich mostly associated with Louisiana, but is a local speciality in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi. It most famously has lots of small fried shrimp as the main filling, but it can be crab, oysters, crawfish, sausage, and sometimes even roast beef or french fries. It needs to be served in a crispy piece of bread, and the food pieces can’t be too big.

I’ve been eating bastardized versions of po’boys almost anytime my Father had to cook dinner. All he had to do was take shrimp, bread, and fry. Then we would add the roll, mayo, and fixings. So in many ways, this sandwich is a variation. I am using cauliflower instead of shrimp. I am breading it and baking instead of frying. But I guess the biggest betrayal is that I am slapping on lots of buffalo wing sauce. Oh well.

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I’ve also come to realize I talk a lot about food history. ESPECIALLY during Vegan Mofo. In fact, my hopes that next year I will do a month devoted completely to American historical cakes. But since I’ve decided I am going to be so thorough, let’s talk about what makes buffalo wing sauce, buffalo wing sauce. I think I saw Jenny from Herbivore’s Heaven talking about subbing a hot sauce for something else in a blog post. I cringed a little, but then realized I didn’t know why. Heck, I think I have over 10 different spicy based condiments in my fridge. Each so similar but have their own unique qualities. 

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If you live in the United States, you know that you are either getting Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, or some other name brand that has the word “buffalo” on the hot sauce label. Even though buffalo wings are covered in a sauce that is just hot sauce and butter, most shelf stable bottles of “buffalo” sauce does not have any butter in it. Good news for vegans. But what make “buffalo wing” sauce different from others is that it is a mix of cayenne peppers, vinegar, and garlic that have been aged.

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So what should you do if you aren’t in the United States and can’t find the proper sauce? Well, look at labels and see if you can find the word “cayenne pepper.” That really is the secret to the flavor. There are many varieties, but finding that wording will more likely ensure that it is the variety and flavor you are looking for. Also flip to the ingredients and try and keep it short and simple. You mainly want to see vinegar, pepper, and garlic in the ingredients. Or you can try out Domestic Fits’ recipe or Sunny Side Up’s recipe.

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I’ve been sitting on this recipe for awhile now. It came about early on in my pregnancy when Jon and I had two different family get togethers back to back. We are pretty big home bodies. We are both introverts and usually need a day to relax and calm down from family get togethers. This was going to be a VERY busy weekend. It would involve me running to our CSA, quickly go grocery shopping, and then cooking something for party number one.

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But being pregnant I kind-of wanted a dessert. But I didn’t have much time to prep anything. I remember loving the No-Bake Dark Chocolate Chickpea Pie with Pretzel Crust from Pickles and Honey, but had a craving for oreos cream filled chocolate cookie sandwiches. I also didn’t have some of the ingredients on the list and didn’t have the time to go to Whole Foods to get them (read: cocoa butter and coconut sugar.)

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So I decided to make two pies, which worked out wonderfully. Everyone loved the pie, and I got so many people asking what made it vegan. Chickpeas! Funny thing is that I have no idea how to make these type of no bake pies without vegan ingredients (pudding mixes?) It has always been beans and tofu for me. No one could even taste a hint of bean-y-ness to the pie. The big kicker? All the “tweens” went to town on the pie since they never heard me utter the word chickpeas in their presence. Most came out to the adults to say how much they loved that pie.

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So how did I make two pies on such a tight schedule? Well, there was a lot of cutting corners. One is that I bought pre-made pie shells. I picked up the Nabisco Oreo brand pie crusts because it was the only vegan chocolate pie crust option at my local grocery store. You can make your own pie crust just by googling oreo pie crust or just making a chocolate cookie crumb crust. What I do like about the ready made pie crusts (other than saving time) is that you have a plastic dome that you can use to cover the top of the pie for traveling.

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I also cut time down by using cocowhip. Make sure you plan ahead so you can thaw the whipped cream. One container makes the perfect amount for two pies, but below I will give the amount to use for only one pie (because you rarely need TWO pies.) You can double recipe if you like a lot of whipped cream on your pies if you want. But the whipped cream topping is where most of the “cookies & cream” flavor is coming from since you beat the sandwich cookies into the whipped cream. And naturally you could always make your own rad whip or coconut whipped cream.

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The last reason this pie is so quick to make is because you just need to blend all the ingredients in the filling, and that’s it. I strongly suggest that you use a blender not a food processor since a blender will get smoother results. I recommend putting all the ingredients into the blender as I have them listed since I had the best blending results (aka less times I need to stop and scrap things around.) The recipe is largely similar to chocolate chickpea filling on Pickles and Honey, so I recommend checking that recipe out if you want something less sweet.

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The pie can be eaten right away, but I suggest letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The chickpea filling naturally thickens up a little so you get cleaner cuts. I didn’t wait long enough for the photo (oops!) and got a more squished slice. Yikes! But since it is so easy to make, you can easily impress family members with your crumb decorating. I know I had a few family members saying “You made this?” with an air of surprise. Not sure why… maybe it didn’t seem like something I would make? 

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zucchinimuff0

It has happened guys- I am featuring a recipe on the blog! The last time I posted a recipe was in March– which I am a little shocked about. I thought my last recipe was from Vegan Mofo 2015. But part of me hiding away from recipe making has been because I’ve had a little mental block. When I first got pregnant I was just mentally and physically drained. Then when hunger started to kick in, I got pretty tired of sugar fast. Why? Sugar was in almost all snacks that were quick to eat on the go.

Snacking in a healthy manner can be hard. Especially since I have lots of specifics. I work in framing and it is important that my hands are clean. I work with lots of historical documents, works of art, and sometimes completely worthless junk. But something like an apple I have to sit down, eat, then wash my hands. Hummus and veggies? Oh please. Way too messy and time consuming! So I often will snack on a clif bar, crackers, or worse- candy. So I am constantly trying to think of something to eat that is dry but has no sugar.

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So I started to think about zucchini bread. Most zucchini bread in the USA are sweet. I have even posted a chocolate zucchini muffin on the blog way back in the day. I searched high and low for zucchini quick breads, and usually found savory recipes that used yogurt or different types of cheeses in them. I made one since I had leftover yogurt. But, I wanted to make a recipe that didn’t need a “fake” vegan food. Plus, the recipe made a whole loaf, and I figured if you are making zucchini bread, it is probably summer, and you don’t want the oven on for an hour. Muffins it would be.

I think I made 3 different batches before nailing this recipe. The biggest problem was that the muffins were too dry. The flavors were always amazing. But it would be painful to eat, and crumbs would get all over the place.

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So if you make these muffins, you can use cupcake lines if you are like me and are lazy about cleaning up. Or you can oil your muffin pans, which probably would give better results. Just make sure your muffins cool ALL THE WAY DOWN before taking off the cupcake liners. Otherwise they’ll just stick to the paper (ie. don’t do what I did for that photo. Wasn’t worth it for the sexy steam shot.)

Nutrition? Well, they are a great quick little snack. They are about 160 calories per muffin, and pack 5 grams of protein. If you used enriched all purpose flour and fortified nutritional yeast, the stats are pretty nice. 65% of B1, 54% of B2 (riboflavin), 30% B3 (Niacin), 45% of B6, 15% Folate, 7% Vitamin C, 17% Vitamin K, 10% calcium, and 8% of iron. You can see more of the stats here, I skipped the macros partly because it will be heavily influenced by what type of pesto you use. I used a avocado based pesto, so the fat content is different than the one I plugged into Cronometer (which is probably a traditional basil-olive oil based pesto)

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So what makes these muffins so full of B vitamins? A mix of flours. I bought a bag of kamut/khorasan flour awhile ago since it was on sale. This isn’t gluten-free, but an older variety of wheat. Which kind-of means it is packing a lot of natural vitamins that have been lost with modern varieties. But it does have a certain texture so I mixed it with some regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. And help give a savory flour I also mixed in some chickpea flour which helped give a more complex nutritional profile as well. Truthfully I think the flour is more nutritious than the zucchini.

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Welcome to Vegan MOFO 2015! The first prompt is talk about what you ate for breakfast. Most people get confused about what to serve a vegan for breakfast. Who can blame them? Pancakes, bacon, sausage, yogurt, milk, eggs, french toast, what is left to eat? Orange juice and toast? So we thought it would be a good idea to show a sample of what a typical breakfast is for us, including my husband.

Jennifer

Like a true (hippie-dippie) vegan, I start my breakfast off with a glass of homemade kombucha. I like adding the gut friendly bacteria to my diet each morning, and they are supposedly most helpful when consumed on an empty stomach. So I always pour myself a glass right away in the morning and drink it while I get some chores done, like putting away the clean dishes, washing any remaining pots and pans from the night before, or prepping a lunch for my husband and myself.

If I plan on working out, I try and have a very light “breakfast.” In the winter it is usually a small muffin, chia pudding, or a simple oat, water, and banana shake. But since I am swimming in produce, I ate a quarter of a giant yellow watermelon. This gives my tummy something to burn while I do my reps or go for a short run.

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This morning I went for a run, so I had a shake when I got back. I always try to eat some spirulina in the morning to help with allergies and because it has so many good vitamins and minerals in it. There are pretty much two ways I eat spirulina– a chocolate shake or a matcha shake. This morning I ate a matcha shake. It is very simple and easy to put together since by the end of my workout I am always craving a cool drink with lots of calories.

Alexa

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This was a really fun and easy experiment for me. I’ve been seeing one of my coaches at the gym to help me with my nutrition and eating to help aid my work-outs. I told her I was mostly vegetarian in diet (still livin’ that flexetarian lifestyle) so she helped me set up a meal plan based around that. Normally for breakfast I’ll eat 2 egg whites or 1 egg and 1 egg white along with 1/4 cup oatmeal (with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil mixed in) and a 1/2 cup of berries. Jen suggested that I try to make a tofu scramble for Vegan MoFo, which I had always wanted to do because I LOVE a good scramble, but had always been hesitant because I thought mine would never live up to what I’ve had in the past. 

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Well, it was incredibly easy to make this. And it turned out pretty well too! I’ve heard several people say they add nutritional yeast, turmeric or cumin to give the tofu some flavor and that yellow color of an egg scramble. I only had cumin in the house, but I also added a bit of curry powder and chili powder to it (and later I added sriracha…because I live for that sauce). I sautéed some onions, orange bell peppers and tomatoes in with the tofu and spices as well. Normally the eggs are supposed to help with getting some protein into my body post workout, as I’ll normally take a morning class. When Jen pointed out that that tofu has about as much protein as eggs does I felt a little bit better about maybe adding this into my routine a bit more often, but in smaller portions. 

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Oatmeal used to be a very “meh” ideal breakfast item for me. When Karen said I should put coconut oil into it and mix it with berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon I first thought “hmm, that’s interesting…” . Now I’m hooked. The consistency is perfect and I love the flavor of the coconut oil with berries. On occasion, such as today, I’ll substitute the oil for almond butter instead. Both options are great and this breakfast really keeps me full until lunch time, which ranges from about 12:30-1:30 depending on when I ate. 

Jonathan

My husband is a creature of habit. My morning starts with kombucha sure, but each batch is different and I switch between types of tea to create the brew. Then my shakes and “pre-workout” food changes. Not my husband. When we first started dating he use to eat a bagel and cream cheese every single day. Then he found out that his tummy got upset by it, so he switched to oatmeal.

Boring plain oatmeal.

He was so proud of himself, he crunched numbers and found out that he would save so much by using the big container of quick cooking oatmeal. I asked if he wanted some sugar, cinnamon, anything else. Nope. Gross. I thought it might of been a family thing, perhaps his Mother and Father had plain oatmeal? When I asked about it apparently his mother doesn’t like oatmeal and his father was all “WHAT THE HECK THAT SOUNDS GROSS?!” So there is clearly something wrong with my husband.

BUT I did convince him to start adding granola to give a little boost since he was getting hungry too fast (duh, you are just eating oats!) And depending on the season, he will add some berries from our CSA or chopped apples that I prep for him. I didn’t take a picture of his oats because they are disgusting and I figured readers wouldn’t want to see naked mushy oats.

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Then comes his second breakfast. Sure I have three different stages to my breakfast, but that is really just a “workout” thing. If I don’t run or lift, I just have one shake. But my husband is a calorie burning machine and needs to have a shake to drink when he gets to work. He is pretty boring, just chocolate or chocolate peanut butter, or just peanut butter. Lately I’ve been making him peach peanut butter shakes. But today was just chocolate.

The Coffee

We are all coffee people. Jon likes to have his coffee everyday and normally just gets the Wegman’s brand to save money. Jen finds this coffee too fruity for her tastes. But on special occassions Jen will buy him a special roast, like the Royal Mile Nicaragua Mama Mina that she got him for his birthday.

Jennifer on the other hand doesn’t drink coffee first thing in the morning. She drinks her cup around 10 am, probably because she finds coffee too harsh on an empty tummy. Sometimes she makes herself an iced latte before heading out to work using Black Cat Classic Espresso by Intelligentsia

Alexa gets her coffee from Booskerdoo or Rook. She liked to get the big jar of coffee concentrate from Rook when she can, but finds that it actually disappears way faster than she would like, and is trying to limit herself to 1 coffee per day, it used to be up to 4 COFFEES on a bad (good?) day. She also loves everyone who works in her local coffee shops and wants to give them patronage because they are just the sweetest and really know their coffee. 

So that’s it guys. Three vegan breakfasts. There are two shake recipes below if you want to be like us. Anyone else out there is a little freak and eats plain oatmeal? I think my husband needs team oats allies.

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