Groatmeal with Fresh Fruit

Groatmeal with Fresh Fruit -- Epicurean VeganWhen it comes to breakfast, it can be a little lack luster for me. The Tenth Grader and I try to hit the gym in the mornings before school, so I typically inhale a Larabar at 5:45 a.m. and when I come home, I’m just wanting something quick. Sadly, I usually end up with a Boca “chicken” patty on an English muffin. Even though I’m a morning person, making a quick, healthy and delicious breakfast can be a tall order. If I had my way, I’d go to the Rainbow every morning for their Groatmeal (granola + oatmeal and loaded with lots of fruit), but that’s not an option. The other night, while lamenting with my friend Jessie about my boring breakfasts, she told me to make the oatmeal the night before. For many of you, this may be nothing new, but to me, it was revolutionary. You see, I’m not a huge oatmeal fan . . . unless it’s the Rainbow’s . . . but I thought, what the hell, it’s time to be a big girl and make my own oatmeal. And I loved it. Talk about easy and an ideal option for a post workout meal.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C old fashioned oats
1 to 1-1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
Fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and/or bananas
Handful of granola, store-bought or homemade
Brown sugar
*next time, I’ll add some cinnamon to the oats and milk the night before. Yum!*

DIRECTIONS:
The night before, place the oats in a Pyrex dish (or any covered bowl) and pour in the almond milk. This is where your preference comes in. If you pour enough to just cover the oats, by morning, the oats will have absorbed most of the milk, or pour in a bit more to make it kind of soupy. I like the soupy kind. You can always add more almond milk in the morning if it’s not enough. You really can’t screw this up.
Groatmeal with Fresh Fruit -- Epicurean VeganI know, they pretty much look the same, right? There was only a little “loose” milk in the one on the right. When it comes time to eat, just scoop out some oatmeal, add a handful of granola, slice up some fruit, and sprinkle with a tiny bit of brown sugar. Enjoy!

Groatmeal with Fresh Fruit
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 C old fashioned oats
  • 1 to 1-1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • Fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and/or bananas
  • Handful of granola, store-bought or homemade
  • Brown sugar
Directions
  1. The night before, place the oats in a Pyrex dish (or any covered bowl) and pour in the almond milk. This is where your preference comes in. If you pour enough to just cover the oats and by morning, the oats will have absorbed it all, or pour in a bit more to make it kind of soupy. I like the soupy kind. You can always add more almond milk in the morning if it's not enough. You really can't screw this up.
  2. When it comes time to eat, just scoop out some oatmeal, add a handful of granola, slice up some fruit, and sprinkle with a tiny bit of brown sugar. Enjoy!

 

 

Easy, Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Easy, Vegan Cinnamon Rolls -- Epicurean Vegan

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post; been busy I guess. Next week, I’ll be bringing you 2 cookbook reviews that I’m super excited about, so look for that in the coming days. For now, I’ve got a quickie recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls, perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

INGREDIENTS:
24 Rhodes white dinner rolls, thawed
1/4 C Earth Balance
1-1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Confectioner’s sugar
unsweetened vanilla almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
I ended up defrosting the rolls in microwave, so that worked well, but I recommend taking the rolls out the night before and thawing them in the fridge. Melt the Earth Balance in a small pan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stay warm. Combine all of the rolls with your hands and knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes, or until all the air bubbles are gone. Roll the dough out into a large square—maybe just over a foot on each side. If the dough wants to keep bouncing back, just keep at it; it’ll eventually roll out. Spread the brown sugar mixture on the dough, then, working from the top or bottom edge, roll up the square. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces. Place in a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Cover with a dish towel, place in a warm area and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes. Once they’ve risen a bit, preheat oven to 400, then bake for 18-20 minutes. I whipped up some frosting by combing about a cup of powdered (confectioner’s) sugar in a bowl with just a tablespoon or so of almond milk; you can play with these amounts to get the consistency you want. Once the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven, frost them and serve. Enjoy!

Easy, Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 24 Rhodes white dinner rolls, thawed
  • ¼ C Earth Balance
  • 1-1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Confectioner's sugar
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Directions
  1. I ended up defrosting the rolls in microwave, so that worked well, but I recommend taking the rolls out the night before and thawing them in the fridge.
  2. Melt the Earth Balance in a small pan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Combine all of the rolls with your hands and knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes, or until all the air bubbles are gone.
  4. Roll the dough out to a large square---maybe just over a foot on each side. If the dough wants to keep bouncing back, just keep at it; it'll eventually roll out.
  5. Spread the brown sugar mixture on the dough, then, working from the top or bottom edge, roll up the square.
  6. Using a serrated bread knife, cut the roll into 9 pieces and place in a greased 9x13" baking dish. Cover with a dish towel, place in a warm area and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes.
  7. Once they've risen a bit, preheat oven to 400, then bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. I whipped up some frosting by combing about a cup of powdered (confectioner's) sugar in a bowl with just a tablespoon or so of almond milk; you can play with these amounts to get the consistency you want. Once the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven, frost them and serve. Enjoy!

 

Lemon-Pecan Waffles

Lemon-Pecan Waffles -- Epicurean VeganThese are some hearty, no-joke waffles. You could certainly add a bit more milk to thin out the batter a little more to make a lighter, crispier waffle, but we enjoyed the muffin-like texture of the thicker ones. Either way, you won’t be disappointed with this lemony, nutty breakfast/brunch mainstay.

INGREDIENTS:
3-1/2 C flour
2/3 C ground pecans (about 1-1/4 C whole pecans)
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 C unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 C vegan margarine, melted
3 Tbs lemon juice
Zest from one large lemon
1 C pecans, chopped and toasted
Cooking spray
Vegan margarine
Maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to about 200 degrees and preheat waffle maker according to its instructions. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pecans, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, melted margarine, lemon juice and zest. Add  the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and gently fold until well combined, using a rubber spatula.

Lemon-Pecan Waffles -- Epicurean VeganSpray the waffle irons with cooking spray and place about a 3/4 to 1 cup of the batter in each waffle square. (Waffle makers vary, so be sure to find out how much/little batter to use).
Lemon-Pecan Waffles -- Epicurean VeganBecause these are thicker waffles, you will probably want to add a couple of minutes to the regular cooking time. (And I could have used a bit more batter).
Lemon-Pecan Waffles -- Epicurean VeganPlace the finished waffles on a baking sheet, cover with foil and place in the warm oven while you cook the rest of the waffles. I got about 12 waffles out of this batter, but if you decide to thin the batter out, you’ll definitely get a few more. Top individual servings with some vegan margarine, syrup and a scoop of toasted pecans. Enjoy!

Lemon-Pecan Waffles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3-1/2 C flour
  • ⅔ C ground pecans (about 1-1/4 C whole pecans)
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 C unsweetened almond milk (plain or vanilla)
  • ¼ C vegan margarine, melted
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • Zest from one large lemon
  • 1 C pecans, chopped and toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegan margarine
  • Maple syrup
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to about 200 degrees and preheat waffle maker according to its instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pecans, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, melted margarine, lemon juice and zest.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and gently fold until well combined, using a rubber spatula.
  5. Spray the waffle irons with cooking spray and place about a ¾ to 1 cup of the batter in each waffle square. (Waffle makers vary, so be sure to find out how much/little batter to use).
  6. Because these are thicker waffles, you will probably want to add a couple of minutes to the regular cooking time.
  7. Place the finished waffles on a baking sheet, cover with foil and place in the warm oven while you cook the rest of the waffles. I got about 12 waffles out of this batter, but if you decide to thin the batter out, you'll definitely get a few more.
  8. Top individual servings with some vegan margarine, syrup and a scoop of toasted pecans. Enjoy!

 

 

Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Quiches

Vegan and Gluten-Free Mini Quiches -- Epicurean VeganI’ve been wanting to figure out how to make vegan mini quiches for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Do I use tofu? Flour? Wave a magic wand? Well, when I came across this recipe, I knew my search was over. I only made one modification and that was to add the veggies to the batter instead of just topping the batter with them. Doing so, will give you about 4 more quiches (16 instead of 12). That works great as long as you have 2 muffin tins. Otherwise, you could add your veggies just to the tops. I was thoroughly impressed with these. They taste like a cross between an actual egg-y quiche and a biscuit. They’re packed with protein and make a great quick breakfast on the go—just zap in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’re good to go. (These are especially ideal for a post-workout snack).

INGREDIENTS:
2-1/2 C garbanzo/chickpea flour (I also had some garbanzo & flava flour mix that worked great, too)
3 C cold, filtered water
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
Cooking spray
Veggies/toppings: Use your favorites, but I like to use 1-1/2 to 2 cups of chopped . . . spinach tomato mushrooms green onion cilantro Other options: veggie bacon or ham, bell pepper, sauteed garlic, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, basil, Swiss chard, shredded (and squeezed dry) zucchini, peas, . . . the list is endless.
Note: I used sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) in a batch and I recommend easing up on the oil in the batter by at least a tablespoon. Also, throw in some chia seeds. Pepitas or sunflower seeds would also be great additions.

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 500 and lightly spray the muffin tins. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, water, oil, and salt. Be sure to whisk until all the lumps are gone and  you have a smooth batter. You can then pour the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups and just add your veggies to the top, OR (as I would recommend) add the veggies to the batter.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Mini Quiches -- Epicurean Vegan

Fill the muffin tins . . . Vegan and Gluten-Free Mini Quiches -- Epicurean VeganBake for 14 minutes, then crack the oven door slightly, and cook another 11 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or so, and remove with a knife. Enjoy!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Mini Quiches -- Epicurean Vegan

Pumpkin-Spiced Pancakes

Pumpkin-Spice Pancakes -- Epicurean Vegan
What a fabulous fall morning for these pancakes!

DSC08032

The Ninth Grader found this recipe last week and we finally got around to making them. The original recipe is not vegan; easy enough to remedy. . . and we also upped the spices to give these more flavor. With the leftover canned pumpkin, I’ll be making vegan pumpkin-spiced lattes tomorrow, which I’m definitely looking forward to.

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 C almond milk
1 C pumpkin puree
Egg-replacer for one egg (I used Ener-G Egg replacer)
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs vinegar
2 C flour
3 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
The Rest:
Earth Balance margarine
Syrup

DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin puree, egg-replacer, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

Pumpkin-Spiced Pancakes -- Epicurean VeganPlace a flat pan over medium heat and spray with oil. Let it preheat for a minute or two. Scoop 1/3 cupfuls of batter onto the hot pan.

Pumpkin-Spiced Pancakes -- Epicurean VeganLet cook 3-5 minutes, then flip.

Pumpkin-Spiced Pancakes -- Epicurean VeganI transferred the cooked ones to a pan, covered with foil and placed in a warm oven until all pancakes were cooked. This recipe makes 12 pancakes.

Pumpkin-Spiced Pancakes -- Epicurean Vegan

Enjoy!

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Ah . . . Fall, the changing of the leaves, and the smell of baking zucchini bread. Not bad for a Friday afternoon. Then of course, eating the sugar-crusted bread! This is a very easy bread to throw together and great for sharing!

INGREDIENTS:
6 Tbs flax meal
1/2 C warm water
4 C zucchini, grated and squeezed of all liquid (2 to 2-1/2 medium zucchinis)
2 C brown sugar
1/2 C applesauce
1/4 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 C almond milk
3 C regular flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
Glaze:
1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, melted
1/4 C brown sugar
3 Tbs almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl whisk together the flax meal and warm water; set aside. Using a mixer, combine the brown sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and almond milk. Add the zucchini and flax meal; mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine well. Pour the mixture evenly into two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Every oven runs differently, so check often. Once they are a bit browned on top and an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean from the center . . .

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Just before this, of course, whip up the glaze.  Whisk together the ingredients and brush the tops of the bread with it. Bake it again for another 7-10 minutes.

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean VeganLet them cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pans. Slice and enjoy!

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Rainy Day Tofu Scramble

Rainy Day Tofu Scramble -- Epicurean VeganSo Mother Nature has not been happy with us. A couple of weeks ago, we were having extreme heat that schools actually closed down for a day. Now, Denver and Northern Colorado is having extreme rain and flooding. (And we can’t forget about the snowstorm in May!) Fort Collins is shutting down bridges and closing up shop. Other cities, like Lyons are being completely evacuated. Many of the mountain towns have no water, electricity and gas! We’re fortunately doing fine where we’re at, but other neighborhoods in Fort Collins are gearing up for some serious flooding.

flood

This is between Lyons and Estes Park. Image from Estes Park News.

Yikes! I hope everyone stays safe and that this rain gives us a break!

So while we wait it out, might as well eat, right? Here’s a quick, easy, and versatile breakfast that will be ready in minutes.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C green onions, sliced
1/2 C black olives
A few dashes of turmeric
A few dashes of cumin
A couple dashes of garlic salt
A couple of dashes of black pepper
1/4 C salsa
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
Daiya cheese shreds
Flour tortillas, optional

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and green onion and saute over medium, heat for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms cook down a little. Add the turmeric, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Next, add the tofu and black olives and saute 5 minutes, then stir in the salsa. Cook for a few minutes until everything is hot. Serve either in a bowl, or tortilla along with some Daiya, tomatoes, and avocado. Enjoy!

Lemon Monkey Bread

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

I was going to post this recipe tomorrow, but after taking a bite, I think you might want to run out and buy the ingredients for tomorrow’s breakfast. So worthy of veganizing! You may have seen the original recipe on Pinterest . . . it’s definitely making the rounds and now I know why! The original recipe was a bit hard to follow because of the way it’s laid out—lots of really closeup pictures with some directions, then at the bottom of the post is the ingredient list and directions. It also wasn’t clear how long it was going to take to let these puppies rise, but luckily, it was only about 45 minutes. These are little pieces of glaze n’ sugar heaven; like a mini glazed doughnut! And the crunchy sugar topping?! Forgetaboutit! Frickin’ amazing and perfect for a brunch get together (that is, if you want to share)!

INGREDIENTS:

12 Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed, but still cold (I took them out of the freezer and stuck them in the fridge the night before)
Zest from one lemon
1/2 C sugar
3 Tbs Earth Balance, melted + some for greasing the pan
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice

Rhodes Rolls

DIRECTIONS:

Grease (very well) the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish. Cut each roll in half . . .

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

. . . and place flat-side down into the pan.

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Drizzle with the melted butter . . .

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on the top of the rolls.

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size. (I turned my oven onto the lowest temp: 190. Placed the covered rolls inside and just cracked the oven door. Works beautifully)!

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

The original recipe says to bake them for 20-25 minutes, but mine were ready in about 16-17 minutes. Check often as all ovens run differently. And let me tell you, these smelled SO incredible as they baked!

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Remove from the pan onto a plate. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle on top. Thoroughly enjoy!!

Lemon Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

UPDATE:

I recently made these with cinnamon and sugar . . . YUM!

Cinnamon-Sugar Monkey Bread -- Epicurean Vegan

Prepare them the same as above, but use 1/3 C sugar (I reduced the amount from 1/2 C), 1 Tbs cinnamon, and zest from one orange. This is a quick and easy alternative to cinnamon rolls, especially if you’re short on time. Enjoy!

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

Gotta love Mother’s Day brunch…I saw this recipe at Olives for Dinner and knew immediately, I had to give it a try. I was intrigued by the soy-free ricotta. I made a few adjustments like using apple cider vinegar instead of coconut vinegar, and I also made the ricotta the morning of instead of the night before. These turned out delicious! And the salted butterscotch sauce was a fantastic touch!

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf of French bread

Ricotta cheese:

1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp agar flakes

For the batter:

1 C almond milk
1 C canned coconut milk
3 Tbs garbanzo flour (chickpea flour)
2 tsp egg replacer powder

Sauce:

1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tbs almond milk
2 Tbs coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp xantham gum
I also toasted some chopped pecans and walnuts for on top

DIRECTIONS:

I was supposed to make the ricotta the night before and let it chill, but I did’t get to it, so I improvised. I threw it in the freezer to let it set up, which it did quite quickly. So…in a saucepan, whisk together all of the ricotta ingredients. Stir over medium heat until the agar flakes dissolve completely, for about 20 minutes. The agar still hadn’t dissolved after 30 minutes, so taking the advice from Olives, I poured the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

I was really surprised at how much agar was still left. Not sure what happened there . . .anyway, transfer to a covered dish and chill. It set up within 15 minutes in the freezer, so I placed it in the fridge until I was ready to use it. The bread, however, I did leave out overnight after I sliced it into 1″ slices. Doing so will toughen the bread up for battering. Cut each slice about 3/4 of the way down, but not all the way through.

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

Once the filling has set up, stir it up with a spoon or fork.

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, combine the batter ingredients in a large shallow dish/bowl.

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and cook over a low to medium heat, whisking often to prevent burning. (I suggest growing an extra set of hands, because you’ll need them, or better yet, enlist some help). It will only take a few minutes for the sauce to thicken. I may have cooked it a bit too long because it was very chutney-like. It was still good nonetheless.

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

Spray a skillet or flat griddle with cooking spray and heat to medium. Dunk each slice of toast to thoroughly coat it. The original recipe says to let these sit in the batter for 20 minutes, but I was short on time, so it was dunk n’ cook…

Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast -- Epicurean Vegan

Cook about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown, but check periodically. Serve with some Earth Balance, toasted nuts, and the salted butterscotch sauce. Brunch was complete with some fruit, home potatoes, and mimosas, of course!

Chard and Field Roast Skillet

Chard and Field Roast Skillet -- Epicurean VeganI really love a warm breakfast of veggies. I used two Chipotle-flavored Field Roast sausages, but I think just one would have been enough. You can also choose one of their other varieties. I like that spicy kick of the chipotle ones. This can be enjoyed on it’s own, or wrapped in a tortilla.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium potato, peeled and diced small
4 large Swiss chard leaves, stem removed and chopped
1 C mushrooms, diced
1-2 Field Roast sausages, crumbled
3 green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In about 2 tsp of olive oil, saute the potatoes over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to brown and are tender.

Chard and Field Roast Skillet -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the Field Roast and cook another 5 minutes.

Chard and Field Roast Skillet -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the chard, mushrooms, and green onions. Slowly stir to let the chard cook down, about 3-4 minutes.

Chard and Field Roast Skillet -- Epicurean Vegan

Enjoy!