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  • Potato Leek Hash Brown Pancakes with Homemade Ketchup

    Ever have a craving for hash browns but don’t want to go through all the steps to make them? Well you’re in luck, because this recipe gives you all of the flavor and non of the fuss. All you need is a basic blender and a bowl and you’re on your way to fast, hashbrowny goodness in about 5-10 minutes.  You can add in other veggies like spinach, or use half sweet potato half russet potato. Serve with condiments of choice, though ketchup is the good ol American standby. I’ve included our recipe for easy homemade ketchup if you want to give it a try. Tastes better than store-bought, is healthier, and keeps a while in the fridge. Enjoy!


    Potato Leek Hash Brown Pancakes with Homemade Ketchup

    Vegan, Optionally Gluten-free, and Soy-free

    Servings 2 

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 15-20 minutes

    Pancake Ingredients:

    1 cup russet potato, chopped (skins on)
    1 cup leek, chopped (or onion)
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup flour (GF all purpose or wheat)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/8 cup finely chopped red bell pepper 
    2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


    Homemade Ketchup
    6 oz can tomato paste
    1/4 c agave syrup 
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    3/4 tsp brown sugar 
    1/2 tsp salt 
    1/8 tsp garlic powder 
    1/8 cup water


    1. For pancakes, combine potato, leek, and water in a blender. Blend for a few seconds to turn into a slurry, you don't want it completely creamy, a few small bits are good.

    2. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, bell pepper, and parsley in a medium mixing bowl and stir. Add potato slurry and stir well until combined. You will have a batter.

    3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Use a nonstick skillet, or use 1 tsp of medium heat oil to coat pan. Add a ladle of batter at a time to hot pan and cook until edges begin to dry out a bit and its starting to crisp on bottom, usually 1-2 minutes. Flip over and cook on other side, 2-3 minutes until browning and cooked through. Taste test for doneness. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and cook remaining pancakes.

    4. If making ketchup, simply combine all ingredients tomato paste through water in a small sauce pan and whisk to combine. Simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and bubbling and transfer to a bowl to cool. Store in fridge and use as needed.

  • Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    This particular pizza recipe requires no making of crusts, and is only baked briefly in oven or toaster oven. If you roll it up to take it on the go, you will have yourself a breakfast pizza-burrito :) This pizza comes together in two easy steps (and can be reduced to 1, if you make pesto ahead of time or buy pre-made). Get yourself a tortilla, brown rice, whole wheat, corn, teff, whatever you like. I used a 9" Food for Life brown rice tortilla. Make pesto in a blender or food processor. Spread pesto on top of tortilla and top with thinly sliced veggies of choice. I used 1 small purple potato, a tiny bit of fresh onion, a crimini mushroom, and some fresh corn off the cob. I popped it in the oven and baked it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. When the tortilla was crispy I added some thinly sliced avocado and Chinese spinach leaves,  sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and devoured it. The beauty of this recipe is it's versatility. If you keep tortillas, some kind of nut or seed, garlic, herbs and veggies on hand most of the time, you're good to go any day of the week. If you make a batch of pesto once a week and keep it in fridge, you'll only have to slice a couple of veggies and you'll be on your way to morning pizza heaven. To boot, these pizzas are protein, vitamin, and mineral packed (thank you nuts and seeds!) and are filling. So you'll be happy and energized until lunch time. Give them a try!


    Breakfast Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

    Makes 1 personal pizza
    Prep Time: 10-15 min Cook Time: 10 min

    Ingredients:

    1 tortilla of choice
    Pesto (throw everything in blender or food processor)
    1/4 cup nuts or seeds of choice (I used pumpkin, but sunflower, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, almonds would also all work well)
    1 clove garlic
    2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup spinach (or kale, swiss chard, arugula, any greens will work)
    1/4 cup fresh basil (or parsley, mint or cilantro if you're feeling adventurous!)
    1/3 cup water

    Toppings:
    thinly sliced potato, mushroom, onion, corn, chives, spinach, greens, peppers, avocado, broccoli, etc

    I used:
    1 small purple potato, thinly sliced,
    1/4 small onion, thinly sliced,
    1 crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
    1/4 cob of corn, de-kerneled
    1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
    few Chinese spinach leaves (hence the red-purple color of my pesto)


    1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Make your pesto by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor and processing for 30 seconds (scraping down sides a few times), until creamy.

    2. Pour onto tortilla and spread out evenly with a spoon, it should be a nice thick layer of pesto.

    3. Top with your thinly sliced veggies, though leave avocado off until it comes out of oven. Place on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until tortilla starts to brown and get crispy and toppings are soft and cooked through.

    4. Remove from oven and top with avocado if using, salt, pepper and any other favorite flavors. Cut into slices or roll up like a burrito. Enjoy!

  • Zucchini Polenta Fries & Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    From one simple thing can come many. This recipe is an accurate reflection of my cooking process and how I often come to the tasty recipes that I share with you all.  I'll explain my thought and action process briefly so you can understand how this recipe quickly evolved into two very different preparations. I had a bounty of farm fresh zucchini in the fridge (straight from the Port Townsend farmer's market) and wanted to turn them into a crispy zucchini fry type dish. I thought about possible binding options and decided I would combine the ease of polenta fries with freshly grated zucchini and see how they came out. I prepared polenta as I normally would, added some salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast for flavor, set it to cool, cut it into strips, and baked in the oven on an oiled baking sheet. It just barely worked. While they came out sort of fine, mid-way throught the baking I realized they weren't drying out as quickly as I had hoped and were quite mushy in the center. When I tried to flip them over (prematurely) they started to fall apart on the tray. I decided to give them a final chance and just left them in the oven to see if they crisped up on their own with extra baking time. Meanwhile, I looked at the remaining zucchini polenta fries I had left (not all would fit on baking sheet) and decided I would try to fry them. I don't often fry (mostly because it's messy), but I thought this was for a good cause, so I gave it a shot. I put some oil in a pan, gently placed the zucchini fries in, and let them get nice and golden brown. But as soon as I tried to flip them, they too fell apart. Even worse than in the oven. There was nothing left to do but give up on the pan fry idea. But wasting food isnt an option here, so I grabbed my spatula and turned them into a scramble, letting it get quite crispy and just scrambling away every few minutes. The oven baked fries actually turned out quite tasty in the end when left to bake for a little longer than I had expected, though not as pretty as I had hoped.The scramble, also delicious, was an unexpected creation. One that if I were to make again I would certainly add some sauteed onions and mushrooms. It's a lovely substitute for tofu scramble, and very filling as well. Here is the basic recipe I used to make both of these surprise creations. I hope it gives you a sense of my process, the freedom in cooking openly, and what can come of a recipe that doesnt turn out quite as you expect, if you let it just be itself. This happens to me constantly! Just remember to keep an open mind and try to envision what else can come of it. Here are my two surprisingly tasty variations.


    Zucchini Polenta Fries and Zucchini Polenta Scramble

    Serves 2-4

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 20-35 minutesIngredients:

    1 cup polenta
    3 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
    1 Tbsp oregano
    1 Tbsp rosemary
    1 cup grated zucchini, water squeezed out
    1 Tbsp medium-high heat oil

    Zucchini Polenta Scramble Add-ins:
    1/2 yellow onion, sliced
    1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 cup chives or green onions, chopped


    1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Add polenta in a thin stream, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, if using. Add grated zucchini. Keep stirring over low heat for the next few minutes as it thickens. When thick and bubbling, pour into a lightly oiled pan (anything with a lip will work; square or rectangle baking tray, even pie plate, though 9"x9" square pan works well). Smooth out and let cool for 10-15 minutes until edges pull away from sides of pan and it's cool to the touch. Gently flip out onto a cutting board, and if making fries cut into rectangular pieces roughly 3"x1" and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay fries out on lightly oiled baking sheet (or parchment paper) and bake for 10-15 minutes, then gently flip over (if too soft to flip, bake a few minutes longer) then bake an additional 15 minutes until very crispy on the outside and soft inside. You'll know they are done when you can easily lift them from the pan with no fear of breaking them. Serve with favorite condiments of choice.

    2. If making into a scramble, lightly saute onions and mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat. When browning, crumble polenta/zucchini block into pan (as you would tofu) and let cook, mostly undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, scrambling occassionally for even browning. When done, stir in green onions or chives if using. Serve alone or with a nice green salad. Very filling, enjoy!

  • Blueberry Breakfast Bread

    Today I share with you a brand new recipe I just whipped up on a whim. Sitting on our deck, dreaming about the fresh blueberries I had just picked up, and all of a sudden it hit me: blueberry bread! To be fair, this is somewhere between blueberry bread and blueberry cake, but it has just the right sweetness (with no refined sugar), the right crumb (see above), and is unbelievably moist (especially for gluten-free baked goods that sometimes suffer in that department). It is without a doubt one of the best vegan, gluten-free sweet treats I have made, and to top it off, so simple. It's a really basic recipe, so feel free to add more cinnamon, nuts, extra fruit, crumbs, etc, and know you can use ANY berry or fruit and it would be delicious.


    Blueberry Breakfast Bread

    9"x9" pan

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes Bake time: 20 min

    Ingredients:

    2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (or wheat flour)
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/3 cup oil (I used avocado, but any neutral oil or melted coconut would be ok)
    1.5 cups fresh blueberries


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and lightly oil square 9"x9" baking pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add all wet ingredients and stir together just until most lumps disappear. Add blueberries and stir to fold in.

    2. Pour into baking pan and bake for 20 min (9"x9" pan) to 30-40 min (loaf pan) or until knife inserted into center comes out clean, and top is golden brown. Let cool before cutting, and enjoy!

  • Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Tamarind Syrup

    For those days when you crave a simple savory breakfast, this recipe will have you covered. With just the tiniest hint of Indian infused flavor, these chickpea flour pancakes cover all the breakfast bases and straddle the line between pancakes, omelettes, and veggie crepes. Free of meat, dairy, and eggs, and using only minimal oil, these are high on nutrition and flavor, and pack a satisfying punch. I've included our recipe for tamarind syrup/sauce, which though super easy to make, does take a little prep, mostly in the form of actually having the tamarind on hand. If you do make a batch it will last quite a while in the fridge. Tamarind has a really unique flavor, it's tart and rich, when mixed with a sweetener and some spices it becomes a really unique, wonderful condiment. Most Asian, Latin, and Indian groceries carry it, as well as many mainstream supermarkets (in concentrate/paste form; sometimes fresh). Whatever form you can find, it will work in the sauce. Simply adjust the water and seasoning as necessary to accommodate. The finished chutney should be sweet, tangy, and a tiny bit spicy. If you can't find any tamarind, or want the easier route, look for this pre-made tamarind chutney, which is our favorite, or any tamarind chutney you can find locally. If you want pre-made, just be sure it says "chutney" on the jar, not paste or concentrate, or you will be in for one sour surprise :) If you don't have all of the ingredients for the tamarind chutney, or don't have any pre-made on hand, these pancakes will still be delicious on their own, with a drizzle of Sriracha, ketchup, or any condiment of choice.


    Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes

    Serves: 1 (Can double recipe)

    Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    Pancakes:
    3/4 cup of chickpea flour
    3/4 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cumin, ground
    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
    1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
    freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
    1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped, minced, or grated
    1/4 cup sliced crimini/or white mushrooms (or spinach or chopped greens)
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or parsley)
    1-2 Tbsp medium-high heat oil (avocado, canola, grape seed, refined coconut)

    Tamarind Syrup:
    1/2 cup tamarind paste
    1 cup brown sugar (or 3/4 cup agave, or 4-5 dates)
    1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
    1 green chili, finely chopped
    1 Tbsp med-high heat oil
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
    1/8 tsp asafoetida, also known as hing powder (optional)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black salt (optional)
    3/4 cup water (more as needed)


    1. If making tamarind syrup from scratch, cook the ginger, chili, and cumin seeds in 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pot until sizzlling. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes until reduced down to a rich brown sauce. When done, strain through sieve into a bowl or jar and let cool. If not making sauce from scratch, proceed to next step.

    2. Prepare you pancake batter by combining chickpea flour, water, salt and all spices in a medium bowl and whisking well until no lumps remain. Let rest while you prepare vegetables.

    3. Add chopped onions, ginger, cilantro, and mushrooms to batter and stir well to combine.

    4. Heat oil in a skillet (non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron is good here), and when oil is hot, add one ladle of chickpea vegetable batter. Swirl pan around to spread batter out slightly. Let cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes on first side until edges begin to dry and curl up a bit. Very carefully, use spatula to lift up and flip over (they can sometimes stick a bit, so just gently lift it up). Cook on other side for 3-4 minutes until cooked through, crispy, and well browned. Repeat with remaining batter.

    5. Serve drizzled with tamarind sauce/syrup/chutney/Sriracha/condiment of choice, and sprinkle with additional cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

  • Multi-grain Waffles 101

    There is something so simple, and versatile, and personalized about making waffles or pancakes. For many of you, it may seem like a complicated and messy process, reserved only for weekends or special occasions. But it needn't be, and here's why. The basic structure of making vegan, gluten-free waffles is actually very simple and they can even be made ahead of time, to a degree. You start with a good gluten-free flour blend, like Bob's Red Mill, to that you add pretty much ANY flour and/or nut or seed meal of your choice, some examples include; buckwheat flour, oat flour, corn flour, corn meal, almond meal, ground walnuts, ground pecans, ground sunflower seeds, and the list goes on. The key is sticking to a basic ratio (which I will give in a minute), mixing your very minimal dry ingredients, and then adding your wet ones. Once you have the basic mix down, you can add crushed nuts, seeds, or fruit if you desire.  The way to make it a head of time, is to have a batch of dry ingredients pre-mixed and kept on hand, that way you can just spoon the needed amount into a bowl, stir in oil and liquid and you're ready to go.  Contrary to public opinion (which douses them in sugary syrup and whipped cream), these are actually very nutritious. Filled with healthy whole grain flours, nuts, seeds, and fruit, these are like the smoothies of the hot breakfast world. They can be made into pancakes if you don't have a waffle maker, and are delicious that way as well. Give them a try!


    Multi-grain Waffles 101

    Vegan and Gluten-free

    Servings: 1

    2/3 cup Bob's Red Mill GF Flour Blend, (or whole wheat flour if not Gluten-free)
    1/3 cup buckwheat flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, corn meal, etc.
    1/4 cup almond meal, flax meal, hemp seeds, any ground nuts or seeds
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 Tbsp oil
    1/2-1 cup non-dairy milk or water

    Additions: chopped fresh or frozen fruit; like berries, chopped apples, pears, dark chocolate chips, jam, coconut flakes, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.


    1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl, add oil and liquid (non-dairy milk or water) and stir well to combine. It will be a thick batter.

    2. Heat waffle iron or skillet and lightly oil. Cook batter in waffle iron on med-high heat, or proceed to make pancakes as you normally would, ladling out by the spoonful onto a seasoned skillet, flipping when bubbles appear, and cooking for 30 seconds on other side.

    3. Top waffle or pancakes with a small spoonful coconut oil (in place of butter, yum) or jam, or fresh fruit, or crushed nuts or seeds. Drizzle with a maple syrup if desired (grade B is best, as it contains the most amount of nutrients) and devour!

  • Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    What's better than a ketchup draped pile of steaming potatoes in the morning? Ever consider coating them in ketchup before you cooked them? I did, and this is what we got! With a little garlic and spices tossed in these came out crispy, savory, and delicious. Potatoes are full of potassium, and are a great staple to keep in the pantry. Experiment with different potato varieties, red skinned, blue potatoes, or the darling fingerlings. These will make a lovely addition to your next brunch!


    Ketchup Baked Home Fries

    Serves 2-4 Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 20-25 min

    5-6 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, grape seed, canola)
    1/4 cup potato starch (or corn starch)
    1/8 cup ketchup
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1-2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet and set aside.

    2. Cut potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Cover with remaining ingredients and use your hands to toss to coat.

    3. Spread into an even layer on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip potatoes and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

    4. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley if desired and ketchup drizzled on top. Enjoy!


  • Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    These tasty little black bean and orange breakfast tacos are protein packed, filled with veggies, and super fresh tasting from a hint of freshly squeezed orange juice. If you make the bean filling ahead of time and pre-slice your tomatoes, you will cut preparation time down to under five minutes! The filling is a combination of sweet onions, crimini mushrooms, fresh corn,  black beans, and freshly squeezed valencia orange juice. Set in a toasty corn tortilla and topped with fresh arugula and chopped tomatoes these are heavenly. Play with the filling and topping ingredients once you have the structure down. Avocado would be great, as would chopped red pepper. These would make for a lovely brunch as well!


    Black Bean and Orange Breakfast Tacos

    Makes: 4 Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

    1/2 cup black beans
    1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
    2 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp chili pepper
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/8 cup nutritional yeast
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 package corn tortillas
    1 ripe tomato, diced
    1/2 cup fresh baby arugula (or lettuce)
    1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)


    1. In a skillet with a bit of oil, saute onions, mushrooms, fresh corn, and black beans for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, chili pepper, paprika, and orange juice and mash with a potato masher. Set filling aside in a small bowl.

    2. Wipe out skillet, add 1 tsp of oil and heat corn tortillas on each side.

    3. Fill each tortilla with a bit of greens and bean filling. Top with tomatoes and avocado if using. Enjoy!


  • Black Bean Avocado Breakfast Tacos


    Whoever said vegans can't enjoy a hearty breakfast without sausage, eggs, and cheese is just kidding themselves. These super easy, make-em-in-5-minutes-before-work tacos are a healthy, hearty meal perfect anytime of day. Though I especially like them for breakfast as they're a simple, yet nutritionally complex start to your day. They give you a good dose of protein and fiber (black beans), healthy fats (avocado), phytochemicals & Vitamin C (bell pepper) and a bit of healthy grains from the corn tortilla. If I had some baby spinach I would have included that as well, and there you'd have a complete meal with yummy iron rich greens to round things out. A healthy intake of beans is proven to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, so include them in your meals as often as you can. I did use a sprinkling of Daiya vegan cheese, which is made from pea protein and tapioca and really does melt like the real thing. Though it's completely optional, as the creaminess from the avocado mixed with the savory black beans is enough to make you very happy. Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

    What you need:

    2 corn tortillas

    1 can black beans

    1 avocado

    1 small bell pepper (red, orange, yellow)

    1 pinch sea salt

    1 pinch cayenne

    1 handful baby spinach (optional)

    1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

    1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

    Daiya vegan cheese (cheddar or mozzarella-optional)

    1. In a saucepan, heat your black beans over medium heat until bubbly. Stir in a pinch of sea salt, cayenne, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice if using (use it if you got it).

    2. In a skillet on medium heat, put a tablespoon of oil: olive, grapeseed, canola, etc. Add a corn tortilla and top with a sprinkling of the cheese (if using), a tablespoon of blackbeans, a bit of spinach (if using), a few slices of avocado and thinly sliced bell pepper. Cover with a lid and let everything heat through, and the bottom crisp, 2-3 minutes. Repeat with second tortilla. Drizzle with a bit of hot sauce if desired, and enjoy!