Vegan Flax & Chia Seed Pancakes
Oil-Free and Oh-So-Quick & Easy

Yield: 1 serving of 4 silver dollar-sized vegan pancakes (recipe easily multiplies)

 

With more ground chia seeds and flax seed meal than I knew what to do with–courtesy of a friend’s church pantry where the higher end donations from grocery stores apaprently aren’t what the needy need–I wondered what would happen if I used equal parts flour and flax/chia seeds in a vegan pancake recipe, as opposed to the typical 2 to 3 tablespoons per cup or so of flour.

Nutritious deliciousnes is what happens!

Enjoy these low calorie, oil-free wonders for a quick, easy, and satisfying breakfast that refuses to weigh you down.

1/4 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablesoons ground chia seeds

2 tablespoons flax seed meal

2 teaspoons Truvia (stevia sweetener) or the sweetener of your choice to taste

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons unsweetened soymilk or other non-dairy milk

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Toppings:  maple syrup, vegan sour cream or nut butter, chopped nuts, fruit, etc.

Preheat skillet lightly sprayed with non-stick spray over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except toppings. Divide batter into four silver dollar-sized pancakes in skillet, gently smoothing the tops.  Cook a couple of minutes or until set around the edges and starting to turn golden brown on the under side (you can peek carefully). Carefully flip each pancake with a spatula and continue cooking on the opposite side until puffed, golden, and completely cooked through.  Adjust heat as necessary. Serve with your choice of toppings.

325 calories per serving of 4 silver dollar pancakes (if made with stevia sweetener and unsweetened soymilk; does not include syrup and walnuts)

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Vegan Black Forest Smoothie
(Cherry & Chocolate)

Black Forrest SmoothieYield: 2 servings (or 1 big one if you are really hungry and in need of hydration)

This is what would happen if cherries and chocolate had a nutritious love child…

I love Black Forest Cake and, when I discovered some chocolate cake crumbs in the fridge–from hollowing out cupcakes for a caramel filling–,I knew I would use them to top a Black Forest Cake-inspired smoothie for breakfast.

When I make a smoothie, I always use frozen fruit to achieve my favorite creamy texture.  So, because frozen dark sweet cherries were significantly more calories and less nutrition than the cherry-berry blend, I purchased athye latter.  I actually had fresh cherries in the fridge, but didn’t want to pit them, so I just used them as part of the tantalizing garnish.

Also, because I wanted a bit more nutrition and can’t be necessarily trusted to get it at another meal–lately I’ve wanted “French Fries and Champagne” for dinner (be sure to check out my post about this tomorrow or Saturday)–I added a lot of fresh baby kale.  That likely masked the cherry flavor a little but preserved the beautiful color, so I boosted the flavor with a few maraschino cherries.

All this baby needed was a couple of tablespoons of chocolate syrup–Hershey’s is vegan, but use melted vegan chocolate if you prefer–; a little extra sweetness for which I use a powdered stevia; an optional boost of omega-3 fatty acides with some flaxseed meal; and a pretty garnish of fresh cherries, another drizzle of chocolate syrup, cake crumbs, and two cute paper straws from Target.

The two straws were just for looks mind you…I shared with no one!

2 cups soy or other non-dairy milk

2 lightly packed cups baby kale leaves with tender stems

1 cup frozen cherries and berries (less calories and more nutrition than frozen dark sweet cherries, but use them if you prefer)

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup or melted chocolate (Hershey’s syrup is vegan)

6 maraschino cherries, stemmed

2 tablespoons powdered stevia (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

Optional: 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

Garnish: fresh cherries, a drizzle of chocolate syrup and, if desired, chocolate cake crumbs

Place all ingredients except garnishes in a blender or, my preference, a Magic Bullet, and blend about a minute or until smooth.  Serve in Mason jars or glasses, garnished as desired, with cute paper straws.

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Vegan Peanut Butter, Granola, & Fresh Fig Ricecake–So Quick and Easy!

Peanut Butter, Granola, and Fresh Fig RicecakeYield: 2 ricecakes (recipe easily multiplies)

Still in mini-meal mode and heading out for a hike on the beautiful Noland Trail in Newport News, VA, with a couple of friends, I opted for a swig of soymilk and a grab-n-go breakfast “cake,” but no pancakes here.

I remembered that the lovely Martha Glasser had brought me a gift of some scrumptious homemade granola with pecans and dried cranberries, along with homemade flavored walnuts (slightly sweet) and pecans (rosemary-lime!), the day after Joe had passed away on July 30.

So, I spread a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter on a ricecake, sprinkled it with a couple more tablespoons of crunchy, toasty granola, and nestled 4 fresh fig halves on top for a breakfast that is beautiful, satisfying, quick and nutritious.  Use the best granola you can find or make, since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, if you can even call it that.

Enjoy until the next time, as there is sure to be more of these savory or sweet ricecake stacks on the platter!

2 ricecakes

1/4 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy)

1/4 cup granola (I used a pecan-dried cranberry)

4 fresh figs, halved lengthwise

Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on each of the ricecakes.  Top each with 2 tablespoons of the granola and 4 fig halves.  Serve immediately.

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Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2015: Day 5–Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes

I thought that breakfast for your Valentine would be the perfect note on which to wrap up my Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2015.

And for that, nothing beats my Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes for real Red Velvet Cake flavor–not just color!–texture, and spectacular presentation.

If you would like a little savory side for your plate ‘o cakes, you will love my vegan sausage “Heart Tarts”: simply beautiful heart-shaped puff pastry tarts with a vegan “sausage”  and bell pepper filling.

Stay tuned, for tomorrow I offer a breakfast bonus…just have some flavored tea bags, cocoa powder and soymilk on hand…

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Vegan Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter-Cakes

Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--with ForkThese savory fritter-cake hybrids are made from a trifecta of favorite, healthful, colorful and plentiful ingredients: chopped fresh kale, shredded sweet potato, and black beans.  Green onion adds a fresh, pungent, herb-y kick.

A food processor made short order of  finely chopping the kale and, with a quick blade switch-out, creating beautiful, consistent shreds of sweet potatoes and no scraped knuckles.  For efficiency, I used canned black beans, rinsed and well-drained, mashing about half of them with a potato masher to help the fritter-cakes hold together without  a lot of additional ingredients.  However, I did use a little flour and soymilk (use the nondairy milk of your choice) plus some baking powder and soda for a hint of lift, but not enough to create a “batter.”  The finished consistency of these is somewhat similar to a latke with a bit more body.

For spices, black beans would suggest Mexican or southwestern flavor notes.  But, for some reason, I wanted to nudge these fritter-cakes in a slightly Middle Eastern direction.  So I did invite cumin, coriander and lime zest to the party, but also smoked paprika and sumac which lends a lovely earthy lemony profile.  It is widely sold in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, just order it online or leave it out.  However, it has been one of my favorite kitchen companions of the last few years.

For cooking, I tried both oil and nonstick spray and found that the calories in the oil were worth achieving a crispier crust, but see what you think.

I love a savory and ever-so-slightly sweet balance, so for a topping, I whisked a little lime juice and tamarind syrup into vegan sour cream.  Tamarind syrup lends a heavenly, subtle and distinctively Middle Eastern floral note tempered by the sweetly acidic lime juice.  Again, the syrup is sold at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online.  But you could substitute pomegranate syrup which is fruity without being floral or just leave out all together and go with a citrus sour cream which would be delicious too.

A little spoonful of the sauce, a thin slice of lime, a few pine nuts and a sprinkling of smoked paprika created a beautiful presentation of these delectable disks, perfect for breakfast brunch, lunch or even dinner, perhaps with a side salad.

3 cups shredded sweet potatoes (slightly over a half-pound potato)

4 cups coarsely chopped or torn kale, finely chopped (I used a food processor)

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and well-drained; half of beans mashed with potato masher

6 green onions, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste + a small amount more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/2 cup soymilk (or an nondairy milk)

Tamarind-Lime Cream (recipe follows)

Garnishes (optional): thin slices of fresh lime, a few pine nuts, dusting of smoked paprika

 

Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--Uncooked
Mixture Before Frying

Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside.  Set oven to lowest temperature.  In a large mixing bowl, toss together with your hands sweet potato, kale, green onions, and unmashed sweet potatoes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed beans, flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices, including salt and pepper, and soymilk.  Spoon in roughly even dollops over vegetable-bean mixture and combine well with a fork.  The mixture will be very textured and moist, mounding nicely, but will not form a batter.

Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil (or a combination of vegetable and olive oil) in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Divide mixture into 1/12ths and, using a spoon or scoop, place 4 evenly-spaced mound into the sizzling oil pressing to about 1/2-inch thick with a metal spatula.  Cook for about 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes, lowering temperature if necessary to prevent scorching.  They will turn a rich nutty brown (as opposed to a light golden brown).  Remove fritter-cakes and drain on prepared baking sheet, sprinkling each with a few granules of sea salt.  Keep warm in oven.  Repeat twice more with remaining mixture.  Serve immediately topped with Tamarind-Lime Cream and garnished as desired.

 

Tamarind-Lime Cream

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

1 teaspoon tamarind syrup (or pomegranate syrup)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Sea salt to taste

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Fall Fritters with Zucchini, Apple, and Carrot

Fall FrittersYield: 8 fritters

After a Saturday visit to the farmer’s market, I had a beautiful zucchini and VA apple, along with a large carrot in the fridge.  I was in the mood for a slaw to top a sandwich, but after I had grated up these ingredients, I had far more than I needed for that.

Theshreds reminded me of latkes, so the idea of fritters popped into my mind.  I scooped out half the shreds of the zuke, apple and carrot, added a very few more ingredients, and quickly tossed together these beautiful fritters that personify autumn: delightfully crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside!

Note:  I use the grater attachment of my food processor for shreds that are like a very fine julienne.

2 cups grated zucchini (about half of a 7 to 8-inch zucchini)

1 cup grated apple (about 1 large apple)

1/2 cup grated carrot (about half of a 7 to 8-inch carrot)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt + additional for sprinkling.

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive or canola oil for frying

Garnish: vegan sour cream, walnut pieces, toasted or not, and maple syrup

 

Line a plate with paper towel.  Preheat oven to low.  Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Do not drain, as the moisture is essential to help the fritters hold together.  In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients, sprinkle over vegetables, and stir with a fork until completely combined.  The consistency will be almost like cookie dough.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1/8th inch oil over medium high.  Divide dough into 8 equal parts, scooping four mounds into skillet and flattening with fingers to about 1/2-inch.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, lowering heat and swirling pan to redistribute oil if necessary.  Flip with a spatula, sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp and golden.  Remove to prepared plate and keep warm.  Repeat with more oil and remaining dough.  Serve warm, garnished with vegan sour cream, walnut pieces and maple syrup.

 

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Perfect Vegan Flax Seed and Oatmeal Pancakes for One (Easily Multiplies)

Pancakes with Flax Seed and Oatmeal for One

Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)

With a little more time in the morning on Memorial Day, perhaps these pancakes are just what you need to start your day…But they go together quickly enough for almost any day!

My sister-in-laws generously gave me a Nutri-Bullet as a hostess gift at Thanksgiving.  It is genus in design and engineering and I have been making smoothies religiously for breakfast, cutting way down on my Starbucks bill (I love their Green Tea Soy Frappuccinos!).

I was never much of a breakfast eater, especially on weekdays.  Even in high school, I preferred to drink my breakfast.  In those days, dairy was part of my diet, and I was a Carnation Instant Breakfast fan: just stir and go.

But on this sunny morning, I woke up and was craving something I could chew.  We had “Everything” bagels and Tofutti sliced cheese, but I wanted something with a little sweetness.  Since my husband and already eaten his bowl of oatmeal, I decided to whip up a very petite serving of pancakes that weren’t nutritionally void.   Mentally scanning the pantry, I lighted on healthful flax seed and oatmeal.

They were divine.  Exactly what I wanted: something satisfying absent any heaviness.  And the recipe easily multiplies for as many as you want to feed.

Happy, Healthy Memorial Day!

 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I only keep white whole wheat on hand)

1 teaspoon natural sugar

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 tablespoon old-fashioned oatmeal

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

4-5 tablespoons soymilk (or your favorite non-dairy milk; I prefer soy for its protein content), or enough to make a thick batter

Optional accompaniments: vegan sour cream and maple syrup

 

Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high.  Whisk together all dry ingredients in a small bowl, make a well in the center, add soymilk, and whisk until completely combined.  Spoon batter into skillet, evenly dividing to make three pancakes.  This batter really won’t bubble, so look for a slight rise and a slightly toasty aroma which will take approximately  2 to 3 minutes.  Flip and, again, look for a little more pronounced rise and the same toasty aroma; again about 2 minutes.  Remove from skillet to plate and enjoy with your favorite accompaniments.  One of my favorite combinations is a little vegan sour cream spread between each pancake, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a dollop of sour cream on top.

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World’s Easiest Vegan Kale “Kakes”

DSCN2334Yield: 12-2.5-inch cakes

(4 servings)

A recipe prepared by Giadia De Laurentiis on her “Giada at Home” Food Network program inspired this recipe: waffles with pancetta (ick!) and cinnamon.  The inspiration was certainly not pork(!); rather it was the combination of sweet and savory.

Since it was New Year’s Day, I was wanting “good luck” foods, and I had already enjoyed griddled tempeh with maple syrup and vegan Hoppin’ John for breakfast at the Sanderling Inn.  So, I was craving greens for dinner. And these “kakes” took the cake!

I enjoyed mine without any spices, but feel free to kick them up with curry powder or whatever your imagination seizes on.

1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour (I use the latter)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup unsweetened soymilk + 2 to 4 tablespoons, if necessary

1/4 cup vegan butter, melted in skillet

3 cups very finely chopped kale (I use a food processor for this task, processing the kale in two batches.)

Filling, topping, and garnish of your choice (I like vegan sour cream, cashew cream or a jam/chutney for the filling, maple syrup over the top, and a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds or nuts, but the sky’s the limit!)

Place all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center, add 1 cup soymilk and the melted butter, and whisk just until combined.  Stir in kale–it will look like way too much–and add additional soymilk to create a thick spoonable batter.

Lightly spray skillet in which butter was melted with nonstick spray and spoon batter into 4-2.5-inch circles, lightly smoothing top if necessary.  Cook a couple of minutes or until lightly browned, flip with a spatula and cook for an additional 2 or so minutes on reverse.  Remove to a plate and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with sour cream, cashew cream, chutney, etc., a generous drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds or nuts.

New Years 2014, Duck, NC

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On the Second Day of Christmas…Vegan Baked Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal

I wanted to re-publish this recipe today, so that you could procure any of the few ingredients you don’t have on hand, as this tantalizing breakfast treat–like bread pudding for breakfast–with the healthful base of oatmeal needs to sit overnight.

It goes together in a snap, bakes up beautifully every time, and is a proven hit with men and non-vegans.  Everyone in your house will wake up to the aroma of Christmas personified and your oven will do all the work while you enjoy your family around the tree.

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