Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Make the most of the last of summer’s fresh peaches with these two delicious, healthy recipes. Frozen or canned peaches would work also, but there is nothing like fresh summer peaches.

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

Peach and Blueberry Phyllo Turnovers

2 large ripe peaches or 3 medium ones
¼ cup blueberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
8 sheets of phyllo
Canola oil
1 tsp sugar

1) Peel peaches and cut into cubes.

2) Stir together peaches and all ingredients (except phyllo and canola oil)

3) On flat clean surface, place one sheet of phyllo. Brush on a bit of canola oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top and brush with canola oil. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo. Cut layers into three even strips.

4) Place a couple tbsp. of the peach mixture on one half of each phyllo strip and pull up the strip to cover the mixture. Press down the edges of the phyllo. Place onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining phyllo sheets and peach mixture.

6) Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 6 delicious turnovers.



Fresh Peach Muffins

Fresh Peach Muffins

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 organic, free range egg white
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tbsp. water
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup Smart Balance (butter substitute), softened
1 large ripe peach, peeled and chopped


¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened
2 tbsp. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1)      Mix together the dry ingredients.

2)      Stir in the wet ingredients and then fold in the chopped peach.

3)      Add to muffin cups or greased muffin pan.

4)      Mix together topping and place some on top of each muffin.

5)      Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Makes 11 muffins.

Peach muffins

Peach muffins hot out of the oven

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Fresh StrawberriesSure you can find strawberries in the supermarket year round, but nothing tastes like fresh, local strawberries. In the mid-Atlantic, they are available in late spring. Berry farms let you pick them yourself and allow you to eat as many as you like while picking. Farmer’s markets have tables of fresh berries and even some of the supermarkets choose to carry local berries over the ones hauled in from far away.

Take advantage of the season with one of the recipes below.

Strawberry Cobbler

This recipe works with peaches or other berries as well. Tastes like it was really hard to make, but it’s easy. Make it ahead of time and pop in the oven just before dinner. The whole house will smell delicious.

Heat oven to 375 degrees

3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dash of salt
½ cup melted Smart Balance

1) Mix berries and sugar in medium bowl.
2) Add flour, baking powder and milk to medium-size mixing bowl. Blend in melted smart balance or butter substitute. Spread into medium-sized baking pan. Add blackberry/sugar mixture on top of batter.
3) Bake about 40 minutes. Dough will rise to the top!
4) Delicious with soy or coconut ice cream.


Fruit Turnovers

These mini fruit pies are relatively easy to make, will make your house smell wonderful and will delight your lucky guests.

Fruit Turnover

Fruit Turnover

2 vegetarian frozen pie shells (choose the kind that come in rolls, in the refrigerator section)
2-3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (choose chopped peaches, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries or a mixture)
¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1) Mix fruit, ¼ cup sugar, flour and spices in a medium-sized bowl. Let rest for at about 15 minutes.
2) Unroll pie shell and spread out. Divide into four even pieces.
3) Grease a cookie sheet. Place each pastry piece on the cookie sheet. Fill with about ¼ cup of the fruit mixture. Roll up the edges of the pie shell to form a little package. Sprinkle with sugar.
4) Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Will be golden brown on the outside. Delicious!

Makes 8 turnovers


Spinach Salad with Orange peppers and Strawberries

With its vibrant colors, this salad is as pretty to look at as it is tasty and healthy to eat.

Fruits and berries macro6 cups of washed baby spinach
1/2 orange pepper
About 15 strawberries
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Dressing (I use Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette)

1) Slice orange pepper into thin 2 inch slices.Cut strawberries into quarters.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.


Berry Banana Smoothie, 2 ways



If you have kids around, give them the ingredients and let them make their own.

8-10 fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. honey
1 banana, frozen and broken into chunks
4 or 5 cubes of ice

For 1st way, use: 1 cup juice made from dark fruit (I used pomegranate/cranberry juice blend—I think it is blended with apple juice to take away the bitterness of the pomegranate)

For 2nd way, use: 1 cup berry or banana or vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup almond milk

1) Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until well blended.
2) Pour into 2 glasses and add straws.

Makes 2 smoothies


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Banana Pancakes with Veggie bacon

Banana Pancakes with Veggie bacon

It seems like there is always a banana in the fruit bowl that is just a little too ripe to eat. A banana like this is perfect for banana pancakes! Slice it into the batter. It adds a little sweetness and also potassium, fiber and vitamins.

Banana Pancakes

1 cup organic buckwheat flour
3/4 cup almond milk (more if too thick)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder

1) Mix all ingredients together.
2) Pour about 2/3 cup of batter on heated griddle (grease griddle with canola oil or non-stick spray
3) Cook a few minutes, then flip and cook the other side. Should be browned on both sides.
4) Serve with maple syrup or honey.

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Easter comes at a different time each year, and this year it’s early in the calendar. But it’s not too late to plan a lovely brunch. All the recipes below are healthful and vegan.

Easter Brunch Menu

Oatmeal Pancakes
Berry Sauce
Veggie sausage or veggie bacon
Fresh juice and coffee

Oatmeal Pancakces

2 cups oatmeal (quick cooking is fine, but don’t use instant oatmeal)
3 cups vanilla, unsweetened or regular almond milk
3 tbsp. ground flax seed whisked with 8 tbsp. water (substitute for 2 eggs)
½ cup oat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. Canola oil
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Ginger
¼ tsp. Allspice

Oatmeal Pancakes

1) Mix oats and almond milk together in bowl until blended. Place in refrigerator overnight.

2) The morning of your breakfast, add all ingredients together with oat mixture and blend. You may need to add a splash or two of almond milk if it is a little thick.

3) Grease a flat skillet and make the pancakes just like you make regular pancakes. If you like silver dollar, make those. If you like one great big pancake, have at it. Generally I used about ½ cup of batter per pancake.

4) Flip pancake and cook other side. Both sides should be golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup or berry sauce.

Berry Sauce

This sauce is packed full of antioxidants and contains very little sugar. It’s good for you and tastes great!

1 pint of blackberries
½ pint of blueberries
1 tbsp. sugar (optional)(maple syrup is a good sugar substitute here)
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
1/2 cup waterGoldendoodle dog in bunny ears.

1) Wash berries and mix together with sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Let set about 10-15 minutes so berries macerate.
2) Place berry mix in a medium-sized kettle. Add honey and spices and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a low boil.
3) Boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
5) Berries will burst and you will have a delicious sauce.

Happy Easter!

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banananutmuffinsThere is probably a banana or two on your counter right now that is too ripe to eat, but not rotten enough to throw away. These bananas are perfect for making banana nut muffins! Make a batch for quick and healthy on-the-go snacks and breakfasts.

Banana Nut Muffins (Vegan)

1 ripe banana
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut)
1 tbsp. apple butter (or applesauce)
2 tbsp. Canola oil
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. ground flax seed plus 4 tbsp. water, whisked together (this is an egg substitute)
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white flour (Note: If you follow a gluten free diet, use oat flour in place of the white and wheat flours)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger

1) Mix all wet ingredients together (except banana). Whisk in sugars.
2) Mix all remaining dry ingredients together, except nuts.
3) Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
4) Break ripe banana in small pieces into batter. Add in  nuts. Mix everything together.
5) Spoon batter into muffin cups.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


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Tofu Scramble with Spinach, Mushrooms and Red Peppers

Tofu Scramble with Spinach, Mushrooms and Red Peppers

Even if you eat eggs and do not have to watch your cholesterol, you will LOVE this recipe. Better than real scrambled eggs. Seriously. I only tried tofu scramble once before – at a vegetarian restaurant in Washington, D.C.–and this version is way better (even though that one was good). That said, feel free to change this up however you like. For instance, if you can’t stand mushrooms, leave them out, or substitute a vegetable you do like.

Tofu Scramble with Spinach, Mushrooms and Red Peppers (Vegan)

1 14 oz. package of extra firm or firm tofu
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced red pepper
5-6 mushrooms, stems removed, cut in cubes
¾ cup fresh spinach, cut into ribbons (or chopped)
1 tsp. turmeric (adds flavor and the yellow “egg” color)
¼ – ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on if you like spicy food)
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ cup daiya cheddar or mozzarella or a blend of both
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper (to taste)

1)      Drain tofu of all water and pat dry with a paper towel. You may go through several paper towels while removing moisture from the tofu.

2)      Heat about 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan or wok. Add the diced onion and sauté a couple of minutes.

3)      Heat about 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat in a second frying pan or wok. Simply crumble the tofu into the pan. Stir every minute or two.

4)      Meanwhile, add the diced red pepper to the pan with the onions. Saute together a few minutes. Then add the mushrooms.

5)      In the tofu pan, add the turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt & pepper and stir together.

6)      Add the spinach to the pan with the onion mixture and stir together. Cook another minute or two or until spinach wilts.

7)      Add the vegetable mixture into the tofu scramble mixture and stir everything together.

8)      Add the daiya cheese and stir together.

9)      Plate with toast and your favorite hot sauce on the side (I used Louisiana brand.) Delicious!

Two large servings.

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As a housewife in the 1960s and 1970s, my mom embraced Bisquick and all of the other modern shortcuts to a good suburban meal. So, until today, it did not occur to me to try to make biscuits from scratch. I figured they would be too time-consuming, difficult or fattening.

Inspired by a delicious-looking blog entry at the Amateur Gourmet , I decided to try to make some biscuits.

Of course, being a health nut and vegan-ish, I had to change his recipe around to make it “lighter” and vegan, but even without the butter and buttermilk, these biscuits were darn good! More than darn good. Especially with honey and apple butter. Yum!  And I’ll add that they only took minutes to prepare (that’s why I call them “lazy” – they were just too easy!)

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

Lazy Vegan Biscuits

1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Smart Balance
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Lazy Biscuits Turned out Good!

1) Mix together dry ingredients.

2) Melt Smart Balance in the microwave and add to the dry ingredients.

3) Gradually stir in the unsweetened almond milk. (You may need to add another tbsp. of flour if it looks too wet).

4) Spray a cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Drop the biscuits by big spoonfuls into the pan.

5) Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake another 10-15 minutes (check after 10 minutes).

6) Try with apple butter or honey. Yum!

Makes 5 good-sized biscuits.

Biscuit with Honey

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It’s apple season in Virginia. After a trip to Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, I have lots of Fuji (sweet and crisp) and Pink Lady (a little tart and crisp) apples. I plan to share a few recipes over the next couple of weeks related to apples. To start, here’s a super easy–and versatile–recipe: stewed apples.

Use these stewed apples as an ingredient in apple bread, as a topping over pancakes (or an ingredient in pancakes!), as a stir-in in oatmeal, as a topping for ice cream or as a side dish. As you can see, there are lots of ways to use stewed apples and you can probably come up with even more. I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

Easy Stewed Cinnamon Apples

This recipe is super easy, delicious and healthy. And no added fat!

2 apples
2 tbsp. apple cider or water
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground flaxseed
2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)

1) Chop apples. You can peel, if desired.
2) Add in remaining ingredients and stir.
3) Cook in microwave on high for about 1 minute 20 seconds.
4) Serve immediately or save for later.

Great stirred in oatmeal, over pancakes, over ice cream, as an ingredient in bread or cakes or as a side dish.

Try adding in golden raisins, currants or chopped pecans or walnuts. Yum!

To make it even easier, follow the youtube video at: http://youtu.be/cPUE-1kZsjo.

Follow us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/VegetarianLight

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Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon

It’s the time of year when baking seems like a good idea, particularly when it involves cinnamon and spices that fill the house with warm, yummy fragrance. Anyone walking into a home where sweet potato bread is baking will want to sit down and stay a while. It’s a scent that says  “make yourself comfortable.”

And there’s nothing like a slice with a cup of tea or vanilla almond milk for a mid-afternoon or late night snack.

The version below is vegan and healthful. Treat yourself today!

Sweet Potato Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  •  ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp. water (egg substitute)
  •  ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4  cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup chopped currants (I used Zante currants)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
Sweet Potato Bread: the dough

Sweet Potato Bread: the dough

1) Combine wheat and white flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices in a large bowl.

2) Cook sweet potato in the microwave for about 3 minutes (or until baked). Peel sweet potato and mash it. (Cook the potato a little ahead of time and it won’t be hot when you peel it!)

3) Place ground flaxseed and water, milk, applesauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add mashed sweet potato.

4) Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir in dates and chopped pecans. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Bread is done when a knife comes out clean from the middle.

Makes one 9 X 5 loaf.

Beautiful sweet potatoes

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Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

The other day I noticed a banana in my fruit bowl and I knew in a day it would be too soft to eat, so I decided to make Banana Bread.

I had seen a recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine that looked pretty good, and pretty light. But I decided to make the recipe even lighter–less fat and less sugar, one egg instead of two, oat and wheat flour instead of white. Plus I added nuts and a few more spices. I have to tell you, it turned out fabulous. I think it was the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten. And healthy too! I think it would freeze well, but I didn’t need to freeze it because it didn’t last. Great for breakfast, afternoons, midnight snacks, etc.

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

1 ripe banana
½ cup chopped toasted pecans (or your favorite nut) (optional)
½ cup applesauce or apple butter
4 tbsp. Smart Balance, melted
1 tbsp. Canola oil
1 tbsp. ground flax seed plus 3 tbsp. water, beaten together (this is an egg substitute)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (your choice)
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves

For glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. almond milk

1) Mix all wet ingredients together.
2) Mix all dry ingredients together, except nuts.
3) Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add in nuts.
4) Pour into bread pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Knife inserted in middle of bread should come out clean.
5) Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Mix together glaze ingredients and pour onto bread.

Note: If you don’t feel like making the glaze, sprinkling a little sugar on top before you bake works well.

Also: If you don’t have all of the spices listed, it will still be good without them.

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