Sunday Scramble (Shhhhh it’s tofu)

Don’t fear the tofu! I find that the tofu in this keeps me fuller longer than an egg burrito ever did (without the cholesterol). This is a great way to begin incorporating tofu into your diet. I’ve also added just a touch of tempeh to enhance the flavor.

Sunday Scramble

1 package of extra firm tofu
drizzle of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
Asparagus tips or any other vegetables you have in the produce bin (spinach, squash, hot peppers, tomatoes etc)
1-2 finely chopped garlic cloves
(optional) 3-4 Tbs bacon flavored tempeh crumbled (it doesn’t actually taste like bacon, it’s just ‘savory’)

Drain the tofu and dry it on paper towels. The dryer it is the better it will brown. Slice it into large 1/4 in slices and place them in a hot non-stick pan. Drizzle them with Bragg’s, soy sauce, or tamari. When the first side is brown flip the slices. I like to drizzle a little olive oil in the outer edges of the pan before I drop the chopped vegetables and tempeh in. Once the vegetables begin to cook and the tofu is browned on the second side start mixing it all up as you break up the tofu with a spatula. Continue to work the mixture until the vegetables are cooked and the tofu is a size you like.

That’s eat, you’re ready to eat! I put mine in a whole wheat tortilla with grated cheddar. But don’t stop there…. you could eat the scramble with toast. Or you could serve it for dinner on top of a pasta (like the ones made from beans) or brown rice. Add herbs to change the flavor – cilantro or basil. Make a Sunday Scramble for breakfast and you’ll stay full all morning!

Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Turnovers, Empanadas, or Hand Pies?

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I guess it depends on the filling!

Release YOUR Bon Viant and Savor Your Life!

Blackberry Lemon Pull Aparts

bb-bread_7974This is a variation of your standard pull apart bread with a subtle blackberry and lemon flavor. While I do enjoy the classic cinnamon and brown sugar flavored breakfast treats, the light fruity flavor of this one is refreshing.

I used a table mixer, but you can easily adjust the instructions to accommodate kneading by hand if you prefer. This recipe is a little larger than most, it nicely fills a 9″ spring form pan.

Dough:
3 Tbs butter
3/4 cup milk
3 tsp dry yeast
1 cup blackberry puree
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour

Filling:
2 Tbs butter
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons

Combine the butter and milk, warm it just enough to melt the butter. Let it cool so that you don’t kill the yeast, I prefer to use a thermometer to verify the temperature. Anything over 120° puts your yeast at risk. Put the milk/butter mixture, yeast, sugar, and a cup of flour in a mixer with a dough hook and combine it. Let it sit until you see the yeast beginning to work (bubbles will begin to form). With the mixer on low alternately add the remaining flour and blackberry puree. If blackberry seeds offend you then strain the puree but in my opinion you’ll lose some flavor.

Let the mixer knead the dough until a slightly sticky ball forms. Remove the dough and place it in a greased bowl, turn it so that it’s greased on all sides. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled.

After the dough has doubled deflate it and remove it from the bowl. Roll it into a rectangle. The size depends on how thick you want the rolls to be. I rolled mine into an 20″ x 14″ rectangle. Melt the additional two tablespoons of butter and brush the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cup of sugar and lemon zest evenly over the dough. Using a pizza cutter, I cut mine down the middle, making two 20″ x 7″ pieces, these I cut into 2″ x 7″ strips. Roll the strips and place them in a greased pan. Get creative, you can use a cast iron skillet, loaf pans, cake pans, etc. If you prefer the classic ‘leaf’ type of pull apart bread cut the dough into squares.

Let it rise a second time, until it’s almost doubled. Then bake the rolls at 375° for about 30 minutes. The time will depend on your choice of pans. Serve them warm from the oven. Try substituting other fruits, based on what’s in season and what’s available to you. Mango works well, as does pineapple.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Food Photographers Get to Eat Their Work

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Resolve to release YOUR Bon Vivant in 2016 and love what you do!

Hit the Trail

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Have you ever wished your trail mix had almonds instead of peanuts, or apricots instead of raisins? Try making your own to get your trail mix just how you want it. To speed things up, start with a granola that is packaged for breakfast.

For this week’s mix I used a scoop of cherry vanilla granola and a scoop of honey raisin granola.

In a large mixing bowl I combined the granola, cashews, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts, shredded coconut, a few chopped prunes, and a few chopped dried apricots. Stir it up and package it in single serving bags or jars.

My trail mix is never exactly the same! I like to alternate what I add, some of my favorites are dried pineapple, dried papaya, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and dried apples. I also like to use yogurt covered raisins when I want to make a really sweet mix. In a pinch you can even pour milk over a small bowl of the trail mix and call it cereal. I also like to sprinkle it on a hot bowl of cream of wheat!

What’s in your trail mix?

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Quick Breads and Muffins, We’ve All Been Misled

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Have you heard the old adage “baking is science”, meaning that you can’t easily alter the ingredient ratios? Well maybe you already know this, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that with regard to several things, like quick breads, this just isn’t true. Now don’t get me wrong, for a refined cake or pastry it is absolutely true! But there are endless baked goods that can be altered, adjusted, and amended to fit your taste or what you have on hand. But I suppose the proof is in the muffin…
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Here’s the recipe for a hearty, whole wheat, low fat, banana muffin. These are not very sweet so add more sugar if you like your baked goods sweeter.

In a food processor combine:
2 over ripe bananas
1 egg
5 oz Greek yogurt (a single serving tub)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
2 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar

Once the above ingredients are smoothly blended add 2 cups of whole wheat flour in two additions, blend until smooth. If you prefer to have chunks of banana save one to chop and add at this point. Or add an additional chopped banana, nuts, or other chopped fruit.

Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins, or mini loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until a pick comes out clean. This recipe will make 12 very small muffins or 8 large ones. Because they are made without oil they do not maintain their moisture and are best eaten right out of the oven.

Use the recipe as a starting point, you can alter quick bread recipes fairly easily!

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Hearty Fall Oats

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It’s apple season, and even though we can purchase several varieties throughout the year I still get excited when the flood of fresh fall apples hits the market. For a simple, hearty breakfast, chop an apple and add it to your oatmeal while cooking it. Include a dash of cinnamon if you like. I find that even using regular oats (as opposed to quick oats) the apple maintains some crispness.

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Serve your oatmeal with a dollop of pumpkin butter and a side muffin or toast! I’ll post recipes for both the pumpkin butter and hearty banana muffins later this week.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Extra Lumps Please

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A simple breakfast of lumpy farina (cream of wheat) with fresh berries and marscapone cheese. Served with kumquat marmalade slathered toasted rounds. Hot cereals… a great way to welcome Fall.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Pie Puffs

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I enjoy a good pumpkin pie once in a while, once every few years. Maybe I overdosed on them as a child. I do enjoy pumpkin pie like desserts though. Using puff pastry makes this one is about as simple and quick as fresh baked can be.

This recipe makes six puffs, just enough to satisfy but not so many that you get tired of eating them. Increase as needed.

For the pumpkin filling thoroughly combine the following:
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, preferable fresh
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
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Defrost a single sheet of puff pastry and cut it into 6 pieces. Place the pieces in the bottom of a muffin pan, making cups. Spoon the filling into the cups and bake at 400 degrees until they are puffed an browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the puffs and serve warm, room temperature, or chilled, however you prefer them. For a more adult version try topping them with marscapone instead of whipped cream. Or whip fresh cream and go easy on the sugar. The flavor is subtle and if your topping is too sweet it will overpower the filling.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Pumpkin Pancakes Topped with Marscapone and Pecans

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I love pumpkin, all varieties! Every year I cook a few and freeze whatever I don’t use. For today’s recipe I used a Cinderella pumpkin, you can substitute whatever type you have, even canned.

Pumpkin Pancakes
In a large mixing bowl combine:
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
a pinch of ground cardamom

once those ingredients are combined add:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup whole wheat flour

Once that is combined beginning adding milk slowly. You’re going to add enough to turn the mixture into a batter. The amount of milk will vary depending on the moisture content of your pumpkin puree, canned pumpkin often seems drier than fresh puree. You’ll likely add somewhere between 1/2 and a cup of milk. But base this on your batter, not what it says here.
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Preheat a non-stick skillet over a medium heat. When the pan is hot lower the heat just a bit and spray the pan with non-stick spray. Spoon a small amount of the batter into the pan. The pumpkin puree is going to produce a very dense pancake, and therefore, they will take quite a bit longer to cook than your average pancake. Adjust the heat as needed and take your time with them, they’ll be worth it!

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!