savory breakfasts

savory tofu scramble

The past month, I’ve switched completely from sweet and grain based breakfasts to savory ones.  All of a sudden I had this flip of the switch where I was intensely craving greens and beans early in the morning.  This is pretty unusual for me on two counts:

  1.  I’ve basically never eaten breakfast my entire life, even as a kid- it always made me feel nauseated to eat within 2 hours or more of waking up.  I usually wouldn’t eat an actual meal until lunchtime.
  2. My first meal of the day had always been sweet- junky stuff like frozen turnovers and pastries and cereal when I was young, and after I reclaimed my health in my mid 20s, fruit or sweetened oatmeal or smoothies.

But, in the past couple years, I’ve really embraced intuitive and conscious eating, and honoring my bodys innate knowings that it communicates to me through cravings/desires for specific foods.  Without feeling the need to label, judge, restrict, binge, or any other extreme.  To just honor myself quietly in this way, letting my body lead and my mind fall in line.  Tuning out outside noise so that I can be open to receiving from inside.

So, when I felt that intuitive ping to eat more hearty and vegetable based meals for breakfast, I went for it.  And let me tell you, I have felt nothing short of amazing doing this.  Here’s some things I’ve experienced:

  • major reduction in sweet cravings.  I have a giant sweet tooth- literally I used to eat heaps of Twix, pints of Ben+Jerrys, Reese’s, entire symphony bars, and routinely would put back an entire bag of milk chocolate guittard chips in one sitting.  I remember walking home from bartending and stopping ritualistically at the corner liquor store to load up on a few different kinds of candies and 2 pints of ice cream- which I’d binge on while watching TV.  Sharing to let you know I’ve been a really poor eater most of my life.  If I can change to love and crave healthy foods, anyone can.  As I’ve eaten healthier and healthier over the years, my craving for sugar has naturally diminished.  But here and there I’ll feel and strong pull for lots of sweets even if I’m super full.  When eating an early savory breakfast, I just don’t get that anymore.  I got my period a week or two into this and for salty I had homemade popcorn and for sweet, some super dark chocolate (I enjoy 70-90%+ personally) and was totally satisfied.
  • more energy/no 3 pm crash.  With fruit/oat based breakfasts, I felt like I would always get this 3 pm slump where I needed some more fruit or a piece of chocolate or something to push through.  Now I don’t get that.  I make sure to eat a snack that includes fruit, but also some kind of vegetable or nut to balance it out.  For example,  I’ll eat red grapes with celery (sweet + salty and combines the simple sugars with lots of fiber and minerals from the celery which makes my digestion stronger too) or apple + almond butter, dates + tahini, a fruit smoothie but with a big handful of greens.
  • Better digestion.  Oats especially tend to sit heavily in my stomach and make it hurt, which makes sense as they can trigger a similar immune reaction in those sensitive to gluten (me!).  It’s just something I noticed in my body, oats are great for most people and for me they’re ok occasionally.  Best grains for me are rice, quinoa and buckwheat, well soaked before cooking.  Having the beans instead of grains sits really well in my stomach, personally, and since they’re packed with fiber and protein and have carbohydrates, they fuel you beautifully through the morning.  Legumes are associated with lowering the risk of stroke, depression, and colon cancer.

If you’re interested, here’s my method for putting together these type of balanced breakfasts:

the formula // sautéed or raw green + legume + whole food fat + ferment + something crunchy + fresh herbs + spices

the process // sauté the greens in a little oil with garlic or shallot.  add in the legumes to warm them up, scoop into your bowl and top with your desired additions!

examples:

pictured at the top of the post :  tofu scramble + arugula + cumin/smoked paprika/fennel + cherry tomatoes + avocado + jalapeño

savory breakfast

sautéed spinach + green onions + sesame seeds + kimchi + watermelon radish + shredded carrots + roasted butternut + cilantro + leftover lentil meatballs

savory breakfast bowl vegan

sautéed long beans + watermelon radish + avocado + sesame seeds + cilantro + tamari

breakfast tacos

corn tortillas + cumin black beans + sautéed spinach + kraut + sesame seeds + avocado

savory breakfast

sautéed garlic savoy cabbage + chickpeas + almond ricotta + toasted pumpkin seeds + parsley and pepper

savory breakfast

curly kale with smoked paprika and tamari + kraut + sesame seeds + chickpeas

galaxy oats

Oats steel cut vegan hemp milk galaxy berries

Hi dear friends!  I hope your weekend and morning went well.  Ours was amazing.  The mornings are cool and the days are warm, beautiful and filled with outside adventures.  Summer is upon us and with only one more week of school left, we are already dreaming up day trips, hikes, and exploring as much as we can!  Summer is definitely my favorite season.  I’d rather be in the sweatiest hot weather than be even a bit cold- I’m a baby, I know- growing up in California can spoil you that way with all her warmth and abundance and beauty.

If you follow on Instagram, you’ll know that lately I’ve been making steel cut oats instead of our usual rolled oats.  On one of our weekend adventures, we took a day trip to the beach.  Joel had to work that day (usually his day off) and I felt moody and irritated about it.  So, to flip my mood, I decided to make an impromptu outing of the day.  The kids and I were excited to get out and explore.  On the way back home, we stopped at a Whole Foods in Petaluma and when we were in the bulk section (of course haha) the steel cut oats grabbed my eye.  We are usually always rolled oat eaters but something about it was calling to me!  I filled up my huge cotton bag (and it was cheap!) and we’ve been eating them ever since!

What’s the difference?  They’re both oats, they’re just processed differently.  Rolled oats are when the grain is rolled thin and flat.  They cook very fast since they’re thin, and the porridge is more “sticky”.  Steel cut are chopped roughly so they’re more intact.  They cook up a lot slower but have a super creamy texture.  They’re both delicious and healthy!  It’s been said that the steel cut digests slower for a more even blood sugar, so if your blood sugar is sensitive they may be just right for you.

I’ve been using this method from Zero Waste Chef’s amazing blog and it’s wonderful because soaking it overnight shaves 20 minutes off the usual cooking time.  All you have to do in the morning is turn on the heat and let them simmer about 5 minutes.  Easy!

These oats are so beautiful from the juicy berries and when you pour the nut milk in, the colors swirl around the bowl like a galaxy.  Enjoy slowly, purposefully, with gratitude to start your day.  xx

galaxy oats vegan steel cut copper pot

cooking up in my favorite thrifted copper pot

 

galaxy oats (serves 3-4)

1 cup dry steel cut oats

4 cups water

2 cups blackberries or blueberries or a mix of the two, fresh or frozen

toppings (choose a few or them all!): ground flax seeds, cinnamon/apple pie spice/cardamom, pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts/almonds/pecans, maple syrup, golden raisins/chopped dates, pinch of salt or anything else you fancy

mylk of choice (I make a quick vanilla cashew hemp milk- 3 tablespoons cashews + 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (should be 1/4 cup total), 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, pinch of salt (optional), and 2 medjool dates blended smooth- no need to strain.  If you don’t have a high speed blender you need to soak the nuts/seeds overnight )

 

The night before, bring the oats to a boil with the water and turn off heat.  Cover and let sit on the stove overnight.  In the morning, bring to a boil and let simmer 5-10 minutes or until creamy/desired consistency.

While they cook, in a separate saucepan, heat up the berries over medium high and cook until super juicy (I don’t add sugar but you can).

Pour the oats into serving bowls.  Spoon the berries over the top.

Add any toppings and then pour the milk around the bowl- if you want it to look like the photo, don’t pour directly over the berries but off to the side a bit- and swirl gently with a spoon.

have a beautiful Monday and I hope to see all your versions of the lentil meatballs from the #yayforearthchallenge tonight!

breakfast meal plan

tangerine juice raw

Hello again!  I hope you have had a fantastic week!  Lately I’ve received quite a few different questions about breakfast- what to eat for a vegan breakfast that won’t weigh you down but still keeps you full and energized.  Someone messaged me and said her partner was going plant based and he was having a hard time getting full without the meat and eggs.  So, for this “meal plan”, I thought I’d do something different and offer 7 different vegan breakfast ideas- both savory and sweet.

No matter what I eat for breakfast, I always start the day in winter with a quart of warm citrus water (lemon/lime) to warm up, hydrate, and get my liver and system functioning first thing.  This practice has improved my digestion 100 fold.  Also, I hardly drink coffee as I find it really irritating to my stomach and joints + it magnifies anxiety for me.  I love to have herbal tea, reishi coffee, Pu-erh tea or an herbal off sub like Teecino (which I can get in bulk at Rainbow Grocery).

I hope this gives you some good ideas and inspiration for a healthy breakfast.  I didn’t include pancakes mostly because I can’t stand sitting there and making them, flipping, waiting etc LOL but there’s so many great ones out there that use bananas and oats like this one.

monday:  green smoothie

green smoothie  vegan kale almond

Greens make me feel SO GOOD.  Seriously, amazing.  Greens are the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, calorie for calorie, and it feels so great to get them in first thing in the morning.  I love so many types of green smoothies, but our two faves lately have been this Erin Ireland green smoothie (pictured above- I use almond milk and almond butter and swap out the spinach for kale occasionally) and this Pure Kitchen citrus green smoothie (below- I put 1 whole peeled grapefruit instead of the juice and leave out the cucumber, sometimes I add spinach or whole peeled orange and frozen mango too).  We also love a mango/orange juice/spinach/hemp seed/barley grass juice powder green smoothie.

citrus green smoothie winter immunity

tuesday:  porridge bowl

You guys already know we are obsessed with porridge, right?!  My kids eat it almost every day for breakfast with all kinds of variations depending what we have and what’s in season.  Here’s our recipe. I always make it with hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and/or walnuts and pumpkin seeds for omega 3s, hefty doses of minerals and it keeps you full forever.  This one pictured is from spring with cherries and blue velvet apricots!  Fresh nut milk on top takes this to new levels.  This baked oatmeal is also BOMB and you can keep extras in the fridge to eat for the next few days too.

vegan porridge zero waste almond milk

wednesday:  coconut yogurt bowl

If you watch my IG stories, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with 10,907 variations on homemade yogurt.  My favorite has been culturing coconut milk with blended cashews for thickness a la this recipe.  If you don’t like coconut, there’s so many other types of vegan yogurt: soy, almond and cashew to name just a few.  I love having it in the morning or afternoon with whatever fresh fruit is in season + hemp seeds, coco flakes, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Add whatever toppings/fruits you love, even go savory with sautéed kale or veggies, roasted squash or sweet potato or arugula/carrots + mix a crushed garlic clove and some lemon juice/zest into the yogurt, dollop on top and sprinkle a little toasted fennel, everything bagel seasoning, vegan parm cheese, toasted nuts or something like that on top.

vegan bowl breakfast coconut yogurt

thursday:  soup and greens

Call me crazy but a nice hot bowl of hearty soup and sautéed greens is just my thing some mornings, especially when it’s really cold out.  It’s super filling and sets you up with lots of greens and savory flavors to limit sweet cravings during the day.  Any soup will do, I like a good minestrone, curried lentil, lemony spinach red lentil, or celery/wild rice.  I sauté my greens until wilted, then stir in crushed garlic and tamari or aminos, and remove from heat.

soup kale avocado vegan

friday:  loni jane’s burcha

I am obsessed with Loni Janes burcha.  It’s SO filling, packed with nutrition and plant based minerals/omegas + healthy fats plus tastes like a treat.  I make a BIG mix like shown here and then either soak it as per her recipe overnight (a great grab and go breakfast) OR simply sprinkle some over almond milk and fruit in the am and let it sit for 10 minutes or so while I’m getting ready so the chia can gel (pictured).  It’s the best hiking snack/meal, too because it’s small but gives you so much energy.  Also it makes my digestion 10/10 and lives up to its “flat belly” name.

burcha vegan Loni jane breakfast

burcha bowl oranges blueberries omega 3 vegan

saturday:  sweet potato toasts

These guys are SO good, full of whole plant foods to make you feel amazing, and nutrients, too.  I saved this for Saturday because it took me a little longer to bake to get crisp, but this recipe says you can use a toaster to make them quicker.  I don’t have a toaster, so I just preheated by oven to 400, sliced my large sweet potato into about 1/4 inch thick slices, and baked for about 30 minutes- toasty, caramelly perfection.

If you’re not into the sweet potato idea, this gluten free nut seed and oat “bread” is super filling and tasty, or this GF millet buckwheat bread.

Obviously you can top them with whatever you love- PB&J, sautéed kale + hummus, cashew cheese, almond butter and banana, etc etc.  I did them 3 ways for variety for the photo’s sake, but IRL I’d probably just do 1 or 2 toppings (AND this large sweet potato yielded 5 large toasts and 2 small toasts, I only ate 3 and my husband ate the rest).  From top to bottom:

“italian” style with arugula, sliced avocado, everything bagel seasoning, toasted fennel seeds, chili flakes or harissa spice blend, and lemon.

sweet style with tahini, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, drizzle of maple or agave (optional) and sprinkle of maldon flaky sea salt.

“california” style:  I mashed the other avocado half with a squeeze of lime and a little garlic, then spread it on with cilantro, red onion, toasted pepitas and my fermented hot sauce.

sweet potato vegan toast avocado tahini

sunday:  tofu scramble with almond flour or corn tortillas 

Tofu scrambles are so easy to make and really high in protein.  We have super tasty local bulk tofu here so we’re spoiled and make quite a few tofu recipes.  Here I just sautéed red onion and thinly slice red and green bell pepper with some whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds (1 teaspoon each), then added in a block of crumbled tofu, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon harissa powder, black pepper, and some liquid aminos (or use tamari or just salt).  Minimalist Baker has a good recipe if you want more technical directions/measurements.

If you have/can find black salt, that works great- it’s high in sulfur so it gives an “eggy” taste if you’re into that.  I also added cilantro, green onion, lots of hot sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Pickled onions would go SO good on top too, or verduras en escabeche.

Roasted or pan fried country potatoes would be a great sub for the tortillas.  Avocado on top is delicious too!

Tofu scramble vegan breakfast

vin’s super-seed breakfast porridge

Kids vegan cook

I know it seems boring to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but hear me out- it’s really the best thing ever.  Not only do I not have to think about what to throw together when I can barely peel open my bleary eyes (I’m decidedly NOT a morning person), I also get in so much nutrition for my kids in one fell swoop.  Vin usually makes this with my supervision too, so win-win there.

Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts are my non negotiable foods that I get into my kids diets EVERY single day.  Why?  Plant based omegas, calcium, other minerals, and brain boosting fats.  That’s why I add them all to the morning porridge- because then I don’t have to worry about it later.  It’s our whole food vitamin “supplement” for them, along with an after school fruit and veggie smoothie.

In one serving of this porridge (not even counting the fruit/optional extras), there’s: 73% fiber, 42% iron, 20% calcium, 50% zinc, 14% protein, and 7.2 grams of omega-3’s.  PLANTS are everything.

chia coconut flax hemp seeds oat porridge

The fat + fiber + carbs combo keeps tummies nice and full so they’re not hungry at school. Plus, it’s nice to get a warming meal in their belly in before they have to go outside on cold mornings.

We vary the toppings so every day is different and we never get bored:

-always a seasonal fruit or two: banana, berries, kiwi, mango, peach, apple, persimmon,prunes, plum, pear, etc

– sometimes add flavorings like almond or vanilla extract, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, chai spice, turmeric, pumpkin purée

-sometimes cook with nut milk instead of water for a creamier porridge

– sometimes add nut butters: coconut, cashew, almond, peanut, chocolate hazelnut

-sometimes do 1/2 and 1/2 quinoa + oats

-always add a sweetener: chopped dates, golden raisins, stevia, maple syrup, molasses or raw Demerara sugar

healthy vegan kids porridge omega 3 breakfast

vin’s super-seed breakfast porridge (2 large servings)

for the base:

1 cup oats

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

3 cups water or nut milk or both

for the toppings (per each bowl):

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

fruit of your choice

sweetener of your choice

method:

Place the oats, chia, and coconut in a small pot. Whisk in the 3 cups water and bring to a boil while you whisk (so the chia doesn’t clump).  Turn down to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and chia seeds are plumped, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and divide between 2 bowls.  Top with your desired toppings and eat!

 

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