Rise and Shine Vegan Muffins
December 15, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Breakfast

So I made the leap.  I’m not sure for how long.  I’ve done cleanses where I would eat a vegan-only diet for up to a month at a time, but I’ve never truly considered doing it permanently.  Then, the other night I saw some doc on some cable channel about eating close to the earth, and there were many interviews with chefs from the finest restaurants in Manhattan, all the way to food trailer owners in Oregon who were all touting the importance and benefits of a plant-based diet.  They were talking about the changing face of the restaurant industry, etc., etc., and I thought “if I can do it for a month, why can’t I…”.  Why indeed!?  So here I am.  No promises, no excuses, but I’m giving it a go and we’ll see where we end up.

In the mean time, I have to share with you all one of my favorite breakfast items.  I love these little chock-fulla-good-stuff muffins, and they are ridiculously easy.  Check it out…

Rise and Shine Vegan Muffins

1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2 whole bananas, fork mashed

1/3 c. organic cinnamon applesauce

1. tsp. olive oil

1 apple, cut into small pieces (I don’t even peel it, and I like a tart and sweet, uber firm apple like a pink lady, jazz, or well….whatever you like, really)

1/2 c. walnuts


Stir together all dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir thoroughly.  Spoon mixture into muffin pan or muffin inserts (I like them in paper so I can grab ’em on the go in the a.m. and eat in the car with a nice Starbucks sugar free hazelnut soy latte).

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 25 to 30 mins.

Mmm…so healthy, so low in fat, and soooo delish!!!

P.S.  I didn’t take a pic of them because they are just muffins.  You know what those look like, right?  Okay then.


Halloween Baking

We are hanging out at home today, trying to lay low until trick-or-treating time because Cooper has been sick this past week and we’re trying not to overdo it.

In the interest of A.  using up some bananas that really need to be used up, and B. finding something to do other than clean my house, I decided to bake. 

First up:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I tried to go not super-sweet and as healthy as possible in the hopes that Coops would eat some of it.  I think I was pretty successful.  Here it is…

3 T. mostly melted butter (I put it in the ‘wave for about 30 sec or so)

2  1/2 c. white whole wheat flour

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

1 egg

3/4 T. vanilla extract

3 medium bananas, fork mashed

1/4 c. milk

3/4 c. mini chocolate chips


Preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease, butter, or spray a regular loaf pan. 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  In separate bowl, beat together bananas, egg, milk, vanilla and butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir until well combined.  Then add mini chocolate chips and stir until mixed in.  This batter is very thick, but make sure everything is moistened.  If necessary, splash in a little more milk, but mine was fine.

Spoon the batter into your loaf pan and bake until lightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine took about 35 mins or so.  Let rest for a few minutes after removing from oven, and then flip out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Next, I decided to use one of my big, lovely, organic Honeycrisp apples to try something completely new.  I started adding my favorite ingredients and this is what I came up with.  I must say, these aren’t the prettiest little mini muffins, but wow are they delish!

Mini Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Chip Muffins

4 T. melted butter

2 c. white whole-wheat flour

1 c. quick-cooking oats

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. cinnamon chips (found in the chocolate chip aisle)

3 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1/3 c. milk

1 large honeycrisp (or any kind) apple, coursely grated

1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease, butter or spray a mini muffin tin. (You could use a regular sized one, as well). 

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Beat together egg, milk, vanilla, apple and butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine.  Then stir in cinnamon chips until well mixed.  Spoon batter into mini muffin tin, filling each cup up to slightly more than 3/4 full.  You should completely fill one mini muffin tin (12 muffins).

Sprinkle top of each muffin with brown sugar.

Bake until toothpick comes out clean.  About 20 minutes or so.  Remove from tin and cool on rack.

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy
September 30, 2009, 1:59 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Main Dishes

Cooler weather arriving, and a bizarre taste in food that can only be blamed on the March addition to our family has had me craving rich, homestyle meals.

This evening I decided to whip up some good old biscuits and gravy.  I gotta say, for a first attempt at both, it went pretty well.  Okay, okay, I realize that it doesn’t get much easier than baking powder biscuits, but cut a girl some slack.  Especially a girl who is on a roller coaster of exhaustion, nausea, grumpiness and hunger.

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 c. flour

3 T. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. shortening (I used vegan shortening, but any can be used)

2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Using a fork, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Use same fork (or pastry cutter) to cut in the shortening.  Add milk and mix in just until mixed.  Drop by rounded tablespoon (or slightly larger) onto greased baking sheet.  Bake about 20 minutes or until beginning to lightly brown.   Remove from oven and set aside.


Vegetarian Gravy 

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1/4 c. butter or margarine

2 1/2 c. vegetable broth

2 T. soy sauce

1/4 c. flour

1/2 T. sage

1/2 T. thyme

freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large skillet, saute diced onion in butter over med-low heat until onion starts to soften.  Add vegetable stock, 1/2 the can of mushroom soup, and soy sauce.  Slowly add in flour one tablespoon at a time, whisking with a fork the entire time to prevent lumps.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low again, adding sage, thyme and black pepper.  Allow to cook for remaining 10 minutes or so, stirring periodically and allowing gravy to start to thicken. 


The finished product, served with some vegetarian bacon and some wedges of a fabulous cara cara orange…one of my new favorite fruits.  Delish~


Egg in a Nest
August 31, 2009, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Breakfast

Hey Mom!  Look what I made for breakfast! 

I don’t know what made me think of it, but my mom used to make me these little egg in a nest breakfasts once in awhile and I thought they were so cool!  I decided I’d make some for Cooper and I this morning.  We all know what I’m talking about, right?  Throw some butter in a skillet, get butter on both sides of a piece of bread, then use a cookie cutter or the top of a glass to cut out the center, and in goes an egg.  With a sprinkle of salt and some fresh ground black pepper, it’s absolutely delish!  And cute…even for the bigger kids. 

Here’s mine freshly cracked in the skillet.  Yeah, I know I didn’t do the best job on that egg, but cut me some slack…it was 7 in the a.m.!



Anyway, broken yolk or not, Cooper wasn’t as impressed as I used to be.  Once it was cooked perfectly, I put it on a plate with some grapes on the side, and brought it out to him.  I exclaimed “Hey Coops!  Check this out!  It’s an egg inside your toast!  How cool is that!?”  He looked back at me with a blank stare, totally unimpressed and said “Yep…it sure is.  I don’t want it.  I just want peanut butter toast.”

Great.  Hey kid…you’re supposed to be impressed and then dig in, all the while reiterating how scrumptious this special breakfast is that your thoughtful mom made for you.  Didn’t you get the memo?!

Oh well.  I ate it.  And I loved it as much as I did when my mom used to make it for me.  Though, there is something special about having someone else do the cooking.

Mom, if you want to make one for me any time soon, I promise I’ll still be impressed and amazed, unlike my own offspring.

**photo update Sept 3**

I could no longer stand that the yolk was broken in that first pic and that it didn’t look like I wanted it to, so I made the good old Egg in a Nest again this morning and it came out much better…here ya go.


Heaven on Earth – Dutch Apple Pancake
August 27, 2009, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Main Dishes

Taking a hiatus from tomatoes, I decided to make breakfast for dinner tonight and begin my end-of-summer segue to Autumn.  Oh, I love Autumn.  I absolutely cannot wait for the apple orchards to open, for the crisp early morning and evening air of fall, for the smell of fireplaces and the sounds of leaves crunching underfoot.  I know so many people who say they love fall, but have you ever heard someone say they don’t?  I mean, people say “oh, I don’t like summer.  It’s too hot/humid”, whatever, but Autumn?!   Never heard of it.

Oops.  I perhaps got carried away with my love of fall, so what I was getting at were the flavors of apples and cinnamon.  I’ve seen tons of recipes online for Dutch apple pancakes, but I’ve never honestly had one, and I’ve definitely never tried to make one, but I had three lovely Pink Lady apples calling out to me, and I thought “why not”?

I didn’t follow a recipe, but instead kind of took what I’ve read on other recipes and made up my own version.  A traditional Dutch Apple Pancake is apparently made in a cast iron skillet, of which, I own none.  They are also sometimes sprinkled with powdered sugar, of which I also have none.  So, without further adieu, here is my take on a Dutch Apple Pancake, sans skillet.

If you haven’t had one…I can assure you…you must.  Absolutely must.

Kristin’s non-traditional Dutch Apple Pancake

3 medium apples of your choice, cored, peeled and sliced

2 T. butter, plus approximately 1 more T. or so for buttering your dish

3/4 c. milk (I used 1%.  Use what you like)

3/4 c. flour

5 eggs

3 T. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon


Using medium sized skillet, melt 2 T. butter and add apple slices, cooking them on low to med. until they soften and begin to brown.


While apples are cooking, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Use remaining 1 T. of butter (or slightly more) to thoroughly butter your baking dish.  I used a round baking dish that is 11″ around and about 2 1/2″ deep.  If you having something of a similar size but square or whatever, I wouldn’t worry.  It should work just fine.

Once apples are softened but still have good texture to them, add them in a single layer to your buttered baking dish.


Next, sprinkle lightly with brown sugar and cinnamon…


Let them hang out while you make the batter.   So, in a medium mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, flour, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat with a hand mixer until well blended.  (Or use a blender if you prefer).  Pour mixture over eggs, and bake until the top puffs up and is starting to get brown.  Make sure the middle feels solid through, and you’re good to go~

This simple process will turn into the most light and airy, sweet, but not too sweet, apple-eggy goodness that you can ever imagine.  I simply sliced mine right up with a pizza cutter, which worked pretty well.

D.Jones topped his with pure maple sugar, but I didn’t think it needed anything but it’s own simple goodness.  Served with a veggie sausage patty and some grapes, it made a perfect breakfast for dinner.  And I’m telling you, your house will never have smelled so good!  When D.Jones walked in the door from work he said “are you baking a pie?”  When I replied “No, that’s our dinner” he looked at me like I was crazy.  When he took his first bite of this delicious little slice of heaven on earth, he said “Mmm…wow.”  I think that says it all, and the verdict is still out on who gets the leftovers for tomorrow.



Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins
July 27, 2009, 2:45 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Desserts

Usually banans disappear quickly in our house, but with an accidental “over-purchase” of fresh summer fruits a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had a few hanging around for way too long.  Late last week I decided to finally do something about them so they wouldn’t go to waste, and ended up with these scrumptious little goodies.  A little sweet for breakfast, but hey, I’m not one to complain about sugary yumminess.

Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins


1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 large, overripe bananas

3/4 c. sugar

Egg replacer, equivalent to 1 egg

1/3 c. melted vegan margarine

1/3 c. sugar in the raw (see note below)

2 T. white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 T. vegan margarine


Line muffin pan with muffin papers and preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In large bowl mix together 1 1/2 c. flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In seperate bowl, mash bananas with fork and then add in egg replacer, sugar, egg and melted butter.  Mix until relatively smooth.  Then blend into flour mixture until combined.   Spoon into muffin cups.

In small dish combine crumb topping ingredients of flour, cinnamon and sugar in the raw.  Then, using a fork, add in the tablespoon of vegan margarine and smash together with fork.  Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

**I found that the sugar in the raw, which is large granule sugar, was a bit heavy for the muffins and the middle of some of my muffins sunk.  A possible substitution would be to use brown sugar in place of the sugar in the raw**

Donuts – Round 1
July 16, 2009, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Desserts

I have been looking at vegan donut recipes online for a couple of weeks now.  I do miss a good breakfast pastry, especially with one of the best bakeries in the city right in my backyard.  Ugh…the temptation!

Many of the vegan donut recipes seemed just so precise, though, and very involved.   One I read actually had a disclaimer after every step that was something like  “**if you do not follow this step exactly, they will not turn out!**”.  Man, if that’s not a “Do Not Enter” sign for a recipe, I don’t know what is!

What I ended up doing was combining the easiest steps of a handful of recipes and trying one out.  I basically just crossed my fingers since I’ve never made donuts at all before, much less Vegan Baked Donuts.  I did have to make one quick trip to Kitchen Window in Uptown, too, to purchase a donut pan, but it was only around $15.

Here they are:

Vegan Baked Donuts

1/3 c. Earth Balance vegan margarine

1/2 c. sugar in the raw (any sugar is fine, it’s just what I used)

Equivalent of 1 egg for egg replacer (ener-g) 

1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour

2 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 c. vanilla soymilk

Cream butter, sugar and egg replacer.  Mix in dry ingredients and soy milk and mix well.  Spray donut pan lightly with olive oil and then spread donut batter into donut rounds, not quite to the top of the mold. 


 Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


Turn out onto cooling rack.

Dip donuts in melted Earth Balance spread and then into cinnamon and sugar in the raw mixture. 

Next, just enjoy with a big cup of coffee.  Mmmm…warm donuts in the morning.  Makes for a lovely start to the day~