Tag Archives: breakfast

Chia Seed Muffins à la Pain Quotidien

7 Mar IMG_2242

I could wax rhapsodic about the nutritional wonder of chia seeds, but I won’t bore you again. Bottom line is I dig them.


These little beauties are inspired by the chia seed muffins at Le Pain Quotidien. Theirs are freaking delicious and I can barely stop myself from getting one every time I pass a store while walking around NYC.  Armed with the basic ingredients, I tinkered around until I found a recipe I could make at home, saving money and satisfying my cravings while in the far dinkier city of New Haven.

The result was awesome and I’m pretty positive they are healthier than their counterpart; I limited the fat by subbing in apple sauce and ended up making them gluten free.  I experimented both with a 50/50 wheat/white flour blend and this gluten free version.  Surprisingly, the gluten free muffins were far tastier and much closer to the ones I knew and loved.

They aren’t super pretty, but these muffins are definitely a “super” food.

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Coconut & Pecan Breakfast Cookies

12 Jan IMG_1358

An on-the-go breakfast is often a necessity; I didn’t leave enough time after my workout, I woke up late, I stayed up past my “bedtime”, etc.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  On these occasions, I all to often turn to my friend, the Kind Bar.  And although they are delicious and not filled with processed junk, I didn’t make them myself.

Here’s a make-ahead breakfast for those rushed days – an easy grab on the way out the door.   Filled with pecans, coconut, fruit, and oats and sweetened with only bananas and a touch of agave, these “cookies” hit the spot (though some might argue if you try calling them dessert).

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Gluten Free Granola

16 Oct Granola

Without breakfast, I’m a grumpy maniac (with a rumbly belly). Unfortunately making time for breakfast has not always been my strong suit. Between marathon training and trying to run out the door, my eating can take a back seat.  This week has been about finding easy and delicious breakfasts that don’t leave me resorting to my emergency Kind bar purse stash. This granola fills the bill for a quick meal on my way out and can be stored in bags for on-the-go eating.


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Vanilla and Orange Chia Seed Pudding

24 Feb Closeup

This is going to be a long one. If you aren’t interested in my craziness, skip to the bottom – this pudding is “the bomb.” Prep time is less than 5 minutes, though you do have to wait at least four hours to enjoy.

Besides liking things to be delicious, I make a concerted effort to also make them nutritious.  I’d like to say that it’s because I’m a health conscious vegetarian, which is partly true.  The real reason I try and make food nutritious is that I am totally neurotic.  There are billions of chemicals out there that are being put into food and body products and they all can cause cancer.

Ok. I know I’m being a little dramatic, but isn’t it just a little terrifying?

My dear friend, Steve, who is a financial blogger, has a similar relationship to the things he puts on and in his body.  If you have ever had the opportunity to read his blog, then you may have discovered his ability to use words.  Let’s just say we’ve had many wordy conversations surrounding such topics as Omega-3s, sunscreen, kale, shampoo, etc.

Today’s post centers around the important topic of Omega-3 fatty acids (ok, took me long enough).  According to our long conversations, which I am sure are COMPLETELY backed up by facts, humans should have a ratio of at least 4:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6, a ratio which is more than reversed in the standard american diet (some sources say up to 1:30).  Having the proper ratio can help prevent all kinds of scary diseases (heart problems!) and other annoying issues (dandruff).

Omega 3s are commonly found in fish, but there are two easy vegetarian sources – flax seeds and chia seeds.  Thanks to Steve, I became a big believer in adding flax where ever possible.  Then my big sis, Jeanne, introduced me to chia seeds (you can read all about their virtues on her her blog, Brûléed). It didn’t take long for these to become a regular part of my day – they are even easier to use than flax!

I borrowed this picture from my sister at Bruleed - you must check out her post on chia seeds

Ok, enough already.  This chia-seed pudding is absolutely delicious.  The subtle orange and vanilla flavors meld perfectly and are refreshing and light.  This could easily be enjoyed as dessert or snack, but I ate it all this week with breakfast.


1 1/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar

1/4 cup chia seeds

orange zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


In a quart sized jar, mix the almond milk, agave, and vanilla.  Shake to combine.  Add the chia seeds and orange zest and shake again to combine.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and even better overnight, shaking occasionally.  Break up any chia seed clusters with a spoon and shake again.

Serve and enjoy!

About 4 servings – refrigerate up to 3 days.

Recipe inspired by the chia seed pudding recipe in the March issue of Food and Wine (page 30)

Mini Sweet Potato Pecan Sweet Rolls

15 Feb IMG_0701

These little tidbits are delicious.  I made these on a whim when I was seriously craving cinnamon rolls.  I had a bunch of sweet potatoes and decided to see if anyone had any good recipes for a sweet potato cinnamon roll – because it sounded too amazing for someone to have not invented one!  I found this little gem from So Good and Tasty and knew I had a winner.  I had to tweek it a bit (mostly for fun) so I made it completely vegan, miniaturized it (I mean, who doesn’t love something more when its tiny), added nuts (yes, please), and some frosting.

I happened to be weekending in our humble Brooklyn abode when I got my huge hankering.  This meant I was sans most of my kitchen tools and working with almost no counter space and a crotchety oven. (Tiny kitchens are less cute than tiny sweet rolls.) Nonetheless, I was determined.

Besides having a mishap with the sweet potatoes (they wouldn’t cook fast enough for me) and the oven door (why does it have to be so hot on my bare arm), these turned out great.  You can unveganize (not a word, I know), remove the nuts, or make full size, but you should try these. They are very delicious, almost healthy, and fun (minus the burnt arm).


1 cup soy milk

1 packet instant rise yeast

2 tablespoons agave

2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

4  – 5 cups flour

1 teaspoons salt

For filling:

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

6 tablespoons earth balance, softened

1 cup pecans, chopped roughly

For frosting:

1/2 (8 ounce) package vegan cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup earth balance, softened

1 teaspoon agave

1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons soy milk

Warm soy milk in small sauce pan until it reaches somewhere between 95 and 115 degrees F –  just warm to the touch (if it is too hot it will kill the yeast). In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and agave syrup over the warmed soy milk, and gently stir together. Let stand until the mixture starts to foam, about 10 minutes.

Put the mashed sweet potatoes into a large bowl and whisk in the egg, oil, and 1 cup of flour. Use a wooden spoon to add the potato mixture to the yeast mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. (SOAK your sweet potato bowl in hot water). Mix in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough should come together easily but still be slightly wet and sticky.  You will probably not need all 5 cups of flour. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. You could definitely use a dough hook for this, but when you are in your hubby’s tiny Brooklyn apartment, you do it by hand.

Clean the sweet potato bowl with hot water and then dry and lightly oil. Put the dough in the bowl, turning once, and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

On a floured counter top, cut the dough in four pieces and roll each into a ball. One at a time, roll each ball into a 8-inch by 5-inch by 1/4-inch thick rectangle.

Combine the cinnamon, sugar, and pecans in a small bowl. Spread 2 tablespoons softened earth balance evenly over each dough piece and sprinkle with the pecan and sugar mixture. Tightly roll the dough, lengthwise and turn seem side down. Cut each roll into 12 equal slices and put into a lightly greased mini-muffin tin (this fills at least two pans of 24). You could also use a pie dish or baking pan. If you do this, leave a margin because they will rise quite a bit!

(If you want these for breakfast and don’t want to wake up early, then you should stick these covered in the fridge and then take them out about 2 hours before you want to eat. Alternatively, you could freeze the dough now at this stage and then let them thaw and rise overnight.)

Cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about an hour.

Heat the oven to 400˚F.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, whisk the vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, and the remaining earth balance, agave, and soy milk until smooth.  Drizzle over the warm cinnamon rolls (or you can some plain if you like – I did with half)!

Try to refrain from eating all of them before you can take a picture or share with your friends.

Inspired by So Good and Tasty