Tag Archives: breakfast

Meatless Monday: 2 Ingredient French Toast (2 Ways)

applesauce french toast

Mott's Strawberry Applesauce French Toast

And, no, one of those ingredients is not eggs. Or egg substitute.

This is a perfect recipe for days when you wake up wanting a real breakfast but the fact it is snowing in April makes you so adverse to the thought of doing anything that you cannot scrounge up the energy to find more than two ingredients–i.e. yesterday.

Or really just any day.

Yogurt French Toast
makes 1 toast

  • 1/2 6oz. container of yogurt (any flavor)
  • 1 slice bread old bread (or lightly toasted bread)

Applesauce French Toast
makes 1 toast

  • 1/4-1/2c. unsweetened applesauce (any flavor)
  • Spices or seasonings of choice
  • 1 slice bread old bread (or lightly toasted bread)

    →Put the yogurt or applesauce in a shallow container that is wide enough to hold your bread. If your yogurt or applesauce is thick, mix it with enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter. Add in any spices or seasonings you want.

    Put the bread in the yogurt (or applesauce) and let it soak a little. Flip it over to get the other side.

    bread soaking

    Bread soaking in Cherry Vanilla yogurt

    Spray a small/medium saute pan with nonstick spray. Let it sit on medium heat for a minute (just enough to preheat it).

    Take the bread out of the yogurt or applesauce mixture and put it in the pan. Top with more yogurt (or applesauce). Flip it after about a minute (or when the bottom is brown). If there’s any left, top with some more of the “batter”.

    yogurt toast cooking

    Admittedly, a little too much yogurt on top...

    Once both sides are brown, take it off the pan and eat it while contemplating whether April snow showers will bring May flowers.


    Meatless Monday: Calcium-Rich, Cow-Free Chocolate Yogurt

    soymilk yogurt

    Remnants of my morning yogurt binge

    To me, a world without yogurt is a woeful world, unimaginably grim and full of longing. If being vegan meant I could never eat yogurt again, I don’t think I would even be able to consider the possibility. Eggs I can easily live without and, milk, I don’t drink very much of, but little 6 oz. cartons of diet yogurt consume most of my food stamps. And that’s not even counting the soft-serve.

    Given the nutritional stats of store-bought soy yogurts, this horrible nightmare could have easily become a reality. But I am lucky to have grown up in a house where making yogurt was not only common, but also free of expensive hardware (I’m still not quite sure what a “yogurt maker” is, but, either way, you don’t need one).

    Yogurt is among the foods most people file under “impossibly hard to make/never going to attempt”. I can’t imagine why, though, seeing as how it’s probably one of the simplest things you can make. Admittedly, there is a lot of luck involved: I’ve been making yogurt since high school and I still have occasions where it doesn’t set.

    A few factors are critical to yogurt making: cleanliness, temperature and cleanliness.

    Really, I can’t stress it enough: the yogurt will not set if anything that touches either the soymilk or the yogurt starter is even the slightest bit dirty. And I don’t mean “crusted” dirty–I mean “microscopic bacteria” dirty. You don’t want any other bacteria to prevent yours from thriving, now do you? (By “yours,” I mean the bacteria we associate with yogurt). Safest bet it to sterilize everything in boiling water, but, for the lazy among us *waves*, a good washing and a little caution will do.

    As for the temperature, you will hear different things. My mother always said that the milk should be on the edge of hot and warm, but nowhere near boiling. It seems to work well enough for me. If you have a thermometer, I believe the official guidelines state 118*F, but, if you don’t, air on the side of “warm” since too hot kills while too cold only slows.



    For my yogurt, I chose to use chocolate Soy Slender because last week (when I made this) was National Chocolate Week and Soy Slender was cheapest at Meijer. I’ve done this with other soymilks before (back when they used to carry my favorite brand) and it’s worked out just the same. Keep in mind, homemade yogurt (soy or otherwise) will never be as thick as store bought yogurt unless you add some kind of thickener to the milk after culturing. Want to know why? Pick up any yogurt container, read the ingredients, and you’ll find out.

    Mostly Fool-Proof Soy (or Dairy) Yogurt

    • CLEAN bowl with lid (metal is best, followed by glass and finally plastic)
    • CLEAN whisk, spoon, fork, knife, whatever (just don’t use your finger)
    • A good-size spoonful yogurt (buy a small container of soy yogurt or regular yogurt labeled with the “active culture” symbol/disclaimer and take a spoon out…if you want to keep it vegan but don’t want the sugar and fat, have someone else eat it :D)
    • Milk/soymilk (any flavor/fat content)

    →Heat the soymilk (milk) to 118*F or till it’s “warm” (118*F is hotter than warm but, if you read the essay-length reasoning above, you’ll see why this is better).

    A Spoonful of Blackberry Yogurt

    Put the yogurt in the bowl and whisk well. Slowly add the soymilk (milk), whisking continuously so as to evenly incorporate the yogurt (yogurt chunks = bad).

    Cover the bowl and incubate. (This is hard for impatient people like me, but don’t check/move the bowl around for at least 4-7 hours depending on your temperatures. JUST LET IT BE!)

    There are a few methods of incubation. You want the temperature to be around 100*F (+/- 20*). If you live in a warm climate where the temperature of the room is 80+, all you have to do is leave the yogurt sitting on the counter (not in direct sunlight).


    Improv Blanket Incubator

    To artificially achieve the same effect, place the bowl in the back of the oven with the light on (DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON) and close the door. Or place it in the microwave with the light on (once again, DO NOT TURN THE MICROWAVE ON). I don’t like the idea of not being able to use my microwave/oven for a long period of time, so I wrapped the container in my heating blanket and left it on at low power. Seemed to do the trick.

    unstrained yogurt

    Not the most appetizing sight. Straining wasn't optional this time.

    After about 8 hours, you can check to see if the yogurt is done. The longer you leave it, the thicker and more sour it will become. I stopped culturing at about 6 hours because I didn’t want it too sour (it’s chocolate!). You can let it culture for up to 12-14 hours, depending on how you like it.

    DIY strainer

    Who needs cheesecloth?

    To make thicker yogurt, strain it after you’re done culturing. A cheesecloth with a weight over it would be ideal, but I didn’t have one so I put a few coffee filters over a metal can and let gravity do it’s job. Takes longer, but good things come to those who wait, right?


    Chicken Little’s Waffles

    Cinnamon Waffles

    Cinnamon Waffles

    I’ve been researching the feeling I talked about yesterday (WebMD…we all do it). Apparently, it’s called “derealization” and is (or can be) associated with extreme anxiety. God forbid I should just feel “anxious” like everyone else. I skip past panic and go straight to delusional.

    This got me thinking, which probably wasn’t the best idea. When I couldn’t give my stress a concrete name, I began to panic. What if I’m missing something? My mind was racing with the myriad of things I might be forgetting. It felt as if I might be forgetting that someone had told me the world was going to end and I had to save it. Needless to say, I only became more stressed. (The world was ending, people! And I forgot I had to save it!)

    For future reference, if you’re stressed and don’t really know why, it’s probably best to just leave it a mystery for the time being.

    After a several minutes spent hyperventilating, pacing, and panicking, I grabbed a few towels and (being now properly armed for the coming apocalypse) decided to have some waffles.

    And, yes, I have completely lost it. Not quite sure what “it” is, but if there ever was an “it” (or several “its” for that matter), I am now officially without.


    chocolate waffles

    Chocolate waffles with strawberries

    “The World’s Ending so I May as Well Eat Waffles” Waffles
    serves 1 (this is no time to diet! where are your priorities?!)

    • 3T. mashed Fiber One Original Bran (mash it till it has the consistency of flour)
    • 2T. cocoa powder (version 1) or pudding mix (version 2)
    • 1/4 t. + a few pinches baking POWDER
    • 3/8c. TOTAL applesauce + cottage cheese or 3 oz./half a small container yogurt (version 2)
    • Water or milk or soymilk as needed to make it pourable
    • Pinches of seasonings/extracts
    • Sugar or sugar substitute, to taste

    →Mix all the wet ingredients together in a small container/bowl/dish/cup.

    In a different bowl (etc), whisk the fiber one, other flour, baking powder and sugar substitute/seasonings.


    Version 2 after mixing

    Add the contents of the second bowl to the contents of the first (or the first to the contents of the second) and mix well.

    Cook in a WELL-GREASED waffle iron. Top with fruit or other topping of choice.

    waffle iron dripping

    Making a mess

    Don’t bother cleaning. The world’s about to end.


    Cinnamon waffles with apple pie filling

    Whoopie Pies for the One I Love

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    Mix ‘n Match Cake (Healthy AND Low-Calorie)

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    Breakfast of Champions: Lemon-Raspberry Parfait

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    I have a confession to make: I’ve been eating a lot of cake/brownies/cookies lately. It makes me feel incredibly guilty, which, from a logical standpoint, doesn’t make much sense. If one were to take into account all the ingredients, they wouldn’t find a single guilt-worthy one. After all, what makes a plate of steamed broccoli “healthier” than pureed steamed broccoli in a cake?

    I suppose it’s more about the psychological connections we have with certain foods. I remember my friend telling me once that, every time he ate something “unhealthy,” he would follow it up with something “healthy” like “broccoli”. Of course, being the kind of person that puts broccoli in my cake, my first question was what he would do if the cake was made out of something “healthy” (like broccoli). Not being one to obsess over every bite of food, he shrugged and let the issue pass, but I haven’t been able to let go of it since.

    Whenever I eat a “healthy” version of a typically “unhealthy” food, my id and superego begin to battle it out in a dialogue reminiscent of the 1930s comedy sketch, “Who’s on First?” It seems neither one can understand the other and neither one cares to try. As a result, I am left guilty and confused about whether or not I should consider my baked goods “unhealthy” or “healthy”.

    I guess the only question that really needs to be answered is why I care so much.

    Things to think about:

    1. How do you define healthy? Is it macronutrient composition? Raw food? Calories? Is it more a “feeling” based on what you associate the food with?
    2. Based on your definition, how do you (or how don’t you) moderate unhealthy vs. healthy foods?
    3. Where would you put a cake made out of broccoli on the spectrum?

    For the parfait:

    • Lemon Cake: Sponge cake seasoned with lemon zest
    • Whipped Cream: Try my version made with sugar-free, fat-free pudding
    • Raspberry Sauce: Mix low-calorie raspberry yogurt with water until it forms a saucy consistency

    Adventures in Molecular Gastronomy: Vegan, Low-Calorie Sponge Cake

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    Low-Calorie Whipped Cream

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    Healthy, “Any Way You Like” Cookies (Microwave-Friendly)

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    Thank you.

    Memories of food: Spaghetti Squash Seviyan


    There are a million ways to spell this vermicelli-based indian dessert. I’m sure there are an equal number of ways to cook it, but I am only acquainted with one: you start with vermicelli noodles, saute/fry them in a bit of ghee (fresh butter), add milk/sugar, cook over low-medium heat, and add cardamom/rose water when you remove from the heat.

    Consistencies vary from what I have heard, but I have only seen the soupy variety, which resembles a strand of string floating in a milky puddle. Why seen, you might wonder. The answer to that is simple: I have never eaten seviyan before now; only watched my mother standing over a pot stirring it diligently, preventing the milk from curdling yet ever mindful of the noodles’ consistency.

    It is a strange thing, this memory. Unlike my other memories of foods, which are irreversibly bound to taste and texture, this memory is a fleeting image in my mind. A shadow of a pot over a bright orange flame, strings of noodles, thick billows of rose-infused steam.

    That was the image flashed across my mind as I scraped the bottom of my spaghetti squash the other day. It’s subtle sweetness jumped out at me, so much so that it was all I could taste. Visions of tomato-drenched spaghetti covered in cheese fled from the strong taste, leaving an irrepressible desire to make something noodly and sweet at the same time. Something like….

    Seviyan Kheer with Spaghetti Squash
    servings variable

    • Light butter
    • Spaghetti squash, cooked
    • Evaporated milk (or mix 2/3 c. milk powder with enough water to make one cup)
    • Sweetener
    • Ground cardamom
    • Rose water

    →Dry the spaghetti squash strands. If you have a dehydrator, now would be a great time to use it. Otherwise, lay the strands on a paper towel and microwave until dry (but be careful not to burn them).

    Melt a bit of light butter in a medium saucepan. Add the spaghetti squash and “fry” it in the butter over medium-high heat.

    Add the milk and turn the heat down to low. I always seem to have issues with curdling, so I like to keep the heat really low. Let it cook for a few minutes and taste a spoon. The spaghetti squash will most likely release some of its sweetness into the milk. Add sweetener to taste.

    Once the kheer (pudding) is the consistency you like, remove it from the heat and add the cardamom and rose water. Stir well.

    Serve with some crushed pistachios.

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