Next week I start my first class series of the season – it’s a brand new one called “Plant Based Everyday”.
I decided to put this class together because one of the comments I often hear is that people are looking for healthy eating to be easier. And they want to understand how to make plant-based eating doable on a daily basis.
So I sat down and thought about the things that really make a difference in making it easy for me. Things like really good knife skills, having an arsenal of go-to meals that you can make a number of different ways, batch cooking component ingredients that can be turned into a variety of interesting and tasty meals through the week, and so on. So that’s what Plant Based Everyday is going to be about!
What does this have to do with breakfast recipes, you may ask? Well, that’s another set of questions I hear regularly…”what do you eat for breakfast?” “Do I have to eat oatmeal every day?” or, “what if I’m in a rush?” So today I thought I would share 5 of my go-to breakfasts with you.
Note: If you want more info about the class series, you can find it on my website, here.
So, breakfast! I haven’t always been a huge breakfast person, but I guess I have become more so as an adult — mostly because I know that on days I start out with a good breakfast I have more consistent energy and less inclination to reach for unhealthy snacks during the day. Here are the 5 breakfasts that I have most often:
I am a big advocate of greens-based smoothies — I think they are a great way to include more servings of vegetables and fruit into your day. And making smoothie bowls with homemade granola (see my delicious no-oil granola recipe below) and other tasty goodies like fruit slices, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut etc is a great way to make them more fun, and more filling. It’s great to switch up your smoothie ingredients if you are consuming them regularly, but one of my favourites is:
- 1 – 1.5 cups non-dairy milk or cooled green tea
- 1 packed cup of greens (kale, spinach, power greens etc)
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1 tsp amla powder (optional — for an extra antioxidant boost)
- 1 tbsp flax seed or chia
Note, for an extra fibre/protein boost, add a couple of tablespoons of cooked white beans to your smoothie — you won’t even taste them, but it’s a great way to pack even more nutrition in.
**For more smoothie ideas, check out this post.
To make no-oil granola:
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup aquafaba (which is the juice that canned chickpeas come in — drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid — if you’ve never done this before, don’t be afraid! Your granola WILL NOT taste like beans!)
- 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries, or other dried fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Combine the oats, nuts and spices, and mix thoroughly.
3. Combine the maple syrup and aquafaba, and pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, mixing well, until everything is nicely coated. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20- 25 minutes, stirring occasionally (this is important as the edges can crisp up more quickly than the middle).
5. In the meantime, soak the dried fruit in hot water for about 10 minutes, then drain.
6. When the granola is ready and cooled somewhat and the fruit has drained completely, mix everything together. Cool completely and store in an airtight jar. Keeps for several weeks.
Note: This granola does not taste sweet, which is what I wanted to achieve because I love to sweeten mine naturally with fresh fruit (especially berries!). If you would prefer your granola a little sweeter, just add a bit more maple syrup when serving, or a couple more tbsps to the recipe.
Now, you don’t need to eat oatmeal every day, or even every other day (unless you love it and you want to!), but hot cereals based on oats or other grains like millet or quinoa can be fantastically comforting on a blustery winter morning, and they fill you up and give you a great fibre-rich start to your day. I get into “moods” with oatmeal — sometimes I eat it A LOT and other times I won’t have it for weeks. And more often than not I prefer a savoury version. Here’s that recipe — inspired by OhSheGlows (makes enough for 2):
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup red lentils
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer about 8 minutes. Before eating mix in a handful of greens, and serve with sliced avocado, tomato and fresh pepper.
For sweet oatmeal, I love using steel cut oats, which are a bit less processed and chewier than rolled oats. Cook 1/2 cup steel cut oats with 1 1/2 cups water for 15-20 minutes (soaking overnight will reduce the cooking time), and sweeten naturally with raisins/cranberries (you can put them in while the oats are cooking, or after), a tbsp or so of your nut/seed of choice, a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg and top with fresh pears, apples or other fruit. Of course you can switch this up a number of ways using whatever fruit/nut toppings you love, some soymilk or even coconut yogurt. Also try making the same kind of breakfast with millet or quinoa, or another grain like farro — get creative and you’ll never get bored!
There are some days you are just IN A RUSH and you don’t have much time to fuss over breakfast. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grab something healthy, and this is one of my go-tos.
I use a good quality whole grain bread for the toast — I love the Portofino or Silver Hills brands, and these days (post photo above) I use a combination of chickpeas and avocado to keep the fat content lower, and diversify the nutrient content. Here’s how you do it:
- 2 slices whole grain bread, toasted
- ½ an avocado, mashed
- ¼ cup chickpeas, mashed
- Dash of fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper (or Table Tasty/salt alternative) to taste
Toast bread; mash chickpeas and avocado, mix with a dash of lime and salt and pepper; spread on toast.
But what about those days when you DO have a little more time for breakfast or brunch? This is an absolute favourite in my house — we usually make it on a Sunday and keep the leftovers for weekday lunches (great in wraps or on a bed of greens). You can switch up the spice mix for a totally different flavour profile (e.g. a spicy southwestern mix) and of course use whatever veggies you have on hand (e.g. asparagus instead of broccoli). See other substitution ideas at the bottom of the recipe.
Breakfast Scramble (serves 4-6)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (white button, crimini, or wild mushrooms)
- ½ head of cauliflower, grated/chopped fine
- ½ cake extra firm tofu, crumbled
- 1 red pepper, diced / 1-2 medium carrots, grated
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice(or olive juice)
- 1 bunch kale/spinach/chard/beet greens, roughly chopped OR 1 ½ cups broccoli florets
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
- ¼ – ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
- spice mix: 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes + 1 tsp curry powder + 1 tsp turmeric + 1/2 tsp ground cumin + 1/2 tsp sea salt/salt alternative + 1 1/2 tsp onion powder + 1 tsp dried oregano
- Red chili flakes/sri racha (hot sauce)/black pepper to taste
- Prepare all your ingredients so they are ready to add to the pan.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add about 1 tbsp water. Add onions and sauté until they start to soften up.
- Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released some of their water, and the mushrooms start to brown, 5-6 minutes.
- Add cauliflower and cook 3-4 more minutes.
- Add crumbled tofu and spice mix and mix well. When the mixture starts to dry out turn heat down to med-low and add the lemon/olive juice to deglaze the pan.
- Add red pepper/carrot, rehydrated and drained tomatoes, olives and finally the kale/spinach/broccoli. If the mixture is very dry at this point feel free to add 1-2 tbsp water or more lemon juice. Mix well.
- Put a lid on the whole thing and steam until the kale/spinach is soft (1-2 min) – or if you’re doing broccoli, until it is fork tender (4-5 min).
- Serve with salsa, guacamole, sauerkraut, homemade ketchup or hot sauce.
- Add some raw, grated beets/carrots/cabbage
- Serve on a bed of raw greens
- Use 1 cake tofu with ¼ or no cauliflower, or use all cauliflower and no tofu
- Use 1.5 cups shredded cabbage or broccoli/broccolini instead of kale
- Add other vegetables that you have (e.g. steamed butternut squash, zucchini, celery, Brussels sprouts, etc)
Who doesn’t love a good pancake recipe? And who says pancakes have to be unhealthy? Pancakes are another favourite weekend breakfast — and we make enough for leftovers for a second breakfast, too. This is my go-to recipe, inspired by Dreena Burton’s Whole Grain Chia Pancakes from her book Let Them Eat Vegan:
- 1 1/4 cups whole grain sprouted spelt flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour (I make my own in my blender)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- zest of 1 orange, divided (use half in the pancake mix and reserve the rest for garnish)
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 3/4 cups soy or other nondairy milk (plus more if the mixture gets too thick)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp aquafaba
Mix the dry ingredients together, whisking well. Do the same with the wet ingredients, and then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. While you are doing that preheat your non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Once the skillet is hot use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop the batter into the pan to form pancakes. Cook until you see small bubbles forming and the pancakes are starting to look dry in spots on the top. Flip the pancakes to lightly cook other side, about a minute. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding additional milk to thin the batter as needed. Garnish with orange zest and serve with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit!
I hope you enjoy these ideas, and this post. What are your favourite go-to breakfast ideas? And, remember, if you’re interested in more ideas and inspiration for making eating plant-based easy every day, join our upcoming series, here!