Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

I get so many good ideas from Instagram.  One of the girls I follow posted a photo of her Zucchini Oatmeal, and I just knew I had to make some and share it. I wish I could remember who it was and give her a shout out, but I didn’t mark her post.  🙁

I grew up on Zucchini Bread, and LOVE it.  This idea for breakfast sounded just perfect!

 

I found a recipe for overnight Zucchini Oatmeal on Pinterest, but I didn’t want to leave it overnight.  Instead, I made it like I would regular oatmeal.  The link for overnight recipe is here ===> RECIPE

As usual, I gathered my ingredients.  I didn’t grow up with raisins in my zucchini bread, but it sounded pretty good .  I decided to see what my sister had in her pantry and found orange flavored dried cranberries.  I decided to use those instead of raisins.  I also decided to use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of Cinnamon.

Clean and shred your zucchini, then just put the ingredients together and cook for 5 minutes. It’s delicious!  If you like zucchini bread, I highly recommend trying this out.  Also, if you have a picky eater, peal the squash first.  This is an easy way to sneak some veggies into their diet.  😉

I added a bit of Vanilla Creamer just before I ate it.  omnomnoms.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, regular or gluten free
  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 T raisins
  • 1 T ground flax
  • 1 T chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tsp cashew butter (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Bring to Boil.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Eat warm with vegan creamer.

 

 


Warm Breakfast Bowls

Good morning!  I took some time on Friday (when I was planning to post on my blog) to rest and handle the emotional consequences of selling my home of 16 years.  It’s funny.  I didn’t think it would hit me that hard, but I was pretty emotional and will admit to tears here and there this past week.

I talked about it in my YouTube Video here ====> Give Yourself a Break Sometimes

Today, like Friday, I wanted something warm and comforting for breakfast.  One of our go-to breakfasts is hot oatmeal or cream of wheat.  Both Bruce and I enjoy either or, so we make it often.  Today, he was sleeping in, so I cooked, but he will often let the dogs outside, bring iced coffee to my bedside, then make breakfast for the two of us.  When he cooks, all I have to do is add whatever ingredients I want to make mine extra special.  (He always likes his plain with sugar and milk.) When I cook, I tend to spice things up WHILE I am cooking.  More on that in a minute…

I like Quaker Oats, but Bob’s Red Mill Oats are great, too.  I also like Steel Cut or Irish Oats on occasion.  Of course, you can also make Farina (Cream of Wheat) in just a few minutes if you prefer a silkier hot breakfast bowl.  Neither of us had tried Cream of Wheat in years, since we were kids really, but we decided to see if we both still enjoyed it and sure enough it’s a huge hit for both of us in the morning.  I add the same types of ingredients to spice it up as I do for oatmeal.

For either oatmeal or cream of wheat, there are a few things you can do to make it special while cooking.  You can substitute half or all of the water with a nut milk.  If you do, watch it closely so it doesn’t burn, and also add a bit more milk than you would water.  I also always put a pinch of salt in.  If I am making Farina, I occasionally add a TBSP of sugar for two servings, when my sweet tooth is talking to me.  I also love to add a bit of vanilla extract to the mix.  I think it gives a lovely, homey feeling to the pot.  I would add cinnamon while I make it, but Bruce hates it, so I add it afterwards.  If your family would enjoy it, add it while cooking.  I think it blends better that way.  Look at this pot of yummy goodness cooking up:

These are the type of ingredients I keep in my pantry as toppings for oatmeal, cream of wheat, ice cream, yogurt, and fruit salad.

So, let’s talk about how to make oatmeal and cream of wheat extra special, rather than just a bowl of sugary blandness.  I usually do not add sugar to my oatmeal, with a few exceptions here or there of course.  For the most part, I add flavor, texture, and sweetness with berries, nuts, seeds, and sometimes chocolate syrup.  Oh, yeah, baby!  Here are a few of my favorite breakfast bowls from the last few months:

I called this one “Banana Split”.  On top of my oatmeal, I added freshly sliced strawberries and bananas, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.  Over that I added a drizzle of vegan chocolate syrup and a dollop of coco-whip.  It was amazing.  I also used these toppings over soy yogurt and almond ice cream that week.  🙂

This “Chunky Monkey” bowl combined bananas and peanut butter (a favorite combo of mine).  Then I added pistachios and chia seeds and topped it off with dried cranberries.  Om nom nom.

My “Spiced Apple” bowl has a combination of diced apples, raisins, peanut butter, cinnamon, and Vanilla Silk creamer over the top.  I can’t recommend this one highly enough.  It was amazing.

If I am every worried that I won’t use my berries in time, I throw them in the freezer.  That way I can add them to oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes or muffins later and they won’t go to waste. This bowl of farina helped me use up some of my frozen blueberries.  I added pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds.  I love the blue and green colors together.

I like the process of making my breakfast bowls look pretty.  This morning, I decided a “Berry Mandala” was what I needed.  I added nuts and seeds and some cacao nibs.  It looked beautiful both before and after I stirred it up.  I also added a little Vanilla Silk creamer to this one, because I wanted extra gooeyness (that’s a word, right?).

Last but not least, let’s admit that some mornings, you just want a quick hot bowl and don’t have time to stand over a pot for 5 minutes.  It’s perfectly okay to make instant oatmeal sometimes.  It may not be pretty, but it is still tasty and comforting. We’ll call this one the “Ugly Duckling”.

Do you have any favorite toppings for your hot breakfast bowls? I love trying new things!

 

 


Sunny Side Up Tofu Sandwich

I love breakfast.  It has always been my favorite meal of the day, even when I was a kid.  Since I have been in St. Augustine, I haven’t been making my usual loaded oatmeal bowls for breakfast. Sky isn’t a fan of oatmeal.  It’s a texture thing for her.  She’s been requesting open face egg sandwiches, since she still pescotarian.  Between taking care of her, running a blog and an online business, I’ve been pretty busy.   I wanted to try to make something for myself that wouldn’t be too far from what she is eating.  This saves me time in the morning, especially the days I am driving her to campus.  My solution was the Sunny Side Up Tofu Sandwich.  I’ve made it most mornings since I’ve gotten here, and really enjoy it.  I think it is going to be one of my new go-to breakfast ideas.

The nice thing about having this for breakfast is the balance of protein and healthy carbs.  I found a new brand of bread at Target called “Eureka!” and love both Sweet Baby Grains and Grainiac.  It makes a solid base for the sandwich so you only need one slice.  When prepared this way, the tofu has a nice mouth-feel and reminds me of a softly fried egg omelet when prepared this way.  I don’t have any of the Indian pepper a lot of vegan blogs are raving about to give the egg-flavor to the sandwich (probably because I can never remember the name of it).  Luckily, you really don’t need it, because the new Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise gives plenty of egg flavor to this sandwich.  If you use different bread or different tofu when you try this recipe that’s perfectly fine, but I highly recommend using Hellmann’s brand Vegan Mayonnaise if you are looking to mimic the flavor of an egg sandwich.

This meal takes about 5-10 minutes to make depending what you want on the side.  I’ve been playing with cucumber salad and tomatoes, broccoli, and Field Roast breakfast sausages.  I like savory sides with this sandwich personally.  You are going to need a toaster, a frying pan, and some paper towels to make this.  I start by slicing my tofu into approximately 1/2 inch slices, maybe a little thinner, but close.  I am not super neat about it and it still comes out just fine, so don’t worry if your cuts aren’t straight.  After this, I press the tofu between some folded paper towels to remove excess moisture.

After that, you will want to season your tofu.  I sprinkle the top side with salt, pepper, paprika, and turmeric.  I don’t measure, I just sprinkle.  If a clump of turmeric falls out, just spread it out a bit with your finger.  Place your tofu, seasoned side down, in a frying pan on medium-low heat.  I spray my pan with a bit of oil, so the tofu won’t stick.  While your tofu is frying, sprinkle the top side of your tofu with more of the same seasoning and toast up a slice of bread.

 

You want to fry your tofu until it has a nice golden brown look to it.  Then flip it and do the same to the other side.  Once you flip your tofu, add a small handful of non-dairy cheese on top so it starts to melt. It can take a bit for the cheese to melt, so I don’t wait.  If you have a lid for your pan, you can put it over the top.  That will speed up the melting process.   While you are waiting, pull your toast from the oven and spread a decent layer of mayo on it.

 

Once your tofu is golden brown on both sides and your cheese has melted, transfer your tofu onto your bread.  I pick up both pieces with my big spatula at the same time.  The tofu doesn’t stick if you put a little oil spray or butter in the pan.  The thing I like about the nasoya tofu I use it that two slices fit perfectly onto the square bread I use.  If you buy the bigger loaf with the rectangular shape, you may want to fry three slices of tofu instead of two.  After that, add your choice of sides and breakfast is served!

Ingredients:

  • Extra firm tofu, sliced and pressed
  • One slice grainy bread, toasted
  • Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo
  • Vegan Cheddar Shreds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric

Try using other spices or fresh herbs if you like.  I am going to try some garlic powder next time.  One morning, I added chopped cilantro to my sandwich. I also think layering thinly sliced cucumbers between the mayo and the tofu would be delicious.  It just occurred to me that I should try it with a vegan sausage patty someday.  Experiment with the idea and let me know how I can improve my recipe!