Easy, healthy banana chia seed pancakes

Anyone else go through loads of bananas?!  I buy a bunch a week and wait patiently until they’re spotty enough to do stuff with – banana bread, frozen for smoothies and nice cream, and of course – pancakes.

You can make pancakes as “bad” or as “good” for you as you like.  These happen to be pretty good for you, consisting of bananas, chia seeds and oats, so I give you full permission to have as many as you want 😉 Of course, the toppings will determine how healthy you want to go.  You know me, can’t have a vegan treat without SOME kind of chocolate on it…

untitled-3148

This is an easy peasy recipe, and great if you want to impress that special someone before they head off to do the walk of shame (oi oi!).  Really high fibre content, and the protein ain’t that bad either (approximately 30 grams + in total).  But who cares about that stuff?  They’re bloody tasty, and that’s all that matters.

untitled-3144.jpg

Ingredients

1 cup oats

1 cup plant milk (I use Good Hemp in this recipe as it’s nice and sweet)

1/3 cup wholemeal flour (or plain if that’s all you have)

2 tsp baking powder

1 medium banana (ripe and spotty please!)

2 TBsp chia seeds

Oil for cooking

Instructions

Add all the ingredients (apart from the oil) to your food processor and blend until fully combined

Leave the mix to settle for about half an hour in the fridge (this isn’t necessary but it makes your pancakes less chewy)

Heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan on medium high heat

Add a couple of tablespoons of the batter to the heated pan and form into small pancakes

Once the batter starts to bubble and looks cooked through on the side facing you, it’s time to turn it over (or flip if you’re feeling confident!)

Cook until browned and keep warm in the oven on an oven safe dish while you’re waiting for the remaining pancakes to cook

Serve with strawberries, chocolate sauce (Sweet Freedom Choc Shot is THE ONE), blueberries, coconut chips, more banana, maple syrpup or whatever the hell you feel like… and enjoy!

Time to make: 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, 10 minutes to let the batter settle, 10 minutes to cook = 25 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1.5, so simple to make, basically just mix, sit and cook/flip

#nowplaying : First Aid Kit – Fireworks

Tofu “eggs” benedict

I think I’ve probably only ever had two or three eggs benedict meals ever before going vegan.  There was always the worry that when you order eggs at a café or restaurant they’re going to be too snotty and gross (EW), and that had forever put me off ordering them.  Plus being vegan, it’s now something that just isn’t on the wish list where brunch is concerned.

Have no fear – tofu is here.

It would be a pretty sad state of affairs if tofu wasn’t vegan, wouldn’t it just?!  Useful for so many things, and depending on what herbs and spices you throw at it, it can be super tasty as well.  Enter stage left – tofu benedict *audible gasps*

untitled-2946
JUICY

No snotty bits on these benny’s, and if you really wanna go crazy you can add some healthy stuff like asparagus or spinach into the mix.  I used a round drinking glass to cut out the tofu shapes, and used the leftover firm tofu to make the hollandaise sauce.  Using silken tofu for the sauce would be preferable, but if you’re out to save money and cut waste, then using the offcuts of the firm tofu still works well here.  Just have a good blender and you’re golden.

This brunch isn’t a quick and easy one, there is plenty of prep to do.  You can go without the bacon (SAVAGE), but if you want to whip some up for this, I would suggest using the always delicious Gaz Oakley of Avant Garde Vegan’s aubergine bacon recipe, found here.  Alternatively you could try my rice paper bacon recipe, found here.

untitled-3530
So much plant protein, so little time…

The tofu will also need a good hour or two marinating time, so add that into the equation.  I prefer to marinate the night before so the tofu is ready to grill in the morning.  You can also prep the hollandaise the night before and heat up in a small saucepan or carefully in a covered dish in the microwave.

Without further ado, behold, vegan tofu benedict *crowd cheers*

Serves two (or one hungry person)

Ingredients

Tofu “eggs”

1 x 280g pack Tofoo naked tofu, drained

¼ cup soy sauce (or tamari)

2 x TBsp oil

1 x TBsp agave

2 x cloves crushed garlic

¼ cup water

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Hollandaise sauce

1/2 cup tofu (I use the leftover from making the “eggs” – silken tofu works better but cutting down on food waste is the goal for me!)

1 TBsp lemon juice

1 TBsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp salt

dash of cayenne pepper

dash of turmeric

2 TBsp olive oil

Instructions

 

Tofu

Depending on the shape of your tofu block (they come in all shapes and sizes!) slice the block into 1.5cm thick slices.  I usually get three slices out of one block of Tofoo tofu

Grab a large drinking glass (around 10cm or so in diameter) and cut a circle out of each slice of tofu

Place the leftover tofu aside to use for the hollandaise sauce

Add the remaining ingredients to a shallow dish, big enough to lay the tofu circles in one flat layer

Mix the ingredients well, then dip the tofu into the mix and ensure the tofu is coated as much as possible

Cover the dish with cling film (or a lid if you have one that fits) and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours, minimum one hour

While you’re waiting for the tofu to marinade, get a start on the hollandaise!

Once suitably marinated, remove from the fridge and turn over again to coat more fully

Heat a non-stick grill pan (or just a fry pan if you don’t have a grill pan) to medium heat and add the tofu

Add any remaining marinate to the pan, or you can use a pastry brush to brush the remainder onto the top of the tofu

Once one side is sufficiently browned, turn over the tofu and repeat

 

Hollandaise

Microwave the tofu until just warm.  DO NOT over heat!

Add tofu and remaining ingredients apart from the oil, to a food processor.  Blend until combined.

While blending, slowly add the olive oil until all is combined.

If you need to re-heat you can do so in the microwave, but just keep an eye on it.

Assemble your toasted muffins with a tofu “egg”, steamed asparagus (or spinach) and a dollop of hollandaise sauce.

Serve alongside beans, tomato, vegan bacon, hash browns, or whatever vegan hot breakfast foods you like… and enjoy!

Time to cook: 15 minutes prep, one hour at least marinating, 10 minutes cooking = 1 hour and 25 minutes, (or 25 minutes not including marinating time)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3, fairly easy recipe but it has two parts and marinating takes aaaaaages.

#nowplaying Kane Strang – My Smile Is Extinct

Tofu Shakshuka

Oh boy do I have an awesome recipe to share with you guys today.

untitled-2576

 

I’ve always seen shakshuka online and out and about, and thought the dish itself looked awesome, but the whole egg idea… ughhhh, no thanks.  That’s where tofu is your best friend – reliable, versatile and tasty when cooked and spiced properly.  Cauldron organic original tofu works best in this recipe, and there is no need to squeeze out the excess liquid either, just open the packet and straight into the blender.  Easy.

Not a difficult dish to prepare, and all the ingredients can be found in any good vegan pantry!

untitled-2573

This shakshuka has a bit of spice to it, as I LOVE heat, but feel free to dial down the spice if you’re not a fan.  Serve with some fresh, crusty, buttered bread and your brunch life is complete.

untitled-2577

Ingredients

1 pack Cauldron Organic Original tofu

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small white/brown onion, diced

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp hot chilli powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp hot paprika (or sub sweet paprika if you’re not a heat fan!)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g each)

2 TBsp tomato paste

1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved

small handful of fresh parsley

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200C.

Add the drained tofu, nutritional yeast and a few cracks of black pepper to a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

untitled-2541.jpg
Blended tofu, ready to dollop

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet and when hot, add the garlic and peppers.

Sauté the onions and peppers on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Ensure they don’t burn.

Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute.

Add the spices, sugar and thyme to the pan and stir to combine.

untitled-2554.jpg
Spice up yer life

Add the olives, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet and mix well.

Allow the mix to simmer for five minutes.

Take a large tablespoon of the tofu mix and carefully drop it into the skillet, one at a time.   You should end up with about six evenly spaced dollops of the tofu mix in the skillet.

untitled-2558.jpg
Plop

Carefully cover the skillet with a lid (or tin foil if you don’t have an oven-friendly lid) and place in the oven to cook for 10 minutes.  If you don’t have an oven-friendly skillet it will be fine to leave it on the hob for 15 minutes or so on low heat, then brown the tofu under the grill afterwards.

After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the lid and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the tofu is browned on top.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cracked pepper, more kalamata olives and some fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Time to cook: 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking = 40 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, relatively simple, just make sure you don’t dunk the tofu too far in the mix, and keep an eye on your tofu when it’s browning

#nowplaying: The Districts – If Before I Wake

 

Berry baked oats

It’s that time of year when smoothies for breakfast every day just won’t cut it anymore.  TOO COLD mate.  I get bored of porridge every day too, so here’s a little twist on porridge, using most of the same ingredients.  Sneaky.

It’s a good idea to make this ahead of time if you’re wanting to eat it during the week and you’re not a homeworker/homemaker, as it takes a while in the oven.  Luckily you can freeze this into portions and stick them in the oven while you have your morning shower.  It’ll be ready to go when you’re all fresh and lovely out of the shower (after slopping some vegan vanilla yogurt on top, natch).

img_6726

Berries are brilliant for you, and there is very little difference between frozen and fresh as far as nutrient density goes.  I keep a pack of blueberries and one of raspberries in the freezer at all times – perfect for smoothies or these types of recipes.  The oats and chia seeds will give you a fiber kick (oooh-er!), the flax seeds your daily Omega 3 intake and the milk your B12/calcium needs.  SORTED guys.

Ingredients

1 cup oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp flax seeds

2 Tbsp agave

1 cup plant milk (I used hemp for this recipe, but feel free to use soy/oat/hazelnut etc.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups frozen berries (I used one cup blueberries, one cup raspberries)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190C/375F

Grease a baking dish with butter/oil – my baking dish was 30cm x 20cm

Grab a small bowl and add the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, chia and flax seeds and stir to combine

Grab another bowl and add the agave, milk and vanilla extract and stir to combine

Place one cup of the berries onto the greased baking dish and spread evenly

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish, being careful to distribute evenly

Pour the milk mixture into the baking dish

Add the remainder of the berries on top, distributing evenly

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through

Serve with yogurt, cream or by itself!

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes in the oven = 55 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, not too difficult, just make sure you get an even spread of everything in your baking dish!

#nowplaying Angel Olsen – Shut Up, Kiss Me

 

Hash brown cakes

IMG_3281

Hands up who loves hash browns! *Raises both arms*

I’m a sucker for anything potato based, so last weekend it was time to attempt some home made hash browns.  I think I did ok.

This recipe was adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Crispy Hash Brown Haystacks (I’m always on their site – if you don’t already know of them then get involved!), which looked amazing so I thought I’d give it a go.

Next time I won’t use purple spuds (or I’ll peel them) as the mix ended up having a slightly grey tinge to it.  Not the most appealing colour when working with food.  They were delicious though, and I almost managed to save some for breakfast the next day… almost.

IMG_3289

Ingredients

1 – 2 medium grated potatoes (I used Albert Bartlett) – ensure you squeeze as much liquid out of the potatoes you can before using.

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup frozen corn

1 Tbsp melted vegan butter

1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 190C (375F).

Grease a 6 muffin tray with oil/butter.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly to combine.

Divide the mix evenly between the six muffin tins and press down gently.  Don’t worry if there are bits of spud sticking up – they’ll be crispy and yum after cooking!

IMG_3270

Place muffin tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 220C (425F) and bake for a further 10 minutes or more, until sufficiently browned.

Remove from the oven and let them rest for five minutes.  Run a knife around the edges to ensure the hash browns will slide easily out of the muffin tin.

Serve immediately or freeze for use at some other time.

Makes six hash browns

Time to make: 5 minutes grating the spuds, 5 minutes mixing/spooning into muffin tray, 35 minutes in the oven = 45 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2 – grating the spuds takes some time and ensuring the hash browns are cooked evenly takes patience!

#nowplaying The Smiths – Ask

Vegan bacon

IMG_3230

Vegan bacon

Vegan bacon

Vegan bacon

VEGAN. BACON.

Why it took me so long to try this recipe I have no idea.  I’ve tried it now, it works, and it’s delicious.

Can’t say that it tastes exactly like bacon (that might be a bit strange) but the flavour does taste like a cross between crispy bacon and pork scratchings.

I KNOW.

IMG_3233
I ate you. You were GOOD.

I adapted this from Edgy Veg‘s recent recipe (check out the accompanying YouTube video – she’s hilarious), because hot damn does that girl make some amazing food.

So now I’m going to put “bacon” on potato salads, in burgers, in sandwiches and in my mouth just as is.  Like I was doing all afternoon when I made these!

 

Ingredients

4 x rice paper wrappers – I used Blue Dragon spring roll wrappers

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce/tamari

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)

1/4 tsp hot paprika

sprinkle of black pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 210C (400F)

Combine all ingredients apart from the rice paper in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Prepare another shallow bowl with some water. Set aside next to the marinade.

Prepare an oven rack lined with baking paper and place next to the marinade, on the other side of the bowl of water.

Lay two of the rice paper sheets on top of each other and cut into thick strips, or use scissors and carefully cut back-to-back.

IMG_3218

Take the two back to back strips and dip them into the water together and ensure they are coated, allowing the excess water to run off (note here – Edgy Veg uses a pastry brush instead of dipping – use that technique if you feel more comfortable!)

Now dip the back to back strips in the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to run off.

IMG_3223

Carefully place the strips (still together) on the baking paper.

IMG_3224

Repeat with the remainder of the strips until all are covered with water/marinade.  Give the marinade a whisk every so often to prevent the ingredients from separating.

Place in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes.  Keep an eye on them though as they can burn easily.

I like mine quite crispy so left them in for about 9 minutes in total.  I was in and out of the oven marveling over them every couple minutes though 😉

 

Makes enough bacon for 10 strips (enough for two to three sandwiches without going overboard! I totally suggest doubling the recipe because you’ll be eating these all day…)

Time to make: 20 minutes prep, 10 minutes in the oven = 30 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2.5, it’s a bit fiddly and has some ingredients that a lot of people might not have to hand

#nowplaying Mystery Jets – Bubblegum

Smoothie bowls

 

IMG_2697
Spirulina BABY

Summer is pretty much here (in the Northern Hemisphere in any case) so it’s time to use spotty bananas for smoothie bowls rather than banana bread.

You know how easy it is to make smoothie bowls?  SUPER easy.

The best thing about smoothie bowls is you can put in it whatever you want.  See a recipe you want to try but it has YUCKY spinach in it?  Don’t put it in.  See a recipe you want to try but you want to put raspberries in instead of blueberries? DO IT.

The base of any good smoothie bowl is frozen bananas.  When your ‘nanas get those brown spots on their skin – peel them, chop into bite sized pieces and freeze in a container.

IMG_2615
Blueberry BEHAVE

 

Don’t feel limited to what you can and can’t put in a smoothie bowl, because the possibilities really are endless.

Pack in as many fruit and veggies as you can, and add whatever toppings you like.

Ingredients

3 x frozen bananas, thawed for 20 minutes if you have time

1 x cup frozen blueberries (or fresh – I find frozen gives more of a purple colour to the smoothie)

1 x teaspoon ground flaxseed (a great source of Omega 3 for vegans)

1/2 cup leafy green veggies (try spinach, kale, lettuce or even avocado – mix it up)

1/2 cup hemp/soy/almond/hazelnut milk

Method

Add all of the ingredients to a blender/food processor and process until smooth.

Scrape down the sides as and when needed.

Add more milk if needed – don’t add too much as you don’t want it to go sloppy.  Be patient with the blending process as it might take a few pulses/stop starts to get it mixed thoroughly, and for the bananas to go creamy.

Transfer to a small bowl and add your favourite toppings.

Toppings

I’ve used a variety of the below toppings before, but use whatever you like:

  • Fruit – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, kiwifruit, oranges (all can be fresh or frozen), dried goji berries, cranberries or coconut (dessicated or fresh)
  • Seeds – sunflower, chia, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, buckwheat (seeds are also a great source of Omega 3, plus fiber and protein)
  • Other fun stuff – granola, cacao nibs, spirulina or matcha (SO green) or chocolate/chocolate sauce

 

Makes 1 smoothie bowl

Time to make: 5 minutes in the blender + 5 minutes assembly = 10 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 1, just blend and go!

#nowplaying The Family Rain – Every So Often EP