OATMEAL BANANA BITES

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Change up your usual morning grub with these super easy and yummy oatmeal banana bites!  They are perfect on the go too, for those of you who eat in the car like I do or to take on a hiking trip.  It’s a great way to use up super ripe bananas so that you don’t have to toss them and also any trail mix or chocolate chips that you only have a small handful left of.  Get creative and try different ingredients!  This is also a fun recipe to make with kids, family, or roomies in the morning because it doesn’t require too much thinking before your cup of coffee and it’s really hard to mess up!

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Oatmeal Banana Bites

Makes about 12 – 15 cookies, 1″ rounds.

This is the base for the recipe:
-1 large or 2 medium bananas, very ripe (put them in a brown paper bag to help them get ripe)
– 1 cup rolled oats

Here are some suggestions for items to add in:
– ground cinnamon
– ground ginger
– chocolate chips
– peanut butter chips
– dried fruit
– nuts
– flax seed
– wheat germ (here’s why this is good for you)
– shredded coconut

(To mine I added ground cinnamon and ginger, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, wheat germ, and almond slivers.)

In a medium bowl, mash up your banana(s).

Add the oatmeal and mix well.

To the base add in any other items you’d like.  Mix well and make sure you don’t add too much where the cookies won’t hold.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if using foil, lightly oil so nothing sticks).

Shape the cookies into bite sized rounds with a spoon or with your hands (because it’s more fun that way).  Place on the baking sheet. *I try to make sure that the bottom of each bite is mostly oatmeal and doesn’t have chocolate chips or other things that can easily burn before putting them on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350F.

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

BDAY BREAKFAST TOFU CHORIZO SCRAMBLE + VEGAN MOFO

I am really excited to be a part of Vegan Mofo this year and also that it is happening during my birthday month which is very appropriate because I love being and cooking vegan!

Vegan Mofo 2013

In case you don’t know what Vegan Mofo is, it stands for Vegan Month Of Food.  This year it starts on Sept. 1st!  VeganMogo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage to NaNoWriMo.  The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about anything vegan food related.  The goal is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month.  “As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.”

It seems to make sense that I signed up to be a part of it this year, because my first blog was based on the idea of cooking and baking through 365 vegan recipes in a year!  This month is looking pretty busy but I am shooting for the 20 times a month.  Anything vegan related works for a post so that helps– hopefully I can share some yummy vegan restaurants and products in addition to recipes!

My mom actually was in labor with me 29 Labor Days ago, and I feel so grateful for all the love and thoughtful gifts I have already received– one being a HUGE bag of vegan goodies from my good friends from The Lange Foundation, Megan, Julie, and Sara!  It really has been so awesome to be able to work with such a great group of people– I have never loved a job as much as I love days that I spend at Lange.  It’s the best combo of people friends and animal friends :)  I also have to throw in here that shopping at Whole Foods really stresses Megan out, so she went above and beyond to find me all kinds of vegan goodies there!  I love you guys!

My vegan loot

{My vegan loot via Instagram!}

I’ve been meaning to try Upton’s Naturals for awhile now, because the mustache man packaging always catches my eye.  Megan got me the Chorizo flavored seitan as well as a block of tofu so it got me thinking of doing a breakfast scramble!  This is really easy to make and a delicious way to start off the day!

Upton's Naturals Mustache Man

Happy Labor Day / Thanks Mom For Being in Labor on Labor Day / Happy Vegan Mofo Month!

PS:  Megan bought the Upton’s also because the mustache man caught her eye!

Vegan Breakfast Scramble

Vegan Tofu + Chorizo Seitan Scramble

The below recipe yields breakfast for 2 :)

– 1/2 block of extra firm tofu
– 1/2 a package of Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan (the seitan is seasoned well and has a slight spice to it so I don’t add any additional seasonings to the dish)
– 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
– 1/2 small red onion, diced
– 2 cubes of Dorot’s crushed garlic
– 1 tsp nutritional yeast
– 1/2 tsp tumeric
– oil for cooking
– 4 pieces of hash brown, I use the frozen kind from Trader Joe’s (optional)
– 4 pieces of toast (optional)

The ingredients

LOVE Upton's Natural's packaging!!

{I love Upton’s packaging!}

Prepare the tofu by rinsing and draining it when you remove it from the package.  Slice the 1/2 block of tofu into about 1/2 inch thick slices.  Lay them on a piece of paper towel and press another paper towel on top to absorb any excess water.  The drier the tofu the more crumbly and scrambled egg like texture it will be.  (You can let the tofu sit like this while you prepare the veggies.)  When you are ready to use the tofu, break it up with a fork until it is in various bite sized pieces.

"Scrambled" Tofu

Pop the hash browns in the oven to bake at 375-400F until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

While the hash browns are cooking, in a frying pan, heat up some oil.  Add the garlic, onions, and bell peppers.  Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the crumbled tofu, tumeric, and yeast.  Gently stir and mix until the tofu is evenly coated.

Add the seitan.  Gently mix again and cook until the seitan is heated through.

The scramble is now ready to serve!

Does it look like real scrambled eggs?

If you are using the bread and toast, this is how I assemble it (I let the scramble cool for a few minutes after it is finished cooking and toast the bread during that time):  I remove the crusts from the toast (and my dogs will help me make sure they don’t go to waste!).  Then I cut them in half lengthwise, then again horizontally (so you should have 4 pieces now).  I cut the hash browns in half to fit on the slices of bread.  The hash browns go on the toast and I top each with spoonfuls of the scramble.  Serve the extra scramble on the side.  Enjoy!

Time for breakfast!

Figgy + Fruity + Nutty Granola

I was trying to think of a way to use up the leftover figs I had and came across a great granola recipe to use it it!  Granola is delicious and easy to throw together– ever since I tried my hand at it, I keep some plain oats around– in case I want to make a batch or in case I accidentally burn a batch haha.  (They cook so fast at the end!)

Enjoy it as a snack, in cereal form, or make a parfait with some fruit and soy yogurt!

Figgy + Fruity + Nutty Granola

Based on Ina Garten’s homemade granola recipe found on FoodNetwork.com.  She was inspired by Sarah Chase’s Open House Cookbook.  Just switched out the honey for agave nectar.  Feel free to take out and add what you don’t like / like!

– 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I get mine in bulk at Whole Foods)
– 1 cups shredded coconut (original recipe calls for sweetened but I opted for not sweetened coconut to cut down on sugar)
–  1 cup sliced almonds
– 3/8 cup vegetable oil
– 1/4 to 1/2 cup agave nectar
– 1 cup figs, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into bite-sized pieces (mine is without)
– 1/2 cup dried cherries
– 1/2 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews (I didn’t have any on hand so used walnuts instead)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, and almonds.  Add the oil and agave nectar.  Stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula until everything is evenly coated.

Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1 inch sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil.

Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes, until golden bring.  Make sure to stir occasionally and check every 20 minutes or so to make sure it doesnt burn!

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, continuing to stir occassionally.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Store in an airtight container.

Breakfast Salad

I wanted to try to incorporate more greens into the breakfast scene and to try something different– not the usual omelet recipes that are suggested or a dish with potato as the main veggie (I LOVE potatoes but want to switch it up!)  A salad for breakfast might sound a little weird, but I came across a post in Culinate by Cindy Burke that looked light, tasty, and fresh.  It’s a perfect break if you’ve had too much sweet and/or savory recently.

The original recipe contains egg and cheese which I left out.  Like the egg-less Florentine, I think tofu– lightly pan-fried– would be a good substitute, or maybe soft tofu which would have a similar texture to a soft boiled egg.  I will have to try that next time.

Either way, give this refreshing breakfast salad a chance and let me know what you think!

Breakfast Salad

The quantities below serve about 2.

This recipe is based on Cindy Burke’s breakfast salad recipe.

Cut all the follow veggies into bite-sized cubes:
– 1 large cucumber, peeled
– 1 bell pepper
– 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes

– freshly ground pepper, to taste
– salt, to taste
– olive oil or flaxseed oil
– mild rice wine vinegar…I didn’t have any so I used sushi rice vinegar– not sure what the differences/similarities are but it tasted good lol
– a spoonful of flaxseed or sunflower seeds

– handfuls of watercress, peppercress, or lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces

Place all your cut veggies into a large bowl.  Drizzle with the olive oil/flaxseed oil and rice wine vinegar– just enough to add a bit of moisture and lightly coat the veggies.   Sprinkle in a bit of salt and mix well.

In a large bowl or in each individual bowl: place a generous handful of the leafy greens to create a nice bed for the salad.

Scoop the dressed veggies on top.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and top with the flaxseed/sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!

To save time in the AM, you can prep all the veggies, toss it in the dressing and refrigerate (don’t add the leafy greens or they will wilt with the dressing).  All you have to do then is mix with the greens, top with the seeds and pepper, and you are good to go!

Date + Fig Scones + Almond Milk + Orange Marmalade

Happy Mother’s Day!

One of my mom’s favorites are scones!  I got busy in the kitchen this morning and mixed, baked, blended, and boiled to make a batch of fig and date scones as well as raw almond milk–

– and a quick batch of organic orange marmalade.

Her favorite flowers are freesias and I was able to find a beautiful pink bouquet at Trader Joe’s the night before.  I split the bunch up between three recycled glass jars and the buds are slowly blooming as they adorn the dining room table.

The marmalade complemented the scones well and the unsweetened almond milk was the perfect match for the two.

I hope you are having a wonderful mother’s day with your loved ones and enjoying the rest of this weekend!

Date + Fig Scones

This recipe is adapted from Good Life Eat’s basic scone recipe.  It is perfect to get creative with and add in different juices, fruits, and zests, as well as experiment with different flours (you can make a gluten-free version).  I wanted to use some of the fruits that are in season which is how I came up with adding fig and dates to it.

– 2/3 cup sugar
– 2 cups whole wheat flour
– 1 cup oat flour
– 1 cup white flour
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup cold vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
– 2 egg replacers
– 3/4 cup buttermilk
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 to 1 cup of dried figs, chopped
– 1/2 to 1 cup of dried dates, chopped
– 1 1/2 TBS cinnamon

In a large bowl combine the sugar, flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Cut the vegan butter into the flour mixture.

In the middle of the dry ingredients, make a well.  Add the egg replacers, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Stir until starting to come together, then add the dried fruit.  Continue to stir until well combined, or use one hand to combine the ingredients if easier (which is what I did.)

Knead in the bowl a few times.  The dough will be slightly sticky, but you should be able to work with it easily.  If you feel it’s too sticky, sprinkle a little bit of flour on it and on your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into small balls in equal size.  I didn’t make mine too perfect since I like the natural textures and look of the dough.  place on the parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for 15-25 minutes (it took mine closer to 25 minutes to finish baking).

Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

If you want to freeze the extras:  cool them completely and place in a ziplock bag.  Freeze for up to a month.

Almond Milk

Making anything from fresh after having a box/canned/bottled version of it is always amazing!  It’s funny how different fresh almond milk tastes to me vs. the kind you get in the stores.  I made a very pure version– didn’t add any sweeteners or other flavorings, it’s just raw almonds and water.

This recipe does require you to soak the almonds, overnight if possible, so I soaked the almonds the night before to make sure they were ready for me in the morning.

A friend of mine had asked before about the fat content in almond milk so I did a little research.  Although it has more fat content than soy milk and skim milk, it actually has fewer calories than both!  Unsweetened almond milk may contain about 40 calories, while soy milk and skim milk has about double the amount.  Almond milk (as well as soy milk) also contains fats that are good for you, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  Those help to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and protects against cardiovascular and neurological diseases.  It also contains a good dose of dietary fiber, between 1 to 4 grams depending on the richness and fortification of the milk.  It is also a great source of B vitamins.  With all that said, I think you should try to make some yourself and reap all these benefits!  Also, when you make it at home you can make sure you use organic almonds and control the amount of sweetness you’d like in it.

I used a Vita-mix for this recipe which definitely makes the job a lot easier, but you can also use a regular blender.  You will also need cheesecloth if you want your milk to be very smooth and free of any almond bits.

Last comment– it’s kind of cool to me that you blend this up and even though the almonds have that brownish skin, the milk is white!  I just thought about that as I was looking through the photos.  Anyway, try this out and enjoy having fresh almond milk in your fridge :)

As with all things fresh with no added preservatives,  consume as soon as possible and if needed keep in the fridge in an airtight jar, bottle, or container, and drink or use within the next few days.

-1 cup of organic raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
– 3-5 cups of water
– agave nectar (optional)

Drain the raw almonds.  Place in blender along with 3 to 5 cups of water.  (You can start with 3, see how you like the thickness and add more water if needed.  Because I didn’t strain the milk, I add more water to thin it out a bit.)

Blend until smooth, or as smooth as possible.

If you want to smooth it out even more, pour the milk through cheese cloth.  (You can save the almond meal and bake with it or add it to a salad.)

Serve as is or chilled.  Enjoy!

Orange Marmalade

An easy way to make fresh marmalade!  I also like this because you can make a small amount and finish it, instead of having a jar lingering in your fridge for months when you just needed / wanted a little bit.

A food processor will make this recipe a bit easier to make, but is not necessary.

This recipe is from Food.com by carol in orlando.

– 1 organic orange, whole, washed very well
– 1/2 cup of sugar  (I don’t like things too sweet but if you do, you may want to add more sugar)
– 2 TBS of water

Take your clean orange and cut off both ends.

Cut into larger chunks to be placed in a food processor until the orange is in tiny pieces, or finely chop by hand.

Place the orange, sugar, and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Let cool and serve or place in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.