Egg-less Florentine

I just love the name of this dish and the word “Florentine”.  I picture eating this at a cozy bed and breakfast surrounded by beautiful countryside with no where I need to be but in that moment to enjoy every bite.

And of course this dish would be vegan :)

I wanted to come up with an easy egg-less way to make this with lots of colorful veggies minus the sauce.  It’s almost like an open face breakfast sandwich, that can really be eaten any time of the day.

The components consist of wonderfully dense and thick whole wheat artisan bread, slices of plump vine ripened tomatoes, sauteed garlic rainbow chard, tofu–which replaces the egg– lightly pan fried with tumeric and nutritional yeast, topped with sliced scallions and a dash of freshly ground pepper.

I chose to use tofu to replace the egg because the texture of fried tofu reminds me of the texture of fried eggs- lightly crisp on the outside and soft in the inside.

The combination of flavors, colors, and textures, makes for a healthy, easy, and flavorful dish!

Egg-less Florentine with Tofu + Rainbow Chard

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Easy Eggs Florentine.

Below are the ingredients, you can make as little or as much as you want depending on the number of servings you will need.

– whole wheat artisan loaf, thickly sliced
– vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced, lightly sprinkled with salt
– rainbow chard, washed and roughly chopped
– 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
– extra firm tofu, sliced, about 1/4″ thickness, pat dry with paper towels
– tumeric
– nutritional yeast
– scallions, sliced
– olive oil for cooking
– salt and pepper

The Rainbow Chard
Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan.  When heated, add the garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add the chard.  (If your pan won’t fit all your chard, start with a handful and as the chard cooks down continue to add more.)  Saute for a few minutes, then add a TBS or two of water to add a bit of moisture and steam.  Continue to cook until greens have wilted.  Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and give it a good stir.  Remove from heat and set aside.

The Tofu / The Bread
In the same pan, add some more oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle a little bit of tumeric and nutritional yeast into the oil and stir with a wooden spatula.  This will give the tofu a pretty yellow color.  Add the tofu.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Pan fry on each side for about 3 minutes, or until the outsides are crispy.

While you are cooking the tofu, toast the slices of bread.

Flip and repeat on the other side.  Once cooked, remove from pan and lay on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any access oil.

Assemble It

Start with your bread.  Add a slice of tomato on it.  Layer with a spoonful of the cooked chard.  Place the tofu on top.  Sprinkle with the scallions and a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt if desired.  Serve as is or sliced in half.

Breakfast in Bed

A round up of some beautiful and creative spreads for breakfast in bed.  Try one this Sunday for Mother’s Day!

Lovely lavender via Dreamy Whites
Add some beautiful color to the morning by adding a bouquet tucked into a re-purposed glass bottle or jar.  Love this tray as well; it looks like it is made out of wood and chicken wire.

Satisfy a craving for wanderlust via A Spoonful of Sugar Designs.
This post comes with a great tutorial and it’s easy to personalize with a map of a place that has special meaning or a future trip destination.

Breakfast bento box
Super cute and easy idea!  Grab a bento box at your local Mitsuwa, Nijiya, or other Asian market.  The different compartments are perfect to hold condiments and a variety of treats.  *If anyone knows who this photo belongs to, please let me know so I can give proper credit!  I cannot find the original photographer!

For the nature lover via Gray Works Interpretive Furniture Design
Visit their etsy shop to get your own beautiful wood tray and shop their other eco-friendly items that make for the perfect cozy addition to any kitchen.

A bit of moss via Dom In Stil
This blog is actually is in Slovenian but I was able to translate it into English.  It comes with a great tutorial for this green spread.  Add a bit of fabric and twine for the finishing touches!  If you aren’t able to translate it but would like the instructions, please send me an email at yummyyearproject(at)gmail(dot)com.

Another use for a crate via Buckets of Burlap
If you have an old wine crate lying around, upcycle it and transform it into this rustic bed tray.  This is one of my favorites– I am obsessed with revived crates and palettes.  A single bloom is the perfect contrast to the color and texture of the wood.

Freshly Squeezed: Carrot + Peach + Apple + Raspberry Juice

I am not a big fan of machines such as juicers, blenders, mixers, etc. because, well, to be very honest I just don’t want to wash any more dishes / parts if I don’t have to.  But all this equipment really does help to cut down on time– whether it’s prep work slicing vegetables into the perfect thickness each time or even helping us consume more things in a shorter amount of time.

Case in point?  The juicer.  I feel like there are SO many parts to this machine but it literally takes me like 2 minutes to turn all this fruit into juice and even less time for me to drink it all vs. if I had to eat it the old fashioned way by chewing it up.  And really, it didn’t take me that long to wash the parts and even if it did, it’s totally worth it for the delicious, freshly made juice you get!  I can’t think of a better way to start off the mornings than with a good dose of your fruits and veggies for the day.

But before I juiced everything up, I wanted to make sure to highlight all the beautiful colors and textures each ingredient had…

It’s a great way to add some color into your AM spread and a great Mother’s Day beverage for those mamas who don’t aren’t big coffee or tea drinkers.

I came across this combo of fruits and vegetables via Healthy-Life.  I changed the proportions a bit to make enough juice for the family and make sure the flavors were pretty equal.

Cheers!

Carrot + Peach + Apple + Raspberry Juice

You will need a juicer for this recipe.  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices.  You can check some out here– I did a quick amazon search for “juicers”.

Because I am drinking all the produce whole with the peel, I opted for organic ingredients, then made sure to scrub and wash everything.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

– 8 to 10 carrots, heads removed, cut in half if needed
– 4 to 5 peaches, stem and pit removed and sliced to fit into your juicer
– 4 to 5 gala apples, core/seeds removed and sliced to fit into your juicer
– 2 cups of raspberries

If you want to save the carrot pulp to make into a salad, muffins, or give to your pet, juice the carrots first then transfer the carrot pulp into an air tight container and refrigerate if not using right away.

If not, toss everything into the juicer and enjoy!

Cherries, Grains + Citrus for Breakfast

Cherries are my favorite fruit so I had to try this oatmeal recipe!  I loved how easy and delicious the Apple Harvest Oatmeal was (Rene from threetwentyeight also liked it- yay!) that I wanted to try out a different flavor that I can add to the morning mix.

I am also throwing in a citrus salad recipe because it’s so easy, adds beautiful color to any spread, and gives you another option for vitamin C when you don’t feel like the usual OJ.

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal

This is a vegan version of Ellie Krieger‘s recipe, found on TheFoodNetwork.com.

– 1 3/4 cups of water
– 1 cup oats
– a pinch of salt
– 1/4 cup dried cherries
– 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
– 2 TBS cherry jam, or to taste
– 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, plus more if desired

Place water, oats, salt, and cherries into a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until oats are cooked and soft.

Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla paste and the cherry jam.

Spoon into serving bowls, pour a bit of non-dairy milk on top of each one, and serve with extra jam and non-dairy milk.

Citrus Salad

I wanted to post this, even though it’s a very easy recipe because it’s such a delicious side and is a special treat when someone segments the slices!  You can drizzle with campari if it’s a bloody mary / mimosas kind of breakfast ;)

All you do is take some navel oranges, grapefruit, and blood oranges (I didn’t have blood oranges on hand but think the red color would be a pretty add), segment them (for a photo tutorial go here) then place them on a serving plate.  It’s a refreshing and colorful way to start off your day!

Molasses Pumpkin Muffins

I know it’s not fall anymore but pumpkin is good especially in muffin form anytime of the year!  After scanning through this recipe, I found myself searching the internet to answer a few questions that came up regarding the ingredients I would need:

1) What is the difference between sulphured and unsulphured molasses and are their any health benefits/risks between the two?

2) Are pumpkin seeds and pepitas the same thing?

After some googling (seriously what would I do without the internet), here are the answers, in case you have also been wondering the same thing!

Sulfured Molasses Vs. Unsulfured Molasses

The best answer I found was from The World’s Healthiest Foods.  To summarize…

– Sulfur dioxide is usually used to lighten the color of molasses and help extend shelf life.  It is also used to process the sugar cane when it has been harvested at an early stage.
– While there are no studies that show direct benefits or risks in connection with the sulfuring of molasses, we can gather that sugar cane allowed to sun-ripen and develop would make for a more natural food product than a sugar cane that is harvested too early.
– Sulfur dioxide has been identified as a key problematic substance involved with allergic reaction to sulfite in foods.
– On the environmental side, sulfur dioxide is a primary component in the production of acid rain and is a pollutant that raises much concern to environmental scientists.  The idea that a sugar can processing facility releasing more sulfer dioxide into the air does not sound like a plus for our environment (and there are already so many environmental issues- let’s not add to the problems!)

Natural whole foods that do not need to be additionally processed are always the best way to go in my opinion so using unsulfured molasses seems to be the better option for us as well as for the environment.

Pumpkin Seeds Vs. Pepitas


When I searched for “Pepita” and “Pumpkin Seed”, the same wikipedia result turned up:
“Pepita (from Mexican Spanishpepita de calabaza, “little seed of squash”) is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita).”

Also from The World’s Healthiest Foods:
“Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds”

So the final answer is, pumpkin seeds are the same as pepitas, although pepitas don’t always have to come from a pumpkin squash, they can come from other types of squash as well.  Since I can’t tell the difference/don’t mind a difference, I will be able to use the two seeds interchangeably and not wonder whether I am using the right thing or not!

With all THAT out of the way, let’s proceed to our very delicious, light and fluffy, nonsulfered, pepita sprinkled muffin recipe!

Pumpkin Muffins

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe found on TheFoodNetwork.com.

In a medium bowl place the following ingredients:
– 1 cup AP flour
– 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (if you want more recipes to use up your whole grain pastry flour, you can try these pecan cinnamon wafers or these pecan bars)
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground ginger
– 1/4 tsp ground cloves
–  1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl make:
– 2 egg replacers

You will also need:
– 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
– 3 TBS unsulfered molasses
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 1 cup canned pumpkin
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 3/4 vegan buttermilk (click here for the simple recipe)
– 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin/pepitas seeds

Preheat oven to 400F.  Lin a muffin pan with cups, set aside.

Whisk all of your dry ingredients in the medium bowl together, set aside.

To the egg replacers you have in your large mixing bowl, whisk in the sugar, molasses, and oil.  Mix well, then whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the vegan buttermilk.

Mix until just combined; do not over mix.

Fill the muffin cups up 3/4 full and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds/pepitas.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack then eat!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Here’s a good way to sneak some whole wheat flour into everyone’s lives– use it in this chocolate chip pancake recipe!  You can do 100% whole wheat flour or 50% whole wheat/50% AP flour.  Either way it is super yummy and so easy to make, you will never reach for that Bisquick box again!  You can even mix up the dry ingredients and store them in airtight containers so that when you are feeling pancake-y, all you have to do is add some liquid to that and you are good to go!

The only thing in the ingredient list you might not be familiar with if you are a new vegan/egg-free cooker is the egg replacer.  At first, I was against using egg replacers– more out of sheer laziness than anything!  I was like, “What is this replacer stuff– it sounds complicated and time-consuming!”  But in reality, it is easy as pie!  I recommend using the Orgran brand which is also gluten-free which you can find at Mother’s Market.  (I used to use Bob’s Red Mill but read an article saying they provided a school that practices a lot of testing on animals with a large amount of money, which is not something I support.)  One package lasts a very long time and all you have to do is add some water to it, mix it, and you have your egg replacer!  I look back and can’t believe I waited so long to start baking and cooking with this stuff!

So hopefully you aren’t as intimidated as I was to use egg replacers and now you can whip up some delicious pancakes!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This is a veganized version of LeeAnn Hansen’s recipe on allrecipes.com.

This recipe yields 6 pancakes, about 5″ round each.

– 1 cup whole wheat flour, or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup AP flour
– 1/8 cup sugar (just use your 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill half way)
– 1 TBS baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 egg replacer
– 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
– 1/8 cup vegetable oil
– 1/4 to 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
– vegetable oil, for cooking

Serve with:
– light agave nectar to use as syrup
– whipped non-dairy cream (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.

Add the egg replacer and all the wet ingredients.  Stir or whisk until well incorporated.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan.  With a ladle (which is what I recommend) or a large spoon, scoop some batter and drop onto the pan.  When you are dropping the batter, right as it hits the pan, you can make it into a round shape– but don’t  try to spread it after it has been on the pan for over 15 seconds or it will mess it up.

Let it cook for about 2 minutes, and until bottom edge seems firm and bubbles start to pop around the top edges.

With a flat spatula, flip the pancake over and cook for another 2 minutes or so.  Transfer to a plate.  Continue until you have used up all your batter.  (It only took me 5 tries to get the hang of it!)

Serve warm with agave nectar and dollops of whipped non-dairy cream.