The simple breakfast recipe idea came to me while I was working out this morning.  Well, that is not 100%  accurate.  About a week ago I saw a picture on Instagram that featured charred corn in a salsa for a taco.  Since that day I have been thinking about what I wanted to do with the two ears of corn I had.  I kept going back to a black bean and corn salsa to include in a wrap.  I tossed this around idea for a bit, but then realized that had been done and I was not in the right frame of mind for a taco/wrap.  I wanted something simple and I have an ever growing love of breakfast.  As I was grunting and sweating the simple breakfast recipe of corn cakes came to mind.

I could shave the corn and add it to a batter that included cornmeal.  Then the mind started to wander.  Do you want to add black beans?  What about herbs?  Maybe some hot sauce?  I fought back these thoughts as I wanted THE simple breakfast recipe and nothing could be simpler or tastier than a corn cake.

Of course, after making the corn cakes and then subsequently devouring them I received and email from Active with 10 of their simple breakfast recipe ideas.  I clicked on the next arrow as fast as I could to see if the corn cake was one, but somehow The Google didn’t tie my thinking to the authors of the article in time to get the simple breakfast recipe of my mind to them.  And they say The Google knows everything……I digress.

Lucky for you after posting the picture of the corn cakes to InstagramTwitter and Facebook (I was proud of having come up with the simple breakfast recipe……obviously) the engagement from the followers of those platforms was in the form of a request for the recipe.  Not being one to deny the people what they want I put together the recipe for you.  If you can come up with a breakfast recipe that is simpler than this I want to see it (and no toast does not count.)

I hope you enjoy this breakfast (or for lunch or for dinner) as much as I did.  If you decide to make the meal please click on the link above for Facebook and post your creation there.

Published in Breakfast Recipes

Oatmeal is a favorite meal of endurance athletes, but typically it is only eaten for breakfast.  The other notion that is attached to oatmeal is that it is just a lumpy mess that people eat just because it is good for them.  To that they will add all sorts of ‘bad’ food thus removing all the healthy benefits that oatmeal brings.  Last week I had the idea that oatmeal should be something more than just a meal to eat at breakfast or a mushy bowl of “I just need to eat this as quickly as I can.”

In the past I have made pasta using spinach or kalamata olives so as I was thinking about how to make oatmeal a dinner meal the notion that it could be made into a pasta struck me.  Why not get oat flour and use that to make pasta?  Or taking rolled oats and blending them into a flour would work as well.  Once I had that idea in my head it was all about what do I eat with my oatmeal.  Cacao nibs, goji berries, bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, strawberries, nut butter……the possibilities were endless.  It was just about getting into the kitchen.

Yesterday when I got home from my run I wanted to make it but knew it would take some time to make and I was hungry so I made oatmeal waffles and saved the oatmeal past for dinner.  I was in the middle of texting withMandy when I was eating and told her to hold onto her hat for the picture of my dinner.  Her response to the picture and the taste of the food confirmed for me that it was a recipe that I needed to share.

Published in Breakfast Recipes
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 04:44

Quinoa Baked French Toast Breakfast Recipe

Quinoa is a staple in many diets today whether you are vegan / vegetarian or a carnivore.  Since it is not a grain it fits into the No Sugar, No Grain lifestyle but unfortunately it is not Paleo based on what I read.  That being said you can make your own choices on what you want to put into your body and I for one will choose to consume quinoa. 

I was inspired to get quinoa back into my diet after reading this article from Food Republic that showed 10 different things you didn't know about quinoa.  With this article in mind I made extra quinoa for this baked french toast recipe.  As it turned out I am beyond happy that I did so and now have a base for making this meal the night before and then re-heating for post workout recovery meals.  This is also a beginner's recipe so feel free to add fruit and honey to it.  Essentially treat this as any french toast breakfast you would make. Here is the recipe for the Quinoa Baked French Toast that I so thoroughly enjoyed on Tuesday morning.  Please note that this recipe is for twice as much quinoa as you are going to use for the breakfast recipe, but it is difficult to get quinoa correct with only 1/4c dry.  Make 1/2c and then use 1/2 for dinner like in this photo and then use the remaining for the french toast.

Quinoa Baked French Toast Nutritional Information:

394 calories, 50g Carbs, 16g Fat, 13g Protein, 4g Fiber

Quinoa Baked French Toast For Breakfast Or Recovery? Which Do You Choose?

Published in Breakfast Recipes
Thursday, 25 July 2013 08:22

Soup: It's Not Just For Bowls Anymore

Soup is something we associate with winter or cold dreary rainy days.  You turn to soup for comfort and to warm you up.  You see that bowl of soup and the steam coming off the top and immediately you are transferred to a different time.  A time when you were a kid and maybe that soup was tomato soup accompanied by a grilled cheese.

Never has hot soup been associated with summer.  Who wants to slurp on soup when it is 100* out with 100% humidity?  Just thinking about it is making me sweat but lucky for you soup doesn’t have to just come in a bowl or be chilled in order to be enjoyed in the summer. After a long time of trial and error, as well as forgetting about it, I came up with soup that can be served in the summer and be consumed without utensils.

How can this be done you are asking yourself and I am going to tell you.  You convert it to waffle form is how.  I had made a statement that anything can be converted into waffle form and along the way I have succeeded and where I have not the Waffleizer has succeeded.  After making that challenge the response I received was: SOUP.  Uh-oh, how was this going to happen.  I thought about the typical chicken noodle soup, and butternut squash soup but neither of those got me excited.

It was during the de-clutter of our old house that I came across a Fleur de lis and the light bulb went off.  French Onion Soup.  It had rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions, cheese and bread.  The bread would be the key as that waffle batter would be the interpretation of the bread in French Onion Soup, but from there it became a matter of making them with various taste tests.  Earlier this week it all came together and I was so excited that the first thing I put on the description on Instagram was:  I DID IT!

The flavors were perfect as every bite gave you something different. One bite would have a definite rosemary flavor while the other gave you garlic and onion.  It went on this way for the entire dinner and after each bite I fist-pumped like Tiger Woods that I actually turned soup into a waffle.  Of course my brain would take off and now I am on a quest to make a 4 course meal all in waffle form, but that is for another day. Today I present you the French Onion Soup Waffle:

Published in Breakfast Recipes

Vegan buffalo wings were one of the first things I needed to figure out how to make when I decided to go plant-based.  For me the smell of the hot sauce accompanied by the creamy cooling effect of the bleu cheese dressing was going to be the one item I missed the most and so it was imperative that I be able to make vegan buffalo wings and make them fast.  The first time I made them I was in heaven.  They had the aroma and flavor but what surprised me the most of this vegan version was the texture.  I used tempeh along with the buffalo wing sauce I had learned to make years and years ago. Over time I have used tempeh in various versions but had completely forgotten about how much I loved vegan buffalo wings.  That was until I saw Sarah from Fresh Fit N Healthy posted a picture of her version to Instagram and that got me to the grocery store to pickup some tempeh and get prepared to make my version for lunch.

As I was getting ready to make the vegan buffalo wings I thought about the dipping sauce.  I am not eating cheese these days so how do I get to the bleu cheese dipping sauce?  I decide to use coconut yogurt and add a little bit of ranch (not dressing but the dry ingredients) to it and see how that went.  As it turned out it was good in terms of cooling down the heat but it was not that tangy bleu cheese that accompanies chicken wings.  I need to work on that recipe a bit but I will get there. Here is the recipe for the Vegan Buffalo Wings: [recipe]  

Do You Have A Favorite Vegan Buffalo Wings Recipe?

How About A Vegan Bleu Cheese Recipe?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Vegan risotto is not something you typically get excited about but while trolling through the multiple communities on Google Plus that I belong to I found a conversation regarding risotto and another regarding butternut squash.  I thought to myself that would be a great combination as the soft creamy texture of the butternut squash would go perfectly against the al dente texture of the risotto.  Along the way I saw crimini mushrooms in my refrigerator and the light bulb went off.  Why not add some crispy crimini mushrooms to add a third texture and flavor profile to this dish. As you may know risotto is typically made with chicken stock but seeing as I don't eat meat I chose to make a vegan risotto with just water.  Plain old water and nothing else.  I could have used vegetable stock but what I notice when I use stock is that the risotto turns a lighter shade of brown and I wanted the rice to stay as white as possible.  Of course when you add crimini mushrooms to your vegan risotto they have a tendency to lend some color to the rice but all in all you can see the mushrooms and the orange hue of the butternut squash.  One thing I know about food is that we eat with our eyes first and so making food more appealing via sight is just as important as making it taste great. With that idea in mind I am reaching out to you, the readers of my blog, for some help.  I am trying to get a cookbook published and one way to do that is to generate a lot of conversation via the social media platforms that I am involved in as well as on this blog.  One of the ideas I have been thinking about and working on is food photography.  If the food looks great in pictures then people will be more apt to +1, like, share and re-tweet them.  So, do any of you have any classes that you have taken that have helped you with food photography?  What kind of camera do you use?  I joined a group called Food Photography on G+ and am hoping to learn more about the art there.  I am also a big fan of Cait from Caits Plate as her pictures on Instagram and her blog are always top-notch.  Look at how simple this dish is and yet how great it looks in her picture:

Anyway, back to vegan risotto and the recipe. I posted this picture to both Instagram and a few communities on Google Plus and received requests to publish the recipe so here it is. I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you do make it please share your vegan risotto creation with me on any of the social platforms I am on: [recipe]

Will You Be Making This Vegan Risotto For Your Next Meatless Monday?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Cornmeal pizza crust is what this turned out to be but that isn't what it started out as.  I made a socca earlier in the week and wondered if I could make a socca using cornmeal instead of garbanzo flour.  Before I tell you the rest of the story, do you know what a socca is?  Essentially, socca is a pancake made from garbanzo flour but it does not require baking powder, eggs or egg whites or anything other that water and oil.  Yes the two don't mix but when they are combined together with garbanzo flour there is a magic that happens. The first socca I made was so tasty as I topped it with shredded brussels sprouts, yellow and green peppers and a terrific touch of a fried egg.  The creamy runny yolk combined with the crunchy texture of the vegetables and soft fluffy nature of the socca is never to be forgotten.  Never being satisfied with the status quo I wanted to make a socca with cornmeal. The following questions were the first ones that popped into my head:

  • Do you HAVE cornmeal?
  • Will it taste like corn bread and if so can you whip something up to use the cornbread with?
  • If it is horrible do you have the pizza delivery number near by?

After answering positively to bullet points 1 and 3 I decided to venture forth and see what happens.  If I needed an answer for bullet point 2 it was going to be peanut butter and call it a day. What turned out was nothing short of phenomenal.  I found that the cornmeal socca was really a great pizza crust and so was born the cornmeal pizza crust.  What I liked about the cornmeal pizza crust was that it was crispy all throughout which I have not found with the cauliflower pizza crust depending on how you made it that day.  The cornmeal pizza crust did not remind me of cornbread at all.  The flavor was terrific as it was aided by the olive oil as well as the garlic and Italian seasonings I used.  This cornmeal pizza crust was so good I may never make cauliflower pizza crust again, but never say never.  Or maybe I'll make Sarah's Eggplant  Pizza Crust but I think I'll always be partial to the cornmeal pizza crust (socca-style.) [recipe] [gallery type="slideshow" ids=",8432,8431"]

Have You Ever Made Socca Or A Cornmeal Pizza Crust Before?

What Is Your Favorite Pizza Topping?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Quinoa and tofu is not something I typically put together as it seems like protein overkill.  There is 8g of protein per cup of quinoa while there is 10g of protein per 1/2 cup of tofu.  18g of protein in one meal would be nearly35% of the average needs of a man and that just seems like to much from one meal.  I avoided this combination forever until I saw a post on Instagram with these two combined and I thought that I should just give it a try and ignore the macros for just one meal as the texture combination seemed like it would be phenomenal.

If tofu is made to my liking then it is extremely crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside while the quinoa would present itself with a creamy texture overall.  Of course you can’t just toss quinoa and tofu on a plate and call it a meal.  You need other ingredients and when I saw Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe for a quinoa and beet salad I knew that beets were going to get tossed into the mix.  Of course it didn’t hurt that I had just purchased beets from the farmer’s market the weekend prior.

With a cast iron pan ready to go having the crunchy exterior on the tofu, sweet potatoes and beets was going to be easy.  Cast iron pans were made for pan roasting vegetables.  Put some sweet corn and sweet peas into the quinoa to off set the poblano pepper and this quinoa and tofu salad would be a hit.  The downside is that the beets would turn nearly everything a shade of red and so you could call this Red Quinoa And Tofu Salad if you wish, but whatever you call it just make and then sit out on your back porch or patio on a cool summer evening and enjoy.

quinoa and tofu - recipe - salad

Quinoa And Tofu Salad With Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Peas And Poblano Peppers

This quinoa and tofu salad is wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.  I think I covered everybody’s issues here other than adding bacon for the carnivores that follow this blog.  In truth bacon wouldn’t go so well here but diced chicken or turkey would be a perfect substitute for the tofu.  I also believe that you could turn this quinoa and tofu salad into a quinoa and tempeh salad if you so choose.

Lastly, this dish can be served cold at a picnic as well and all the flavors will hold up (I would know as I did not finish it all and put it in the fridge and then ate it for breakfast the next day – cold straight from the fridge).

Published in Lunch Recipes

Fritters of the carrot variety came across in an email and I immediately put them into my menu planning.  I had been seeing fritters for a while but decided that I didn’t have time to shred or would rather just eat a carrot than go through the entire process.  One way or the other I came up with an excuse to not make them.  When I finally decided to make them it was mainly because I would be in recovery from Ironman Texas and would have the time.

I decided I wanted to make carrot fritters for breakfast and would use them to dip into the runny yolk of eggs cooked sunny side up.  This was going to be a great start to the day and then as I was taking the ingredients out of the refrigerator I saw the zucchini and decided a carrot-zucchini fritter would be better than just plain carrot fritters.  I don’t know if I made the right decision but I can tell you that the carrot-zucchini fritter is going onto the menu as a repeat item they were that good.

After I finished making them I knew I wanted to make some more but in a more sweet variety.  How could I do this?  What would be sweet, not that carrots aren’t sweet, but I wanted something that could be eaten for breakfast or for an evening snack.  Going through the sugar detox I figured an apple and a pear would be sweet enough and so I set out to make an apple-pear fritter.  The next thing I wanted to do was make it vegan so instead of using an egg, like in the carrot-zucchini fritter, I went with a mashed banana.  Hey, I said I wanted them sweet.

This morning I made them and I can say with a smile that these fritters were absolutely perfect in terms of sweetness.  The flavor profile was unexpected as the first taste is all banana but then all the sudden the apple and pear come through on the backend.  I topped the fruit fritter with a homemade syrup that added a depth of flavor that made me wish I had made more.  Oh well, reason enough to keep making more fritters.

If you want to make the carrot-zucchini fritters replace the apple, pear and banana with 100g carrot and 100g zucchini, both shredded.  Add in a whisked egg for the banana and combine with the flour as in the recipe above.  Once the oil is heated add in the 4 sectioned out carrot-zucchini fritter patties and cook until golden brown.  Again, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.

Published in Breakfast Recipes

Chinese takeout was a staple of my diet when I was a kid.  I can remember my mother going to the bullet proof (that is what we called it because they had bullet proof windows and passed food and cash through a slot) and coming home with fried rice, ribs with that sweet and sour sauce, chicken wings, beef and broccoli and General Tso's chicken.  Man alive I would dive headfirst into all of it and it always had the most wonderful aroma of grease and fat and all things unhealthy. Fortunately or unfortunately there is no such thing as a good Chinese takeout here in Dallas or at least not one that I have found and truth be told it wouldn't hold up to those Chinese takeout joints in New York City anyway and I don't want to ruin those memories.  That being said, it doesn't make me want to have Chinese takeout any less so instead of searching Yelp! for a place I have started making more and more Asian dishes at home.  I make my own spicy nut sauce to go with a terrific Pad Thai.  Spring Rolls are still being worked on but I'll get the wrapping done properly soon enough.  Homemade sushi using risotto or quinoa have become staples of my meal planning. [gallery type="slideshow" columns="1" ids="8110,8109,8108,8107,8106,8105,8104,8103" orderby="rand"] Earlier this week I had put a quinoa stir fry into my meal plan but realized I had no quinoa when I went to make it and substituted with millet and decided to alter the way I typically make stir fry.  Normally I would cook the grain/seed (rice, quinoa, millet) and then put that into the pan and add the eggs.  This time I put the millet in last, after refrigerating it and it turned out better and much closer to the chinese takeout my mother used to bring home.

Do You Have A Good Chinese Takeout Place Near You?

Do You Prefer To Make Your Own Chinese Takeout?

Published in Lunch Recipes
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