Springtime and veggie breakfasts

So apparently, I only post once a season. The last time I posted was last summer.Whoops! And that post was all about catching up on what I had been doing that summer, since my last post before that was…in the spring?

I never intended to take a long break from blogging or anything like that. It just sort of happened. Part of the problem is that I let myself be too confined by my idea of what this blog should be, what it is or isn’t, etc. Which is really rather silly considering it is my blog after all, right?

Anyway, moving on. I do plan to begin posting much more often, and not just about food. (But mostly about food. I really like food.)

And what better place to begin than breakfast? (again!)

Yeah, I couldn’t resist showing you another picture of those. A little imperfect, yes, but still incredibly delicious. It’s my usual gluten free vegan waffle recipe made especially amazing by the addition of peanut flour. Topped with homemade raspberry jam, fresh blueberries and bananas, all drizzled with a mixture of maple syrup and crunchy peanut butter.

As I said in a previous post, breakfast is especially fun for me to share because people are often curious about what breakfast foods I can have. While it’s true that I’d have a hard time ordering breakfast in most restaurants (on a recent vacation, I ordered a fruit bowl and brought my own goat yogurt in my purse. no. shame.), this doesn’t mean I can’t feast on delicious morning meals the rest of the time.

Obviously, I don’t always have time to prepare elaborate breakfasts. I often eat  in the car on the way to work, or after I’m already at work. On busy mornings, my breakfast will generally look more like this:

(Homemade cereal. Thanks to the edible perspective for showing me how easy it is!)

Or this:Yup, that’s just a big old bowl of fruit, with almond milk. Sometimes, when I have to be up very early, it’s all I’m really in the mood for. That and black coffee, obviously.

I’ll even admit to occasionally downing a bowl of this:Rice chex. Gluten-free and fortified with vitamins and preservatives for my growing body. I’m not ashamed. At least I added some fresh fruit (though, I’m pretty sure those berries weren’t organic. Do you know how much organic berries cost in the winter?!) There is also a big scoop of crunchy peanut butter in there.

Anyway, when I do have the time, I love to make a special breakfast. As long as it isn’t ridiculously early when I get up, I’m usually pretty hungry first thing in the morning, especially after I finish doing yoga (which I try to do every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes).

Usually the first thing I ask myself as I enter the kitchen and grab the coffee pot like a zombie is…sweet or savory?

Since I’m really giving you a run through of my a.m. routine, I’ll disclose the fact that I also usually eat a piece of fruit as I drink coffee and contemplate the many possibilities. This is often an orange, though my favorite is grapefruit. Sometimes it’s just an apple. Sometimes I’ll cut it up and put it in a bowl to make it look pretty…but not most of the time.

Anyway, when faced with such a difficult decision, I usually end up going for savory. The fruit is usually enough for my sweet tooth, as I’m not really huge on sweets in general. As far as I am concerned, nothing wakes you up in the morning like tons of garlic and olive oil. Except maybe some hot sauce. You may think I’m kidding, but I’m really not.

I’ve mentioned my love for avocado toast before, and while it remains my number 1, at times when I’m craving a bit of variety, or in the winter, when avocados taste like nothing, it becomes a side rather than the main event.

One of my absolute favorite breakfast foods? Mushrooms. I could show you dozens of pictures of mushrooms, sauteed with garlic and olive oil (onions if I’m feeling especially energized-or have some leftover), pouring over perfectly crunchy toast. Instead I’ll just show you the good ones.

I really love having any sauteed vegetables for breakfast. It just depends what I have on hand. Red peppers are another favorite

As is spinach. And fresh herbs are always a welcome addition.

If I have leftover veggies from dinner I love to just heat them up. I do this in a skillet, not the microwave! I promise it doesn’t take any longer. And while we’re on the subject of heating methods-oven toast is far superior to toaster toast. Though that one does take a bit more time.

If I’m really hungry I like to throw in some potatoes or tofu, or slather some hummus on my toast for protein.

And if I don’t have time to sit down and eat, I’ll wrap the veggies up in a tortilla instead of the usual english muffin.

With vegan cheese that I later picked out because it was unnecessary.

A relatively recent newcomer to my breakfast repertoire is this:

But, as this is already becoming quite the lengthy post, and it happens to be 85 degrees outside, I’ll leave you to guess what it is for now!

In the spirit of the summery weather, and thanks to my really cool brother for finding it first, I’ve been listening to this all day. Just thought you might like to know.

Have a wonderful monday evening!!

And to other unusual breakfast lovers out there, I’d love to know the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten for breakfast!

Banana Bread and Awareness

I have a new cookbook!

I love cookbooks. I enjoy sitting down with a cookbook (or a stack of them) and a cup of tea, browsing recipes, looking at the pictures, learning about different foods and how to prepare them.

I’d seen the book before. Heard of it and the bakery. Picked it up in stores, quickly leafed through it, and put it back.

On a recent trip to Anthropologie, I cracked open a copy of Babycakes. I can’t resist cupcake pictures.

As I read the recipes and side notes, I found myself thinking wow, that’s such a good idea, I hope I can remember that/ find it somewhere. See, usually I find my gluten-free recipes online, or use cookbooks I already have and adapt the recipe myself.

Then I thought-why not just buy it? After all, despite my love of cookbooks, I don’t actually own any gluten-free ones. I decided that it was about time I had one, and bought it. Along with some cute new jeans.

And I’m so glad I did.

I was torn between making the famous banana bread or the chocolate chip cookies first. So I compromised by adding chocolate chips to the banana bread.

I also decided to add a sprinkle of walnuts on top. Most of the recipes in the book are nut-free, (except for coconut), for allergy reasons, I’d assume.

Wow. This was amazing. There are tons of bananas in this bread, eliminating the need for egg replacer and making the bread very moist and rich. Everyone who tasted it agreed, and was surprised to learn that it was gluten-free and vegan.

It’s also low in sugar (without the chocolate chips!), and high in protein and fiber.

My only complaint was that it was a bit heavy on the chocolate- the recipe suggested adding 1 cup; I added a little less than that. Next time, I’ll probably reduce the amount to 1/2 a cup, or leave them out altogether. I’ll also fold the walnuts into the batter, though they did make for a nice presentation on top.

I can’t wait to try the other recipes in this book! Results will be shared of course.

On another note…

May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

Ok, so why do I care?

I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease (also called Celiac Sprue), an auto-immune disorder caused by an inability to tolerate the protein gluten-found in wheat, rye, and barley.

We’re talking very recent- I actually began eating gluten-free (and blogging about it!) several months before receiving an official diagnosis.

People are often surprised when I tell them I didn’t know I was a Celiac until I was 23 years old. However, many people with the disorder don’t learn they have it until much later in life-  if at all. In fact, 95% of people with Celiac Disease don’t know they have it.

Celiac disease is not the same as a food allergy, even a wheat allergy. It is an inherited immune disorder, in which the gluten protein damages the intestinal lining, causing malabsorption-which leads to a host of other health problems. In fact, in many people with the disease, GI symptoms are not present, and malabsorption symptoms are more noticeable-such as anemia and fatigue. Left untreated, celiac disease can have severe long-term consequences. Even a very small amount of the gluten protein can cause damage, even if does not cause symptoms, which is why cross-contamination becomes such an issue.

In addition, gluten is found in much more than bread and pasta. It is added to soups, sauces, canned goods, even toiletry items like toothpaste and lip balm, and prescription and non-prescription medications. Currently, the FDA does not require manufactures to include gluten in labels. Things are improving, but they could be better!

For information about celiac disease and symptoms, click here!