Chickpea Scramble on Toast

Beans on Toast to fill your belly at breakfast

Sometimes you just want a hot, filling breakfast. Something that really fills you up and keeps you happy until lunchtime. Beans on toast is a classic combo especially in UK and it is definitely one of my favorite breakfasts. This version with chickpeas is not traditional at all, but is Oh-So-Good.

It slightly reminds me of scrambled eggs on toast, but so much better and healthier. Make the whole recipe on the weekend and add to toast throughout the week to save time in the morning.

Chickpea on Toast with tahini drizzle with tomato slices

Chickpea Scramble:

  • 1 red onion cut into large cubes
  • 2 Tbps olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 cans)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • handful of baby spinach
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 slices of toast (I like Ezekiel bread,but whatever floats your boat)

Sauté the red onion in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until translucent. Add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, and turmeric and heat through. Use a sturdy fork or potato masher to smash the chickpeas until no whole chickpeas remain.

Push the chickpeas off to the side of the skillet and add the other tablespoon of oil to the empty space. Sauté the garlic in the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the handful of spinach and cook until wilted. Turn off heat and squeeze the lemon juice into the skillet. Stir everything up. Serve spread on toast, over home fries, or maybe even in a tortilla. Use your imagination.

I like it on toast with a drizzle of tahini and tomato slices as you can see pictured above.

June Baby Smoothie

Freddie’s second birthday is coming up and I’m starting to reminisce about what I was doing during the month of June these past two years. Since I’m so food-centric, I always remember what I was eating or making in the kitchen. At this time of year, I get a sudden mood bump when the weather starts to get warm and Farmers’ Markets start to open. More fresh produce available everywhere.

I remember when I was pregnant and Aaron would go to the Farmers’ Market in front of his office and bring me home pints of berries. The raspberry bushes in our yard start to produce the first fruits of year. I would stuff my face with berries and not even attempt to save room for non-berry food.

Last year, Freddie was just starting to eat larger varieties of food and I remember giving him his first blueberries. Of course, he took after me and began to consume every blueberry in sight. We started referring to them as “bluebs”. Scenes of the girl in Willie Wonka swelling up into a giant blueberry and being rolled away by Oompah Lumpahs would flash through my mind.

This year, since we have had so much luck with smoothies, I have begun blending our favorite berry into our morning smoothie. I must say that this tasty concoction hits the spot and keeps me full well into the morning.

I hope that this June Baby Smoothie makes it into your repertoire and has you waxing romantic about June’s past during breakfast.

June Baby Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • one large handful of spinach
  • 1 cup ice (optional)

Ingredients for June Baby Smoothie

Place everything in the blender. I prefer to add them to blender in the order that I have listed the ingredients. Ice is optional. Use if you like a super cold smoothie. I only add it when it is super hot outside.

The June Baby and His Smoothie

 

Ponderings on Pugs, Pittbulls and Chocolate

I love the pugs. They are rescued and they have a great home. They aren’t going anywhere and I don’t regret bringing them into our lives at all,  but sometimes I wonder if Aaron and I should have adopted a different breed of dog. More specifically, should we have adopted a “less desirable” dog breed?

The girls, most likely, would have been fine if we never came along. They are cute and snuggly, and some nice people would have taken them home and given them a great life. In the shelters we see row after row of pittbull mixes and mutts that get looked over constantly in search of dogs that are closer to some “pure breed”. You know they end up being euthanized eventually. I wonder if I missed an opportunity to save another dog,or dogs, that never made it into a forever home.

‘Of course I am just wondering “what if?” Or “should I have…?” As someone who studied Economics, I am always wondering about opportunity cost. Around nine years ago, while we were adopting the girls, these thoughts didn’t enter my mind. We were younger and more impulsive and animal rights strategies hadn’t really had enough time to marinate around in my brain.

The happy pugs
The happy pugs

Throughout the years, we have had the girls treated for health problem after health problem. From puppy mange to ACL repairs to eye injuries and disc issues (see To Pug Chiropractor or Not To Pug Chiropractor?) I know we have given the girls the best lives that we could have, taking special care to treat all of their expensive maladies. I don’t have regrets in respect to how well we have taken care of our pugs, but I just worry in the grand scheme of things, could we have saved more dogs?

Something that I do like to do in order to give back to the breeds that have a harder time at life is order some Rescue Chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate? Well the people who have had that stomach band surgery can’t have it because it’s too acidic or something. To those people, I feel sorry for you. Everyone else should give some money to the Rescue Animal cause and order themselves a bar of Peanut Butter Pittbull. Yum! And it’s vegan.

Try some :

Foster-office Peppermint

Mission Ferral Fig

Mocha Forever

And remember, Don’t Shop, Adopt!

Sweet Potato Pie in the Sky

Now I love a good smoothie, but it’s the middle of March and the thought of blending up an icy concoction gives me the literal shivers. It better be a really damn good smoothie for the chill to be worth it.

Enter the child approved Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie. Freddie drinks these down like water. We usually split one, but sometimes I have to blend up two. It has warming spices and it helps to increase your daily antioxidant intake. It also brings back cozy memories of the holidays.

I got the idea for this from from a new Amazon cookbook find.

Sweet Potato Soul by Jenne Claiborne

The recipe in the book is good, but I tweaked it a bit to make it more to our liking. I do enjoy that someone else shares my affinity for sweet potatoes.

Our friends enjoying a little bit of smoothie
I know. Ridiculous…

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (I use almond or soy)
  • 1 banana (it can be frozen if you are the plan ahead kind of person)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2-3 medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes if you aren’t using a high speed blender)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend.

 

 

Come On Vamanos … Everyone Let’s Go!

Barcelona- Here We Come!

Oh hello there! The pugs send warm March snuggles to everyone trying to stay warm in these last weeks of winter. I hope these Nor’easters haven’t got all of my friends on the East Coast too down.

Olive sexy face
Olive is giving you her sexy look. Try not to be seduced.

The Grumblers have begun the process of selecting a location for our International vacation of 2018. We have gotten a bit stir crazy here and need to go explore a few foreign destinations and get lost in a non-English speaking city. Last year we were a bit limited because Freddie was just turning one and the thought of packing him up and schlepping him through a foreign airport made my back hurt.

This year is a whole different story! He can walk substantial distances by himself, and can communicate with us a whole lot better. I know I might be pushing it, but fingers crossed that he is potty trained by the time we leave.

We threw around a whole bunch of destinations that sounded like a good time. The tops of our list included: Portugal, Tel Aviv, Corsica, and Costa Rica. Decisions, decisions … Of course I was trying to pick a vegan friendly destination that Aaron would also enjoy, and since we have been hibernating from the cold these last few months, warmth was a definite requirement.

And then over a lovely dinner out, Aaron threw out the idea- Barcelona. I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t expecting that from him. Hmmm…. Barcelona. I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain in college, but my Spanish skills are quite rusty and I never thought that he had ay interest.

How vegan friendly is Barcelona? If it is anything like Valencia was 10 Year’s ago, we are gonna starve. I did some research. I found a very helpful book entitled Barcelona Vegan Travel Guide Who knew that there would be a whole book dedicated to my cause?

Barcelona Vegan Guide
I hope this saves me from Spanish meat and dairy!

Well, Barcelona it is. We leave in September, and on this vacation, we will be bringing my sister. Freddie’s Aunt Bananas (aka Hannah). I tried to convince her to come as Freddie’s nanny, but she shut that down real quick. Aunt Bananas will be a regular old tourist like us (I’m secretly hoping that she will entertain Freddie on the flight at least).

This brings me to my new project. Brush up on my Spanish! Oh Duolingo, how have I not tried you until now. I even enlisted the help of a professional. I found my new Spanish tutor, whom I refer to as Ana Excelente on Thumbtack. She’s beating my language challenged ass into shape. I get tested and everything. I always get an A+.

Freddie watching Dora
Freddie is brushing up on his Spanish too. Dora to the rescue. Now if he only could figure out English sentences.

I am very excited to try out the CatBar, Dolce Pizza y Los Veganos, and the several macrobiotic restaurants that appear in my vegan guide book. Have any Barcelona traveling tips? Or fun spots to visit that are off the beaten path? I am very aware all things Gaudi BTW. Let me know!

Vegan Apple Pie

During our Thanksgiving dinner, Freddie ate nothing but the apple pie. I don’t know if it was too many different tastes and textures, but the little man would have nothing to do with any of the other dishes on the menu. I found this extremely ironic since he doesn’t really like plain apples. The pugs really enjoyed the bits of dinner that he threw to them though.

Vegan Apple Pie Ingredients

For my apple pie, I used golden delicious apples, but everyone has their own theories about which apples bake the best. The Grumblers aren’t really fans of Granny Smiths or Red Delicious’s.

Vegan Apple Pie pre topping

I also used a pre-made pie crust because I ain’t got time for that shit, but if homemade pie crust strikes your fancy, have at it. Make sure the check the ingredients. A lot of pre-made pie crusts just happen to be vegan. Go figure.

Vegan Apple Pie before it hits the oven

It tends to get a little bit messy, so I would recommend baking the pie with a cookie sheet underneath.

Vegan Apple Pie with Almond Milk ice cream


Vegan Apple Pie 

Serves 8

Ingredients for Pie:

  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • 8 cups thinly sliced apples (6-8 apples)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the apples. Once mixed, pour into the pre-made pie crust.

3. Mix the Topping Ingredients together in a bowl until crumbly.

4. Sprinkle the topping onto the pie. It will look really full, but don’t worry, it will cook down.

5. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Place a cookie sheet under the pie just in case the pie drips over the edges. Cover with foil to prevent further browning and bake  another 20 minutes.

6. Let cool and enjoy. Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream and/or vegan whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although Aaron isn’t the biggest lover of pumpkin, but I have to get my pumpkin fill in as many ways as I can during the fall. One of my favorite ways to use up my stockpile of canned pumpkin is to make a healthy and refreshing pumpkin pie smoothie for breakfast. It’s one way to sneak in a few fruits, some omegas, and lots of antioxidants via spices like cinnamon and ginger.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Thievery
Freddie enjoying my Pumpkin Pie Smoothie on Thanksgiving morning.

I try to whip one of these bad boys together in the time after I drop Freddie at daycare and before I head to work. If I don’t schedule my smoothie making like that, Freddie tries to drink it all. Him having a smoothie isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but he’s a pumpkin hog.


Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nondairy milk (we use soy)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup canned puréed pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp oatmeal
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend. Enjoy!


Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Dessert in a glass