Whole Wheat Waffles with Berry Compote

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Some mornings just call for waffles. This is my easy, go-to recipe.

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. sweetener (sugar, agave, or maple syrup)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions:

Pre-heat your waffle iron. Mix the first four ingredients well. Add the last four ingredients and stir until well combined. You should have a nice, pourable (but not runny) batter. Grease your waffle iron (I use sunflower oil in a spray bottle). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your iron, or, if you have an old one like me, use trial and error to determine the perfect cooking time and then use a timer for the rest of your waffles. Place finished waffles on a plate in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat.

Meanwhile…

In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of mixed berries, 1/8-1/4 cup sweetener (sugar, agave, or maple syrup), depending on taste, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until most of the berries have cooked down but some still retain their shape. Let cool until warm but not burn-your-mouth hot.

Put two waffles on a plate. Douse Drizzle with maple syrup and top with berry compote. Enjoy!

Emerson

Emmy doesn’t spend much time in the spotlight. Her sister Lily usually hogs it all. But this picture of Ems is too good to pass up. Her cozy, chubby little belly is just perfect.

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Coming up for Air

The past month or so I’ve been working like crazy at the office and haven’t had much time for fun stuff like eating, reading, and making. Please forgive the radio silence! It hasn’t been a complete black-out, though…

I spent an awesome day at Natural Products Expo West, I baked a berry pie for Pi Day, I worked on a gift for a friend’s toddler (which was supposed to be a gift when she was born!), and I enjoyed our local farmers market a couple of times.

IMG_6858The awesome folks at Beyond Meat! #expowest

IMG_6861Hard to believe it’s March, isn’t it? Anaheim Convention Center. #expowest

IMG_6863I loved seeing this Certified Vegan label on booths at the Expo! #expowest

IMG_6867Coconut Bliss was serving up delicious samples!

IMG_6870I was happy to see this Rainforest Alliance Certified Palm Oil label on many of my favorite products. It’s not a perfect certification, and I would like to go palm oil-free, but it’s a step in the right direction.

IMG_6880So Delicious had a great booth with hand-lettered chalkboard signs. Pretty typography and excellent vegan foods? Swoon! #expowest

IMG_6881These frappuccinos for the vegan crowd were delicious. Sugar coma, here I come. #expowest

IMG_6882I want one of these dispensers at my house! BTW, cashew milk is GOOD. #expowest

IMG_6886I raved about this chocolate bar so much, the kind folks at Endangered Species Chocolate gave me a whole bar to take home! #expowest

IMG_6887I love these wine glasses by LifeFactory. They are going on my wish list. #expowest

IMG_6889Hello, Gardein! Love you! #expowest

IMG_6892This had to be the biggest surprise of the day — vegan cheesecake, made with Daiya cream cheese. It’s the closest thing to “real” cheesecake I’ve had since going vegan. Truly delicious. #expowest

IMG_6894I really love Field Roast. These lovely ladies helped dish up two new Field Roast offerings — a maple breakfast sausage and a veggie burger. Both were excellent. #expowest

IMG_6898The day after #expowest, I visited the Hollywood Farmers Market and ran across this lovely display.

IMG_6906Very (messy) Berry Pie for Pi Day!

IMG_6926Brunch at Sage Vegan Bistro in Echo Park. This was the special — a soyrizo frittata with tofu, soyrizo, Daiya, spinach, and onions.

IMG_6930Name banner for Fay! F is for flamingo, A is for armadillo, and Y is for yak. It’s not finished (it needs backing and a ribbon for hanging it), but I couldn’t resist sharing it at this point. Look at the cute yak! He’s my favorite.

Now we’re all caught up, and I can dive back into the report I’m writing for work. Wish me luck!

Working Toward Zero Waste

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I had a nice exchange on Facebook the other day with a friend of a friend about how to reduce the amount of trash we generate. It was in response to an NPR story in which we heard that the average American generates seven pounds of trash PER DAY. That’s such a shocking number, it almost doesn’t seem possible.

I commented on the FB post about my recent efforts to get a little bit closer to Zero Waste at home, and thought I’d share our current strategies here as well, for anyone who’s interested.

1) Buy secondhand. (No packaging!) Clothes, bags, linens… I buy all of these secondhand. (Well, except for undies, bras, socks and swimsuits.)

2) Don’t use disposables. No plastic or paper plates, cups, straws, take-out containers, etc. I bring the following with me when I leave the house (yeah, I carry a big bag):

–cotton napkins and/or bandana

–stainless steel water bottle *or*

–stainless steel coffee mug

–stainless steel fork and spoon

If I’m going out to eat and I think I’ll have leftovers, I try to remember to bring a stainless steel tiffin or an older piece of Tupperware (I don’t buy new plastic, but still use some older plastic storage containers). If I forget to bring a container for leftovers, sometimes I’ll ask for my leftovers to be wrapped in aluminum foil or a paper container, as these can be recycled or composted. I no longer take any plastic disposables at all.

3) Don’t bring home plastic bags with your groceries. Not only do I bring my canvas bags for carrying my groceries, but I use small canvas draw-string and mesh bags for all of my produce, bulk grains/beans, nuts, dried fruit, etc. I have even started buying the following in bulk: sugar, flour, salt, nutritional yeast, oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, and dish soap. I’ve tried to eliminate as much plastic from my grocery shopping as possible — but it hasn’t been easy. There are a lot of things I haven’t been able to find in bulk yet — like pasta, olive oil, and pretzels.

It’s an ongoing journey, but it’s fun and I feel good about the changes I’ve been able to implement with just a little foresight and planning.

Resources:

Zero Waste Home

My Plastic Free Life

5GYRES (founded by our friend Anna and her husband Marcus)

Zero Waste Alliance

No Impact Project

Photo Credit: X

Vegan Discoveries at the Farmers Market

The Hollywood farmers market treated me to two new vegan delights today! The first is NoMoo Non-Dairy Wise Cream. All vegan and soy free, some are even processed sugar-free (sweetened with dates and maple syrup). We taste-tested peanut butter chocolate fudge (OMG), a date-sweetened vanilla, and a date-sweetened banana. All were super yums.

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The second treat of the day was The Ridiculous Baking Co. Ridiculous is correct, as we indulged in a breakfast pocket with tofu, almond cheddar cheeze, and some kind of yummy, savory “facon” crumble, and bought a chocolate croissant to take home with us. Low-cal? No. Delicious? Yes.

photo 2We bought fruit and veggies too, I promise.

Banana Pancakes

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Sundays are usually big breakfast days around our household. I get up early, make pancakes or waffles, scramble or biscuits and gravy, and have a leisurely start to the day. My kitchen gets the early morning light from the east, and it just feels so good to get up and make first thing in the morning. Later on we walk to the farmers market and get fruit and veggies for the week. Sundays are pretty much my favorite days.

This morning I made whole wheat banana pancakes.

  • 1 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sunflower oil (or any neutral oil; coconut is amazing)
  • 1 1/2 c. almond milk (adjust at the end to get the right batter consistency)
  • 2 Tbsp. sweetener of choice (sugar, maple syrup, or agave)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, sliced

Gently mix together your ingredients. Preheat your skillet (I use my trusty cast iron pan). Pour about 1/2 c. of batter into a nice circle, and while it cooks, place about 5 slices of banana into the top of the batter. After bubbles appear on the surface, check to see if the bottom is nicely browned. If so, flip! The banana side will cook more quickly, and the bananas themselves will become caramelized. You may need to oil your pan in between flips if you’re not using a well-seasoned pan (or sometimes even if you are). Stack the cooked pancakes on an oven-proof plate and place in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat. Top with pure maple syrup (or a fruit syrup or compote – yum!) and dig in!

Note: this recipe is infinitely adaptable. Want blueberry pancakes? Add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter. Want cinnamon pancakes? Add 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Want vegan nog pancakes for the holidays? Use nog instead of almond milk, and top with a dusting of nutmeg. You can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!