Chai Spiced French Toast

I distinctly remember seeing chai french toast on a breakfast menu somewhere in town, but for the life of me, I can’t remember where. I must have blocked it out of my memory because I couldn’t order it, having sworn off gluten many months ago. Armed with some store-bought GF bread, though, I realized all my chai french toast dreams this morning (er, afternoon, seeing as I woke up around 1:00 today- yikes!)

Chai Spiced French Toast

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

1 loaf bread (I used Udi’s gluten-free bread, but use anything you like!)
5 large organic eggs
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. Vietnamese cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. salt

chai spiced french toast mix

Directions

1. Lightly oil a skillet or pan and set to medium heat.
2. Crack your eggs into a large bowl or shallow, wide dish (such as a pie pan.)
3. Add half and half and the brown sugar, and whisk until combined with the eggs.
4. Add all of your spices and whisk, whisk, whisk until the mixture is smooth and light brown in color.
5. Coat both sides of bread in the custard and cook until golden brown on each side.
6. Add butter, syrup, or fruit if desired; but this french toast is sweet enough to eat on its own.

Although I think this recipe turned out smashingly, it’s my first time taking the flavors of a drink and applying them to something totally new. If you make this recipe and have any suggestions, please let me know!

deep purple smoothie

I know it’s cold in Austin today, y’all, but I still need some nutrients after eating leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing for days on end! Even though there’s plenty of greens in here, the pomegranate and blueberries in this smoothie turned it a lovely purple.

Deep Purple Smoothie

1 c. almond milk

1/4 c. frozen blueberries

1/4 c. frozen mango chunks

3 frozen peach slice

1 handful greens (or about 1 cup loosely packed)

1 banana

1/4 c. pecans

2 tbsp hemp protein powder

1/2 of a pomegranate

(Postscript: The pomegranate seeds made this smoothie kind of chunky, even though I blended it thoroughly. I’m sure this smoothie would be perfectly delicious without them, or you could substitute some pomegranate juice for the almond milk. Yum.)

 

power smoothie sunday

Green smoothies are one of my most favorite breakfasts, especially when I don’t feel like cooking. To mix things up, I added some unsweetened coconut flakes to my usual green smoothie to make what I’m now lovingly referring to as The Green Coconut.

The Green Coconut

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 handful greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
1 banana
3 frozen peach slices
3 frozen strawberries
5 frozen mango chunks
2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes

Blend it all up, and don’t fret if your blender has a little trouble. I had to stop mine and push down the greens and banana a few times to get it all to mix properly. If you must, add more coconut milk a few splashes at a time, but be careful! Nobody likes a watery smoothie. After you drink it, you’ll feel as serene as the Buddha.

quinoa for breakfast!

So, I got sick with strep throat a few weeks ago. During the course of my illness I decided I could muster up enough energy to get in the car so my boyfriend could drive me to Juicebox to get a smoothie to soothe my throat. Having not eaten for a few days (and still not really hungry, mind you) I decided it might be a good idea to put some food in my belly. I remembered that Juicebox was advertising “quinoa porridge” a while back, and because I am a fan of both of those things, it seemed appetizing enough even in my feverish half-conscious state. I tried it and it was DELICIOUS. And extremely filling- I ate half before I was full, and had the other half the next day for breakfast. Quinoa, oats, brown sugar and other spices, flax seeds, and they give you the option of adding dried fruit and nuts.

I loved it so much I decided to embark on my own quinoa for breakfast journey, with some slight modifications to the Juicebox recipe. Quinoa is an amazing source of protein for vegetarians, and this is a great way to get a lot of it at the start of your day. The texture and taste remind me a lot of steel-cut oats, but this recipe takes far less cooking time.

Quinoa Porridge “Recipe” *

(makes about 3-4 bowls)

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey to taste

vanilla almond milk

unsalted butter

optional add-ins: nuts, dried or fresh fruit, flax seeds, yogurt

1. To save time and energy, I cooked my quinoa in a rice cooker. To cook on a stovetop, bring 2 cups water to a boil and add 1 cup quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes. The rice cooker is much easier, though.

2. Place cooked quinoa in a medium-sized pot on low heat. Add vanilla almond milk to desired consistency. If desired, add a few pads of unsalted butter and stir until melted.

3. Add brown sugar, spices, and honey to taste. Brown sugar should be the base source of the sweetness, but the other spices and honey are important if you have them on hand, too. They definitely being more depth to the flavor of this porridge.

4. Spoon yourself a bowl and top with fruit, nuts, or anything else that sounds good to you!

Tip: If you add too much liquid, turn the heat up and let the porridge bubble, stirring occasionally. It will eventually thicken back up!

So simple and so yummy! My new daily breakfast.

* Apologies for the lack of unexact measurements. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants while cooking. You should too. Cooking is an art, baking is a science!