Masala, Leek and Fennel Scramble

I don’t think you’re ready for the glory of this Sunday stay-at-home brunch recipe. Sweet, savoury and little exotic, it’s the perfect start to a hot sticky summery afternoon like the one we’re about to have in Southern Ontario.

Masala, Leek and Fennel Tofu Scramble


Lightly adapted from 101 cookbooks

  • heaping spoonful of coconut oil
  • couple pinches of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala 
  • 1 large leek, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 medium bulb fennel, cut into very thin slices
  • 3 tbsp chopped raisins
  • 12 ounces extra firm orgnic tofu, crumbled
  • 2 heaping scoops nutritional yeast
  • 2 big handfuls chopped swiss chard, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp of tahini
  • splash of almond milk

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Stir in the garam masala, and then add leek and fennel.
  2. Stir in leeks and salt and cook until they turn lightly brown and fragrant.
  3. Stir in the chopped raisins, cook them for thirty seconds and then add the tofu and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and sautee until tofu begins to lightly brown (3-4 minute).
  4. Add chopped chard leaves and sautee until just wilted and bright green in colour.
  5. Pour 2 tbsp of balsamic into the pan and scrape up the pieces on the bottom of the pan as it bubbles and deglazes (1-2 mins).
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the sunflower seeds, drizzle on the tahini and stir together with a splash of almond milk.
  7. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serves 4.

How are you brunching today?

Springing Forward & Falling Back…

Waking up this morning I was shocked to realize that I actually slept in to a reasonable hour…Or at least I thought I slept in until I realized it was daylight savings time. Whatever, I was still pleased with myself for waking up past 8…even if it was just a technicality. Small victories, folks. 😉

I’ve got to admit though that despite all of this sunlight and springy weather, I’ve actually been falling back on some of my not-that-bad-but-still-not-great vices to get me through the past few stressful weeks….

Exhibit A: Trashy Reality Television

Downloading Legally purchasing multiple seasons of The Rachel Zoe Project during a period of high-stress is wickedly dangerous territory. This picture is an accurate portrayal of my life recently between the hours of 9pm and…ahem…  <—– infinity.

Exhibit B: Comforting Food

Scoff all you like but for me a piping hot mess of steel cut oats is comfort in a bowl. And during a stressful time I get weirdly fixated on eating the same thing at every meal. Instead of judging myself for this, I try to roll with my cravings and eat my oats at whatever time of day I darn well please….

I ate this as a snack somewhere between breakfast and lunch… Half bowl of oats + a mess of berries + pumpkin seeds with a poached egg and spinach on the side for protein and veggies. Worked for me

I’ve also been enjoying more than my fair share of restaurant meals… including this delicious brunch at The Junction Eatery.

Cornbread, blackened catfish, bacon, eggs & smokey baked beans. 

Chopped salad with chicken, fresh peas, cashews, avocado & apples

Not at all easy on the wallet but definitely low stress and comforting.

Exhibit C: (Discount) Shopping

I blame She Does The City for inviting me to this ridiculously adorable sale event at The Gap. I mean…25% their entire spring line? So dangerous for a bargain hunter like myself.

Liquoring us up with free pinotDownright lethal.

They were really hocking these coloured pants…even the DJ was wearing some (hidden under his macbook…hehe). I left with a pair of cropped black jeans that weren’t part of the sale but were already marked down 50%…. Pahaha. So predictable.

Exhibit D: Old faithful…

What addictions/habits/crutches do you fall back on when you’re feeling stressed?

Grain Free Coconut Cinnamon Pancakes

When I was in university I ate a toasted everything bagel for breakfast just about every day. Sure it wasn’t the most balanced meal but it gave me with the energy I needed to focus on important things like semiotics and French feminist theory rather than my grumbling stomach. Plus, did you know that your brain requires 15 times more energy when you’re thinking  hard than when you’re zombified/watching project runway? Its true!
These days I am still a creature of habit when it comes to my morning meal and while I prefer a bowl of oatmeal or Ezekiel toast over refined white flour, I definitely choose a grain-based breakfast 9 times out of 10….
Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
But in keeping with my current plan of eating more variety I was on a mission today to create a filling, fibre-rich breakfast that was heavy on the protein and healthy fats and a little less grain-centric. To my suprise I ended up creating something totally grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free. I know what you’re thinking and yes the secret ingredient is sawdust!
I kid, I kid. These are an absolutely delicious alternative to traditional pancakes! C’mon, have I ever led you astray? 😉
Grain-Free Coconut Cinnamon Pancakes
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp ground chia or flax
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup squash or yam, cooked and mashed**
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 whole egg, separated
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
  • 1/8 tsp coconut extract (optional, can sub for vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites

**can sub for 1 medium mashed banana for a yummy banana coconut variation!

Directions

  1. Stir dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Mash squash, egg yolk, sweetener and extract into the dry mix. It should be crumbly at this point. Stir until well combined. Slowly stir in almond milk.
  3. Beat remaining egg whites (1/4 cup + the remainder from the whole egg) for a minute or two, until white and foamy. Fold egg whites into the pancake batter.
  4. Heat a griddle or nonstick pan and add a little oil or cooking spray (I like this coconut oil spray)
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until batter looks dry and bubbly, flip and cook for an additional minute.

Makes 1 substantial serving. Feel free to double the batch and save the leftovers for on-the-go snack or tomorrow’s breakfast! 

Are you a creature of habit in the mornings?

Do you favour a protein-rich, grain-based or balanced breakfast? 

Saturday Brunch vs. Saturday Blahs.

I get intimidated by Saturdays. This is probably because I usually spend most of the morning obsessing over which item on my never-ending to-do list I should tackle. Laundry? Cleaning? Seeing some random I acquaintance I have nothing in common with for coffee? Making a 5 year plan? Teaching myself how to play squash? Etc. And then the afternoon often fills up with various methods of procrastination followed by a feeling disappointment for squandering the sense of limitless possibility I had when I woke up in the morning.

This is why I am thankful for brunch.

Brunch does a lovely  job of breaking up my Saturday Blahs by structuring my day and dividing it into two much more manageable halves. Suddenly the things you accomplish in the morning hours feel like a total bonus because they’ve happened before your day has really gotten started. For me, who works extremely early on Saturday mornings, this especially satisfying. Then, by the time you would feel your your mid-afternoon slump setting in, BRUNCH has come along and filled you with delicious food and a  bottomless-coffee-induced sense of ambition!

Despite my appreciation for the midday weekend meal, I am no brunch stickler. I don’t have a “regular spot” or a “standard order.” I like this approach since it encourages me to try new things and eat a greater diversity of food!

Exhibit A)

Vegan brunch at Fresh that included hummus and cornbread, salad & black bean chili and a side of tempeh bacon. Notice how everything is on the side? Ahem…

Exhibit B)

Spinach and Egg White Omelette, Multigrain Toast, Fruit & Greens at a pretty standard breakfast chain. I may have doused this whole meal in hot sauce. I hold Texas accountable

Exhibit C)

Coffee. In all its forms. Sometimes fancy as heck and filled to the brim with organic, lightly sweetened almond milk. However I will also accept any brown sludge you put in front of me

So what do you think? Do you love the way brunch dates break up your days and centre them around food and socializing? Or do you find this distracts from all the other items on life’s neverending to-do list?