european brunch: vegan style!

Vegan Style European Brunch: recipes on #vegan #vegetarian #brunch #recipes

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

Ah, brunch. Truly the best meal of the day. Especially if you’re vegan. Because, frankly, anything goes! Breakfast food? Sure! Lunch food? Why not! Greens first thing in the morning? Go for it! Brunch in a vegan’s dream. Plus it’s a really good excuse to invite your friends over and chow down on all the excess Trader Joe’s groceries you bought the day before when you made the mistake of grocery shopping after a long run…

I like to think my brunches are European style because I fell in love with breakfast in Siena, Italy while filling up on Nutella croissants (still warm!), prosciutto, pecorino, and espresso. But to be honest, I think Americans do brunch best: lots of food, lots of friends, usually a hangover, and bottomless mimosas.

But for the days you want to stay in for the best meal of the weekend, I’ve put together a delicious vegan brunch menu. European inspired, American made, and to absolutely die for.

On the Menu:

Hazelnut latte with soy milk (sugar free!)

Baguette with assorted toppings: sugar free preserves, vegan butter, Dutch speculoos (In all fairness, I don’t know if speculoos is actually vegan, as the ingredients list is in Dutch! Sadly, I suspect it’s not.)

Local Pennsylvania organic apples

Fresh lemon mango cucumber water*

Sweet potato chips with homemade hummus*

Assorted veggie tofu scramble*

*Keep scrolling for the recipes below!


Lemon Mango Cucumber Water

Lemon Mango Cucumber Water

The idea is so simple, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner! Add cut up cucumbers, lemon, and frozen mango to a pitcher of water, and suddenly you have a refreshingly healthy drink that actually makes you excited to drink more water.



  • 2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained
  • or 1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed, soaked and cooked (I cook mine in the crock pot!)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
Mix the above in the food processor. Run it for a long time (about 6 minutes) to get it fluffy. Add more water if needed.
For a fun variation on the above recipe, use less water and add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Yum!


Tofu Scramble

  • 1-2 packages of tofu (1 package=one serving)
  • Assorted veggies, diced, cut, etc. I like to make this dish with any extra veggies from the week. It’s a great way to use up your extra produce in one dish!
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprouted grain toast (optional, of course! But the scramble is delectable with vegan butter and toast)

Wrap the blocks of tofu in a dry paper towel. Set on a smooth plate or cutting board and add weight on top. I sandwich my tofu between two cutting boards and stack my cookbooks on top. Whatever gets a decent amount of water out of the tofu, works! Let the tofu sit this way for ten minutes or so.

While waiting, heat the sesame oil on medium/high heat. When warm, add your veggies. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce. If the veggies are sticking to the pan, add water, a tablespoon or so at a time.

When the tofu is ready, crumble into the pan with the veggies. Stir and add your second tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to cook until tofu is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Any other vegan recipes you’d recommend for brunch?



Related Posts:
Recipes for Vegan Brunch on

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins (Vegan & Gluten Free!)

Guys, this is my first original recipe that I’m posting for you all! *Cheers*

I took inspiration from a recipe in Roberto Martin’s book, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, which is one of my personal favorite vegan cookbooks. Roberto shares recipes that are easy to make and easy to understand, and in the case of this recipe, easy to modify and make your own.

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins 

Vegan and gluten free!

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Wait Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes



Olive oil cooking spray

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups gluten free polenta or corn grits 

1 green bell pepper, minced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste



Spray a muffin tin with the cooking spray and set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and add the polenta. Stir the polenta constantly until it begins to get thick (about 1-2 minutes). Add the minced pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper and continue to stir until the polenta becomes very thick (about 3 minutes longer).

Scoop the polenta mixture into the muffin tin and smooth the tops of each muffin with a spoon. Set the muffins aside for at least 30 minutes to reset.

Gently pop the muffins out of the tin with a spoon and brush them lightly with olive oil.

Preheat a grill, grill pan, or, in my case, a non-stick skillet on hight heat.

Add the polenta muffins and grill for a couple minutes on each side, or until the muffins begin to brown.

Serve warm or refrigerate and enjoy as a cool summer afternoon snack.

Serves 8.

Let me know what you think of my first original recipe!




Savory Grilled Polenta Muffins- so easy, so good!

Vegan Snacking: 10 Snacks That Will Make You Forget Potato Chips

The Best Vegan and Plant-Based Nutrition Snacks on #vegan

I run a lot (like, a whole lot), so I’M ALWAYS HUNGRY. That said, when I first transitioned to a  plant-based diet, I struggled with staying full between meals. I had no problem creating delicious vegan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but I would often forget about the snacks that fall between. Not having vegan snacks readily available made it so much easier to resort back to my old ways:  i.e. binge eating pretzels with Nutella. For those who are considering switching to a plant-based diet (or who just need to switch up their vegan snacking routine!), here are my suggestions for super easy, super filling, and super delicious snacks.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Crisp Balls


Kale Chips


Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bites


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars


Cinnamon Kettle Corn


Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


Chubby Hubby Protein Bars


High Protein Banana Peanut Butter Snack


Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Miracle Cookies


Chocolate Covered Banana Almond Bites

What are your favorite vegan snacks?



p.s These snacks are so easy and delicious that they are an easy way to start incorporating healthy vegan food to your diet if you haven’t already!

Related Posts:

Running Hard, Getting Healthy, and Going (Almost) Vegan

Adventures in Plant-Based Nutrition

The FAQs of a New Vegan


Vegetarian Pasta Dish in Just Ten Minutes

The hardest part about trying to eat more vegetables is actually incorporating them into a weekday dinner. By the time I’m done with work and have finished my workout, I have little to no tolerance for cutting up veggies and doing anything with them, let alone sautéing them and adding them to (my usual) pasta. But then, Christmas came! And my ever clever little sister gifted me the wondrous Brieftons Spiral Splicer.

Briefton Spiral SlicerOh so realistic Photoshopped image courtesy of You get the idea though, right?

So this evening I boiled my usual whole wheat pasta, but instead of reaching for the boring can of tomato sauce, I spiral cut  a whole carrot and about 12% of a large cucumber (in literally 30 seconds). Feeling ambitious, I sauteed the veggies in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and added a quarter can of diced tomatoes to the mix. It took longer (9 minutes) for the pasta to cook than for me to prepare the veggies. Most certainly the healthiest meal I can think of that takes less than 10 minutes to make. And look how gorgeous it looks, too?

Vegatarian Pasta Recipe in Ten Minutes miaprimacasa.comVegetarian Pasta Dish: 1 cup whole wheat pasta, 1 carrot, a bit of a cucumber, a quarter can of diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper



The Easy, Healthy, Cheap Popcorn Recipe

Easy Healthy Popcorn

This recipe is so simple, I don’t know how I didn’t know about it for so long!  Recently, my friend told me the easiest way to make healthy popcorn your way:

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot. Add salt, pepper, garlic, or whatever other delicious combos you can think of! Pour in 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. Be sure to add the lid to the pot, then set on medium high heat until the kernels begin to pop. Shake the pan occasionally to be sure the kernels don’t burn and are evenly coated in the oil and seasoning. In true vegan fashion, I added one and half tablespoons of nutritional yeast (kind of like vegan cheese topping) to the popcorn. Super easy, as healthy (or not) as you want, and also cheap (I bought my kernels in bulk at Whole Foods for a couple bucks). Yum!

Veggie Tofu Omelet

My pre-ride meal.

Veggie Tofu Omlet

Three eggs, cherry tomatoes, extra firm organic tofu, low sodium soy sauce, green onions, cilantro

Next time, I’ll try it with a little spinach!

How to Make a Brandy Watermelon

How to Make a Brandy Watermelon

Making a brandy (or tequila, or vodka…) watermelon is probably the easiest, most gratifying recipe you can make all summer long. I looked up lots of different recipes before making my watermelon, but here is what I found to be the easiest way to complete the job:

You will need: 1 seedless watermelon, a bottle of brandy, a knife, and patience


1. Start by cutting one triangle shaped hole into the top of the watermelon (and when I say top, I mean the side. Obviously, the melon will be resting on it’s side when you cut into it). Pull out and save the wedge- you will use it to recork the watermelon later.

2. Cut two more holes at the top of the watermelon, a few inches apart. Again, keep the wedges.

3. Next, pour as much brandy as you can into each hole.

4. Now, you will need to let the brandy seep into the melon, which may take some time. I refilled the melon with brandy about every half hour until I put it in the fridge for the night.

5. Recork the melon and let sit in the fridge overnight.

6. Cut as you would a normal melon, and enjoy! It’s absolutely delicious served chilled. If you want to take your melon to the next level, scoop out balls with a melon scooper and freeze for ice cubes- they are perfect for a summer mixed drink!



Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream Frosting

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Frosting

Banana and peanut butter just might be the best food combination (second only to Nutella and bananas…), so a peanut butter cupcake with banana frosting, sounds perfect! Usually, I stick to making cookies, since cookies are relatively straight forward to bake, but this cupcake recipe is simple enough for even a beginner like me. Next time, I’m going to replace the peanut butter with Nutella…and if all goes well, I’ll post the results!

The recipe (from Coffee and Quinoa) calls for almond milk, but I used regular 1% milk instead, which seemed to work well.



Chocolate Chip (Oatmeal) Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bombs Recipe on

I usually try to make healthy(ish) cookies, but be warned, these cookies are not even close to being healthy! Which is probably why they might be the best cookies I’ve made yet. I found the original recipe from The Domestic Rebel but modified the recipe the two times I made them. The first time I tried it, I was very ambitious and used peanut butter brownie mix (not recommended! The peanut butter chips made folding the brownie over the cookies more difficult). The second time, I used oatmeal cookie dough instead of chocolate chip cookie dough. Perfect! Here is my oatmeal version of the recipe. Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 dash of milk (or choose to use less flour)

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 pkg fudge brownie mix, baked and cooled*

2 pkgs Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate bar

*It’s important to use fudge brownie mix so that it folds over the cookie dough easier!


1. Mix the softened butter and brown sugar until creamy. 
2. Add the vanilla, flour, and oats (and milk, if the mixture is not soft enough). Roll in the chocolate chips.
3. Roll the oatmeal cookie dough into one inch balls and set on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for an hour or so to firm up.
4. Cut the brownies into one inch squares and carefully press them around the cookie dough balls. I noticed that I had to lightly wet the cookie dough ball before rolling the brownie over it to get it to stick properly.
5. Heat the baking chocolate bars (2 pieces at a time will give you plenty of time to roll the cookies before the chocolate hardens) in the microwave and dip the cookie dough balls in the chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips.
6. Let sit in the fridge…or if you can’t wait (which at this point, who can!?), eat immediately.

Chicken Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips Recipe

Chicken Nachos with Homemade Tortillas

Chicken Nachos with Homemade Tortillas

One night I was craving chicken tacos, and I ended up trying to make my own tortilla chips. I was surprised to find them simple to make and very delicious. They were a great addition to my quick and easy chicken taco/nacho recipe.

Serves 2


5+ corn tortillas




Olive oil

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Green chillies, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

Shredded lettuce

1/4 onion, chopped

2-3 boneless chicken breasts


Tortilla Chips-

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Medium/High heat is preferred, but be careful when handling the hot oil!

Cut corn tortillas in quarters (I used small tortillas, so a quarter was the size of a chip) and place into oil. Heat the tortillas, flipping occasionally, for a few minutes until the tortillas have become crisp. I added salt and paprika while they were heating for an extra kick.

Chicken Nachos-

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the chopped onion. After a few minutes, add the chicken pieces. Add spices to taste: paprika, salt, pepper, and green chilies. Cook until chicken is throughly cooked. Add chicken to chips and top with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Super easy, pretty quick, and very delicious!



Related Posts:

My Brother’s Chicken Tacos, The Pioneer Woman

Lime Chicken Taco Recipe, Taste of Home

Buffalo Chicken Nachos, Baked by Rachel