Banana Milk Faux-meal

I recently heard of something that's taken Instagram by storm (apparently, I don't follow enough millennials or food bloggers) – banana milk.

I thought this sounded too ridiculous to pass up, and couldn't resist giving it a try.

And you know what … wasn't half bad. A little carbier than I usually like to go, but not bad at all. If you've ever had banana as a smoothie base, you'll know what I mean – this fruit blends well.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Banana Milk Faux-meal

1 banana
1 cup water
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut
1/4 c. berries (I had frozen cherries)
Sprinkle cinnamon
Sprinkle nutmeg
Dash maple extract (optional)

Blend the banana, water and a pinch of salt.

Add half a cup of the banana Milk to a bowl. Top with the rest of the ingredients.

Stir to combine. Let sit 2 – 3 minutes before enjoying like oatmeal.

Serves 1 for breakfast

Vegan Not-Yo Cheese Breakfast Bowl

HaHaHaHa. I crack myself up. Nacho cheese … not. yo. cheese. … I’m way too easily amused.

This past weekend, the DH was out of town and I was craving Taco Bell. Luckily for my stomach, Taco Bell is inordinately hard to get to from the comfort of my couch (srsly, I only know where 1 Taco Bell is in the city, and I was in zero mood to travel 1:15 and deal with whatever weekend train shenanigans NYC wanted to throw at me just for a meal that was bound to make me sick afterward), so I stayed in and scrounged what I had.

Lucky for me, that included cauliflower and cashews.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, keto

Vegan Not-Yo Cheese Breakfast Bowl

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/2 – 1 cup almond milk
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons fat of choice (I used ghee and coconut oil; you do you)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1.5 – 3 Tablespoons garlic powder
4 – 5 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 – 3 Tablespoons ground mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice 1 – 2 lemons
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
Salt & black pepper

First, put your cashews into a large glass measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Microwave on high or heat in a pan on the stove until boiling. You could also soak the cashews overnight like you’re “supposed” to, but I had zero forethought or capacity for patience, so I went the lazy route. Lazy ftw.

When your cashews are done, blitz in your blender with the almond milk.

A quick note here about consistency: I first tried blitzing in the food processor, but my cheese was starting off way too chunky and I was disturbed. I switched to my Vitamix, blended the shit out of the nuts, and life was much better. If you do not have a high-powered outboard motor of a blender, you may want to run your cheese through a strainer after completed.

Dice and add your onion and garlic to a smallish pan with your fat of choice. Sautee over medium until the onions are translucent.

While you are waiting, grab all your spices and a spoon – you’ll be tasting things and adding ingredients quickly.

When your alliums are translucent, add the cashew mixture, along with the cumin, paprika, half the garlic powder, half the mustard powder, half the nutritional yeast, the chili powder, the apple cider vinegar, half the lemon juice, and 1/4 cup almond milk. Whisk or stir aggressively to combine.

Add a big pinch of salt and some pepper. Stir and taste. Add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and almond milk until your desired consistency and taste is achieved.

Some taste notes: Mustard powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and acid are what makes the “cheese” taste here. Err on the side of aggressive seasoning.

When you have what you want taste and consistency-wise, drop the cheese in your blender and whiz to make smooth.

To make the pictured breakfast bowl, pour over some roasted cauliflower (I roasted mine in grass fed buffalo ghee with turmeric, which is why it looks weird) and top with a couple fried eggs. Or whatever vegans eat instead of eggs.

Also great over roasted brussels sprouts with taco-seasoned ground beef and scallions.

Overnight Faux-Rina 

One of my favorite winter breakfasts as a kid was forina, aka Uncle Ben’s Cream of Wheat. I loved mine with a dash of chocolate.

This, surprisingly, tastes a bunch like forina – it has a nice hearty texture, a really light sweetness, and feels stick-to-your-ribs. I’m willing to bet it’s even great warm and with a little cacao.

Gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, vegetarian & vegan with substitutions

Overnight Faux-Rina 

1/4 c. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
10 drops stevia
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter (no sugar FTW!)
1 c. almond milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 scoop protein powder (I use beef collagen) 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or blender. Shake or blend. Let sit in the fridge overnight.

Serves 1 – 2 depending upon how starving you are 

Instant Keto No-atmeal

I got the idea for this quick breakfast from Reddit. Go, Reddit.

I’m not a huge fan of regular oatmeal unless I’m starving to death and *need* something that is going to sit in my stomach like a rock for hours. This is not quite that, but it’s filling.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan with substitutions, paleo with substitutions, keto

Instant Keto No-atmeal

2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 dashes cinnamon
1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce or 1/4 cup blackberries
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or non-dairy substitute
Pinch salt
1/2 cup boiling water.

Combine the coconut, flax and chia seeds in a bowl. Add the boiling water, stir well and let sit 5 or so minutes until the chia seeds have bloomed. Stir in your add-ins and enjoy.

Serves 1 for breakfast

Estimated: 467 calories, 36 grams fat, 6 grams net carbs, 13 grams protein

Quest Cereal

This keto-friendly breakfast magic repurposes a begrudging life staple nowadays: the Quest Bar – and takes it to the ‘I’m not just chewing on a bar for breakfast’ level.

Recipe courtesy of a Nerd Down Under.

gluten-free, vegetarian, keto

Quest Cereal

1 Quest bar of your choice
1 cup milk of your choice

Nuke your bar for 15 – 20 seconds or until soft. Tear into tiny pieces with your fingers or cut – whatever floats your boat.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes or until starting to brown at the edges.

Serve with milk.

Serves 1

Keto Peanut Butter Smoothie

This low-carb smoothie is delicious — not too sweet, it has my greens, and is nice and thick. Just want I want for breakfast!

gluten-free, paleo, keto

Keto Peanut Butter Smoothie

1 haas avocado
2 cups cashew or almond milk (be sure to buy the unsweetened original kind!)
2 Tbsp. MCT oil
1 scoop collagen (I use a grass-fed beef collagen powder)
4 Tbsp. sun butter or peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural because that’s what I could find with the lowest amount of sugar/net carbs at my store)
1 Tbsp. cacao powder (check your label for sugar content)
8 drops stevia (I used vanilla flavored)
2 c. baby spinach
1 inch ginger, peeled
2 Tbsp. chia seeds

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.

Serves 2

Per serving: 562 calories, 9.9 grams net carbs, 16.2 grams protein, 47.3 grams fat

Updated: DH’s Green Smoothie

This is an updated version of my Breakfast Of Champions green smoothie recipe from a couple of years ago. As was the case back then, I still drink this smoothie most weekdays for breakfast and still absolutely love it. I’d like to say I’ve tried umpteen recipes and settled on this one after extensive taste-testing, but that’s not the case. When we got our Vitamix, the DH did a little research on smoothie ingredients that weren’t just sugar and carb bombs (or worse: dessert) in disguise, and came up with this recipe. It was perhaps the second thing he made with the new blender, and we have been drinking it ever since. It’s evolved over the years (we used to add a banana, celery, cilantro and spirulina), but the nutrition and taste is still there – and this is still an absolutely satisfying breakfast and enough to carry me through my day from 8:30 – 12:30.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan


DH’s Green Smoothie (Updated)

1 Granny Smith apple
1 big hand full kale (we use pre-cut)
1 smallish hand full baby spinach (we use bagged)
1/2 of a large avocado (or 1 whole small)
3/4c. coconut water (we use Zico)
1/4c. orange juice (we like the not from concentrate kind)
1/2 inch ginger (peeled)
Optional add-in: protein powder (we use Nutiva hemp protein because it doesn’t have soy or whey and also doesn’t have a ton of added crap)

Core and chop the apple. Add to the blender carafe. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend, letting run on high until smooth and incorporated.

Pour into two glasses and consume in the manner you prefer (I won’t drink mine without a straw; the DH drinks his straight from the glass).

Serves 2


Breakfast of Champions: Green Smoothie

It seems like the whole (healthy eating) world has jumped on the smoothie bandwagon. Internet fisticuffs have broken out over the relative merits of blending vs. juicing. Crazy eyed evangelists for both warring factions spout suspicious claims from the rooftops. Pinterest orgy groups have formed.

So, what am I doing? Adding to the noise by posting a smoothie recipe. I can’t help it; this recipe is good. Like really good. And I can’t find any fault with the health content.

My DH and I got started on smoothies innocently enough: he’d been listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast (check it out if you haven’t – he’s not a douche like I had feared he would be; he actually has some really great guests and some interesting nutrition “experts”. Plus, he’s really kind of hilarious) and Rogan mentioned how much he really likes his morning green smoothie. And then he had nutritionists on talking about smoothies and although they might argue about how you get the juice in the glass, they couldn’t argue (much) about more vegetables being good for you. Some guests cautioned about fat soluble vs. water soluble vitamins, sugar content, and whether liquid veggies were better than veggies you chew; but the overall consensus was veggies = good and controlling where those veggies come from = even better.

Needless to say, we were intrigued (and visions of a crazy high-powered blender danced in my DH’s head). We started small – 1 blended smoothie from the health store down the road (which we split, because ack! $10!). Both of us absolutely loved it, so we did the (relatively) cost-conscious thing and started buying Naked Juice. But we felt bad about it because of the pasteurization and the sweet taste and we were pretty sure it was really bad for you. So we hemmed and we hawwed and we argued and we justified and finally we sprung for a refurbished Vitamix blender. And now that $7 a day smoothie habit costs around $5 and we are a month in to making back enough dough to break even on the monster that now sits in a place of honor in our kitchen.

My DH is the smoothie mix master in the family – he gets up first, and enjoys the mad scientist aspect of creating mixes. I don’t mind, it gets him to clean the kitchen more often. That, and he’s great at it. 🙂


Big Green Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 2

1 apple
1 banana
4 stalks kale
1/2 c. fresh spinach
2 stalks celery
Small hand full cilantro
1 tsp. spirulina
1/2 c. orange juice (the healthiest 100% juice you can find)
1 c. coconut water (100% pure – if you can’t find a brand with no additives, use regular water)
1/2 avocado
1 inch ginger

Whiz everything up until smooth. This is a thick shake-like smoothie that fills you up until lunch.

Added bonus for metric nerds: Self Magazine’s site has a really good nutrition calculator. I ran this smoothie through it, and this is what came up for nutritional value:

289 calories, 56 from fat (7g total)
213mg sodium
59g carbohydrates (11g dietary fiber)
6g protein
131% Vitamin A
152% Vitamin C
13% Calcium
13% Iron

How awesome is that?

Full metrics with goodies like nutritional targets, fullness factor, glycemic load, inflammation factor, nutrient balance, protein quality, calories, carbs, vitamins, fats, minerals, sterols & other substance breakouts here. *nerd squee*