I am so excited (thrilled) to introduce my friend and colleague Dianne Wenz to you today as the May Fabulous Women in Food guest blogger. You may already know Dianne via her super interesting blog DiannesVeganKitchen.com or as the editor in chief of ChicVegan.com. Both websites offer lots of recipes and good, solid information for vegans, the veg curious, and everyone in between. She is also a certified Vegan Health and Lifestyle Coach, a certified plant-based chef, and a graduate of my Essential Vegan Desserts Course. Dianne is also graphic designer, and she runs Montclair Vegans, a MeetUp group in her New Jersey community, where she lives with her partner Dennis and her four cats. Dianne is wearing a lot of hats but is always willing to help and inspire her friends and readers. I am very lucky indeed to be among those who calls Dianne and friend – and believe me, I call on her often, for all kinds of advice, from food to health questions, blogging and fashion and home decor. Dianne is a woman of all seasons. How she had the time to do this wonderful e-book, I have no idea but one reader will have a chance to win a copy. The rest of you should get yours asap.
On Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope once asked, “why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” And I often ask myself the same question. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love hearty tofu scrambles, fluffy muffins, and creamy smoothies. I could eat breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
In my new e-Book What’s for Breakfast? I share some of my favorite breakfast dishes from my blog Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen. In it you’ll find tofu scrambles, oatmeals, smoothies, and more. Some of the recipes are quick and easy, making them perfect for busy weekdays, while others require a little more time and are more suitable for weekend brunch.
For most people, mornings tend to be the most hectic time of the day. People are often racing around the house to take showers, find clothes, and get children ready for school. Breakfast can sometimes fall by the wayside, but I’ve learned that if you don’t start the day with a good breakfast, the day usually falls about quickly.
My Top 5 Tips for Making Breakfast the Best Meal of the Day
- Plan Your Meals in Advance – I suggest planning all of your meals in advance, making a list, and sticking to it when grocery shopping. Mornings run much smoother when you know what you’re going to be having for breakfast.
- Cook Ahead of Time – If you like to hit that snooze button or if you’re mornings are usually a frantic rush, prepare your food ahead of time. Cook a week’s worth of morning meals on Sunday and store them in grab-and-go containers in the fridge.
- Meal Prep – If you want a freshly made meal every morning, prepare all of the ingredients in advance so that you just have to throw it all together in the morning. I like to make smoothie bags, keeping the ingredients for each one in separate bags in the freezer, so I just have to dump it all into my blender in the morning. If you prefer hot food, precut vegetables or bulk cook grains in advance.
- Use a Slow Cooker – Slow cookers are great because there’s very little hands-on time needed. You can throw everything into your crockpot before bed and a hot breakfast will be ready and waiting for you when you get up. I cook everything from oatmeal to tofu scrambles in mine.
- Experiment with Different Types of Food – Every day for a week, try a totally different type of dish for breakfast. Have tofu scramble one day, a smoothie another, and oatmeal the next. Take note of how you feel each day. Did you feel energetic or sluggish? How long did it take you to get hungry again? Did you make it to lunchtime, or did you have to have a snack? This experiment will help you figure out the best type of breakfast for you.
Dianne Wenz’s Mushroom-Leek Tofu Scramble
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 10 to 12 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 block (14 ounces) tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained and pressed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup cup black olives, chopped
- Cook the leeks in the oil along with a pinch of sea salt in a large skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they start to brown and caramelize. Stir often.
- Add the mushrooms and another pinch of sea salt and cook until they soften, about 5 more minutes.
- Crumble the tofu into the pan along with the nutritional yeast, all-purpose seasoning mix, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the remaining sea salt. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the spinach and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until it wilts.
- Serve hot, topped with tomatoes and black olives.
Recipe reprinted with permission from What’s For Breakfast? Morning Favorites From Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.
Dianne Wenz is a Vegan Health and Lifestyle Coach, plant-based chef, and the editor-in-chief of ChicVegan.com. She is passionate about guiding people to go vegan, as well as helping them improve their over-all health and wellbeing. She runs Montclair Vegans, a MeetUp group in her New Jersey community, and can often be found hosting a potluck, whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, or taking pictures of her lunch. To learn more, visit Dianne’s website http://www.diannesvegankitchen.com
Dianne has a copy of her new What’s for Breakfast? e-book for one lucky winner this week. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on May 23rd. Good luck!