Have yourself a merry Christmas morning!
Energize your holiday morning with a nutritious meal
Christmas morning is often a time of family ritual and tradition. It usually involves opening gifts or stockings, but it can also be a trip to church, or a hike in the hills, or a visit to a friend or relative's house.
Our family tradition has been to put on some Christmas music, light candles and begin the gift exchange.
We serve hot tea and cranberry tea bread to begin the morning. I always have a bowl of fresh fruit available or a smoothie made.
When the gift giving is finished, we have a full breakfast before beginning the rest of the festivities.
Whatever your tradition might be, having an easy and nutritious breakfast to start your day will give you more energy and focus for the fun at hand.
Made ahead of time, a one-dish breakfast can fill you and give you energy throughout the day. Place
one of these one-dish wonders in the oven as everyone starts opening gifts, and it will be ready to eat once everything is unwrapped.
The Simple Tofu Pie with a hash brown crust is very simple to make. Peel fresh potatoes and make your own hash brown crust, or purchase frozen hash browns. Whichever is easier for you is key.
With just 10 basic ingredients and no fancy methods required, you can put this breakfast pie together in 15 minutes. The hash brown crust keeps this dish gluten-free and vegan. It is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.
The Spinach and "Cottage Cheese" Pie preparation time is minimal - about 10 minutes. Only eight ingredients are required, most of which you may already have in your kitchen. It is packed with vegetable content, and you don't even have to chop anything. It all goes in the food processor.
I use alternative egg replacement. I have found that Ener-G Egg Replacer holds together well and provides the right consistency for a substitute quiche.
Using Wholly Gluten Free frozen crusts is a great way to save time. The baked crust is flaky and flavorful. I was able to make the Spinach "Cottage Cheese" Pie and the Galette from one package. There is no wheat, dairy, casein, egg, soy, peanut, tree nuts or sesame see in these crusts.
The Cranberry-Rosemary Galette is a bittersweet and savory addition to the breakfast table. The Galette originated in France. It is a round, flat, free-form pastry with a savory filling. It has also been called a rustic tart.
Fresh and dried cranberries combine with a mixture of cranberry juice, citrus juice and zest, and sugar. Walnuts add crunch and pair well with the bittersweet flavor of the cranberries and savory rosemary.
You can experiment and use different fillings for your breakfast Galette. You can fill it with fruit combinations, or use kale, onions and garlic with grated vegan cheese to have a little green on your table.
As an alternative bacon, I included a recipe for tempeh strips. You can use tempeh and cut into strips to marinate.
I purchased Hempeh, which is a new product on the market. It has hemp seeds added to the fermented soy beans and comes with different flavorings. I used the plain and created the marinade according to the recipe included.
Find the Ener-G Egg Replacement and the Hempeh at the Healthy Life Market in Charleston. Kroger has the Wholly Gluten Free crusts in their organic freezer section.
Pairing any of the pies with tempeh bacon, gluten-free pancakes, a fresh fruit cup or a green salad will set a merry Christmas morning table. You can prepare any of the recipes before Christmas, freeze and reheat. That will give you more time to relax and be a part of the merriment that Christmas morning brings!
Enjoy the holidays!
Simple Tofu Pie
3 medium-large potatoes (3 cups grated)
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter (or sub olive oil with varied results)
¼ teaspoon sea salt and pepper
12.3 ounces extra-firm silken tofu, patted dry
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons hummus
Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 leeks, thinly sliced and thoroughly cleaned and dried (or sub 1 medium onion, diced)
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 .Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly spritz a 9.5 pie pan with non-stick spray.
2. Grate potatoes and measure out 3 cups. Then transfer to a clean towel and firmly squeeze out excess moisture. Add to pie dish and drizzle with melted vegan butter and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then use fingers to press into the pan and up the sides to form an even layer. 3. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown all over. Set aside.
4. While crust is baking, prep veggies and garlic and add to a baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place in the oven with the crust. When you take out the crust, lower heat to 375 and continue baking until soft and golden brown (a total of 20-30 minutes). Set aside.
5. To prepare tofu filling, add drained tofu to a food processor with nutritional yeast, hummus, and a heaping ¼ teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper. Mix and set aside.
6. Remove veggies from oven, add to a mixing bowl and top with the tofu mixture. Toss to coat, then add to the crust and spread into an even layer.
7. Bake the pie at 375 degrees for a total of 30-40 minutes or until the top appears golden brown and firm. If the crust begins to get to brown, loosely tent the edges with foil.
8. Let cool briefly, and then serve with fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes.
9. Store leftovers loosely covered in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat in a 350 F degree oven.
Spinach and Cottage Cheese Pie
1 recipe for gluten-free pie crust, or 1 frozen gluten-free prepared crust
1 cup cottage cheese or substitute non-dairy cream cheese
3 eggs or EnerG egg replacement to make 3 eggs
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup grated non-dairy cheese (Daiya preferred)
¼ onion, diced
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ teaspoon nutmeg, salt and pepper
1. Thaw the frozen pie shell according to directions on the package
2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth.
3. Pour the spinach mixture into the pie shell.
4. Bake at 325 degrees F until the pastry is golden brown. Approximately 35 minutes.
5. Leave to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing/serving. If you slice it too early the filling can be a little watery.
6. Top with fresh herbs and tomato slices if you wish.
7. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
1 recipe gluten-free pastry for single-crust pie or 1 frozen gluten-free prepared crust
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup dried cranberries, fruit juiced sweetened if possible
¾ cup coconut sugar
¾ cup cranberry juice
1 large orange (1 ½ teaspoon zest, 6 tablespoons juice)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup chopped walnuts
Fresh rosemary leaves
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare pastry. On a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper, roll pastry to a 13 inch circle. Slide parchment and pastry onto a baking sheet. (If you are using a prepared frozen shell, you will need to thaw it enough to remove the shell from the pan. Use a sharp knife to loosen the dough from the rim, and slowly work your way until the crust to remove to the flat surface.) Set aside.
2. Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine both cranberries, sugar, cranberry juice, and orange zest and juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary. Let cool slightly.
3. Spoon cranberry mixture onto the center of pastry, leaving 1 ½ inches of border uncovered. Using parchment, lift and fold pastry edge over filling, pleating as necessary. Sprinkle filling with walnuts.
4. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden. Cool slightly before serving. Garnish with rosemary leaves.
5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to a week.
Tempeh “Bacon” Strips
1 package Tempeh or Hempeh (plain)
⅓ cup gluten free tamari
⅓ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 green onion, chopped
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
⅛ cup olive oil
1. Blend all of the above ingredients, except the Hempeh in a blender.
2. Slice the Hempeh into strips.
3. Place the marinade and tempeh in a ziplock bag and let soak for at least 1 hour.
4. Place the strips on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until from oven and place Hempeh strips on a cutting board to cool.
5. Use as a breakfast side or make a “bacon”, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
6. Tempeh “bacon” strips keep in the refrigerator for weeks.