Veggin’ out

Breakfast with a fall flair

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. I don’t think I’ve given it too much credit in my column over the years, so I wanted to offer up a few recipes for breakfast foods and add in a splash of fall flavor because my favorite season is on its way.

Pumpkin always seems to be the go-to flavor of the season, but there also are many other flavors that remind us that cooler weather and falling leaves are on their way, like maple, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Try throwing in a few of these flavors into your regular cooking and even warm drinks (when they make sense, of course). But be sure not to overdo it, as these flavors tend to be a bit strong, so use sparingly.

Add a little cinnamon and-or nutmeg into plain applesauce, stir in a little apple or pumpkin butter into your cottage cheese, sprinkle spices onto pancakes, waffles, French toast and even into your coffee or cappuccino.

Vegan pancakes

Serves 1

(Adapted from my healthy Spelt Pancakes For One)

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Dash ginger

1/2 tablespoon sugar

Pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Pecans

Pumpkin butter

Grease and preheat a skillet on the stovetop. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients (baking powder, flour, sugar, sea salt, spices).

In a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients (vanilla, almond milk, melted coconut oil). Add wet to dry and whisk well.

Pour less than 1/4 cup per pancake and cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook until golden on the opposite side. Layer with pumpkin butter and pecans for an even more fall flavor to go along with the fall spices.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make your own homemade pumpkin butter for your pancakes, rather than buying it from the store, try this recipe.

Homemade pumpkin butter

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, about 3 1/2 cups of fresh

3/4 cup apple juice

1/2-1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-2 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices and sugar in a large saucepan and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, covered with lid ajar. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, covered with lid ajar, for 35-45 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before removing lid. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice.

Once cool, butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Makes enough to fill one large mason jar or about 3 1/2 cups.

Vegan omelet

(Adapted from minimalistbaker.com)

5 ounces (3/4 cup) firm silken tofu, drained and gently patted dry

2 tablespoons hummus

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Salt and black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Veggies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drain and dry tofu and mince garlic. Set aside.

Heat a small-to-medium, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just lightly golden brown. Be careful, garlic burns quickly.

Transfer garlic to food processor, along with remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Add just a touch of water to thin — about 1-2 tablespoons at most. Set aside.

Over medium heat, add a bit more olive oil and the veggies. For a fall flavor, cut up small chunks of butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes or yams. I also like to throw in onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute to desired doneness. You can save some of the veggies to spoon on top of the omelet when it’s done, too.

Make sure skillet it’s coated with enough oil so the omelet doesn’t stick. Spoon on the omelet batter, spreading it gently and evenly.

Cook over medium heat on the stove top until the edges start to dry. Then place in 375 degree oven and bake until dry and deep golden brown — 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and fold over. If it doesn’t want to fold, you can serve it as a frittata or scramble.

Stellfox is the Lifestyle editor at the Sun-Gazette. Her award-winning column is published on the second Wednesday of each month in the Food section. She can be reached at jstellfox@sun­ gazette.com.