Best Brunch: Cheese-less, Potato-less Herbed Veggie Egg Casserole

Healthy Egg Bake

If you woke up this morning with a frosting hangover and tinsel stuck to your face…only to realize that you need to feed a gaggle of hungry relatives…we’ve got ya covered.

This is by far my favorite breakfast casserole of all time. I have been making quiches and eggy dishes for years now, but the two problems I always have with them are: 1) you end up with a lot of extra starch using a basis of potatoes or tortillas, which obviously equals more calories. Or 2) using egg whites and spinach and not much else…there isn’t a whole bunch of taste there. I hate things that taste “diety,” don’t you? There are ways to pair your food so you don’t sacrifice taste for being healthy.

I recently have been trying to steer away from cheese. Not because I don’t love it, but because when it’s in my house, I will eat it and munch on it all day until it’s gone! This recipe knocked my socks off, and everyone who ate it told me it was so good they just assumed cheese was in it. And they didn’t even miss the potato base! (I swapped out the potato for zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. If you ask me, TASTIER!)


Holiday Baking: Coconut Macaroons

Vegan Coconut Macaroons

Time to get your holiday bake on!

So, this is easily my favorite baking recipe of all time. It’s a soft, chewy, DELICIOUS cookie. I can only make these when I know I am bringing them somewhere…otherwise I can’t be trusted with them. The good news is that this recipe is vegan, and utilizes my good ol’ favorite: agave, so no refined white sugar here! Follow the recipe and you’ll have the best dessert at the par-tay! (or on your couch, alone, watching the PBS special on Liza Minnelli. No judgement here, people!)


Vegan Baking: Because Why Not?

vegan baking
Photo credit: massdistraction

I should be clear: I am not a vegan. I have plenty of vegan friends, and I enjoy vegan cuisine on a regular, if not daily basis…but I am not a vegan. Or a vegetarian. I enjoy meats occasionally (there, I said it). A few times a month, I will eat chicken breast without hormones, or have a few slices of uncured turkey bacon with breakfast. I enjoy a good STEAK (and maybe some dairy from time to time). It’s not excessive, but it’s there. Although I have contemplated going entirely vegan one day…today is not that day! So, let me get to my point: vegan baking.

Living in LA, I have friends from all walks of life: cancer survivors, artists of all kinds, yoga teachers, photographers, mothers, fathers, and people of all ages. Film people, music people. People that have many, and I do mean MANY dietary preferences and restrictions. So, as you can imagine, bringing my mother’s triple-layer, dairy-rich dessert bars to a party is not the best choice for everyone (oh, but they are delicious…). So, I started a rule for myself to follow. As someone who enjoys a cookie or a cake for special occasions, I decided that on said special occasions, I would only bake with vegan ingredients. You never know who will be at a party or event you’re attending, and I really hate excluding people from glorious confections.

Vegan baking is actually really easy, too, and I DARE you to miss the eggs, butter and whatever else you may be using in your baked goods. I have found that often times, the frostings, the toppings, the cakey parts – they are even better than what I was doing before I decided to be an all-vegan baker. I love a challenge, and I enjoy knowing that what I am making is…well, maybe not GOOD for me (let’s be honest, if you’re gonna eat the whole damn pan of vegan brownies, you’re still not doing your ass any favors)…but better for me than the buttery, dairy-rich alternatives (butter…drool).

Here are some simple vegan conversions you can use the next time you need to make muffins for your co-workers, cookies for your kids, or cake for your friend’s baby shower. Stay tuned for some fun vegan recipes coming up!