Tag Archives: breakfast

Blueberry Flaugnarde aka Blueberry Custard Cake

Blueberry panstard? Cakestard? No. Stardcake…erm. How about blueberry cuscake? I’m tryin’ to Brangelina this lovely blueberry dessert. Because it is a suprising, yet magical combination between custard and pancake. And shouldn’t all magical combinations of things have their names blended together? 


I saw this on The Misfit Baker’s (now retired) blog awhile ago. And since Neal recently bought a ginormous bag of frozen blueberries (which I also used here), I decided to give it a go. The recipe is super simple and doesn’t have a lot of steps which is something I love about all of Starr’s recipes. This particular recipe is as simple as blend, pour, sprinkle and bake.


It tastes like a delicate blueberry custard with a bit of pancake-feel going on around the edges and bottom. Which is pretty much how Starr described it on her blog, as a mix between custard and pancake.  In fact, that very description is what led me to pin the recipe.

The only mods I made:

  • I was feeling extra non-measure-y, so I just drained and dumped in a whole 12.3 oz box of firm silken tofu in the food processor. This, instead of measuring out 1 1/2 cups of pureed tofu. Seemed about right.
  • Didn’t have a 10-inch spring form pan, so I used an 8-inch baker’s pan. This resulted in a thicker custard cake and I had to bake it an extra 15 minutes as a result.


Even with my janky mods, it came out delicious! I ate it warm. I ate it cold (before I even realized that’s like a thing that French people actually do). In all variations, it was tasty. But my favorite way to eat it was warm with a glass of almond milk.

This blueberry flaugnarde was lovely to eat for breakfast and for dessert! It could even be a great afternoon snack. But of course if I ate it in the afternoon I’d have to follow it with a nice long nap. So if someone asked me what I did that day I could say — oh, I had some blueberry cuscake and an afsnap (afternoon snack and nap).


What custard-y foods do you enjoy eating?

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

It wasn’t long ago that I used to curse at myself any time I used phyllo dough. I would swear off working with it after each and every time.  For every single break or tear (and there were many, still are), I would plead to the phyllo gods— why?! why is this so difficult??

But then suddenly, something shifted. I let go of my normal perfectionism and let the phyllo dough do what it was meant to do. I let it crack. I let it break. And when I placed them on top of one another, I let them have folds and wrinkles. When my lightly buttered pastry brush swept over the folds and caused another tear in the sheet, I didn’t freak. Corners not lining up? I’ve got better things to worry about.

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

That’s because phyllo dough, I’ve decided, is magical. It seems that no matter how many rips, tears or lumpy folds I’ve let slip through, it comes out of the oven with a perfectly golden crust. A crust so delightfully crisp that it breaks into tiny buttery flakes under the slightest pressure from my fork.  Phyllo dough has taught me that sometimes letting go yields the best results.

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

I’ve used phyllo dough to wrap mushrooms and eggplant and as a crust for vegan chicken pot pie. This time around, I decided to use it with something sweet and autumn-y.

This warm, cinnamon apple strudel comes from Holly at Beyond Kimchee. It’s a simple recipe that has three main components. The sweet cinnamon apple filling, a layer of sugary chopped nuts and bread crumbs and the outer crust. My adaptations were very slight. I’m including them below rather than retyping the original recipe:

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

  • I left the skins on my 2 gala apples. Because skin.
  • For each strudel roll, I used 5 sheets of phyllo dough stacked on each other instead of puff pastry sheets for a lighter, flakier crust. I brushed each phyllo layer lightly with melted vegan butter before placing one on top of another.
  • The outside of each strudel was brushed with melted vegan butter instead of egg wash.
  • Before putting the strudels in the oven, I sprinkled a mix of sugar, breadcrumbs and cinnamon on top.

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

The individual slices are like portable apple pies with a lighter, flakier crust. It’s probably best to let this cool a bit before digging in. But it’s hard not to want to dive into that delicate crust immediately. Especially when the aroma of sweet cinnamon apples fills the kitchen and I can see the baked apple juices bubbling out of the seams and running down the sides.

Cinnamon Apple Strudel with a Flaky Phyllo Crust - Luminous Vegans

It’s another phyllo dough win for me. And I’m all for any dish that I can eat for breakfast and dessert. I’m beginning to think everything would taste good wrapped in phyllo dough.  This surely won’t be the last time I use it.

Do you use phyllo dough? What are your favorite uses for it?

Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp

Can I just take a minute to tell you how wonderful Neal is. The other day he saw me struggling with food sticking to our main frying pan (see this post for deets). So he surprised me with a new cast iron skillet the other day! I had a cast iron skillet back in the day. Like back in the only eating ramen, microwave-meal days. Needless to say, it got neglected, misused and ended up in the cast iron skillet grave.Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp - Luminous Vegans

I’m thrilled that I’ve been given a second chance with this deceptively simple-looking pan. I’ve been using it non-stop since I got it. I refried the vegan egg in it. Success! I baked brussels sprouts in it and made polenta in it. And after each gentle cleaning and light oiling of my preciousss, I’m dreaming about what to make next in it.

Sunday morning I hopped out of bed and decided to bake a sweet breakfast in it. I don’t hop out of bed. I don’t bake stuff unless desperate. What’s happening to me? What have you done to me cast iron skillet?

Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp - Luminous Vegans

This simple and tasty blueberry apple crisp (adapted from this recipe at The Grit) involves tossing fruit with some flour, sugar and spices in one bowl. Mushing rolled oats, flour, sugar, vegan margarine and spices in another. Pouring them in the skillet and baking. This was one of those free-form-throw-it-together deals, so I only sorta measured the ingredients. The recipe listings are estimates only, but I think it’s hard to mess up fruit and oats. You can use whatever fruit you like, I just used what we happened to have in the kitchen and freezer.

Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp - Luminous Vegans

Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp


For the fruit bottom:

  • 2 gala apples cored and cut into chunks
  • 3 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 1/2 tbs flour
  • 2 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

For the crispy oat top:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • pinch of cinnamon and salt
  • 12 inch cast iron pan


Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. Throw all the ingredients for the “fruit bottom” in a bowl and mix well so all the fruit is thoroughly coated. Pour it in the skillet and let that sit so everything will meld together while making the crispy oat top. Throw all the ingredients for the “crispy oat top” in a bowl. I then used my hands to incorporate everything together so all oats were coated and the margarine was melted. The oats were semi-clumpy and sticky. Crumble oat crisp on top of fruit. Bake for about an hour until the top turns golden and crispy and the fruit filling is all bubbly.

Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp - Luminous Vegans

If you don’t have a 12 inch cast iron skillet, this can still work in a 10 inch or even 8 inch baker’s pan. Of course, you might have to either adjust the amount of fruit used or let it bake longer because it will be thicker.Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp -Luminous Vegans

I love how simple, mistake-proof and tasty this was. One of the things I don’t enjoy about baking is having to measure every single thing out precisely. I was able to eyeball a lot of stuff. This is just one of those dishes where a little less/more flour or a little less/more sugar or margarine just doesn’t seem like it’s going to hurt it. I am so excited to try this out with other fruit. While I really enjoy blueberries, I might go for something that doesn’t give me “blueberry smile” next time!

Simple Skillet Blueberry Apple Crisp - Luminous Vegans

Have you used a cast iron skillet before? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Breakfast in PDX

I can’t believe I have more food posts from Portland. No wait, yes I can—it’s a vegan wonderland (like that John Mayer song but way better). And to think that we only scratched the surface!

Vita Cafe

I had the “Faux Tofurkey Florentine” which was two English muffins topped with local tofu, homemade faux turkey, spinach and vegan hollandaise. I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat it all, but I did.

IMG_0577 _Snapseed

Neal got the “2+2+2” which was tofu, vegan sausage and French toast. I ate some of his French Toast…delish!

IMG_0578 _Snapseed

Hungry Tiger Too

Neal got the  “Chicken’ and Waffle”, which he kindly let me take generous bites of.

IMG_0739 _Snapseed

I got, two vegan corn dogs with a side of slaw. I know corn dogs isn’t breakfast-y, but vegan corn dogs!! While they weren’t mind blowingly amazing, I enjoyed eating them again after not having had one for many years.

IMG_0738 _Snapseed

Both of these places were pretty casual, but Hungry Tiger Too had more of a classic diner feel. Both meals were delicious and if we had more time, I would have liked to eat my way through both menus.

Veganized Zucchini Pie from Oprah

So, Oprah didn’t write this recipe, but it is up on her website. Needless to say, it ain’t vegan. Usually I am scared to veganize dishes, but this one only had two non-vegan ingredients so I gave it a go.

I followed the recipe exactly EXCEPT I used Ener-G egg replacer for the eggs and I used Daiya chedder cheese. And instead of using store-bought Bisquick, I followed this guide on how to make homemade Bisquick (it’s basically flour, salt, baking powder and oil).
IMG_4355 _Snapseed

The veganized dish was a success! The Daiya cheese kind of released more oil than I would have liked while it cooked or maybe I just greased my pan too much out of my  fear of “food sticking to pans”. Is there a name for that kind of phobia? Whatever the reason, I baked it for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for in order to get rid of some of that extra oil. Didn’t really work, but the dish was still delicious!

IMG_4399 _SnapseedWe ate this for two meals (dinner the night I made it and lunch the next day). It reminded me of quiche and was so tasty that when we finished off the pie, I wanted more. But best of all (ahem, Oprah) no cows or chickens were harmed for my taste buds.

Verdict: I’ll make this again but will probably experiment with the amount of Daiya and vegetables.

Smell that? It’s October.

I am in love with all October-y stuff. Um, hello pumpkins, Halloween, fall leaves, sweaters, cinnamon…need I go on? I was feeling prematurely October yesterday so I decided to make “The Best Pumpkin Muffins” from Isa (from Post Punk Kitchen, duh). I followed the recipe except I subbed maple syrup for the molasses and I used a smidge less oil.

I whipped up an icing to put on it because I just bought some Madagascar vanilla beans and wanted to use it. I used a fork to mash together 1tbs of margarine (Earth Balance), and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Then I slowly added almond milk until it was the consistency I wanted, scraped some of the vanilla bean into it and stirred until smooth.

These were so easy to make and are just as the title says, “The Best Pumpkin Muffins”. I’m going to nom on these dessert-for-breakfast muffins all week.

PS: I’m really upset that I missed the deadline for Vegan MoFo. 😦 BUT, I’m still going to use it as a motivator to start blogging regularly. Sleep is over rated anyways.

The Florida Keys: Part I

We’re back from our vacation in the Florida Keys! First stop was a night in Miami where we ate at Choices Cafe. Choices Cafe is a small eat-in or take away place. The service was great and the food was excellent.

N had the “Chicken” Homie Wrap (a generous side salad was served with each entrée).

I had the VA’s Insane Mexican Wrap which had black beans/quinoa, soy chorizo, pico de gallo, plantains, sautéed onion, bell pepper and Daiya Cheese . It was most definitely “insane” in the best possible way.

For dessert, we had mini raw key lime tarts! We also got a brownie to go for later that night, but I forgot to get a pic.

The next morning, we drove to our main destination…Big Pine Key.

Satellite view of our drive.

View from the car of our drive.

At Big Pine Key, we stayed at the very eco-friendly and VEGAN Deer Run Bed and Breakfast. From the vacuum flush composting toilet to the compost bin outside our room and the recycled art and furniture, Jen and Harry (the owners) are serious when it comes to being good stewards for the earth. Plus, did I mention it’s a VEGAN bed and breakfast?

We stayed in the garden front room Eden. Directly outside our covered patio was a whimsical and peaceful garden.

Outside the garden, there were other interesting things to see on the property.

Beach chairs and tub that the Key deer often drank from.

Cuban refugees came to Deer Run’s shore some time ago on a hand built boat.

There were beautiful beach views from onshore at Deer Run,

Mangrove trees offshore from Deer Run.

The breakfast view. One day we even saw a waterspout!

as well as offshore.

View from the kayak provided by Deer Run.

So, did I mention that Deer Run is a vegan B&B?  Jen’s food is off the charts delicious. I could wax poetic about her food all day, but I will let the pictures speak for themselves. WARNING: drool-inducing food porn ahead.

Two vegan cookies on our bed upon arrival. The other one was already in my stomach for this pic.

Every morning Jen posts a detailed menu of the delicious eats.

Almond scones (2 each!)

Peaches and Cream smoothie.

Coconut oat waffles and fruit with key-lime mousse.

Ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness muffin.

Frittata with roasted seasoned potatoes, cornbread and fresh fruit.

Pancakes with fruit and a blueberry muffin (not shown because I was too enamored with the new guests from Finland that morning and was busy chatting with them.)

The breakfasts were large enough that we could skip a “real” lunch and just snack during the day. Jen and Harry provided us with stuff to pack up leftovers to enjoy later. It was also a real treat to chat with Jen and Harry each morning. They gave us recommendations on what to do each day and all the vegan-friendly places to eat. Their reasons for being vegan align with ours and it’s always cool to chat with like-minded folk.

Another cool thing about Deer Run are all the animals around the property including Angel, the owners’ rescued bird. He is a very happy and chatty bird.

Peri, the neighbor’s super friendly cat. Peri was often waiting for us in our parking spot when we got in from an evening out.

And of course the endangered Key deer are constantly roaming around the beaches and the property. They were very peaceful to be around and though we didn’t pet or feed them (not supposed to), they didn’t seem scared of us and would often be doing their thing just yards from where we sat.

Meeting of the secret Key Deer society.

We were sad to leave Deer Run after three nights. We wanted to do more kayaking, give the bikes (provided by Deer Run) a go, do more reading by the beach and just do more relaxing. So, we will visit again. Jen and Harry are the nicest people and their love and passion for this place and the animals was evidenced by how wonderfully nice our stay was. We highly recommend a stay at Deer Run B&B, this place will not disappoint.

CLICK here for Deer Run Bed and Breakfast website

CLICK here for Deer Run Facebook Page

Stay tuned for part II which will include things we did and ate near Big Pine Key.