I started craving a nice, big breakfast, specifically waffles, while in Europe. This morning I made some, and figured I should incorporate some fruit. Using what I had, I created strawberry-banana waffles.

Recipe (I actually made half of this recipe, but I’m doubling it to make it more standard.. or so if you have a Belgian waffle maker, you won’t come out with 2 1/2 waffles):

makes about 5 Belgian waffles, at least double that for regular waffles.

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 medium ripe banana, mashed

1 1/2 c. soy or rice milk

3 T. canola oil

3 T. maple syrup

3/4-1 c. fresh or frozen and thawed strawberries, sliced (measure first, then slice)

extra banana and strawberry slices for garnish, optional

Preheat your waffle iron.

Sift and mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mash the banana with a fork if you haven’t already. Add the milk, syrup and oil and mix well with the fork. Add the wet to the dry until just combined–don’t overmix! Fold in the sliced strawberries.

Cook in your waffle iron according to its instructions–I use 3/4 c. of thick batter and cook on a high setting.

Top with maple syrup and the sliced fruit, and powdered sugar if you like. Freeze your leftovers and pop them in the toaster when you’re ready for more.. I think they tasted better the next day.

If you don’t have a waffle iron, reduce the flour to 1 1/2 c. and make pancakes! Try starting with 1 1/4 c. flour, and add another 1/4 if necessary.

Variation Ideas:

Tropical Waffles: Keep the banana or sub with crushed pineapple (about 1/2 c.). Use lite coconut milk instead of soy. Fold in shredded, unsweeted coconut instead of strawberries. Top with extra fruit/fruit syrup.

Valentine’s Waffles: Sub the banana with 1/3 c. vanilla, plain, or strawberry soy yogurt. Increase the strawberries to 1-1 1/4 c. and blend them for a very short time in a blender or food processor with some of the milk (only 1/4-1/2 c. or so). Mix this with the rest of the wet ingredients, and add to the dry ingredients. Your waffles should be pink (cook on a little lower setting), and if you have one of those heart-shaped waffle makers, you’re gold (if not, like most of us, try reducing the flour and making heart-shaped pancakes). Optionally, you can fold in some chocolate chips. Either way, top with soy whip cream or at least powdered sugar and syrup. (I do need to test out this recipe, but you get the idea for now!)

i’m back!

June 1, 2007

Well, I made it to Europe and back, and now I’m more broke than ever. Seriously. But I had an amazing time seeing tons of art, ruins, monuments, etc. etc. My favorite place was probably Rome, which was the first city I stayed in (and now also the first city to find cocaine and pot in the air, which may have swayed my opinion–just kidding). In terms of veganism, it was also the easiest. I ate pizza for almost every meal, my favorite being the Roman style square pizza with sauce and peppers (‘pepperoni’ in Italian), often folded like a sandwich. There were other vegan slices too, such as potato with olive oil, and plain marinara with garlic and basil. I ended up eating the former quite often in Florence and Venice, where there were fewer options. If you’re ever in Rome, go to Blue Ice, which has excellent soya gelato. I got vanilla and cappuccino and it made my night.

In Paris, we had a kitchen.. something I would recommend if you’re staying there for more than a few days. Everyone told me I would “fall off the vegan bandwagon” in France, but I was not tempted by the cheese and had plenty of other options. There’s a natural food store with vegan cookies and all the staples and more, called Naturalia, although even the regular grocery store had soy and rice yogurt. And there’s lots of Asian food and falafel stands. As for London, no problem at all.

I should have a picture of one of the meals I made in Paris at some point, after I get my film developed and somehow scanned. For now, here’s what I ate BEFORE I left.

Lachesis, famous for her Seitan O’Greatness, has mastered a meal that was my favorite for years: fettucinne alfredo. It really does taste the same.

The recipe in progress is here (scroll halfway down). Clearly I only made the sauce, because I could just pick up some noodles and silken tofu and be satisfied. It makes a ton, by the way… for the amount of sauce I like, half of a recipe was 4 servings.

See?

And here’s what I took with me on my trip:

Simply granola with dried cranberries, apricots, raisins, raw pumpkin seeds, and coconut flakes.