Breakfast: The Most Important (And Let’s Be Honest – Best) Meal of the Day

Well, maybe not for everyone. I completely understand that some people wake up and don’t feel like eating right away. There are several members of my immediate family who often completely forsake breakfast and are not hungry until lunch. To each their own – you should really only eat when you’re hungry anyways. But for me, hunger strikes the second I open my eyes every morning. Food is the first thing on my mind, which I think is one of the reasons I can easily rise at such an early hour. Breakfast is my fuel, my first source of energy that will allow me to plow through an early morning shift or workout. And of course, it’s gotta be tasty. I’ve always been oriented towards a sweet breakfast – for those who know me this should come as no surprise as I have the biggest (and I do mean biggest) sweet tooth of anyone I know. Whether you like your breakfast sweet or savoury, keeping breakfast lean and healthy is so important – it sets the tone for the rest of your meals throughout the day. Just like having a workout on Monday is proven to make you more disciplined to exercise throughout the week, so does having a healthy breakfast keep you motivated to eat clean for lunch, snacks, and dinner. I have developped some deliciously tasty recipes to start your day off on the right foot.

Up until quite recently, I used to wake up exceedingly early to eat breakfast before heading off to work. Now I’ve dicovered that bringing my breakfast with me to work allows me to get the enjoyment and experience out of my meal that I need. For years, every morning was started with a bowl of cereal and milk. Unfortunately, many cereals are so processed that they have been stripped of their nutrients. The sugars that are added to (seemingly healthy) cereals further contribute to the lack of health benefits. If you love cereal like me, you are much better off to opt for less processed grains (such as steel cut oats and rolled oats – not instant oats) for your breakfast. I have found that the chewy texture of oats is much more satisfying than processed cereals, and can be made healthily and exactly to your preference. Furthermore, oats are so versatile that they can take on almost any flavour, creating variety for that first meal of the day. My favourite way to prepare oats is to soak them overnight – also known as “overnight oats”. This method allows the oats to soak up whatever flavour you combine with them, whether that be fruit, spices, nut butter, etc. Below I have shared my FAVOURITE overnight oats recipe – pumpkin spice. Such a white girl.¬†This rich, fudgy breakfast is scrumptious and satisfying. The spices are reminiscent of autumn and the raisins add a pop of sweetness. This recipe makes 2 servings.

Pumkpin Spice Overnight Oats

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • nuts, such as almonds (optional)
  1. Mash banana in the bottom of a bowl or container. Mix in peanut butter, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices.
  2. Stir in oats, almond milk, raisins, and nuts.
  3. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Enjoy the next morning!


I am a huge sucker for pancakes on a Sunday morning. There is nothing better than waking up to a stack of fluffy flapjacks dripping in gooey maple syrup to start your weekend off right. And what if I told you that this yummy weekend treat can be a wholesome, healthy start to your day? I have developped several pancake recipes that are made with natural, non-artificial ingredients. My banana pancakes can be made vegan by substituting the egg for a flax egg, and can be made gluten-free by substituting rolled oats for gluten-free oats or a gluten-free flour. This recipe makes enough pancakes for one, but can easily be doubled or tripled.

Banana Pancakes

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 free range egg
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Mash banana in a bowl. Mix in egg and rolled oats.
  2. Drop spoonfuls (approximately tablespoon sized) of the mixture into a pan with coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Cook pancakes in batches for about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Top with berries and pure maple syrup.


This next pancake recipe is courtesy of my friend, Michelle. She’s an expert gluten-free cook and baker! These rich and tasty GF cakes get their wonderful texture from cashews and bananas, and are topped with a sweet and tangy berry compote This recipe makes enough pancakes for one, but again, it can easily be expanded.

Cashew Banana Pancakes with Berry Compote


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 free range egg
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Drop tablespoons of mixture into pan with coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Cook 3 minutes per side.


  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  1. Simmer ingredients over medium low heat until berries are macerated – approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Pour warm mixture over pancakes.


Although I LOOOOOVE pancakes and other sweet breakfasts, I quite enjoy a good hash at brunch. Potatoes are so packed with nutrients, and if you bake them correctly, a vegan hash can be both dleicious and healthy! And what’s better than a savoury breaky smothered in a creamy hollandaise sauce? Vegan hollandiase is possibly the BEST sauce I have ever tasted – even my carnivorous friends agree that a good cashew hollandaise surpasses any egg-based hollandaise. In addition to roasted potatoes, this sauce also works great on eggs, and as a spread for sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and hotdogs!

Cashew Hollandaise

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted cocnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  1. Soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Blend cashews with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Heat sauce on stovetop until just heated through – it will thicken very quickly!


If you’re one of those people that just isn’t hungry in the morning, but you need a good boost of energy to get your day going, I have a tasty drink to start your day! This recipe is courtesy of Quintan, who freestyled this awesome smoothie one day. It has delicious tropical notes that are sure to make your tastebuds happy!

Tropical Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup organic juice (such as k & i or Jusu)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mangoes
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  1. Blend all ingredients and enjoy!


I hope these recipes enhance your breakfast experience! As always, you can eat healthy while still getting that satisfaction from indulging in a delicious meal. Vegans and celiacs never need to compromise! Enjoy ūüôā



The Lake-Life Vegan

Last weekend I went to our family home on Lake Cowichan for a relaxing weekend with my mom. Cowichan holds many fond memories for me, as I’ve been going up during summers with my family for the past 10 years. During that time, my dad has almost single-handedly built our home on the lake. This entire process has made my summers as a youth even more special for me, as I’ve gotten to witness my dad’s hard work and dedication turn into something absolutely stunning. I remember when we first starting building all those summers ago we were staying on our lot in a little camper with no running water or sewage system – bathroom trips were a 5 minute walk into the woods to the good ol’ outhouse. Back then I didn’t appreciate what a privilege it was to be building a home in one of the most beautiful places on Vancouver Island. Luckily as I matured, I began to cherish the lake and our way of life up there, inconvenient as it may have been starting out.

As the years went by, our little camper gained some amenities; we got running water and a satellite (for those surprisingly pleasant lake days when it pours rain and makes cozying up to Camp Rock and High School Musical inevitable). For the last couple of summers our family has been able to live in the house while it is still under construction. I adore the sweet smell of lumber that fills the house, as well as the stunning view of the lake from the front windows. We also purchased a boat! I tell you, there is NOTHING better than an evening boat ride on Lake Cowichan to watch the sun set. Nothing. Maybe chocolate.


And of course, the smell of a campfire with roasting hotdogs certainly contributes to the nostaligia of the lake. Food has always been a major characteristic of lake life for my family; I’d go so far as to say it’s always been one of my favourite parts of being at Cowichan. Fresh fruit, meat cooked over an open flame, chips and dip, smores – everything just tastes better at the lake. Now that I have forsaken animal products and aim to live a plant-based diet, eating up at the house has only gotten better. I vowed when I started this diet that I would never allow myself to feel restricted – I can have the same delicious, sentimental food that I love, just amped up a notch. I think hotdogs were probably my favourite food to cook over a campfire growing up, and there’s no way I am going to lose that experience or taste. Like all my food, this does involve a fair deal of creativity. I adapted a vegan hotdog recipe that I tried for the first time last weekend. Paired with my own homemade bun and cashew cheeze sauce, it was absolutely delicious! They have the perfect umami flavour that is derived from the plethora of spices in the recipe, as well as a authentic hotdog texture (ask Quintan – he said it first). Remember, if you’re thinking of going vegetarian or vegan, or just want to live a healthier lifestyle, you NEVER ¬†have to sacrifice flavour. I always say that building good flavour is a combination of experimentation and the internet. Choose spices that you like and combine them – just see what happens! It won’t always turn out; I’ve come up with a whole series of disappointing flops that I would like to forget. But when you get it right the satisfaction is so worth it.

Vegan Hotdogs

Makes 7-8

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  1. Chop onion and garlic finely and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and add chickpeas, water, soy sauce, sriracha, and seasonings. Blend until the mixture has combined to form a paste.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add paste and knead for approximately 5 minutes, until a dough has formed.
  4. Set up a vegetable steamer on the stovetop and get the water boiling. Divide the dough into 7 or 8 even balls. Form each ball into the shape of a hotdog and wrap it tightly in parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  5. Place each wrapped hotdog in a single layer in the steamer and steam, covered, for 45 minutes. At this point the dogs are cooked and ready to eat, but you can freeze them and warm them up over a grill another day!


I loved these hotdogs not only for their taste, but also because there are no artificial preservatives in them. Many soy veggie dogs that you can purchase at the store are filled with chemicals that just aren’t good for you. Bread is the same way. When you make your own food, you know what you’ve put in it and can feel good knowing that you’re satisfying your body with wholesome ingredients while still catering to your tastebuds. Happy eating!

The Magic of Quinoa

Quinoa is a vegan’s best friend. Not only does¬†this little seed contain all 12 amino acids (making it a full protein source), it is incredibly versatile – and it is quick and easy¬†to cook. Quinoa comes in several different colours and forms. Whole seed quinoa comes in white, black, and red varieties. Other quinoa products include quinoa flour (GREAT for gluten free baking) and quinoa flakes, which add a nice crunch to dishes such as fruit crumbles.

Quinoa has a baking cooking method. Bring 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Done! I usually use water for the liquid, but you could use veggie or meat stock for added flavour.

Althoug quinoa is GREAT in salads, many people don’t realize its versatility. Quinoa can be used to make porridge, smoothies, baked goods, soups, and many other sweet and savoury dishes. I am going to share some of my favourite quinoa recipes that are not salads. Some of them I have created, while others I have adapted. Hope you enjoy!


Strawberry Banana Quinoa Smoothie

These smoothies are packed with protein and are very filling. They are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a pre/post workout snack.

For one smoothie:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • almond milk (enough for desired thickness – I used about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Place first four ingredients in blender or Magic Bullet and top up with almond milk. Puree until smooth.



Quinoa Banana Bread

This banana bread is soooooo tasty and filling! It’s best topped with all natural peanut butter.

For 1 loaf:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free alternative)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 organic free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 chocolate chips, nuts, or raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash bananas. Whisk in eggs and syrup, then stir in oil and quinoa. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Allow to bake for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert loaf onto rack.



Spanish Quinoa

This quinoa bowl reveals how well this seed can be used to tie together leftovers into one delicious meal. Adapted from traditional Spanish rice, this dish is spicy, savoury, and hearty.

For one meal:

  • 1 cup leftover spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup each of sliced black olives, chickpeas, corn
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  1. Heat sauce with quinoa in a saucepan or in the microwave, stirring to combine.
  2. Add all other ingredients and enjoy.



Quinoa Mushroom Soup

I got this recipe from my quinoa cookbook, “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. This cookbook is chock full of great recipes for any meal of the day. This one showcases how quinoa can thicken and add a creamy richness to soup. I served my soup with homemade bread.

For 6 servings:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups stock (I used vegetable)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic (made by roasting a whole bulb of garlic with olive oil wrapped in tinfoil at 400 degrees for 30 minutes)
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • additional toppings such as cheese or sour cream
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, covered, for another 7 minutes. Remove 1 1/2 cups of this mixture and set aside.
  2. Add stock, water, quinoa, roasted garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Puree soup in a blender (be careful to cover blender tightly, as hot liquid will splash when blended). Return soup to saucepan and stir in spinach and reserved mushrooms. Cook until heated through.



Hosting Parties for Carnivorous Friends

This past weekend, Quintan and I hosted our very first Easter family dinner. Out of the seven of us (me, my mom and dad, Quintan, his mom and dad and sister) I am the only one who obstains from meat and dairy. This can be a bit tricky when trying to plan a menu that everyone will enjoy, but will also give me yummy options as well. I let Quintan tackle the honey-glazed ham (which everyone agreed was delicious Рgo ask him for the recipe!) while I took on the vegetables and dessert. Bonus Рeverything on this menu is gluten free for you celiacs!

At most dinner functions I attend, I am typically limited to vegetable side dishes, so I wanted to make sure these veggies friggin’ rocked. I opted to go for roasted potatoes over mashed, since mashed potatoes typically contain a lot of milk, butter, sour cream, etc. I also made a spinach apple salad with a spicy balsamic maple vinaigrette, and orange-glazed carrots.

For dessert, I attempted a raw, vegan “cheesecake”, which I must say turned out fabulous. I also pumped out a delicious batch of chocolate peanut butter brownies with tofu frosting and mini eggs. While making dessert I realised how versatile plant-based meal planning can be. For instance, a lot of plant based food is ad-lib – I could throw in some mini eggs on one end of the brownie pan for my guests, while leaving the other end mini egg-free¬†¬†for myself. It was so easy to accomodate my guests’ traditional ideas of an Easter dessert while still giving them a taste of plant-based cuisine. Everyone LOVED the whole meal – such a great success! See below for recipes:


Roasted Potatoes

  • mini red potatoes
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • Montreal Steak Spice

(No quantities given – it all depends on your taste and the size of your meal. Experiment!)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper
  2. Wash mini potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place in medium to large bowl.
  3. Add olive oil (usually around 2 tablespoons). Add thyme, oregano, and steak spice to suite your tastes. You could also add in lemon juice and garlic as a variation. Toss potatoes to coat.
  4. Turn out potatoes onto baking sheet, making sure to spread out evenly. The potatoes should be in a single layer.
  5. Roast potatoes on middle oven rack for 15 minutes, then flip. Roast for another 15 minutes or until preferred doneness. (After 30 minutes of cooking the potatoes will be cooked through, but some prefer their potatoes darker and crispier).


Orange-Glazed Carrots

  • 3 pounds of mini carrots (will feed a crowd of 7)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  1. Place carrots in a saucepan and fill with water (enough to just cover carrots).
  2. Bring carrots to a boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer carrots for approximately 10 minutes, until fork tender. Drain carrots and return to stovetop. Add orange juice, maple syrup, and olive oil. Simmer for 5 minutes.


Spinach Apple Salad

  • 1 bunch of spinach (will feed 7)
  • 2 apples (preferable Gala or Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (or to your taste – can substitute mustard if you don’t like spice)
  • Walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas
  1. Wash, dry, and trim spinach stems. Place in a large bowl
  2. Wash and cut apples into long, thin strips. Add to spinach.
  3. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar, maple, and sriracha.
  4. Serve salad with dressing and an assortment of nuts for topping.
Roast potatoes, orange-glazed carrots, and spinach apple salad


Lemon Lavender “Cheesecake”

  • 1 cup raisins or pitted dates (or a combination)
  • 1 cup of almonds or walnuts (or a combination)
  • 3 cups cashews (soaked for 4 hours or overnight)
  • juice of 3 lemons (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or bland vegetable oil such as canola
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp dried lavender buds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. To make the crust, combine dried fruit and nuts in a food processor or good blender until combined. The consistency should be such that you can squish them between your fingers and all the ingredients stay together.
  2. Line an 8 inch baking pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press crust into the bottom of the pan until evenly distributed. Place in fridge while you work on the filling.
  3. Put the rest of the indredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until very smooth. Transfer this mixture to the cake pan and spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until set – approximately 4 hours.
  4. Leave cake at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

(Note: I made candied lemon rinds to decorate the cake. You can reserve one of the rinds from the lemons used in the filling to make the curls. Just make sure you scrape off all the pith from inside the rind, and cut the rind into long, thin strips. Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium low heat. Simmer the rinds for 10 minutes, then remove them and place on a cooling rack until they have cooled enough to handle. Wrap them around a straw and leave on parchment paper for around 12 hours until hardened. They are yummy!)

Lemon Lavender “Cheesecake”


All-Natural Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Vegan Frosting


  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 organic, free range egg
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • mini eggs (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Whisk together all the wet ingredients, and then stir in the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour batter into a 9 inch pan that is lined with parchment paper. Press mini eggs down into batter.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan. Top with frosting and mini eggs.


  • 4 ounces (half a package) of toffuti (or soft tofu)
  • 1 1/2 cups¬†powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Beat the toffuti until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
  2. Sift in powdered sugar, a cup at a time, beating between additions.
  3. Sift in cocoa powder and add vanilla, and beat until combined.

(Note: You can replace granulated sugar with pure maple syrup in almost any baking recipe. The conversion in 3/4 cup maple syrup to every cup of sugar. Then reduce each liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons. Since syrup carmelizes faster than sugar, it is best to reduce the temperature to 325 F. Maple syrup is a natural, unprocessed sweetener that is far better for your health than consuming granulated sugar. Giver ‘er a try!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Tofu Frosting

Jamie’s Eats!

Hey friends!

So I decided to start a blog (with help from Quintan of course – the basics of the interwebz still evade me) about the best subject in the universe – food. Why, you ask? Well, the simple answer is that food excites me. It is a creative medium through which I can express myself – an art form, one might say. This creativity has been a recent development for me, and goes hand in hand with my decision to live a plant-based lifestyle. Over the past several years, I noticed that food, eating, and counting calories started to become a negative obsession in my life. I would deny myself food and then be overwhelmed with guilt if I indulged – not a healthy lifestyle at all. Outwardly I promoted body acceptance and self love, while inwardly I knew I would only like myself if I looked thin enough or toned enough. It was a constant source of stress for me, and I’m sure most people (especially girls) have gone through similar trials in their lives. Several weeks ago, I decided on a whim that I wanted to try a vegan/plant-based diet as a way to curb my eating anxieties. Veganism is a lifestyle by which one does not consume/wear ANY animal product. Although I call myself a vegan (largely because it’s the easiest term to sum up my diet to friends, families, and nosy waiters) I prefer the term “plant-based” because it better describes what food I aim to eat. For example, there are many food items on the market that are “vegan friendly”, but contain an¬†incredibly long list of preservatives and alien poop. I want to sustain myself through natural, earth-derived foods for several reasons:

  1. I feel energized and happy after I eat.
  2. I am fueling my body with foods that will make me healthy and strong.
  3. I am helping to reduce carbon emissions that are mass-produced by the factory farming industry.
  4. I am boycotting the cruelties that take place on factory farms to my dear cow, pig, and chicken friends. (At this point I’d like to distance myself from those people who assert that animals have a right to life. Humans, however, have a duty to prevent unnecessary harm to animals. Go look up Mercy For Animals videos and you’ll see what I mean).

Since I have adopted this new lifestyle, the stress of eating, guilt, and counting calories has melted away. I feel confident and happy with my food choices, and this is something that I have not felt for a very long time. Eating is once again an enjoyable experience for me, and I want to share that experience! My goal for this blog is NOT to force veganism or any kind of diet on you. I aim to inspire creativity and hopefully get you started in the kitchen cooking up your own masterpieces with whatever ingredients excite you and make you feel good.

Reppin’ the frilly vintage apron.


If you have any questions about the ingredients I use, my methods, or anything else related to plant-based living, give me a holla. My Instagram accounts, and, feature many of my creations. Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician in the LEAST. But I know what tastes good! If you are as privileged as I am to have access to a wide variety of foods, take advantage of that. Bon appetit!

PS: Some of my pictures are the photography work of Quintan Neville of Go check out his amazing photography!