When people find out that I don’t eat wheat or meat a lot of people are confused as to what I actually eat. And I admit that eating out in typical American restaurants can be a challenge. Which is partly why I’m ‘almost’ vegan.

Finding vegetarian options at restaurants is getting easier, but so often your options are pasta. I’ve had to get a bit creative at some restaurants. Ordering sides is something I frequently do. Although I was a bit annoyed at one restaurant to pay $15 for a baked potato and steamed broccoli. No seasoning, very little flavor and something I could make at home for less and have it be way tastier. But what do you do when you’re going out with friends or family and they pick a steak house or a sports bar?

Finding gluten free options is improving; however a lot of these options are meat based. I’ve ordered veggie burgers without the bun and salads without the croutons. Speaking of salads. Maybe I’m less normal than I thought but I find it strange when a restaurant offers 10 different salad options and every single one of them has meat on it – usually chicken. Now of course I can order the salad without the chicken. But I’m still paying for the chicken. When thinking of a salad don’t most people think of vegetables first? Or is that just me?

I’m getting off topic I suppose. I intended this to be a post about what I cook at home. I just had a delicious breakfast. I love my cast iron skillets and am a bit bummed that our new house has an electric glass top stove. But I can still use my trusty cast iron in the oven. And it’s my favorite way to make hash browns. A little olive oil, shredded potatoes (I often use frozen), salt, pepper, throw in the oven. Today I decided to add some veggies – green onions, green and red peppers and some broccoli. Yum! So tasty and so easy!

I’ll admit that gluten-free vegan breakfast/brunch ideas require some creativity and some trial and error. Most of our breakfast options are bread and egg based. Which is why today’s breakfast is such a good option. Its simple and flexible – using whatever veggies you have on hand in the fridge or freezer.

An easy idea that works great for a crowd is breakfast burritos. Corn tortillas, seasoned black or pinto beans, sautéed peppers and onions. There is also a gluten free vegetarian chorizo available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods that is delicious. Toppings for this may include diced avocado and tomatoes.

Another thing I’ve been enjoying lately is vegan french toast. The dipping mixture is a combination of blended banana, almond milk, ground flax seed, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. And immersion blender and the smoothie cup that comes with it work great for this!

1 mashed banana for 1 or 2 people
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg – if desired

Blend everything until smooth and pour into a pie pan or a plate. Dip bread slices (gluten free or regular) in the mixture and cook on a griddle as you would regular french toast.

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