Tag Archives: breakfast

Savoury protein breakfast bites

Here’s a high concept: a breakfast that is both fussy-fancy and convenient.

The trick? Much like my blueberry muffins, make that beauty ahead and just pop one (or two!) out when you feel like it. These are great out of the fridge, warmed up, whatever — and with ketchup!

Oh, right, what are they? Well, if you, like me, have had a hard time giving up eggs in your vegan journey, this might be the dish for you. Just like the “cage-free” egg bites Starbucks has been pushing, these bad boys are savoury, protein-packed and convenient. But unlike those egg bites, these didn’t come at the suffering of chickens.


Garden veggie chickpea omelettes

I’ve mentioned before that my husband is not a vegan (although our household is vegan with the exception of our cat food and a microsuede couch given to me as a gift a long time ago). He has greatly reduced his animal consumption since we met (and even before we met, he was very open to eating plant-based) and I definitely bother him to go vegan/still hold some hopes that he will go vegan, but when he’s out of the house he eats an omnivorous diet. He has been choosing the veggie option lately even when he isn’t with me, which I’m very proud of.


One-bowl blueberry flax pancakes (sugar-free)

Sometimes when I read food blogs, I feel like they were written by people who wouldn’t know a nine-to-five work schedule if it ran them over with a car. Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I don’t think running a successful blog is a full-time job (see: my last post whining about how I just don’t have the time to put the effort in to make my blog amazing like some of the greats out there), but let’s face it: when you make your own hours and can work in your pyjamas, your breakfast recipes can get a little… time-consuming.


French Toast with the Vegan Egg



Have you ordered your Vegan Egg yet? When I saw that Follow Your Heart created a vegan egg product, I wasn’t skeptical in the least — I’ve often thought that if anyone could do it, it’s them! I’ve generally liked everything FYH does: Veganaise, salad dressings, cheese. They’re not a blog sponsor or anything, I just love them. Don’t question it. My cat doesn’t sponsor my blog and I still love him.

I’ve never had any other vegan “egg” products (the only one I really know of is the Vegg). I’ve always loved tofu scramble and have never had a tofu scramble I didn’t like (save for the awful tofu scramble I had in Hamilton a couple months ago — why anyone would use silken tofu for a scramble I have no idea. Blech. The memories.) so I didn’t really miss eggs that much. But hey, I’m always up for a good vegan dupe.

The taste is basically bang-on. You can tell they use black salt very liberally in this mixture because it has that distinct sulfur-y smell. Once you pour the water in with the powder you get an instant egg smell throughout your kitchen. Trust me, it’s pleasant.

As for texture, I didn’t quite go crazy with my first vegan egg. It took quite a long time to cook down and solidify, very different from a real egg. I mean, keep in mind, it’s half a cup of water per two teaspoons of powder, so it’s a very different texture than a gel-like egg. If you’re still waiting for your Vegan Egg in the mail, let me give you a tip for your first scramble: make sure your pan is really good and hot before you put it in — I’m not talking hover-your-hand-over-and-wow-that’s-kinda-warm-hot, I mean drop-a-teaspoon-of-water-and-watch-it-go-wooooosh-into-steam-hot so you can get it nice and firm as soon as possible.

Anyway, I have no interest in using the Vegan Egg for things like muffins or burgers because I am perfectly happy using flax eggs and other replacers, but another thought occurred to me on Sunday morning: French toast.

I’ve never identified with a minor movie character so intimately as I have when Leslie Mann’s character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin drunkenly slurs, “Let’s get some fuckin’ French toast.” Guys, I love this stuff. Like, REALLY love it.

My dad was more into pancakes growing up, but my best friend Katelyn’s dad would always make us French toast after sleepovers. Damn. Nothing beats it. And what I’ve always longed for was something that gave the toast that nice singe on it that was so distinctly eggy. I’ve thought of using silken tofu, but, well, here we are.

You have to do this. I’d say do it before you make a scramble/omelette/Western sandwich.

Vegan Egg French toast

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-20 minutes (I guess this depends on the size of your pan and how many toasts you can fit in)
Yield: About 4-6 pieces
Dietary specs: Vegan, soy-free, nut-free option, gluten-free option, fructose-friendly


  • Two slightly thick Vegan Eggs (4 tsp vegan egg powder with about 3/4 cup cold water)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk (or rice/flax/whatever milk for a nut-free option)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar (optional)
  • 4-6 pieces of bread, preferably slightly stale sourdough bread (use GF if necessary, of course)
  • 2 tsp vegan butter or coconut oil


  1. Mix your vegan egg. Make sure your water is cold! Whisk incredibly thoroughly to get out all clumps. Marvel at the eggy smell.
  2. Add in your milk, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar if using (this gives it a more caramelized texture, but I personally prefer a less sweet French toast since I drown mine in maple syrup). Whisk, whisk, whisk.
  3. Heat your oil/butter in your pan on medium-high (like I mentioned, VE takes longer to solidify than a “real” egg, so make sure your pan is good and hot).
  4. Soak your bread slices in the mixture for a couple minutes, until good and soggy but not falling apart.
  5. Fry up in the oil until crispy and golden on each side, about five minutes per side.
  6. Serve with whatever you like — real Canadian maple syrup (support our economy before we all end up moving into Peter Mansbridge’s garage), coconut whipped cream, berries, bananas, whatever. Maybe even some vegan bacon!

I still have a whole bag of Vegan Egg left and I have no idea what else to make besides just scrambles. I mean, scrambles are awesome, but any other ideas? What have you made so far with your Vegan Egg?

Nutella flax pudding (for breakfast!)

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I admit I got a little salty about something (while I was in California, working out and well-hydrated if you can believe it).

I received a comment from someone about how one of my recipes was “too complicated,” and I couldn’t quite articulate why it pissed me off. For one thing, I’ve never found my recipes to be very complicated, because I’m not that great of a cook and I can still manage. But more than anything, the reason I got a little salty is because this isn’t the first time I’ve felt the pull of people wanting me to change my website to suit THEIR needs.

My mandate ISN’T to be a minimalist and so-simple-your-cat-could-do-it recipe site. Now, I do believe in making food with ingredients you can buy at your average market. That said, my shtick is vegan food, not vegan food that can  be made in one bowl or in five minutes. You know what can be made in (less than, I hope) five minutes? A sandwich. You know what I’m not going to tell you how to make? A sandwich. Because you know how to make a sandwich. It’s bread, or bread-type-things, and then it’s other things encased between those bread-type things.

Now, I realize I’m a little overly salty about this. I’m McDonalds Fries salty about it. But like I said, this isn’t the first time others have tried to tell me what I should do with my website, and most of them don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

“You should focus on meals that can be made for under $X.”

“You should put stuff that picky eaters will like!”

“You should make stuff that’s good for transitioning vegans!”

“You should make your recipes more allergen-friendly!”

You know what I hear whenever I hear those “suggestions?” “You should change your site to suit me.”

Now, I know that most people don’t think that that’s what they’re saying. They’re happy that Urban Garlic has potentially provided them with a good resource but wish it were just a little bit more tailored to them. I can respect that, and the fact is, I am here to be a resource to other people. If I was totally ignoring my potential audience, I’d be a real shithead, wouldn’t I?

But, well, I do have an audience. Sometimes when you know a blogger personally, you’re convinced that the people they know offline are their only readers. But I know my stats — I know that most of my views come from the States (and a few from Europe!), that most of my clicks come from Instagram, and that very few of my friends, even if they actively support my blog, actually make my food (shout out to the ones who have shared pics with me!! Eeeeee)!

I’m not even saying this is a bad thing. I think it’s incredible that my friends who have no interest in vegan food have been so engaged and supportive of my blog. Hey, let’s all celebrate that fact!

But that’s besides the point. I have an audience and they like what I post. And while anyone could tell you that they key to failure is trying to please everyone else, I feel pretty confident in saying that a lot of them would also want you to please them.

Anyway, I feel like I had to get that off my chest, and the reason I’m putting it out there on my blog is because I want people to know that while suggestions have a time and a place (“Hey Bree, you should do a cake recipe!”) there comes a point when your “helpful suggestion” is like going into a Canadian History class and going “When are we going to get to Canadian contemporary studies?”

So… pudding?

I’m sorry, I just kept talking myself in a circle and still found no way to get to pudding.

Everyone loves a good chia pudding/parfait. The thing is, chia seeds are expensive as hell and not all that different, nutritionally, from flax seeds. This is a way cheaper option that has just as much goodness for you — and yes, it’s chocolate. Hey, Nutella got away with trying to claim it was healthy for years (mothers across the world were shocked — a creamy, chocolate spread wasn’t as healthy as eight bowls of spinach? Zut alors!) so I’m pretty sure I’m one step ahead.

Speaking of one step ahead, you also don’t have to prepare this overnight (aside from making your milk ice cubes). Freeze about those suckers overnight and you should be good to enjoy yourself some yummy pudding!

Nutella flax pudding for breakfast, serves two


  • 5 frozen cubes of non-dairy milk (standard ice cube size — it’s a tough conversion if you’re me and your ice cube molds are little porcupines and squirrels)
  • 1 1/2 cup unflavoured, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 5 tbsp whole flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut or almond butter
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tbsp macca powder (if you don’t have macca on hand, add the third tbsp of cocoa)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A small handfull of hazelnuts, plus more for topping


  1. Sit the flax seeds in the milk and allow to plump for a few minutes while you prep and chop everything else.
  2. Add all of the ingredients besides the milk cubes into the blender and blend on high until all is pureed and there are no chunks (watch out for those tricky hazelnut bastards)
  3. Add the milk cubes and blend once again!
  4. Serve garnished with hazelnuts and, if you’re feeling really wild, some coconut whipped cream.

I hope you all enjoyed my rather neurotic post. I hope no one starts tugging at their collar and going, “Wow, that Bree’s a real Squidward in the morning, isn’t she?” And if they do, well, not much I can do to change that. Except eat more pudding.

Loaded breakfast burrito with tempeh

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I am probably the last vegan in the world to come around to tempeh. I have always been a huge tofu fan and have never really seen much of a need for tempeh, I guess. Couple that in with a few bad experiences with poorly-prepared tempeh, not to mention the hard-to-take smell when you pull it out of the package (hey, does anyone actually enjoy the smell of something that’s been fermented?) and I’d all but sworn off tempeh.

Then, like pretty much any food, all I had to do was taste it prepared the right way, and I was hooked. My partner and I travelled to Hamilton for lunch a few weekends ago and were recommended a little place called Democracy*. And I had just a bite (I’d have had more if it didn’t have apples on it) of my partner’s tempeh, apple, maple and Daiya sandwich and suddenly all I could think about for days was tempeh. It was sliced so thin and done up so crispy and savoury in a way that completely complimented the sandwich.


So lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate tempeh into my life. And actually, in a weird way, it’s quite the phenomenal feeling. I was worried a few weeks ago that I’d “run out” of ideas to keep up with my current posting schedule. All it takes is one little moment of inspiration and suddenly you’re full of new ideas. So I say, bring it on, life. I’ve got recipes galore.

I love a good breakfast burrito. And this is one that switched it up from the usual. Because, you know, tempeh! Of course, you don’t have to eat it for breakfast. Remember how Andy Dwyer said “Anything is a toy if you play with it?” Anything is breakfast if it’s your first meal of the day.

This burrito is also a big step for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever voluntarily made and eaten red peppers. Okay, there weren’t a lot in there,  but it was still a major step for me. My least favourite vegetable is slowly growing on me.

Loaded breakfast burrito with tempeh, makes three burritos


  • Half of a package of tempeh
  • One medium Yukon gold potato
  • One large tomato, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped red or white onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh packed cilantro
  • A handfull of kale or spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper or cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Three large tortilla wraps, use gluten-free if necessary
  • For garnish: salsa, avocado, Herbamare or anything else you may enjoy


  1. In a medium to large-sized pot, bring some water to a boil and boil your potato for about 20 minutes
  2. While that’s goin’ on, crumble your tempeh (just use hands, but wash them, because who knows where they’ve been?!) into a bowl. Add your paprika, chipotle, cumin, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper, and shake around.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat some canola oil over medium-high heat. Add your garlic, tomato, bell pepper and onions. Sautee until the pepper softens and the onions become clear (about 5-10 minutes)
  4. Remove the potato from the boiling water and, wearing a glove (preferably silicone), dice it into small chunks. Add to the skillet, along with the fresh cilantro.
  5. Keep everything moving until you feel the potatoes start to become tender. When you can almost mash them with your flipper, add in the tempeh and the kale/spinach, squeeze in your lemon juice for some nice steam/aroma, reduce heat to medium low, and cover for about 5-10 minutes (until the leaves start to wilt).
  6. Prep your burritos with whatever you like. Personally, I find the meaty texture of tempeh contrasts well with ripe avocado, and some salsa to add a nice kick.

Enjoy your new favourite breakfast!

Chocolate berry super shake

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First of all, a quick but important announcement: as of this weekend, you can officially find me and all my content at urban-garlic.com. I will be setting up my domain on Friday or Saturday, so when the time comes, keep me in your feed at my new home!

Smoothies, amirite? Like, do I want a green smoothie, a veggie smoothie, a fruity smoothie, or a chocolate smoothie?

I’m sorry, but that is the most first-world hipster problem I’ve ever encountered.

Nevertheless, I’m a total brat and I face this “dilemma” every day that I make myself a smoothie. But I’m an adventurous girl. So I have no fear in mixing things up. Fruits and veggies! Fruits and greens! Fruits and chocolate! … veggies and chocolate?

Well, maybe one day. But in the meantime, here’s a fruity chocolate creation. This is my first time using Macca powder, which I’ll admit can be a bit pricey. My recommendation for anyone who wants to try Macca is to buy it at a bulk store. Don’t bother with health food stores where so-called superfoods are super-friggin’-expensive and It’s great for giving a smoothie a great smooth, chocolatey taste (and bonus, you can cut down on cocoa powder).

This smoothie tasted like dessert, but because I put fruit in it I fooled myself into thinking I was eating something fresh and fruity. Hah!

Chocolate berry super-shake, serves one


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1-2 tbsp ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tsp macca root powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Dash of fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tbsp nut butter (optional — for protein/brotein!)


  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  2. High-five yourself for drinking your fruits and your chocolate all at once.

I’ve been on a real sweets kick lately. Just wait until you see what I post later this week. Let’s just say, much like this shake, you’ll technically be getting your fruits in, but it’s still basically candy.

Coco-Kiwi breakfast parfait

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It feels like smoothies have ruled my life for the past few months. Becoming a part-time “food blogger” has made me live my life almost to a parody degree, including homemade, colourful, veggie-based dishes, a wonderfully minimalist beauty routine and smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!

Anyway, I felt a need for something different a few days ago. My current smoothie routine has seemingly run out of steam. I’m looking forward to when the sun creeps out full-time and I’m inspired by the flowers and the colours to create something new and cool.

But in the meantime? This proved to be a pretty sweet alternative.

It’s quite similar to my chocolate mousse parfait from Christmas. The differences? This one’s thicker, it’s coconutty, and, of course, KIWI.

This one actually requires to be made ahead if you really want it to get thick by sitting in the fridge overnight. I find the peanut butter in this helps to take the edge off the tofu taste, so if you’re one of those people who still wigs out at the idea of sweet tofu, you’re in luck. The flavours develop even more strongly overnight.

Coco-Kiwi breakfast parfait, serves 1


  • 1 small brick silken tofu (my bricks were about 6-8 oz), cubed
  • 2 tbsp young coconut flesh — I got mine straight from the source, but if you don’t feel like struggling with chopping open a coconut, you can buy coconuts pre-sliced
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar, maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 kiwi, skinned and sliced into small rounds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Granola of your choice (I used Jordan’s Morning Crisp chocolate granola)


Like I said, prepare all this several hours ahead (or overnight, since this is totally a breakfast thing).

  1. First, if you’re chopping open a coconut, do so with a trusting loved one nearby and watch out for your fingers. Let’s just say I learned this the hard way. I’m okay though.
  2. Cube your silken tofu so it blends more easily and scrape the coconut flesh out, adding to the blender.
  3. Add in your liquid sweetener and blend to liquify.
  4. Once the mixture appears pureed, add in the cocoa, peanut butter and chia seeds.
  5. Now get ready to layer! I added in the coconut-tofu liquid, then a few slices of kiwi, a dusting of coconut, granola, and then repeated.
  6. Take your time eating this. Truly appreciate the beauty. OMG. And keep it away from your cat.

The ultimate vegan gluten-free pancakes

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I am definitely more of a savoury breakfast girl when it comes down to it. Give me hashbrowns, scrambles, toast and avocado, yum! But vegan pancakes are my jam — it seems even when they’re done poorly, vegan pancakes go down easy.

But trust me, these are done very, very well.

I’ve really got a handle on gluten-free cooking these days. I was really worried it wouldn’t work out well at first, but I’ve really gotten a handle on it. It’s all about learning which flours go best with which tastes, never forgetting your xantan gum and paying attention to your texture (if it doesn’t look good when you’re mixing it, it surely won’t look good in the end).

I’ve never been much of a syrup eater — I enjoy my pancakes with PB & J, or bananas! What can I say? I’m a trendsetter.

I whipped up this recipe for my cabin weekend with the Dude, but it didn’t work out so well. The batter was great, but the cabin’s cookware wasn’t the best — everything took a long time to heat up and was really, really sticky! Good thing I made a double batch, because these were just as good a few days later on the griddle at home. Yum!

Sweet-ass vegan pancakes (gluten-free!), serves 4


  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp tapioca or potato starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal in 6 tbsp of room-temp water, stirred in a bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (less if you’re not a fan, because you WILL taste this much)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt


  1. Combine the flax meal and water to make the “flax egg” and let sit
  2. Combine the flour, starch, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined
  3. Combine milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla in a bowl and stir
  4. Add the liquids to the solid, stir it up, and incorporate the flax egg
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips
  6. Warm a bit of light-tasting oil over medium heat and grill ’em up!
  7. This yields about 8 medium-sized pancakes, so enough to feed a hungry small party.

Thoughts on happiness + peanut butter breakfast quinoa parfait

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I have a fairly small but noteworthy collection of regular readers. And I think it doesn’t take a detective or even someone who knows me very well to tell that I was having a rough Christmas. It’s funny (but not ha-ha funny). I used to think that depression for me was seasonal — and that I’d actually be at my worst in the summers, because when weather is too warm I become lethargic and unmotivated. I’m realizing now that it’s just the ways my brain decides to work some days.

Of course, circumstances weren’t great around the holidays. I was bummed from receiving some pretty harsh criticism right before I left to go to my parents’, then my time there turned into a bit of a rough go as well. I spent the rest of the break trying to recover, while being bogged down with period cramps. It was rough, I tell you.

I’ve been on a bit of a role lately, despite being sick.

What I’ve learned is that I need to strike a balance between two unreasonable ends:

  • I need to stop thinking that there’s a magical successful trick to just becoming happy and staying happy
  • But I can’t let the fact that there is no “trick” stop me from making the most of my happy days, celebrating my good moods and taking it all in.

I think the Internet is obsessed with happy women, especially once you step down the vegan/fitness/healthy living rabbit hole. Everyone is all smiles and natural light and exclamation points and long paragraph captions about gratitude, “Namaste! :)”

I’m not saying I don’t buy it. But I am saying that it creates a lot of unreasonable pressure to live up to, and I don’t want to ever have to feel like I can’t express my blahs.

Quick story time: last week I got rejected for a job I really wanted. It was a news editor job for a marketing magazine. They didn’t hire anyone, because none of the candidates were qualified enough. Tears started rolling down my face and I couldn’t stop. The first thing I did was text my partner. I’m used to, in the past, having someone who would tell me, “Don’t be upset” or “It’s okay.” Instead he told me, “I can understand why you’re so upset. It meant a lot to you.” We talked a bit about why I was so upset, but soon I was focusing on the positive — what I was rejected for (lack of senior editorial experience) was nothing I could have changed! I did everything I could, and I came up a little short. I made a great connection with the EIC and publisher, and even followed up with them and confirmed that they really, really liked me. It’s been almost two weeks since the rejection and you know what? I feel great. I’ve been on a turnaround. I’m sure this won’t last forever, but I learned one thing from this:

Pushing down your sad feelings when you feel upset just puts it off. Letting them come to the surface and working through them will help you move on from them in a healthy way.

So, speaking of healthy, because I’ve been on this upward spiral, I’ve been more passionate than ever about taking care of myself. I’ve been trying to have more solid breakfasts lately (I average about three liquid breakfasts and four solid breakfasts a week now).

I’ve been a little curious about breakfast quinoa. I’m still not great at cooking quinoa, and it always turns out sticky, but this calls for slightly sticky quinoa. I also was very late to jump on the quinoa train (I found it tasted very harsh) and felt apprehensive about buying quinoa knowing that the harvesting practices are quite exploitative.

The quinoa I used was harvested in Canada, which feels a lot better.

This breakfast is sweet, sticky, fun and keeps you feeling fed. What more could you want?

Peanut butter breakfast quinoa parfait, makes 2 large parfaits


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp PB2*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 4 tbsp coconut spread
  • Coconut shavings, unsweetened
  • Coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener

* — PB2 is powdered peanut butter that I often use for baking. It can be really difficult to find, so you can use regular peanut butter, but melt it so that it is fine and liquidy and mixes into the quinoa well.


  1. Cook the quinoa. Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
  2. Fluff the quinoa and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and PB2. If it’s too dry to incorporate everything smoothly, add a bit of water.
  3. Let the quinoa cool slightly in a bowl so it’s warm, not hot.
  4. Warm the coconut spread so you can pour it easily.
  5. Layer the quinoa, granola, blueberries, goji berries (I soaked them first) and coconut spread to your liking. Drizzle with coconut nectar and coconut shavings.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings, followers! I hope everyone has a great day and keeps up the smiling when they can – but don’t be afraid to be sad. It’s good for you.