This year is all about filling, delicious and nutrient packed breakfasts, which means it has to have a healthy amount of protein, fat and fiber in it! This breakfast is just exactly that and the perfect way to kick-off a Monday and is what I like to call chia pudding but all grown up!
The main ingredients you will need are a protein powder of your choice ( I like using Nutiva plant based, vegan protein powder which also has some veggies in it, I get mine from Thrive Market), hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and for an extra bonus, pumpkin seeds to use as your topping!
I like to have my porridge warm and topped with blueberries, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs for that extra crunch and flavor that wont put you in a sugar come (hellooo blood sugar balance)! This is definitely a versatile dish and I think coconut chips would be great with the blueberries or even warmed apples sautéed in cinnamon and coconut oil! I’d love to hear what topping combinations you come up with! This can also be prepped in advance to have later in the week. Simply let it cool completely and store in the refrigerator and enjoy cold or warm it back up!
1 1/2 cups almond milk/milk of your choice
1 scoop of high quality protein powder
1.5 tbsp flax meal
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1.5 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp cocoa nibs
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Fresh fruit of choice
In a small sauce pan whisk together your almond milk, protein powder, vanilla and cinnamon.
Whisk until the protein powder has dissolved.
Add in your chia, flax, and hemp seeds.
Whisk together for 5-6 minutes over low-medium heat. The mixture will begin to bubble and thicken up. Continue whisking.
After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes. The porridge will thicken up a bit more.
Narrowing down what dishes to make for this international dinner was really a challenge. There were so many options and they all sounded equally as delicious! I also found that so many could easily be plant based which made it even harder. Originally pancit and adobo was on the menu but having made similar dishes for Guam and Samoa dinner night’s I knew I had to branch out.
Regardless this was a super exciting country for me for two reasons:
1) I have loved so many Filipino dishes I had tried before going vegetarian that I was excited to make a vegetarian version one of my favorites – lumpia – that I haven’t had in so long and are like Filipino spring rolls
2) this was the perfect excuse to go to one of my favorite Chicago bakeries, Jennivee’s, that is Filipino owned and has AMAZING Ube Cake.
This night was a true success that consisted of lumpia two ways – pork and vegetarian, tortang talong, tortang giniling,ube cake and a sweet ube stuffed brioche bun to hold us over while we cooked.
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Something you absolutely need is dipping sauce for your lumpia. There are many variations of this sweet chili sauce and I’m sure any of them will do but this is the one I got.
Any local Asian market is sure to have it and if not check out the “ethnic” aisles in your grocery store- most will carry at least one variation of this sauce. This one is “Mae Ploy” brand it is very reasonably priced!
At my local Asian market, I was also able to purchase the lumpia wrappers, carrots, eggplants, and the other produce I needed – really a one stop shop!
First prepare your flax egg by adding your flax meal and water in a small bowl, give it a gentle mix, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
2. In a food processor add your filling ingredients: water chestnuts, carrots, nori, garlic, and green onions
3. Pulse until everything is finely chopped
4. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in your “meat crumbles,” coconut aminos/soy sauce, salt and pepper and flax egg. Mix until well combined.
Filling and Rolling your Lumpia
Make sure your wrappers are thawed out and not frozen stuck!
2. Clear a space for you to roll your lumpia. When you take the wrappers out of the package they may be stuck together, so although tedious, go through the process of peeling them apart now.
3. Then take one wrapper and along the edge, add about 2 tbsp of filing and then spread it out along the edge. Tightly roll your lumpia up like a cigar.
4. Once you get to the other end, you may need to wet the edge with water to get the wrapper to “stick” to itself. You can also make a cornstarch “glue” to help with this, which is outlined in the full recipe here. Using water was sufficient when I made them.
4. Cut your lumpia either in half or into thirds. You can simple snip them with kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.
5. Repeat the process until you have used all your lumpia filling or run out of wrappers.
6. Prepare your oil and heat it until it is about 350F. You should have about 2-3 inches of oil. Gently drop your lumpia in, seam side down. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side. You’ll see them turn a beautiful golden color. As you continue cooking your lumpia, keep an eye out on the oil temperature and make sure to turn the flame down, as it can quickly get too hot and burn the outside of your lumpia while keeping the inside uncooked.
7. Place your cooked lumpia on a paper towel lined plate and enjoy with lumpia dipping sauce!!
You can freeze your lumpia before cooking them for a later day! Simple take your cut lumpia pieces and place on a cookie sheet to freeze for an hour. After that you can transfer to a freezer safe bag and store them in the freezer. You can fry them straight from the freezer, no need to thaw out, they may just take an extra minute or two to cook.
I recommend heating up leftovers in the oven to ensure they are crispy and don’t become “soggy” in the microwave.
Tortang Talong is a filipino dish that can be described as a whole eggplant omelette and works best with Chinese eggplants. I used the recipe from this video however I kept it vegetarian. Instead of using ground pork, I used the Pure Farmland meat crumbles. I also found that one egg was enough to coat each eggplant, so I only needed 2 eggs for the recipe rather than 4 as the recipe lists. This also tasted great with the Sweet Chili dipping sauce!
Step 1: Broil your eggplants (brushed with olive oil) for about 10 minutes on each side, until the skin gets nice and charred.
Step 2: While the eggplant cooks, prepare your “meat” crumbles. In a hot pan, add 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1/2 lb of crumbles, 1 tbsp coconut aminos and cook until the crumbles have cooked through. Set aside in a bowl.
Step 3: Peel the skin off the eggplant once it has cooled down and “mash down” with a fork.
Step 4: In a wide bowl, scramble 1 egg and add a splash of coconut aminos. Place one smashed eggplant and coat thoroughly. Then scoop some of your filling on top of the eggplant and cover with egg. To a preheated oiled pan, you will then slide everything out the bowl to the pan. Let cook for a few minutes until egg on bottom has cooked and then gently flip it. Cook for another few minutes and serve immediately!