A brand new year is like a chance to start fresh, isn’t it? I know it’s just a day like any other, but there is just something about the arrival of January that shakes awake the slumbering optimist in me and sets me looking forward to a year that will be even better than the one that just went by.
In my last post I asked you to tell me what your resolutions were. Some of you said you want to spend more time with your families, some of you want to get healthier or fitter. Samantha wants to get her family to eat healthy, Vani wants to run a marathon, and Chitra wants to watch less TV and read more. As I read each of your resolutions, I was thinking, me too!
But there was one resolution from Jennifer that made me really pause and think– to not participate in self-hatred.
Now there’s a resolution that I could certainly adopt. Every day, as I go through my life, I find myself thinking of all the things I could be that I am not. I wonder why I didn’t do this or that or get things right that time. I think of the times I messed things up and how I landed in a bigger mess because I wasn’t paying attention when I should have. In short, I find it hard to let go of my mistakes, forgive myself, and move on.
It’s a crime against ourselves that many of us are guilty of, but how often do we even realize it? No one is perfect– we all make mistakes. But it’s important to remind ourselves that we also have the power to set our lives on a better course.
So this year, in addition to my newly dusted goals of losing weight, getting fitter, reading more, cooking and blogging more, getting out more, and getting together with friends more often, I am adding one more resolution to my list: I will appreciate myself more, and I will focus more on the things I do right, instead of those I don’t.
And oh, I am hoping to catch a Billy Joel concert too.
My resolution for a healthier 2014 got an early start with this healthy Stuffed French Toast that I cooked up for breakfast.
I wanted to make something decadent and French Toast had been on my mind. I had posted a healthier — and vegan– version of French Toast on this blog a while back which many of you have cooked and loved, but for New Year’s Day I wanted something a little more special.
So I cooked up my Whole Wheat Vanilla Bread, sliced it up, slathered some creamy peanut butter on each slice, loaded it up with fresh strawberries and bananas, dunked it in an eggless wash made of chia seeds, almond milk and vanilla, and then finished it all up with a coating of powdered walnuts to give my French Toast a golden crust.
I was expecting deliciousness, but this toast was beyond that. You have to eat it to believe it. The heat makes the strawberries and bananas just tender and the peanut butter all gooey, and the walnut-chia crust is to be eaten to be believed.
You can try this toast with my Gluten-Free Sandwich bread too. Use 1 tbsp of tapioca starch in the eggless wash instead of the whole-wheat flour, and you will have a treat that’s completely gluten-free.
Here’s the recipe now. Enjoy, all, and if you cooked up something healthy on New Year’s Day to keep up with those resolutions, I’d love to hear.
- Eight slices of bread (try my vanilla whole wheat bread which is perfect in this recipe)
- 8 ripe strawberries, thinly sliced
- 2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup nondairy milk like soy or almond
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp chia seeds, powdered in a food processor or spice grinder (can use 2 tbsp of flaxmeal instead)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup walnuts, crushed to a fairly fine consistency. Some bigger pieces are okay.
- Oil spray to coat the pan
- Make the eggless wash by whisking together in a shallow dish the nondairy milk, powdered chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and flour.
- Spread some peanut butter on one side of each slice. Then arrange the sliced strawberries and bananas on the buttered side. Place the second side, buttered side down, on top and press down firmly.
- Dredge the stuffed toast in the eggless wash, coating the top and bottom sides thoroughly. Then dredge it in the powdered walnuts.
- Heat a cast-iron or nonstick griddle or skillet and spray with oil. Place the French Toast on the griddle and toast each side until it's golden-brown. This should take 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat.
- Serve hot. The stuffed French Toast is great by itself but it's extra-special with a drizzle of maple syrup.
- The toast is quite filling-- one half makes a hearty serving. Nutrition info is for half of each stuffed French toast.