Posts in Breakfast
Zucchini Cornbread
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



The thing about seriously good baking is this. It's more like the horizon "forever receeding" than a goal. Or as Tom would put it "the more you know, the more you know you don't know"

I inevitably become painfully aware of my shortcomings as my skills develop and then it becomes a matter of chasing the dragon so to speak.

I find myself akin to some back alley addict looking for the next high. The exception being that my particular form of high comes in the form of an expertly executed dish.

zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

Whether that be Appalachian hillbilly chicken and dumplings or a single bite from a molecular pastry chef at the edge of his game makes no difference. If the dish sings to me.. it usually results in a hedonistic memory I can never shake.

My path into baking has been one of dragon chasing. Where I would eat savory and sweet baked goods crafted by other peoples talented hands and be left with a longing to recreate it in the kitchen. I would then return home with high hopes and no real plan, because I knew deep down that I can't bake. Until now.

I've equipped myself with a scale & some delicious flours. I'm starting at the bottom of the hill with the lowly but divinely delicious zucchini cornbread.

I've gone ahead and adjusted it to remove white flour & processed sugar and called it good. Perhaps my inability to follow a strict recipe is to blame for the flop of my more complex baking projects.. but this one is truly difficult to mess up.

So if you're like me, longing for a homemade treat but convinced your hands cannot produce such a thing, don't fret friend. I've got you. You've got this.





2 T coconut oil
1/4 C red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t pimenton paprika
1 t fresh thyme
1 C grated zuccini
3/4 C cornmeal
1 T whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
2 t honey
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C plain yogourt
1/2 t salt



  1. Grease an 8 inch cast iron skillet with coconut oil & place it in the oven while it preheats to 400.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together your cornmeal, flour, salt, thyme, pimenton paprika & baking powder.

  3. Beat the yogurt, honey & egg together, then incorporate it to the cornmeal mixture.

  4. Once there are no more clumps, squeeze the zucchini to remove as much water as possible then add it, the garlic and the red onion to the batter.

  5. Remove the skillet from the oven & pour in the batter.

  6. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

more zucchini recipes

MEL × RIVERBEND: Herbaceous Spanish Tortilla de papa
perfect weekend brunch recipe, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Quiche or tortilla: a simple recipe by the nomadic wife



Eggs are seldom only eggs.

I'd love to say I grew up on quiches and variations there of, but the truth is I mostly have fond memories of eating them in small restaurants and food-court lunches in Montreal with my cousin, Cat. When she worked downtown, I would go meet her every so often for lunch and we would have this beautiful quiche in a little sandwich & soup place near her office.

Those fun loving lunches, filled with laughter and all matter of things not only left me with an immense sense of joy, but they introduced me to a gloriously fluffy egg dish, typically filled with vegetables and herbs. I was smitten with quiche and always thought it must be immensely difficult to reproduce. Little did I know.

As the years went on, I then discovered the French omelette (thank you Julia Childs), the Italian frittata & finally the Spanish tortilla. While I loved them all for their differences, and they all have a place in my kitchen, these days I have to admit I'd rather not turn on the oven for a plate of eggs.

Call it laziness if you must, but if I'm hosting a group of girlfriends or enjoying this by myself, I like to just be able to cover for a few minutes, let it fluff up to a soft pillowy goodness, then rest and scoop it right into my mouth.

Herbaceous spanish tortilla recipe by the nomadic wife
simple brunch recipe all your girlfriends will love

Tortilla, Quiche & Frittata 

To crust or not to crust? To add dairy or not add dairy? To pan fry or bake? Ahh! How many existential questions can possibly surround a good plate of well whisked eggs?

Truth be told, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. While it does include yogurt for fluffiness (which I love to substitute in the place of a more traditional creme fraiche), it's crust-less so by definition not a quiche, which usually comes in a crisp, flaky, well buttered crust.  Both the filling ingredients and the egg are set together in a pan, so one could argue it's truly a frittata, yet it's loaded with potatoes which is most often found in tortilla.

The way it's cooked and set also makes a difference. Typically a quiche is baked in the oven. While a frittata is started in a hot pan and finished in the oven & a tortilla is done completely stove top by flipping it halfway (if you're a ninja) or covering immediately after adding the egg mixture which is the technique I've used here.

Let me say that all three types of egg filled dishes are divine, but this one has a special place in our kitchen.

simple spanish tortilla with herbs by the nomadic wife

Poh-tay-toh   Poh-tah-toh

Not all potatoes are created equal & exploring the different varieties is definitely part of the perks of getting a Riverbend Garden CSA share. In this recipe, I used the Mozart variety (beautiful pink on the outside and yellow flesh on the inside) because it lends itself well to be smashed or mashed. I find that it tends to be a little bit more tender than most, but cooked the way I've done it here it doesn't quite fall apart.

Each potato has it's purpose, because of how the flesh is composed. Some are better boiled, others baked or even make the perfect french fries. If you're curious about which direction to head when you're facing a new potato, there's a handy-dandy little page right here that can give you some insight.

Torilla with chives, parsley, garlic & shallot by the nomadic wife
A simple weeknight potato dish, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife

What can I put in tortilla?

Well the traditional take is potatoes (Tortilla de Papa) to start and then truly you can add what ever you like. Softer vegetables tend to do well in here, especially if you give them a chance to release their water before pouring in the egg mixture. Think of onions, shallots, peppers, zucchini or even greens like spinach or kale.

In this version, I focused on aromatics and herbs. So I skipped the vegetables in favor of chives, shallots, garlic & parsley and it always turns out perfectly lovely.

Our new favorite potatoes and egg dish spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Steaming hot plate of spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife


10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 medium shallot
½ C chopped chives
½ C chopped parsley
2 T butter, divided

2 eggs
1 T yogurt
2 T milk
1 t olive oil
Salt & pepper


Start by dicing your potatoes into uniform bite size pieces and placing them in a small pan with enough water to cover.
Boil the potatoes over medium heat until all the water has evaporated then add 1 T of butter and reduce heat to medium low to allow the potatoes to finish cooking and brown slightly.
In the meantime, chop your garlic, chives, shallot and parsley, then add them to the potatoes & mix well.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, milk, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper until you have a uniform blend.
Give the potatoes a good stir, then pour over the eggs and give the pan a quick shake to ensure even distribution. 
Cover with the pan lid and cook until the middle is set, about 5-6 minutes.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.



Potato & Kale One Pan Breakfast
potato and kale one pan breakfast by the nomadic wife



This past week, it felt truly felt like autumn was knocking at the door.

It really had me dreaming of simple filling breakfast. When those moments come, I turn to dishes like this one. It's hearty without being heavy & the red pepper flakes ignite a fire in my belly, warming up my bones.

I try to include in my cooking a simple array of spices one can easily find in just about every pantry. Garlic, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes are common in just about every household, but together they form the perfect crescendo of pungent heat.

I don't know about you, but I grew up with potatoes at just about every meal. Although this is no longer my reality today, they still have a place on my plate and in my heart.


Adjusting for the potato variety

The potatoes, depending on the ones you use, can be either quite buttery & soft or lean more towards the dry side. If you feel, when you taste the dish that the lack the creamy interiors you desire, simply add a dollop of butter or coconut oil. This luscious layer of fat will elevate the overall feeling of this dish and transform it into good old soul food.

Be warned, once you have a serving, you may want to gobble down the other..which on a cold fall or spring day, may just be what the doctor ordered. 


wheat free, dairy free, soy free, vegetarian

2 Servings

3-4 fist sized potatoes
3 large kale leaves, stems on
1 tomato
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic
½ t red pepper flakes
1 T coconut oil

10 mins prep + 15 mins cook

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat.
Add potato & enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, then cook covered until the potato begins to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic & pepper flakes, cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Shred kale & dice tomato, add them along with a splash of water, salt & pepper.
Crack eggs into the middle of the plan & cover once more until the eggs have set, about 5 minutes.

waste less tip

If you're not inclined as I am to use the kale stems to add a bit of crunch, you can always remove them to the freezer for smoothies or to use in vegetable stock. As for the kale itself, if it feels like it's waited too long in the fridge and has begun to wilt, give it a bath in cold water with a little salt and watch it come back to life.


Easy Morning Chia Cakes
easy morning chia cake recipe

Cake for breakfast? What! Wait up a second.

I thought you said this blog was packed with healthy plant based options, not sugar laden ones.

It sure is, I haven't fallen off the band wagon, I promise. These little tasty fellas don't have any sugar in them and they pack about 5g of protein a pop. So yes. You can have your cake and eat it too. 

So what are these easy chia cakes like?

Well, let me tell you. They are scrumptious. A little crumbly. A little sweet & perfect with a big bowl of fruit & some yogurt or as is as a quick breakfast with a cup of tea.

You can whip up a batch of these in a few minutes flat, in a bowl or in the mixer if that's your preference. They may look like they wont quite hold together, and that's okay. As the chia soaks up the liquids, they get a little glue-y and hold things together just fine. If you want to be extra sure they stick together, swap the maple for honey! Let me tell you though, it may make them a touch less crumbly.

easy breakfast recipe


Egg free, dairy free, wheat free, vegan

Makes 8

3/4 C oat flour
1/2 C chia seeds
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/3 C coconut milk
1/3 C maple syrup


Remaining coconut milk from the can
1 t vanilla
1 T maple syrup
Rose petals - optional

5 mins prep + 25 mins bake

Preheat your oven at 300 C
Mix all your dry ingredients together
Add coconut milk & maple syrup
Quickly whisk together & pour into molds or greased muffin tin
Pop molds into the oven and bake for 25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it through the middle

For the topping, add all ingredients into a cold bowl & mix. 
Drizzle onto cakes before serving.


This easy recipe is featured in my latest cookbook Feast of Spring. get your copy now.

Que Pasa Quesadilla ?!

Ah, San Francisco in the spring. It's all warm sunny days, fog over the harbor and breakfast quesadillas. Well, at least, it was for me.

Some places made them spicy and others just plain egg and cheese, but no matter how you had them they were delicious.

This version is a good base to start from, but darling, never fear adding whatever else you have in the fridge. Things like turkey slices, chorizo or mixed veggies always fare well in these make-ahead morning delights.

I've also made them with a quick veggie omelette as a filler and it was awesome.




4 12" corn tortillas
5 eggs
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne - optional
2 green onions
1 T coconut oil
1 C kidney beans, cooked
2 C greens - I used kale, but it could be spinach or chard 
3/4 C melty cheese (mozzarella, cheddar & Swiss work best)


20 mins COOK

Whisk eggs, salt, pepper, cayenne & green onions together in a bowl.
Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the egg mixture, beans, greens and cook until the eggs have set. 
To assemble, take one tortilla, sprinkle on a quarter of the cheese, carefully avoiding the edges then layer on a quarter of the egg mix. 
Fold in half & continue with the remaining tortilla. 
At this point you can either wait for them to cool completely, wrap them up and freeze them grill them in a pan, cut in thirds and serve!



Note: These are wonderful served with guacamole, a spicy salsa or plain yogurt!

Also, you can also use ancient grains or whole wheat tortilla if you don't have an intolerance. 

Mushroom, Zucchini & Spinach Omelette

Veggie omelettes are such a simple food, but when executed right they are a real morning luxury. The beauty of this particular one is that all of your ingredients take about 5 minutes to chop. So it's just a matter of putting a pan on the stove, then poof! 5 minutes later you have a yummy breakfast, or lunch... or dinner! 

I typically eat this kind of breakfast twice a week... it's a great way to pass those leftover veggies that seem to want to run away on their own & fresh herbs you have growing by your windowsill.





2 eggs
1 t coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T garlic
1 pinch pepper flakes - optional
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 C spinach, chopped
2-3 bella mushrooms, chopped
Pinch of salt & pepper
Parsley & cayenne for serving



Grab all your ingredients from the fridge.
Put the pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil, pepper flakes & garlic.
Cook until minute until fragrant.
Add your veggies, cook until the mushrooms have released their water.
Crack your eggs right into the pan and stir until you have a scrambled consistency. 
Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until the eggs are set. 
Serve with parsley, cayenne (or hot sauce) & enjoy!

Butternut Hash & Eggs

This is decidedly my favorite version of hash and eggs. There's something about butternut squash that adds a wonderful richness to this otherwise simple breakfast.

For a vegetarian alternative, you could try scrambled tofu which is really yummy!



4 eggs
2 C butternut squash, cubed
1 T butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 t chilli flakes
1/2 t oregano
Salt & pepper to taste

Bacon & chives for serving - optional.



Place butternut squash in a pan over medium-high heat along with the butter & garlic
Cook the butternut cubes until all sides are lightly browned
Once your squash is ready, remove from the pan
Add your eggs to the pan
Quickly scramble & serve hot

The best breakfast you've had in a while: Shakshuka.

Shakshuka is the best of so many worlds rolled into one. Saucy potatoes make for a really rich base. Feta makes for a nice salty finish and who doesn’t want to eat eggs for dinner. 

Sure, you could have this for breakfast (or any meal for that matter) but there’s something so fun about having breakfast for dinner isn’t there? I’m just about over the moon when we make this dish & I think it could easily become a household favourite for you too.

If you like sriracha or harissa, this dish is going to be right up your alley. If you’re not a big fan of spicy food, no worries. Skip the hot sauce at the end and sprinkle some cilantro for a more herbal finish. Whichever way you choose to tweak this recipe, it’s hard to go wrong. 

I’ve made versions with sweet potato, with squash, with a carrot & potato mix. Just have fun with it. 


Makes 4 portions

5-6 medium potatoes
1 T coconut oil
1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 t cumin
½ t red pepper flakes
1 large tomato, diced
¼ C feta cheese
6 large eggs
Chopped green onions
Sriracha, for serving
Salt & pepper


10 prep minutes + 20 minutes cook

In a large skillet add diced potatoes and enough water to cover them. 
Cook until all the water is gone then add oil, onion, pepper flakes & garlic.
Cook until fragrant then add cumin, salt, pepper & tomatoes.
Let it bubble until tomato has thickened, about 10 minutes.
Stir well then gently crack eggs into the skillet.
Cover and reduce to low heat until the eggs are just set.
They should still jiggle a little when you shake the pan.
Serve topped with feta, hot sauce & green onion. 

Southern Banana Bites

This recipe was designed using my favorite banana bread recipe as a base which is ridiculously simple & then with the help of one of my favorite Southern mama's we've added some traditionally southern ingredients, like buttermilk, to it. Not being the world's biggest dairy fan, and having promised to give you vegetarian-friendly recipes, I scoured the internet to find an alternative to regular cow milk buttermilk. After testing a few alternatives, I found that coconut milk really does the trick! 

These bites are considerably fluffier than their bread counterpart, and the bake wicked fast. So keep an eye on them!


wheat free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegetarian


makes 30

3 bananas (very ripe)
1 egg
½  C coconut oil
1 ½  C ground steel cut oats (just pop them in the blender & buzz a few times)
1 C steel cut oats
½  C semi-sweet chocolate chips - optional
¼  C honey
½  C coconut buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
½ t cinnamon
Pinch of salt



10 min prep + 15 mins bake

Mush bananas.
Mix all the dry ingredients n a medium size bowl.
Whisk together buttermilk, coconut oil, honey, vanilla & egg.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients & let sit for 5 minutes.
Separate batter into mini cupcake tin.
Bake for about 15 minutes at 375 or until the top is golden and the center is set. 

Note: To make coconut buttermilk, whisk together ½  C coconut milk & ½ T lemon. Let it rest for 5 minutes before adding to the recipe.