Taylor Family Favorites: Pumpkin-Tofu Waffles

I like to use our prettiest plates for brunches.

If you come to our place for brunch, you can count on us making one of two main dishes: Georgie Fear’s banana-oat pancakes or my mother-in-law Betsy Taylor’s pumpkin-tofu waffles. Today, I made the waffles in honor of Alex finishing a long overnight shift at the hospital. We usually make these waffles as a brunch or lunch meal, because the batter takes longer to prepare than our usual breakfasts. For an early morning waffle meal, prepare the wet and dry mixtures the night before and combine them right before making a batch of waffles in the morning. Alternatively, if you do not finish your batch, you can always freeze a few leftovers waffles.

Betsy always makes these waffles when we visit Truckee, but this fall she gave me the recipe so we could make them at home in Seattle. We’ve made them weekly ever since!


Pumpkin-Tofu Waffles – serves 4 to 5, two large waffles each

Thanks to Betsy Taylor for introducing this recipe!  According to Betsy, you can substitute 3 bananas for the 1 cup of canned pumpkin.  And if you do not have oat bran on hand, you can whirl oats in your food processor instead.

You will need:img_4216

  1. a food processor
  2. 2/3 of a block of extra-firm tofu (about 12.5 oz)
  3. 1 C canned pumpkin
  4. 4 T maple syrup
  5. 2 T apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 C buttermilk, plus more as needed
  7. 1 C all-purpose flour
  8. 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  9. 1/2 C ground flax or wheat bran
  10. 1/2 C oat bran
  11. 1 1/2 T baking powder


  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Preheat your waffle maker, too.
  2. In a food processor, puree tofu.
  3. Combine with pumpkin, syrup and vinegar.  Blend.
  4. Add first two cups of buttermilk and blend to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients and blend.
  6. Add additional buttermilk slowly to thin your batter, as needed (I usually only add 1/4 cup, max).
  7. Pour batter into waffle maker.  Place finished waffle on a baking sheet in the oven to stay warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Top with butter and maple syrup or powdered sugar, yogurt or peanut butter.  We usually pair waffles with eggs and turkey bacon, too.




Baked Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Vegetables in San Diego

Liz and I enjoyed preparing this meal together, and comparing notes.  Not pictured: the banana bread that we baked the day before!

My sister, Liz, and I enjoy spending time in the kitchen together, whether we are at home in Delaware, visiting one another at our apartments in Seattle or San Diego, or simply connecting by phone and FaceTime.  We like to compare notes on recipes and reminisce about our childhood favorites that we could recreate sometime.  Liz also recently introduced me to Daphne Oz’s cookbook, “The Happy Cook”, and we followed her banana bread recipe together on my first day in San Diego.

After the rainiest Seattle October on record, it was luxurious to step out of the airport in San Diego and shed a couple layers.  Even better was getting picked up by Liz and Jay and being greeted by their dog Gracie (she remembered me!).  While in San Diego, we enjoyed meals out and a special dinner with Robin and Maria, but we made sure to make time to cook dinner together.  We used a recipe from SkinnyTaste as inspiration for our chicken parmesan prep, and consulted “Cook Yourself Thin” for the roasted vegetable steps (you can find that recipe on Food.com as well).


Baked Chicken Parmesan – serves 4 to 6

I like using thin-sliced chicken breasts for this meal because that can increase your surface area for breading, sauce and cheese.  You can buy thin-sliced chicken breasts or slice them in half carefully at home.  When Liz and I made this meal, we found out that we accidentally had vegan cheese, which did not melt readily but still tasted great.  At home, I replicated the recipe with shredded mozzarella on top.  I have also started using foil to line the baking sheet for this recipe, because the topping and cheese tend to adhere to your baking sheet otherwise!

You will need:fullsizerender-16

  1. cooking spray
  2. 2 T butter
  3. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin-sliced)
  4. 3/4 C breadcrumbs (preferably Italian breadcrumbs)
  5. 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
  6. 1 C marinara or other pasta sauce of choice
  7. 3/4 C shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a large bowl.
  4. Brush both sides of the chicken breast with butter and dip in the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture, generously coating each sides.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes for thin-sliced chicken breasts, or 25 minutes for thicker pieces.
  6. Remove from the oven and flip chicken breasts with tongs.  Top each piece with a spoonful or marinara and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes.


Roasted Root Vegetables – serves 4 to 6

The original recipe calls for these veggies to roast for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you make these with your chicken parmesan, keep an eye on the vegetables and check and stir them after 20-25 minutes.

You will need:img_8572

  1. 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  2. 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  3. 2 yukon gold potatoes, sliced
  4. 1 t parsley, chopped
  5. 1 t dried chives
  6. 1-2 T olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste


  1. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle 1-2 T olive oil over top and add salt and pepper and dried spices.
  4. Spread vegetables out on baking sheet in an even layer without too much overlap.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes and then shuffle the vegetables around on your baking sheet.  You may need to roast for an additional 5 to 10 minutes; check potatoes for tenderness and then bake an additional minute or two for crispy potato skins.



Diva, Mommy. “Turkey Mini-Meatloaves With Roasted Root Veggies Recipe – Food.com.” Recipe – Food.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. (online resource for roasted root veggies)

Homolka, Gina. “Baked Chicken Parmesan | Skinnytaste.” Skinnytaste. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

Lifetime Television.  Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes. New York: Hyperion, 2009. Print. (print resource for roasted root veggies)