Breakfast — your most important meal of the day. But eggs and bacon?
Wake up and smell the cold brew — Coral Gables, aka steakhouse central, is now a morning mecca for clean, green, meatless and hipster. A handful of newish spots serve cold-pressed juices, Panther coffee, acai bowls, tofu scrambles and other goodies your granny never heard of, all designed to get you going in the morning.
The best-selling cold-pressed juice at GreenLife Miami (104 Giralda Ave.) is an anti-cancer elixir of kale, romaine, cucumber, lime and apple and an unpublishable name (16 ounces, $9). GreenLife also offers a variety of acai bowls ($10), chilled purees of tart antioxidant fruit topped with fresh fruit, nuts, coconut, chia, hemp and other detox darlings. Think ice cream gone vegan, virtuous and nutrient-dense.
On to The Market (2324 Salzedo St.). More urban convenience market than eat-in establishment, The Market lets you grab a seat at the counter and quaff a Clean Start (8 ounces, $5 or 16 ounces, $9), similar to GreenLife’s green juice but sharpened up with ginger. Shelves, though sparsely stocked, feature locally made breakfast goodies like Laurie’s Granola (16 ounces, $12) and Peace of Cake muffins (4-ounce four-pack, $4.99).
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Both places serve Panther coffee (soy and almond milk available, naturally). Both offer sandwiches and stuff with omnivore appeal, but the meatless set will score nicely here, too. For vegan or bust, head down Ponce de Leon Boulevard to the newest outposts of two local plant-based faves.
The Gables branch of Jugofresh (2516 Ponce de Leon Blvd.), Miami’s artisanal juice mothership, has limited seating but cold-pressed juice of every color and flavor including El Green Go (16 ounces, $10), plus the most bodacious bowls. The gimme-the-works Unbelievabowl costs an unbelievable $19.95 but others are priced around $10.
Choices Café (2626 Ponce de Leon Blvd.) offers cold-pressed juices and healthy bowls of course, but also a full vegan breakfast menu, including substantial breakfast wraps ($13) and the Kind Slam ($10), a nod and wink to Denny’s — a fluffy gluten-free pancake, scrambled tofu and tempeh bacon. It’s comfort food gone compassionate. No wonder Choices does a brisk weekend brunch business.
Earnest, ethical eateries in the Gables, similar price points and menu, all within walking distance of each other and open for breakfast. Our acai bowls runneth over.
Ellen Kanner is the author of “Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner.” On Twitter: @edgyveggie1.
Not ready to face the day with green juice, but ready for a healthier spin on traditional breakfast? Welcome to tofu scramble: scrambled eggs without the eggs, cholesterol and cruelty. Great for breakfast, it also pleases at lunch, dinner or any time you're in the mood. Turmeric and nutritional yeast give the tofu a gently warm eggy flavor and hue and add antioxidants and vitamin B-12. Feel free to change up any vegetables with what’s fresh at your local farmers market, but aim for organic tofu — most soy on the market is genetically modified.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion or 3 scallions, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (see note)
1 small tomato, chopped
12 ounces (about 3/4 of a 1-pound package) firm organic tofu, pressed to get rid of excess water and blotted dry
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, jalapeno, red pepper and zucchini. Stir and continue to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables soften and turn golden and fragrant. Stir in cumin, turmeric and nutritional yeast, coating vegetables well. Add chopped tomato and mix well.
And now, the fun part. Crumble tofu in the skillet. You may mash it with a wooden spoon or enjoy the wonderfully tactile sensation of smooshing it between your fingers (a nice aggression release).
Scramble everything together in merry fashion, breaking up any odd tofu clumps, as it goes from white to golden. Season generously with sea salt and ground pepper and continue cooking for about 3 minutes, until the scramble is dryish and heated through. Mix in chopped cilantro and serve. Makes 2-3 servings and can be scaled up.
Note: Nutritional yeast is a fabulous, dairy-free, cheesy-tasting golden powder available in the baking section of many natural food stores. Vegan bonus — several brands including Red Star are B-12 fortified.
Source: Ellen Kanner.