food to glow

feel good food that's good for you


waffles by food to glowOne of the joys of visiting America is breakfast. Or rather, going out for breakfast.

Every city, town, speck on the map, boasts a place that opens at silly o’clock for the first meal of the day. The UK has a go, and has got better, but to really do breakfast out you must visit the US. Top tip: eat a light dinner the night before. And don’t plan on eating for the rest of the day.

waffles by food to glow

One of our most memorable meals was at an iHop on the Las Vegas strip. Jet-lagged and all over the place with our appetite, we headed into a branch of this national chain on our way to the Grand Canyon. As we ploughed our wide-eyed way through breakfast burritos, we were caught up in the feel-good vibe of a busy cafe, with its speedy, wise-cracking waitresses, and all of humanity ranging around the room enjoying a hearty early meal. The vegetable, bean, cheese, egg and two kinds of salsa-stuffed burritos were the size of swaddling babies, btw. We couldn’t finish them. Thank God.

Some cafes in the US cater exclusively to the breakfast crowd, closing early in the afternoon after a long morning of flipping pancakes and stirring oatmeal. Still others are open all day, serving all meals, at their ordered time slots. Or you may find a no-nonsense chrome and formica diner offering all-day breakfasts, perhaps plying you with platters (actual plates are rarely offered) that straddle the arbitrary boundaries between breakfast, lunch and dinner. In a nation known for its obesity it is as easy to get an angina-inducing mound of fried eggs, potatoes, steak and/or pork chops (yuck) as it is to order an over-easy egg, toast and grits. There may be regional variations on the wipe-clean menu (grits in the south, for instance), but mostly it is about syrup-laden pancakes and cured meat and eggs. Definitely not a healthy option.

Over the years it has become easier to eat more lightly, and more healthily – whole-grain pancakes, fruit, egg-white omelettes, oatmeal with berries. But with eight illustrated pages of breakfast options the norm, often for the price of a lunchtime sandwich, staying the right side of healthy is sometimes as easy as swimming in treacle.

Aside from the food, these breakfast eateries (they are not infrequently called eateries) are a great place to go to eat with people from all walks of life. Almost anywhere you go you can dine with retired couples, a Rotary club meeting, business people, folk with their lives in their backpacks, extended families and visitors – all choosing from the same wide-ranging menus. As long as you have a hearty appetite you will find something to suit any wallet. It is the most democratic meal (small d) in America.

The variety of dishes – and the bottomless cups of coffee – of even the most humble roadside pitstop puts most UK eateries in the shade. Sure in the UK you can get a full English or Scottish (etc) breakfast of egg, bacon, sausage, toast, beans and mushrooms (with veggie equivalents). Sometimes a small stack of iffy pancakes. But in my opinion these pale against the option of at least six ways to order your eggs. Not to mention the super-light pancakes, stratas and waffles. I have yet to find a place in the UK – even ones that are highly recommended by others – that does a waffle or pancake the way I like them, i.e. not like out-sized hockey pucks. The exception is Earthy in Causewayside, Edinburgh.

I got the idea for today’s waffle from a very pleasant waffle-eating session there earlier this year. I couldn’t wait to go home and try, replicate and riff on their scrummy, light waffles. I think I got close. My Dad will most definitely not approve – he is a sweet Belgian waffle man through and through – but I hope you like the savoury-sweet food to glow twist. Ideally I would eat this in a crowd of people and get someone else to do the washing up, but Radio 2 and my dishwasher will have to do. 🙂 Enjoy your week.

PS If waffles aren’t your thing, do check my rambling, chaotic Index (if you dare) for loads of properly savoury breakfast goodies – all healthy. Look under “Breakfast and Brunch.”


Waffles With Attitude

  • Servings: 12 small waffles
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Sweetcorn, maizemeal, chillies, and coriander, in a waffle? With maple syrup? Why yes. And it works. You can of course take these out, but why be normal when you can have attitude?

The secret to these is separating the eggs. Whisking the white and gently folding it in to barely held-together mix makes for light and fluffy waffles, while the maizemeal adds extra texture.

275g (1 ¾ cup) light spelt flour OR plain unrefined/unbleached flour {a gluten-free mix is fine}

40g (1/4 cup) maizemeal/polenta OR oatbran (or none and use 310g/ 2 cups flour)

1 tbsp baking powder (scant)

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp sugar of choice (I use unrefined caster sugar) – optional

2 medium eggs, room temp and white and yolk separated (here’s how if you are not sure how to do this)

300ml (1 and 1/4 cup) milk – dairy or plant (I used brown rice milk)

150ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk or yogurt – dairy or plant

4 tbsp melted and cooled unsalted butter, coconut oil or light neutral oil

Oil spray for waffle iron

Optional additions as per the images: ½ sweetcorn kernels, 2 heaped tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro, 1 chopped red chilli (plus extra chilli and coriander to serve)

Note on waffles makers: I have a small, cheapo electric waffle maker, with two separate compartments that make small, rectangular waffles. I tend to make freeform waffles rather than fill the whole space – more out of laziness than anything creative. I am able to get 12 of these smaller waffles from this recipe. If you use a larger, family-sized, waffle iron you will get about 6 waffles. Belgian waffle makers are deeper so will make slightly less. You can also buy oven and stovetop waffle makers. Here is a 2013 link from The Telegraph (UK) detailing their top 10 waffle makers. I fancy the one that makes the batter into waffle sticks.

1. Spray and preheat your waffle iron.

2. Dry whisk the dry ingredients in a large-ish bowl. Add in the sweetcorn, coriander and chilli, if using. Make a well in the centre.waffles by food to glow

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, buttermilk and butter/oil. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites (by hand or with electric beaters) until stiff and glossy.

4. Add the egg yolk mixture into the dry mixture and lightly combine – there will be lumps. Fold in the egg whites quickly to keep in the air – there should still be pockets of white rather than an homogeneous beige.

5. Use a ¼ cup (or whatever is recommended size for your size waffle iron) measuring cup, or other scoop, to ladle in mixture onto the hot plate of your waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Keep cooked waffles in a warm oven while you make the rest, re-spraying/oiling the waffle plates as required.

Serve with syrup of choice – maple, honey, date, coconut blossom/nectar and something savoury like coconut bacon or a poached egg. Fresh or roasted fruit, or fruit butters, spreads and compotes are also a great sweetening options.waffles by food to glow

Made up waffles keep brilliantly in the freezer for another day. Layer the waffles between pieces of parchment paper and put into a labeled bag for the freezer. To eat, just pop them into a toaster at a lower setting, or in the oven to warm. Perfect for rushed weekday breakfasts and very lazy weekends.

Vegan? Up the baking powder to 1 & 1/2 tbsp and add a little more of your chosen fat, or use unsweetened applesauce. I make both but prefer the texture of the ones with eggs.

waffles by food to glow



31 thoughts on “Waffles with Attitude {easily vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free}

  1. katisimone says:

    absolutely great!!!!! 🙂

  2. You’ve got to love the way our country does breakfast! And cheery, friendly waitresses are the icing on the cake. 🙂 What a lovely sweet and savory twist on waffles, Kellie. I don’t think I’ve had anything like this. But I love making waffles and freezing extra for quick breakfasts during the week.

  3. platedujour says:

    I love waffles, but my sister’s children can eat them all day long! Even a waffle with sugar would do:) I will have to share this recipe with her!

  4. narf77 says:

    I think if you used Miyoko Shinner’s flax seed goo meringue and stiffened it with a bit of tartaric acid (check the Post Punk Kitchen for vegan merigues) these waffles would be wonderfully soft in veganese. Must try them (when I am able to relax my grip on “healthy” a little as I am in weight loss mode 😉 )

    1. Hmm, I will look that up as the the increased bp and oil thing is not super satisfactory. Thanks for the PPK tip! Warmer weather will precipitate easy Narf weight loss. Enjoy your outdoor oven thingymajig 🙂

      1. narf77 says:

        So will getting up off this PC chair for the first time in a month! I think my derriere has moulded to the furniture 😉

      2. You are student, and it has been winter: good reasons, I’d say. Enjoy your spring – and freedom from your study room 🙂

  5. How great does that look!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I do miss proper American-style breakfasts. I do enjoy a full English or Scottish breakfast, but nothing beats a massive stack of pancakes or waffles with bacon and maple syrup – except, perhaps, your recipe! Oooh I’m loving the sound of these!

    1. Oh, thanks so much Elizabeth. I don’t have a sweet tooth, and normally would order savoury when out to breakfast, but sometimes I can’t resist waffles. Or I make sure and nick a bite from my waffle-fiend Dad’s plate (shhh)

  7. Sally says:

    Waffles are not something I’ve grown up with for breakfast – in fact I’m wondering if I’ve ever had one! Tempted to look out for a waffle iron purely on the basis that these sound so good. I presume you could use the batter on a skillet like a pancake?

    1. The batter would be fine as a pancake, just thin the batter out a little if you like pancakes a bit crepe-y. Waffle makers are a bit under the cabinet/in the spare room so I wouldn’t make a special effort to buy one. But they are great if you were someone who liked waffles but would normally buy the yucky frozen ones. Not you, obviously!

  8. Wowww now you’ve made me want a waffle machine – they look so impressive! Gorgeous!

  9. I need me a waffle maker! Loved reading your post about the all American breakfast experience that is iHop. I’ve travelled to the states many times and I have to agree that breakfast is the best meal of the day. Waffles, pancakes, burritos, bottomless coffee, cinnamon buns… too too good. I really like the sound of your take on the waffle as i’m a big believer in mixing up the sweet with the savoury…

    1. Then I guess you didn’t find this at all weird. Good! Thanks for stopping by, Katie. 🙂

  10. lizzygoodthings says:

    Another beautiful recipe, Kellie… now to get me a waffle iron! Spelt flour is hideously expensive in Australia. Such a pity.

    1. Really? That’s a shame as the flavour is SO much nicer than regular wheat (imo). I think a mix of wholewheat and plain would be good but I do always have spelt of different kinds around. I guess I must be a bit spoiled though. Your Peter would love it if you got a waffle maker. I can’t think of any chap who doesn’t like waffles.

  11. I just love waffles and I am dying to try yours out. Those flavours sounds so good. Up until now I have very much been a maple syrup girl but packing in all those other flavours is inspired. I trust you!

    1. Oh, maple syrup is practically essential with these. I know it sounds weird but it really does go, Laura!

  12. This is excellent timing! I just bought myself a new waffle iron last week, and FINALLY one that I’m satisfied with. This is actually the third waffle iron I’ve bought in a year – Swedish waffles are a) heart shaped, and b) extremely thin, both of which drive me crazy. It ain’t easy to source out a Belgian waffle iron in this town, and the first two were duds (and by duds I mean I wasn’t satisfied with the depth of the holes). Anyways, third time’s a charm! I’ll definitely be adding these waffles with attitude to my weekend brunch list. Yum!

    1. Aw, good stuff. I use one that was given to Rachel as a present. She couldn’t take it to university with her so momma gets to use it. I will make her waffles when she visits. Hopefully in a couple of weeks. We love our breakfast, don’t we Katie? 😉

  13. auntbeckys says:

    So true and sad/funny about American breakfasts. Being a native Oregonian we like to add all kinds of jam and berries too. Also, I hesitate to tell you, Christmas breakfast is always bigger than usual breakfast at a diner. It alway includes multiples of everything…bacon and sausage links and patties, cherry strudel, caramel sticky buns, strada (egg casserole covered in cheese), orange juice, coffee, fresh fruit…whew I’m getting full! We have an entire holiday focused around eating, Thanksgiving. Wear your stretchy pants and go to the movies afterwards.

    1. We used to have strata (strada) too! I still make it at holidays to remind me of home. Writing about American breakfasts is healthier than eating them 😉

  14. Julia says:

    OMG <3

  15. stemuk says:

    Looks so nice! I have had waffles with a fair few things. Even in a bagel! 🙂

    1. A bagel! I would have to have a nap if I sandwiched a waffle in a bagel!

  16. Talitha says:

    Wauw, it look very delicious! I have to try this! You’re blog is really nice, I follow you!

  17. KRoma212 says:

    Reblogged this on The Fitness blog. and commented:
    Breakfast lovers, check out Kellie’s amazing recipe!

  18. Sophie33 says:

    Waw, these waffles look utterly delicious!

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