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a midnight meal
(frozen berries, special k fruit and yogurt, skim milk, fat free cream, splenda)

a midnight meal

(frozen berries, special k fruit and yogurt, skim milk, fat free cream, splenda)



asparagus apple salad + sweet mustard glaze


i experiment a lot with salads. and salad dressings. i love coming up with new combinations—especially new fat free dressings. and they’re typically ok…but never especially satisfying or complex flavor-wise.

i completely blew myself away with this one.

sweet, tangy, citrusy, but still with plenty of vegetables. the perfect summer salad.

*i would definitely recommend adding fresh orange segments or canned mandarin oranges although i didn’t have them in this version*

the following recipe makes 1 large, meal-sized salad or 3 appetizer salads. the measurements are very rough.


2 T orange juice

2 T yellow mustard

1 T honey

1 t lemon juice

1 t sugar

  • whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. it will be a liquid, but more viscous than juice itself. pay attention to the sugar as it settles on the bottom; stir again right before drizzling.


1.5 c greens (spinach or spring greens are best matched to the other flavors)

.5 c coleslaw mix, for more texture and color

half a red apple

raw asparagus stalks (as many as you want; i used about 8)

  • wash the asparagus and snap the stalks wherever they naturally break. discard the bottoms and cut the top sections into 1” pieces.
  • roughly dice the apple
  • toss the greens and coleslaw mix and place in a bowl
  • layer asparagus over the greens and top with apples
  • drizzle glaze over the top (remember to stir again)
  • sprinkle with salt or butter shaker (optional)


      enjoy the unique + fresh flavors of your soon-to-be-favorite summer salad! 

      <3 e



      THE breakfast sandwich

      this is, hands down, my favorite breakfast to make for myself when i want salty instead of sweet. i think there was a period of a week during the winter where i had it every day and tried to convince all my family members to try one. now i’m on a mission to get you to try it!

      i think the onions are the most important ingredient, so if you like onions don’t forget them! but if you don’t like them go ahead and leave them out.

      *apologies for inadequate pictures on this one*




      white onion

      ground tofu breakfast “meat” (comes in a tube as sausage would)

      canned broth

      egg whites or beaters, 1/3 to 1/2 c

      1 fat free american cheese single

      2 slices rye bread

      butter/margarine substitute

      garlic salt

      brown sugar


      step 1

      spray pam in a small nonstick pan and heat over medium heat as you cut your onion into rings about 1 cm thick. use as much or as little onion as you want; i use 1/3 of a small onion.

      step 2

      put the onion in the pan and sprinkle on garlic salt and pepper. turn up the heat and saute until the onion is translucent and starting to sizzle/brown.

      step 3

      add your tofu. it will be a little sticky when ‘raw,’ but it doesn’t matter the shape it is when it goes in the pan. once it starts to cook you can crumble it with your spatula. i use about a palm sized serving of the tofu.

      step 4

      once you’ve been able to crumble the tofu slightly, add 1/4 c broth to the pan. make sure your heat is still on high; our goal is to have the liquid evaporate but infuse the tofu with the broth’s flavor. as it does its thing, keep moving the tofu and onions around/pressing down with your spatula so that everything gets browned. 

      step 5

      when all the liquid has cooked away, disperse the tofu crumbles evenly throughout the pan and sprinkle on a little more garlic salt (unless you got a little overzealous on the onions during the first round) as well as a pinch of brown sugar. this really contributes to the flavor of the tofu and works well with the rye. if you’re overly skeptical of adding sugar, add a little more pepper instead.

      step 6

      pour in the egg. cook the egg as you would an omelet, circling the pan around to get the raw bits to contact the heat without breaking up the egg. as it cooks, fold the rounded portions over slightly to make it a rectangle instead of a circle. then flip it to the other side.

      step 7

      turn your heat down slightly; the pan is probably storing more than enough heat by now. as you let the second side of the egg brown, spread your butter/margarine on one side of each slice of rye. the buttered sides are the outside of the sandwich.

      step 8

      lift the egg with your spatula and place a piece of bread in the pan, butter side contacting the pan. set the egg down on top. place your slice of cheese over the egg and then add the second piece of bread, butter side up.

      step 9

      put a lid on the pan and let it sit over medium heat so the bread toasts and the cheese melts. this should take about 2 minutes. flip to the other side and let it brown as well.

      step 10

      feel the immense satisfaction of eating—or serving—your delicious, buttery brown creation!

      posted especially for katey :)

      <3 e

      sweet + spicy curry tofu

      i’m not a big fan of curry in general, but this one is wonderful. i got the recipe from my aunt after she made the sauce for chicken and was shocked at how easy it is. the effort is way worth the satisfaction on this one.

      *i would recommend the sauce for anything you can think of: rice, chicken, shrimp…this is just one use*




      one package of tofu (any firmness you prefer; i used regular)

      bell peppers: one red + one yellow

      white onion

      baby spinach


      1/2 c honey

      3 T mustard

      3 T water

      1 clove garlic, chopped, or 1 tsp from a jar

      2 tsp curry powder

      1/2 tsp brown sugar

      1 tsp cajun seasoning

      squeeze of lemon or 1/2 tsp lemon pepper

      optional: cayenne pepper + crushed red pepper to taste (this is what will make the curry sweet and spicy as opposed to sweet and savory…either way the flavor is quite complex and delicious)

      step 1

      mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. if you have time to spare, let it sit for a while so the flavors can mingle. when you’re ready to start, preheat the oven to 350F.


      step 2

      dice the onion; cut half of each pepper into strips (put the other halves away or use for something else); place all in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with 2-3 T of sauce



      step 3

      drain the tofu and cut it into chunks; place in a separate baking dish (a glass bread dish works well); cover with remaining sauce. place both dishes in the oven. keep an eye on them!


      step 4

      after 10-15 minutes, the peppers and onions should be browning and the sauce in the shallow dish should be bubbly. pull the oven rack out; layer ~1 cup of spinach on top of the tofu; spoon the peppers and onions and their sauce over the top of the spinach. bake for about 20 more minutes, until everything is bubbly and golden.



      now serve your beautiful + delicious curry over rice, quinoa, etc…

      or just by itself; it’s definitely good enough to stand alone :)


      <3 e



      WAY better’n peanut butter

      i am downright obsessed with this stuff. every time someone is at my house i ask them if they’ve had it or heard of it. every time i’m cooking or baking with it and facebook chatting someone, i start talking about it. i’ve probably dreamt about it. multiple times.

      what am i even talking about? a miracle in a jar. a peanut butter substitute with 40% fewer calories and 80% less fat. and it tastes delicious. i’m about to share some of the tests i’ve conducted with this stuff and the recipes i’ve used it in. you can go buy it and then you’ll know what to do with it! no more guilt about eating peanut butter :3 it’s now any day any time.



      oh, did i mention it comes in chocolate peanut butter flavor as well? \[^_^]/image

      the chocolate, especially, is surprisingly rich. but like i said, these are so much healthier than regular peanut butter! pb toast or a good old pb&j? no problem, you’ll no longer have to eat 18 and 25% of your daily fat to satisfy your craving :)


      i buy these at my local grocery store, which does carry more obscure things than the average store. but you should be able to find them either in with the regular peanut butter or in the organic section for $5 to $6 each. apparently i’m not the only one obsessed anymore because the other day i went and both kinds were out of stock. they’re gonna have to step up their game or i might have withdrawal…



      it really doesn’t get any simpler. because the chocolate version is so rich, it goes really well with fruit. the base layer here is a leksands crispbread (40 calories and 8% fiber in this wedge-shaped crisp). spread on some chocolate btpb, top with banana slices, and devour.




      my sister was taking a nap one day, and i thought to myself, what is the cutest and most wholesome snack i could make her when she wakes up? and this is the result. i microwaved some btpb, honey, and i can’t believe it’s not butter for about 30 seconds, then whipped them together and added slivered almonds. slathered this on top of some red apple slices and gave them to her with a cold glass of milk.



      a lot of people are turned off toward the idea of spicy peanut butter, and can’t imagine peanut butter being used in a savory dish. but think of all the times peanut flavors are used against a non-sweet backdrop. thai is my favorite cuisine, and this happens all the time in thai food. so if you like spicy, give this one a try. it’s amazing and a really interesting flavor combination.

      combine btpb with garlic salt, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, and paprika. stir together and eat on pretzels or anything else you can think of! inspired by peanut butter boy ( who has other applications for the dip, like a turkey wrap. mmm :)



      …because we all know i couldn’t get through a post without mentioning brunch.

      whisk together egg whites, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and almond syrup or extract (i used torani flavoring syrup) in a shallow bowl. slice a banana long-ways and put these slices between two pieces of bread. soak the sandwich in the egg mixture for a couple minutes on each side and then transfer to a pre-heated pan sprayed with pam. *i added the btpb in the sandwich before cooking, but would recommend adding after because it became extremely soupy* cook on high heat, pressing down with a spatula to get any uncooked egg to come out of the bread. when you turn it to the second side, sprinkle on some more brown sugar so it caramelizes. keep pressing down with the spatula or it will be soggy. when it’s thoroughly cooked, lift one side of the bread and add btpb inside, or just spread on top. drizzle with honey and you’re done!

      so, if i haven’t convinced you to go out and buy the stuff by now, there’s really nothing i could say. so i guess i’ll just go bathe in it. over & out

      huevos rancheros

      i love making breakfast and brunch foods. there is something really fun about it, maybe because i don’t feel pressure like i do when making other meals. if i make brunch for myself or my family, no one expects a lot. they just want something to get them going and are happy with the tried & true: scrambled eggs, omelets, pancakes. so adding just a little creativity goes a really long way, and i have no fear of ‘doing something wrong.’

      brunch this morning was my version of huevos rancheros, a spicy and satisfying mexican dish that incorporates lots of ingredients and flavors but is really quick and healthy. (this is actually a rare thing for me to make, as comfortable as i am with it, because i usually opt for sweet brunch foods like french toast.)


      canned black beans

      eggs (one per person) or egg beaters


      grated cheddar or mexican cheese blend


      fresh tomato

      fresh white onion or dried minced onion

      garlic powder

      cayenne pepper + crushed red pepper

      pepper + salt

      *following instructions will be for one serving

      step 1: put about 1/3 to 1/2 c black beans in a small pan. add cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper to taste. i use about 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp crushed. put over medium-high heat until they are hot all the way through.


      step 2: crack the egg over the beans (or pour in egg beaters) and put the lid on the pan. thank goodness my family eats actual eggs; i never do but i love cooking with them. let cook for about a minute while you roughly dice the tomato.


      step 3: by now, the egg should be white but not all the way cooked. put the cheese on top of the egg and sprinkle on garlic powder, pepper, and salt. i used a combination of all 3 (love this shaker for so many things, especially popcorn!). put the lid back on and reduce heat. this is just to allow the cheese to melt over the egg. 





      step 4: while you are waiting, wrap the tortilla in a damp paper towel and microwave it for 30 seconds. now put the tortilla on a plate, folding one side under slightly. you’ll see what i mean in the plated pictures at the end. the remainder of the plate can be used for any side you want to serve (sour cream, guacamole, whatever). i love cottage cheese with any type of spicy mexican food, so i put a little bit of that and dusted it with cayenne pepper.


      step 5: scoop the black beans and egg onto the tortilla. top with salsa and fresh diced tomato. (i use both because the premade is more of a liquid and acts as a sauce)






      food should look, taste, and feel amazing.

      that’s what this blog is about.


      welcome to sageshortbread, my food blog. it’s a branch of my personal blog, honestillusions ( which i would love for you to check out too!

      i’m on a mission to create food that is healthier, easier, prettier, and more delicious than ever before. i constantly try to outdo myself in each of these categories.

      my favorite foods include: sushi, omelets, kettle corn, angel food cake, stir fry, french toast, smoothies, froyo, blueberry pie, oatmeal raisin cookies, meatless corn dogs, chobani yogurt, tuna steaks, lox + cream cheese bagels, and last but not least COFFEE

      favorite ingredients: egg whites, tofu, quinoa, meat substitutes, fresh fruits + vegetables, baby spinach, oatmeal, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, cinnamon, blueberries, lemons + limes, almond extract, raisins, honey, brown sugar, better’n peanut butter

      favorite cuisines: thai, japanese, italian, middle eastern, brunch (yes, that’s a cuisine of its own)

      i rarely use/eat: meat with the exception of seafood, full-fat anything

      i love trying: unexpected flavor combinations, like sweet and savory


      your …chef?… emily

      so that’s about it! this is just going to be a simple, down-to-earth blog about my cooking and eating endeavors, most of which happen out of my own kitchen. i think it’s important to add a sense of humor and creativity to cooking, so it should be a fun ride. i’m also a college student, so a lot of this will be relevant to other students who eat on a budget/cook in limited space. 

      all of my recipes, as well as my diet in general, are very health-conscious, and i’d love for you to join me in that :) it is way beyond possible to have food that is healthy and delicious, and when you are healthy you’re a much better version of yourself.

      so lets get cooking ♥