Vegan Brunch Highlights

Unrelated: I am now allergic to both kiwi and pineapple. Found out the hard way, but I didn't get hurt.

You may have heard, Breakfast for Dinner is almost my favorite meal. It's a close second to brunch. I love me some brunch. Since John and I cook a lot of vegan food, I've been fairly intrigued by this book - Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Lots of people I know - omnivores and vegans alike - rave about this book, and I've thought about buying it. But Lord knows we have a ton of cookbooks. I've learned it's good to try before I buy. Luckily, the London Public Library (should definitely be on my list of awesome things about London!) had it. So last Sunday, John and I had a vegan brunch for dinner.

First, a tour of the plate!


Clockwise, starting with the brown stuff at 1 o'clock:
You've gotch'er faux chorizo sausages, made with vital wheat gluten, yer roasted potatoes with curry powder and cumin, yer avocado for topping, and yer tofu scramble with mushrooms.

Let me elaborate.

First, the sausages.
These are made from a small amount (1/2 cup or so) of mashed beans (I used black), a bunch of spices, a tbs olive oil, and 1.25 cups of vital wheat gluten, which is like an extremely gluten-ee flour. It made a sort of dough that I divided into 4 segments and approximately rolled into little sausage-like shapes. If you do this longer and thinner, it'll be more like a breakfast sausage link. Mine were more like the shape of Jimmy Dean's, but it would work either way. You roll them in the foil like little candies, and then steam them for 40 minutes. They magically cohere into this sausage shape and you can either slice them and fry the slices (that's what we did - delicious!) or grill them whole and then slice them, etc. We made the chorizo version, but their book includes two others, and I really want to try the Italian one.
We don't have Morning Star Breakfast Sausage here (as far as I can tell) and these are 200% better than the crappy soy breakfast sausages that I found at our grocery store. We had the leftovers the next night with dinner and then along side another scramble later in the week. They keep fairly well and are easier to slice after some time in the fridge. So a little time consuming, but so worth it.

Next, the potatoes.
These were your basic potatoes, and there wasn't anything particularly vegan about them. They're delicious on the side.

And, a scramble.

I think food tastes are so relative. A year and a half ago, I probably would have thought a tofu scramble sounded unappetizing. Here's the thing: it isn't eggs. And that's fine! As I was making it I thought to myself, "Will I like this? Yeah! I like tofu that's been pan-fried." And that's really all it is. Basically you break apart the tofu pieces and fry them with garlic. Then you add some spices (thyme, cumin, turmeric) with water and a 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and fry a little bit more. Just like scrambled eggs, there are a lot of variations on this. We made it first with mushrooms, then later in the week with spinach, green onions, and cilantro. All of those versions tasted great. I think nutritional yeast is one of those mysteriously delicious toppings for things. I don't really need to understand it, but it tastes wonderful and cheezy. The avocado on top was a great addition as well.

Since we tried these recipes I've already ordered the book on the interwebs; I want to be able to write in it. The next recipe I plan on trying is the one for classic pancakes, since I've been inexplicably craving them. So far, 3 for 3!

Update: the straight up pancakes in this book are fantastic, especially with chocolate chips. A+.

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