Vegan Breakfast Month – Odd n’ Ends Breakfast Tips

My vegan breakfast themed month is nearing an end. Hopefully some of the recipes I’ve posted have given you some inspiration for new vegan breakfast options. I’ll wrap up the theme with a few odds n’ ends vegan breakfast tips that didn’t seem worthy of a entire blog post individually.

Pancakes:

I didn’t include a pancake recipe in the breakfast month, because vegan pancake recipes are pretty abundant and easy to find. I like making regular pancakes from scratch as well as various flavors like banana, apple oatmeal, etc. It’s pretty easy and quick to make pancakes from scratch, but if you want them even quicker, try out Cherrybrook Kitchen’s vegan pancake and waffle mix. It really can’t get much easier, and they turn out pretty well.

 

For veganizing baked goods recipes, I usually just switch out Ener-G Egg Replacer powder for the eggs, soy or almond milk for the milk, agave for honey, and Earth Balance vegan butter for butter or margarine. Most of the time recipes can be easily veganized using these or other substitutes.

Soy or Coconut Yogurt Parfait:

Making a parfait out of soy or coconut yogurt, some defrosted frozen berries, and your favorite granola is a simple and satisfying vegan breakfast. I like to pack this up to take to work with me. I put the frozen berries in with the yogurt. They keep it cold and are mostly defrosted by the time I get to work. Keep the granola in a separate container so it doesn’t get soggy. I’ll also sometimes eat this as a dessert when I want something sweet, but don’t want to eat something more sugary like ice cream or cookies.

Bagels:

Bagels are easy to grab on the go or take with you. If you haven’t already tried Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, it’s definitely worth a try. It can also be used in dessert recipes that call for cream cheese. The best bagels, in my opinion, come from NYC. If you live in New York or are here for a visit, I would recommend getting a bagel at Ess-a-Bagel. They have the best bagels I’ve ever had, and they also offer a variety of tofu cream cheeses including scallion, vegetable, raisin walnut, herb, and others. Another good bagel place is Russ & Daughters. It’s a small little store that was packed when I went, but they are surprisingly efficient. We were in and out really quickly. They also offer tofu cream cheese in plain, scallion, and vegetable.

Smoothies:

I’ve lost count of how many blenders I’ve broken trying to make smoothies, but they are tasty and a good way to start the day. My biggest tip is to use frozen fruit, and no ice. The frozen fruit won’t break your blender and won’t dilute the taste of the smoothie like ice will. Play with your favorite fruit or veggie combinations, add some soy or almond milk or some soy or coconut yogurt, a little peanut butter or almond butter, and throw in some vegan protein powders like hemp or soy protein for an extra boost. I would strongly advise not using pea protein. It just doesn’t taste very good, and it’s very dominant and difficult to mask.

Hot Cereals:

Oatmeal is a great staple for a vegan breakfast, but you can also branch out and try other hot cereals like cream of wheat, grits, rice, and other mixed grain cereals. Add some nuts, a little brown sugar or maple syrup, some raisins, and you have a filling and fairly healthy vegan breakfast.

Granola Bars:

If you need something quick that’s easy to take with you, a vegan granola bar is a good choice. There are two brands that I like, NuGo Organic and Pro Bar. These are also great to pack on a trip where vegan options might be limited. If you need a quick snack because you can’t find any vegan options, they’re great to have on hand.

Scottish Girdle Scones aka Griddle Scones

This is a traditional Scottish recipe passed down through my Great Aunt. I can’t think of a better way to start the morning than with one of these scones and a cup of tea. My dad makes these occasionally and they always disappear almost as fast as he can make them. They come out a bit differently than scones you bake in the oven. They are somewhere in between a baked scone and a pancake as far as texture and taste are concerned. You can eat them on their own, because they’re that tasty, or you can add a little butter and jam if you like.

I decided to try to vegan-ize the recipe since I missed having these. It came out quite well and I don’t think this recipe is too far off from the original. I bet my Great Aunt never imagined there’d be a vegan version of her recipe, but I bet she’d be happy we were still making these! If you want to check out the original recipe handwritten by my Great Aunt, check out my Dad’s blog about his experiences growing up in Scotland and his book “Roses of Winter”. It’s neat to see a little piece of history.

I apologize for the less than amazing photos. I only had my camera phone with me, but I wanted you to get a sense of what they should look like.

Ingredients:

3 2/3 cups self-rising flour
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp EnerG Egg Replacer Powder
4 Tbsp water
1 cup of soy milk

I converted all the measurements for you, but if you ever need help converting measurements using a British recipe and you don’t have a cooking scale, this is a helpful site.

Directions:

  • Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  • Rub in the vegan butter. I use my hands to combine it with the flour mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg replacer powder with the water until well combined. Then add the soy milk in. Add the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until flour is absorbed and makes a firm dough. Mine came out a little sticky, but the scones still turned out well. Don’t over mix!
  • Place a large handful of the dough onto a well-floured surface, enough at a time to make a round. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about a 1/4-inch and cut into 4 quarters. I actually sprinkled a little flour on the dough and patted it down. That worked better than rolling since the dough was a little sticky.
  • Bake the scones on a griddle on medium heat. Finding the right temperature in your particular set up will take some practice. When the scones are brown on one side turn them over and brown the other side.

Important: Handle the dough as little as possible. As my Great Aunt notes, if you handle it too much “you could sole your shoes” with them! They should be light and fluffy with a slightly crispy outside.

Polenta Breakfast Casserole

This Polenta Breakfast Casserole in some ways is the vegan equivalent of a quiche without the crust. It takes a little bit of time to prepare, but is the perfect dish if you’re having guests for brunch or just to treat yourself on a lazy Sunday like I did today. This recipe is based on a recipe by Alicia Silverstone called Polenta Casserole with Seitan. I modified her recipe slightly, which is what I’m posting here.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups polenta or cornmeal
5 cups of water
1 medium size head of cauliflower cut in large pieces
2 pinches of sea salt
1 package of Gimme Lean vegan breakfast sausage
1 shallot
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of frozen corn
6 asparagus spears
1/3 cup of soy milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 green onions
olive oil

Directions:

  • Bring water, polenta, and salt to a boil in a large pot and then reduce heat. Simmer the polenta for 30 minutes stirring frequently. If you don’t stir it, it will stick and get lumpy. In a separate pot steam the cauliflower until soft. It will get mashed into the polenta later so it should be a mash-able consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×8 casserole dish with a little olive oil.
  • Prep your veggies. Chop the onion and shallots, asparagus, and parsley. Press or mince the garlic.
  • Saute the onion, shallots, and garlic. Then crumble up the sausage and saute it until the edges get a little crispy.
  • Layer the vegan sausage in the casserole dish. Then put the corn, asparagus, onions, garlic, and shallots in an even layer on top.
  • Remove the polenta mixture from the heat after the 30 minutes. Add soy milk, and soy sauce. Mash the cauliflower and polenta together until there are no large cauliflower chunks. Add the chopped parsley and shallots and mix well. Taste to see if you need more salt or want to add other seasonings. Next time I make this I may add in some garlic powder and other seasonings to spice up the polenta a little.
  • Spoon the polenta mixture into the casserole dish as the top layer. Smooth the top with a spatula, poke a few holes in the surface, and pour a little soy sauce on top.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, then let it cool 15 minutes before serving.

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito

Tofu scramble is a vegan staple. Everyone seems to have their own version. This basic tofu scramble recipe is one I make often and usually eat on it’s own or with a side of vegan bacon, sausage or the roasted potatoes I posted earlier. It’s also fun, and tasty, to make it into a burrito. There are many different flavor options when it comes to tofu scramble and endless options to include in your burrito. Be creative and add in your favorites!

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 red pepper
2 shallots
olive oil
large tortillas
1 pack of extra firm tofu – 14 oz.
1 tomato
1 green onion
veggie bacon – I used Smart Bacon
salt
pepper
garlic powder
curry powder
tumeric
paprika
cumin
sauce of choice – salsa, hot sauce, ketsup, etc.

Directions:

  • Chop the pepper and onion. Thinly slice the shallots and press or mince the garlic. Chop the tomato and green onion and set aside. Saute the pepper, onion, shallots, and garlic with a little olive oil.
  • Drain the tofu and blot off any excess water with a dish towel or paper towel. Crumble up into bite size crumbles of tofu. I tend to leave them on the slightly larger side because they break apart more as you cook the tofu. Add the tofu to the sauteed veggies.
  • Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, tumeric, paprika, and cumin to the tofu. I start conservatively with the spices and mix the tofu until the spices are evenly distributed. Then I taste the tofu and add more spices to taste. Let the tofu cook for about 3-5 minutes longer so some of the water evaporates off and you get some crispy edges.
  • Pan fry the vegan bacon in a little bit of olive oil.
  • Heat up your tortillas in a flat skillet over medium heat. They’ll be much easier to wrap, and less likely to break, if they’re warm.
  • Layer tofu scramble, bacon, tomatoes, and green onions on the tortilla. Add in whatever sauce you prefer (salsa, ketsup, hot sauce, etc.). Don’t overfill the tortilla or it will be hard to wrap. Wrap up your burrito and enjoy!

Vegan Breakfast British Style – Beans on Toast

I had never heard of Beans on Toast until my friend Donna made it for me a few years ago. I don’t know much of the history, but from what I’ve read it’s a typical British meal that’s often served at breakfast or lunch. Essentially it’s exactly what the name implies, baked beans on toast, but there’s room to be creative by adding various spices, onions, etc. It seems baked beans are often a part of a British breakfast, which isn’t something you really find in the US.

I have to admit, Beans on Toast is one of those things that just sounds a bit odd before you try it, but it’s actually really good. It’s not a bad way for a vegan to start the day since beans offer some protein. It can be served on it’s own, or as a side, and it’s really quick and easy to prepare. I don’t know about you, but I resemble a zombie in the morning until I’ve had some coffee or tea. It’s nice to have something that’s so simple to prepare in the morning. If you’re feeling ambitious you can make your own baked beans, but canned are quick and easy.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 slices of your favorite bread
1 can of vegan baked beans (regular baked beans usually contain bacon or pork fat)
1 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
garlic powder
black pepper
salt
paprika

Directions:

  • Chop the onion and mince or press the garlic. Saute them in a little olive oil.
  • Add the baked beans to the onions and garlic. Heat on medium high. I should note, traditionally the British version uses British style Heinz Beanz which are less sweet and in a more tomato-y sauce, but I use the regular maple-y American kind and it comes out well. Some people insist the British style ones are best. It seems like it’s all relative to what you grew up with.
  • Add garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and paprika to taste. You can get creative and add in other things if you like. I’ve seen some variations that include mustard or mustard powder, tabasco sauce, and even whiskey.
  • Toast the bread. Once the beans are hot throughout, spoon them over the toast.

Vegan Brunch: BLT

A vegan BLT is more of a brunch-y food, but I like to consider it a breakfast sandwich as well. It’s one of those versatile foods that is good at any hour. It’s really not much different than a regular BLT, but the fun comes from picking which kind of vegan bacon you use. There are three kinds that I really like and I find it hard to pick a favorite. If you haven’t tried these, I would try all three. I like them all for different reasons. They’re all good in a BLT or on the side if you’re making pancakes, french toast, tofu scramble, or any other breakfast meals.

Option 1: Smart Bacon – This is my go to vegan bacon and I make it fairly often. It’s not pictured here, but it is a solid choice and most resembles real bacon of the three options.

Option 2: Tempeh Bacon – Tempeh bacon doesn’t resemble real bacon very much, but it is tasty and brings a distinct flavor and texture to a BLT that I really like. This is what’s pictured in the sandwich.

Option 3: Canadian Bacon – I’ve been told vegan Canadian bacon pretty closely resembles real Canadian bacon, though I’ve never had real Canadian bacon myself. It’s cut thick, and it gets crispy which is a nice touch in a BLT. There’s a picture of the Canadian Bacon frying in the pan.

Ingredients:

2 slices of your favorite bread
2 slices of tomato
lettuce
vegan mayonaise – Vegenaise or Spectrum Vegan Mayonnaise are two options
vegan bacon of choice

Directions:

  • Toast your bread. While it’s toasting slice your tomato and prepare your lettuce.
  • Whichever bacon you choose, pan fry it in a little bit of olive oil until it gets crispy around the edges.
  • Once the bread is done toasting, put a layer of vegan mayonnaise on one slice.
  • Layer the tomato, lettuce, and bacon between the two bread slices.
  • Cut in half and enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

As promised, I am back and I have vegan breakfast recipes to share! In my last post I mentioned that February is “National Hot Breakfast Month”. When I first went vegan, breakfast was one of the more challenging meals to veganize, especially at restaurants. Everything seems geared towards eggs, dairy, and meat… omlettes, sausage, bacon, pancakes, french toast, the list goes on. Now breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I’ve realized there are lots of vegan possibilities.

This recipe is one of my favorites. It goes perfectly as a side to tofu scramble, a recipe I’ll share in a later post. These are really easy to make, with little prep time, though they do take a while to bake. If you start them first, they’ll be done by the time you prepare your other breakfast dishes. They’re perfect if you’re having company over for brunch!

Ingredients:

2 potatoes (you can scale up or down based on how many people you’re feeding)
olive oil
paprika
salt
black pepper
garlic powder
1 or 2 shallots
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Thoroughly wash the potatoes. Slice them in thin, even slices so the potatoes cook evenly.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil so the potatoes don’t stick. Lay the potatoes out on the pan in a single layer, overlapping them slightly if you need to.
  • Season the potatoes with paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. I do this by eye. You can adjust how much you use based on how seasoned you like your potatoes. I tend to season them pretty generously. Flip the potatoes, and season both sides.
  • Thinly slice a shallot and sprinkle the slices on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the leaves from one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme on top.
  • Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour at 425°F. Flip them halfway through baking. When they are soft in the middle and crispy and golden on the edges, they’re finished. Enjoy!