Archive for the ‘Brunchy Bits’ Category

Potato Pancakes

In Brunchy Bits on March 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Sometimes all I want is a straight up starch bomb for breakfast.  Potato pancakes to the rescue!  These are made extra crackalicious with vegan bacon bits and chives.  You could pimp yours out with green onions, melt Daiya over the top, or go old school and serve them with applesauce.

Serves 2

The pancakes:
1 potato
1 medium onion
egg replacer equivalent to one egg
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt, or to taste (I use more because I am addicted to salt)
pepper to taste
Add your extra zazoom now. I like to use 2 tsp each chives and vegan bacon bits.
2 Tbs-ish of grapeseed, canola, or any other high heat oil

Get out your trusty food processor (or grater if you don’t have one) and grate the potato, skin and all. Then put the grated bits in a colander and run them under cold water until the water runs clear. All that white stuff is excess starch, which let’s face it you really don’t need. Now grate the onion and put the potato and onion in a bowl with all of the other ingredients except the oil. Mix well. You want the consistency to be pretty thick, but pasty enough that the cakes won’t fall apart when you cook them. If it’s way too dry, add a little unsweetened soy milk. If it’s too wet add more flour.

Get out a nice cast iron skillet or nonstick pan and heat your oil on med-high heat. Once the oil is hot it’s time to make your pancakes. You can make them as big or small as you want, or try to make shapes with them if you’re feeling particularly feisty. Just keep in mind that you need to make them quite thin in order to have them cook all the way through. You want to cook them on a high enough heat so they crisp up all golden on each side, but slowly enough to cook the potatoes all the way through so they aren’t crunchy and raw, which is nasty. It’s a delicate balance and I trust that you will be victorious. Make sure to keep a thin coat of oil on the bottom of the pan at all times.

Drain the excess grease from the pancakes by putting them on newspaper or paper towels, and then serve immediately to maintain ultimate crunch power.

Some topping ideas:
Applesauce (weird, but quite standard in many European countries)
Hot sauce
Tofutti sour cream (I like to add a little vinegar to make it extra sour)



In Brunchy Bits, Burning Man on January 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

These were the main feature of our Vegan Deliciousness that I (with the help of some of my great campmates) served to 200 people on Tuesday morning at Burning Man in 2009. It was definitely one of the high notes of our camp as far as events went. If you want to check out the video, you can see it on the YouTubes.

I’ll give you the recipe to make just one, and you can adjust to suit however many people you want to serve.  Oh, and ALLERGY WARNING: these are totally not gluten free in any way.  I cheat when I’m on vacation.

You’ll need:
Earth Balance
Extra firm tofu
Gimme Lean sausage
English Muffins
Vegan cheese slices

Slice your tofu about half an inch thick. You’ll need 2 per muggin.

Fry the tofu in a pan using Earth Balance, sprinkling with a little turmeric to add color and some Spike, salt, and pepper for flavor. The tofu will be done when it’s hot and most of the moisture has been cooked out. It will be a little browned on the outside, and that’s just fine. Note: After you flip the tofu for the last time and are waiting for the side that is face down on the pan to be done, add a slice of the cheese to the top so it has time to melt. The tofu is done when the cheese is melty. You can help the cheese melt by putting a lid over the pan.

Also make a patty the size of the English muffin and around 1/4 inch thick, and fry that up at the same time as the tofu. The Gimme Lean is precooked, so you just need to make this hot and browned on both sides.

In the meantime, toast an English muffin and butter it. When the tofu and sausage are done, it’s time to serve, so make it into a sammich and eat eat eat! Personally, I like to have this with a little Cholula (use whatever hot sauce is your favorite).

When I served these at Burning Man I wrapped them in foil to keep them warm and that worked out just fine. For extra awesome, enjoy with mimosas.

A satisfied burner!

Tofu Scramble

In Brunchy Bits on January 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I love this picture because it’s the scramble I made for Lucas the morning after he proposed to me. That’s one of the 100 gerbera daisies he spread all over our bedroom. You can see some bacon on the side, too.  Delish!

This recipe makes enough for 3 moderate eaters, or one moderate eater and Lucas.  It’s a pretty free wheelin’ recipe as you can put just about any damn thing in a scramble and it’s tasty, so I’ve just mostly talked about how I handle the tofu and you can handle your toppings however they like to be handled.

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
1 Tbs canola oil or EB
½ tsp turmeric
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and Spike seasoning to taste
Stuff to throw in there:
Black olives
Artichoke hearts
Pine nuts
Leftover tater tots or fries
Sour cream
Or basically anything else you would enjoy in a scrambly situation.

Heat the Canola oil or EB in a skillet (careful not to let the olive oil smoke or the butter brown) and add the block of tofu, cutting it into scrambley sized bits in the skillet with the end of your spatula. If you are using leftover tots or fries (and, seriously, why aren’t you? It’s really super good!) then put them in at the same time or even a little before the tofu, so they get nice and crispy.

Turn down your heat to medium/medium low and let the tofu cook for about 10 minutes, tossing to make sure it doesn’t overcook on any one side.

Add the turmeric. This is for coloring more than anything else, as I find turmeric rather flavorless. Stir the color around until everything is uniformly yellow, and add the rest of the spices.

Add in your toppings, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so (more if the toppings were really wet).

You can top this with some nutritional yeast at the end if you want, or vegan cheese, for a cheesier effect. I don’t usually do this, though, and instead just put a little dollop of sour cream on the side.

Incredibly Italian variation:
15 cremini shrooms, sautéed with garlic and fresh basil, reserved
2 zucchinis, sautéed with garlic and onion until carmelized, reserved
Tater tots, salted and browned
Cubed  and scrambled tofu with Spike, salt, pepper, turmeric
Make some Italian sausage, either by using my lentil sausage recipe OR, if you don’t have a gluten or wheat allergy:
1 package Gimme Lean, mixed with
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pepper
1 ¼ tsp fennel, chopped or cracked
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cracked/chopped rosemary
1/8 tsp oregano

Brown the sausage in an olive oiled pan and set it aside.

1 bunch kale, cut and braised with garlic, salt, and ½ shallot diced small
Add the rest into the kale and cook til all warmed.  Try not to squeal in delight as you eat this, I dare you.


In Brunchy Bits on January 4, 2010 at 4:38 am

Yeah, I said it! This bacon makes all other vegan bacon pale in comparison. I used to love bacon made from pigs, and even after I went vegetarian and then vegan I craved the heck out of it until I found this recipe on a vegan forum. I’ve altered it a little bit for superior awesomeness. This is awesome in BLT’s, with a scramble, or in a breakfast sammich. Seriously. So good.

Makes enough for 2 people to have 3 slices each

6 slices extra firm tofu (pressed, naturally) cut into six thin (1/8 inch) strips
2 Tbs wheat free tamari
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs nutritional yeast

Fry the tofu strips in the oil on medium heat until they are crispy on both sides.

Take the pan off the heat and mix the tamari with the liquid smoke in a little cup or bowl.  Let the pan cool a little more, and then pour the liquid smoke/tamari into the pan and stir the tofu so all sides are coated.  Sprinkle the yeast over everything and stir some more, over heat, until the liquid is gone and the tofu is covered with sticky yeast.

Note that you can use super extra firm tofu without pressing if you want to cut down your cooking time.

Yummy Cinnamon Raisin Scones

In Brunchy Bits on November 9, 2009 at 4:59 am

Makes about 6 scones

2 to 2 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs agave nectar
¼ cup raisins
¼  cup butter, softened
¾  to 1 cup soy or rice milk, preferably sweetened.  Vanilla flavored is ok to use.

Mix dry ingredients together.  Cut in butter until crumbles form.  Stir in milk, agave, and raisins.  Drop them by the spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet leaving an inch around each one.  Bake at 450 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes, or until just brown on top.  To spread on it, whip some butter and agave together.

Lentil Sausages

In Brunchy Bits on November 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Updated 1/3/10

Mmmm, I just made these today for breakfast.  They go great with an Italian tofu scramble.  This is still a recipe in progress, as I’m trying to get the formula just right so they stick together when you fry them. I’ve updated because this time I added egg substitute, and they definitely stuck together much better.  Just be careful when you flip them.

Serves 4

2 cups lentils
½ tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 tsp Spike
1 1/2 tsp fennel
1 Tbs tamari
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
½ sweet onion, diced small
3 minced garlic cloves
2 – 4 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 egg worth of egg replacer (this is a powder you mix with water. You can find the EnerG brand in a yellow box at Whole Foods or New Seasons, I think in the baking section)

Cook the lentils at a hard simmer in covered in twice as much water, with the lid on. Watch the lentils to make sure there is still water in there, adding as necessary. You want to cook them until they are soft, and in order to do that you will probably need to add water once or twice as they soak up a bunch as they cook.

After you put the lentils on the stove, saute the onion in 1 Tbs of the oil until soft and sort of translucent – about 10 mins.  Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes or so, stirring frequently because otherwise the garlic will burn.

When the lentils are about halfway done, add the sauteed onions and garlic along with the other ingredients and continue cooking them until soft, adding water as needed. Keep tasting and adjusting as necessary.

When the lentils are soft and all the water is absorbed, add the nutritional yeast and the egg replacer. Make spoon sized dollops, heat the remaining Tbs of oil, and squish down the patties onto the skillet until they are about a quarter inch thick. Fry them up on medium heat until crispy on both sides.

Serve with ketchup or hot sauce or just eat them plain (but I swear they are soooo good with ketchup).