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Vegan brunch/lunch recipes? Help?

  • m

Thanks for help w/scrumptious quiche recipes last weekend for Easter.
Did a combo & it was fab!

Inviting some friends over for what I thought would be brunch this coming weekend.
But...one is vegan.
Now I'm wondering if I need to steer this more towards a luncheon type thing?
Or, do you have any fave brunch stand-bys for vegans?
Btw, I'm vegetarian, just not vegan, per se, so very dependent still on eggs forming the foundation of brunch dishes...thanks in advance for any suggestions or recipes! :-)

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  1. Not vegan but one time I wasn't able to use dairy for brunch, because a guest was nursing and her baby was sensitive to dairy in the mom's diet. So, I was able to make a frittata, and blueberry muffins (with oil instead of butter), but the rest of the menu was vegan:

    Corn and edamame succotash with zucchini and red bell peppers.
    Tossed arugula salad with dried figs, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette
    Warm peach and nectarine crisp with some soy french vanilla icecream on the side
    Mimosas, coffee

    For the succotash I just dice zucchini and bell peppers and saute then individually in a wide pan with minced garlic, chilli flakes and some thyme (fresh or dry). Remove to a bowl. In the same pan add a half cup of water and boil, scraping up the bottom. To the hot water add kernels from a few ears of corn, or from a can or frozen bag. Also add a cup or so of frozen shelled edamame. Salt and cook until corn and beans are tender. Add to the sauteed peppers and zucchini and adjust seasonings. You could add lime or lemon juice, chopped fresh basil or cilantro as well.

    Instead of succotash, a bean salad would also be filling, can be made ahead and provide protein. One of my friends makes an excellent tofu scramble with spinach. My attempts have failed so far - but that's another option.

    1. While there may be some good vegan egg substitutes out there, I haven't tried them so can't comment. Most vegans know how to cope in unfamiliar dining situations, but giving them options is what a gracious host/ess should do. Good for you. If the vegan is a good friend, I would have no problem calling him/her and asking what's your favorite brunch dish -- boom, it's on the menu.

      Otherwise, just some food for thought. (Ha!) I agree, you may want to make it more lunchy. I don't know what the weather will be like for you, but in early spring I often do a "Farewell to Winter" soup party. If it's still chilly, that might work for you. Three soups in pots on the stove, folks help themselves, go back to try a different one. Breads and muffins and crackery things. Separate condiments to sprinkle on top like grated cheese, toasted cashews and/or sunflower seeds, crispy bacon or prosciuto bits, crispy shallot shreds.

      Pea soup with shallots and lots of thyme (frozen petit pois work great). Puree in blender.
      Potato and spinach with Indian spices (maybe curry and extra cumin)
      Lentil with chunky carrots, celery, onions, and garlic (I prefer mine without tomato, but you could have chopped toms in your condiments array)
      Minestrone (if adding pasta, make sure there's no egg in it)

      I like the Imagine brand of broths for soup making, particularly the No Chicken variety, but being a vegetarian I'm sure you have your own favorites.

      Having said all that! Mollie Katzen has a cookbook out called Sunlight Cafe or Sunshine Cafe which deals with breakfast dishes. She's not totally vegan, but you probably know her, and you might get some ideas from the book -- either at the library, from a friend, or perhaps on-line.

      Don't forget fruit (salad, big chunks or wedges, kebobs) and dark chocolate!
      Hope your friends love everything you make!

      1. I have two vegans in my family. Here are some of the dishes we do for breakfasty/brunch things when we get together. Let me know if any of them particularly appeal to you and I'll post the recipes.

        Lemon Poppy Scones
        Orange Ginger Scones with Orange Marmelade
        Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burritoes
        Mock Huevos Rancheroes
        Honey Whole Wheat and Nut Pancakes
        Tomato Bread Salad with Basil and Olive Oil
        (Vegan) Crepes with fresh berries
        Fried Farina Patties (with Soy-sauge and gravy)
        Quinoa with dried fruit, nuts and maple syrup
        Yeast rolls with jam (although some vegans don't eat yeast products)

        All of these recipes are vegan, none uses egg replacer, and only the tofu scramble and mock huevos rancheroes involve tofu.

        17 Replies
        1. re: Non Cognomina

          Could you post a description of your mock huevos rancheros, a recipe for your whole what pancakes, and an explanation of the yeast issue?

          Thanks in advance for any of the above :)

          1. re: Adrienne

            Mock Huevos Rancheros--start with a crispy corn tortilla (made with veg oil, not lard), and layer with black beans (or vegetarian refried black beans), a slice of silken tofu sprinkled with cumin, salt and pepper, spicy salsa, and grated pickled carrots (looks like cheese, tastes to good). Steamed spinach is an optional addition, and my sister's fav.

            1. re: Non Cognomina

              "Some vegans don't eat yeasted breads because, technically, yeast is a living, breathing organism."

              Hopefully they also avoid mushrooms. Yeast is composed of unicellular fungi. Mushrooms are also fungi. They are alive in the sense lettuce or trees are alive. If a vegan were to avoid yeast, then technically she'd have to avoid all vegetables, as they also breathe.

            2. re: Adrienne

              Some vegans don't eat yeasted breads because, technically, yeast is a living, breathing organism.

              1. re: Non Cognomina

                Hmn, thanks for those recipes -- they look delicious and I will try them out the next time I serve brunch.

                I guess what confuses me about the yeast is that it seems to me that yeast is approximately as alive as plants are... and although I wouldn't dispute that both are living and breathing, I don't think I see the distinction between the two that makes it ok to eat plants but not yeast. But then, I have never been a plant nor a yeast, so what do I know.

                1. re: Adrienne

                  Yes, exactly - yeast is a fungus, just like mushrooms. I've never met a vegan who didn't eat mushrooms.

                  1. re: Adrienne

                    I'm not saying I understand it either, and was very surprised to hear that some vegans don't eat yeast products, even beer! Yet another reason why I'm not vegan...

                  2. re: Non Cognomina

                    To be honest, I'd be really, really surprised if your vegan friend didn't eat yeast.

                    I've *never* heard of a vegan not eating yeast because it is "living and breathing"
                    I often use the Int'l Vegetarian Union as a good source for these issues, and according to them yeast is vegan.
                    http://www.ivu.org/faq/food.html

                    Check with your friend to be sure, if you're not convinced - but honestly, I doubt it's an issue and wouldn't plan your meal around avoiding yeast!

                  3. re: Adrienne

                    Vegan Whole Wheat Pancakes

                    1 cup whole wheat flour
                    2 tbsp ground flax seed (I use Bob's Red Mill)
                    2 tbsp ground oats
                    2 tbsp sugar
                    1 tbsp baking powder
                    1/4 tsp salt
                    1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
                    dash of nutmeg (optional)
                    1 cup soymilk (or vanilla soy milk)
                    1/4 cup unfiltered apple juice
                    1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

                    Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in liquid ingredients. Mix gently with a whisk until well combined, but don't overmix or pancakes will be tough.

                    Cook in the usual pancake manner, using vegan margerine or canola oil on your griddle as needed.

                    Variations: Before you flip the pancake, add banana slices, chopped nuts, blueberries, or (vegan) chocolate chips.

                    1. re: Non Cognomina

                      Without egg, what holds these pancakes together?

                      1. re: chicgail

                        Flaxseed meal is a common egg substitute used by vegans...
                        1 Tbsp of flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp water = one egg. In the above recipe the oats and wheat flour contain gluten which also helps hold things together.

                  4. re: Non Cognomina

                    Wow! That list sounds incredible!! Thanks for already sharing a couple of your recipes. Could I also have, I guess in order of importance...if too hard to post all...
                    Tofu Burritoes, Vegan Crepes, Quinoa w/Dried Fruit, and Tomato Bread Salad?
                    If time, would also like Fried Farina Patties...sounds quite interesting!
                    Have you had all of the above? I'd love to do scones too, but imagine,
                    it might be so much work...esp. w/other dishes I'll need to make.

                    Originally, I considered a Quiche w/salad, as I just had success w/quiche this past weekned. :-) And hubby & I love to make an oven puff (dutch big pancake)
                    w/fresh fruit overflowing it. (however that WITH quiche might have been just too, too many eggs)

                    Things that can be made the day before are esp. appealing. Thanks again! :-)

                    1. re: mtm

                      Hi mtm. Yes, I have made all of the above. I listed my "greatest hits" for vegan breakfast/lunch foods. Two of my sisters are vegan, and we end up getting together once or twice a month on weekends. I insist on yummy tasting food, regardless of whatevery anyone's dietary restricitions/preferences are. Hey, I'm a chowhound!

                      I'll start typing out the recipes in separate posts below. It will make it easier for me that way....

                      1. re: mtm

                        Tofu Breakfast Burritoes

                        Vegan friendly tortillas of your choice (my family likes flour)
                        1 onion, chopped
                        2 or more cloves garlic, minced (omit if you prefer)
                        1 lb mushrooms, rough chopped (we use portobellas and oysters)
                        1-16 oz bag frozen spinach, OR 5 lbs fresh spinach, cleaned
                        1 package silken tofu
                        1/4 tsp cumin
                        1/4 tsp chipotle, ground
                        1/4 tsp red chile flake
                        Pickled carrots, onions or asparagus, diced for garnish
                        Soy Cheese (optional--I opt not)
                        Hot Sauce or Salsa

                        In a large skillet, sweat the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 5-8 minutes until they are translucent. Add the mushrooms and increase heat to medium high--saute 3-5 minutes. Add spinach--if using fresh spinach, add about 1 lb at a time, stiring to help it wilt, adding more until it is all in. Sprinkle spices and stir/saute just enough to mix them around.

                        To assemble, warm tortillas by your preferred method. Lay filling in tortilla, top with soy cheese, Tapatillo hot sauce, salsa and salt and pepper. Wrap and serve with diced pickled veg on the side.

                        This will feed 4 hungry folks, or 8 not as hungry folks.

                        1. re: mtm

                          Quinoa with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Maple Syrup

                          This is a sort of breakfasty hot cereal.

                          1 cup quinoa
                          1/2 tsp salt
                          3 cups water
                          1 cup fruit nectar, such as Kern's apricot, pear or mango
                          1 cup dried fruit (pineapple, mango, ginger, cherry, raisins all work well, bananas do not)
                          2/3 cup toasted nuts, chopped (pecans, and walnuts work well)
                          1/4 cup maple syrup
                          1/2 lemon, juiced

                          Place quinoa in a sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to look and smell a little toasty, stirring or swirling the pan to make sure you don't burn it. When it smells toasty, add the water, nectar and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes. Stir in the dried fruit and nuts, then cover and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked thorough. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup and serve immediately. Delicious topped with fresh grated apple (tossed in the juice of the other lemon half to keep it from browning).

                          You can also add some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, etc, but I think it masks the flavor of the quinoa too much for my taste.

                          1. re: mtm

                            Vegan Crepes

                            This batter can be made the day before and kept in the fridge overnight. I've made the crepes an hour or two ahead and kept them covered with a barely damp towel in the oven until ready to use.

                            2 cups All Purpose Flour
                            1 tsp salt
                            1/4 cup sugar
                            1/2 cup canola oil
                            1 cup vanilla soy milk
                            1 cup water

                            Combine all ingredients and blend well. Cover and chill at least 3 hours, ideally overnight, no longer than 36 hours.

                            Just before cooking, blend batter in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender to emulsify. Prepare using the standard crepe method.

                            Spread crepe lightly with jam or marmelade, fold into quarters, top with fresh berries, a squeeze of lemon, and a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

                            1. re: mtm

                              Tomato bread salad is one of my favorite things ever! I include it in any meal whenever I can, especially in the summer with tomatoes from my own garden. This is a very rustic kind of salad, so all measurements are approximate.

                              1 clove garlic
                              1 lb loaf of Italian country bread, cubed
                              12-16 oz fresh tomatoes, rough sliced (Cherokee tomatoes are perfect)
                              4-6 oz fresh basil leaves, torn
                              1/2 cup fruity olive oil
                              2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
                              Salt and Pepper to taste

                              Rub a large salad bowl all over the inside with the clove of garlic.
                              Add the bread cubes, tomatoes and basil, tossing to combine.
                              In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
                              Drizzle oil mixture over salad and toss to combine. (Use more or less to dress your salad according to your preference.)
                              Let salad stand 30-60 minutes before serving.
                              Salad can be made several hours before service and held at room temperature. It can also be covered an chilled overnight. Remove from fridge and let come to room temperature before serving.

                          2. How are you with Indian food? Upma, vada, iddly, and utthapam are all vega. (You'd need a special steamer for iddly tho.)

                            Home fries are vegan. Grilled, marinated tofu sandwiches with grilled veggies on good, whole grain toast would work, too (if you buy vegan bread).

                            1. For a traditional breakfast, you could do a tofu scramble instead of eggs. Serve w/ hash browns and these waffles http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecip... or banana bread http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecip...

                              Another option would be to do a buffet as suggested here http://www.earth.li/~kake/cookery/rec...
                              or, do a breakfast bar, so that you can offer veggie and vegan options easily and satisfy all tastes... You could do a breakfast burrito bar with scrambled egg and scrambled tofu offerings, along with all the traditional fixin'. You could also do a crepe bar w/ different savory and sweet fillings; there are recipes for vegan crepes, but you could just sub soymilk into a typical recipe.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Emme

                                Thanks to everyone here for terrific ideas, to wonderful recipes!!
                                Truly appreciate it. Am hungry just reading these.

                                I like the idea of a breakfast bar...was considering doing a buffet set-up.
                                Would let people choose what they most like. Problem is:
                                one dish, at least doesn't work too great that way, as it falls really quickly,
                                almost like a souffle.

                                Originally, I considered a Quiche w/salad, as I just had success w/quiche this past weekend. :-) And that works fine on a buffet 'line'.
                                And hubby & I love to make an oven puff (dutch big pancake)
                                w/fresh fruit overflowing it. (however that WITH quiche might have been just too, too many eggs) And w/the oven puff, it wouldn't work well unless going straight onto people's plates. What to do... :-\

                                Would like one sweet option for folks, but maybe have to re-think the way to do this?
                                Maybe crepes would keep? Hmmmm...but I don't have any dish warmers or anything.
                                I know some have chafing dishes...anyone else have a trick for keeping things warm enough? (we don't have an oven warming tray either) Thanks again!

                                Things that can be made the day before are esp. appealing. Thanks again! :-)

                              2. A late idea.....

                                Something that might work is a Mexican theme. For burrito fillings consider
                                -sweet potatoes and black beans (from Moosewood)
                                -classic refried beans (well,classic except you sub oil for lard :))
                                -egg scramble with peppers, onions and mushrooms (not vegan, of course)
                                -spicy tofu scramble

                                Might also be nice to have a sunny-side up egg station for huevos rancheros

                                Just make up batches of green and red salsa, fresh chopped salsa, fresh guacamole. The cooked salsas can be done well in advance. Maybe have some shredded lettuce for some additional veggie freshness. Lime wedges on the side. Chopped cilantro on the side if you're leaving it out of the salsa for sensitive folks.

                                For the people who aren't vegan, have some queso fresco and sharp cheddar, grated. Maybe some sour cream or Mexican crema.

                                If you feel inclined, fry up some homemade chips. Or just oven-warm some good thick store-bought ones. Keep flour tortillas warm in the oven.

                                Let people assemble at their will. Offer to make sunny-side up batches for folks. Nice refreshing beverage to sip is pineapple juice and guava nectar cut with seltzer water.

                                Have some fresh tropical fruit cut up on the side. Mangoes. Pineapple. Guava. Etc.

                                Sweet tooth option- flour tortillas baked (or fried) and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Actually, Alton Brown had a great-sounding dish on his chilie show- pineapple simmered with mint and habanero, served over vanilla ice cream with cinnamon-sugar tortilla crisps.

                                Good luck!

                                :

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: 4Snisl

                                  I read over the rest of the thread, and it looks like I overlapped on quite a few ideas! In any case, I love so many of the thoughts here (especially the idea of adding chipotle to a tofu scramble- totally makes sense!) And even though I didn't start this thread, I'm glad mtm did because so many of my friends are vegan, or at least vegetarian.

                                2. One of my favorite savory vegan brunch items is a vegetable scramble that features potatoes but not so heavily as to taste like flavored home fries. Sautee together lots of garlic, leeks, onions, mushrooms, rainbow chard, possibly a little diced tomato, and some diced potatoes. Serve with lots of fresh lemon juice.

                                  For a sweet vegan brunch treat I like fresh fruit with maple syrup. Simple, good and a nice compliment to savory foods.

                                  You could also fresh squeeze some juice.

                                  1. Try checking out "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Its a little corny, but there are some great breakfast/brunchy recipes... especially the muffins!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: thunderbug84

                                      Wow! Everyone...thank you so very very much!
                                      Just re-saw this thread. Looks like there are a wealth of options
                                      for my vegan friend. Now I have to figure out how I'd keep
                                      scrambled tofu warm for her. Maybe in the oven? Do ahead & leave w/
                                      tortillas like mentioned for her to fill herself w/other fillings?
                                      Thanks so very, very much!! :-)

                                      1. re: thunderbug84

                                        The pumpkin muffin recipe is to die for. It truly is the best pumpkin muffin recipe ever.

                                        1. re: mrsleny

                                          I LOVE the temphe 'bacon' from Vw/aV! It's a must try.

                                        2. re: thunderbug84

                                          Also by Moskowitz (& Romero), "Vegan cupcakes take over the world : 75 dairy-free recipes for cupcakes that rule"...more vegan fun for those w/a sweet tooth. There's even a gluten-free recipe in there. BTW, the SF public Library has a copy…