One of the greatest things about brunch is that it is designed to be a feel-good meal. It's got a relaxed European atmosphere necessary to accommodate condensing two meals into one. People don't tend to brunch alone, so it's also a most wonderful way to connect with friends and family to make delicious, lasting memories.
As any vegan can likely vouch, breakfast can be the kiss of death for the non-meat eaters. Eggs and bacon seem to flavor every greasy bite of breakfast foods, aside from the juice. But brunch? Well that's a whole different story. Brunch can easily accomodate a vegan diet, deliciously.
The next time you're brunching, try some of these favorites anyone can enjoy:
Fruit is an essential part of any brunch. Sliced juicy melons, fresh & ripe berries, and of course, pineapple, are a must for a satisfying brunch. And don't forget the savory fruits: olives, sliced cukes, and try ripe avocado and tomato slices on toast. Top off with watercress or arugula, a pinch of salt and a wee drizzle of olive oil for a satisfying and hearty mouthful.
Potatoes are super versatile and a vegan staple. Make potato pancakes, or traditional home fries or hash browns, using non-dairy margarine or olive instead of butter.
Pancakes, waffles, French toast and all sorts of pastries can all be made vegan without eggs, butter or milk, and many can be made gluten-free too!
You don't have to go crazy with the vegan bacon to make a memorable brunch meal, but it can be pretty tasty and a lot healthier than the real stuff.
Non-dairy coconut or soy yogurts taste amazing and provide a plentiful serving of healthy bacteria. They go great with fruits, topped with toasted granola or plain.
Scrambled tofu is as easy to make as eggs and tastes great. Add your favorite veggies, and you can even make it look the same color as eggs (more on that in a bit). Start by sautéing your veggies (try carrots, zucchini and mushrooms) in a bit of olive oil. When tender, crumble 8 oz of firm or extra firm tofu into the mixture. Add ½ tsp of turmeric and paprika for color and taste, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes and ½ cup of water. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spreads are also a terrific brunch menu item. Walnut pate, white bean or chickpea hummus with fresh bread can really hit the spot. Bon apetit!
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Photo: Tom Purves