Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vegan Brunch: A Love Affair

Banana Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast)

     I love the idea of brunch. Laying in bed with someone special, and saying, "Opps. We missed breakfast. How about we combine breakfast and lunch together?" And thus brunch was born. I can't think of a better guide to understanding and mastering the two meals in one than Isa's Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For. It's simply one of the easiest and tastiest cookbooks out there. Everything in this post was made from her cookbook. Since I love French Toast, I decided to head south to Brazil to tackle the Bananna Rabanada. That's Brazilian French Toast for you gringos out there. I also paired it with tofu scramble and roasted garlic potatoes, but since I don't like the taste of maple syrup on my scramble, I used two plates. Don't worry, I have a dishwasher.
Banana Rabanada
     As long as I've been vegan, I've been making the French Toast from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. I've made it for so long I've memorized the recipe and it's about the only recipe I don't measure for. It's my specialty. Well, it was. This recipe might take the crown. Not to mention it's so easy with blended soymilk and bananas. The hardest part of this recipe is letting a baguette go stale to use in the recipe. But fret not Isa gives a suggestion if you've just come from the bakery. A trick for this recipe is something my mom taught me for making banana bread. Let the bananas get brown/black on the outside before you use them. If your friends come over and they give you the eyes because your bananas look disgusting, chances are they are ready. Thanks for the tip, mom! The recipe really comes together with the mix of cocoa powder and cinnamon that is sprinkled on top.  (Try to use fair trade certified, the farmers will thank you.) 
Tofu Scramble
     Remember those tofu scramble packets Fanatistic Foods used to sell? I used to think that was the only way to make it. Luckily, I got wiser. I've tried lots of tofu scramble recipes and even prepared versions from restaurants, but this is hands down the best tofu scramble I've had. Again, it's simple. Basically, tofu, spices and the magical pixie dust aka nutritional yeast. Isa really killed it with this recipe. She also includes tons of variations that I swear I'll try one day.
Roasted Garlic Potatoes
     What brunch would be complete without potatoes? Ever since I made this recipe, you can look in my fridge and I always have some on hand. I've taken them to work and eaten them as a snack. Delicious. Not to mention pretty cheap. I usually find organic potatoes for about a dollar per pound. Sometimes, puts russets on sale for about 50 cents a pound, which sucks because this recipe is stellar with Yukon Gold potatoes. I like to soak the potatoes, then scrub them. Let them dry a bit and then coat them up. Then, I let them dry a bit. I think this helps make them not stick to the pan (even though the picture shows me using parchment paper). I've even let them sit in the refrigerator overnight and then roasted them. This time though, I left them in the oven too long and they dried out. Don't do that. Again, Isa has numerous variations for this from fresh herb, lemon pepper to curry. In fact, the garlic is one of her variations. Now get to eating...

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