Vegan Brunch: It’s Real and It’s Fabulous

Most people don’t spend much time putting together a decadent breakfast first thing in the morning, but most people also love the richness and indulgence of breakfast foods; that’s why brunch is the best. You get to have all the fatty, savoury, sweet deliciousness of a classic Western breakfast at an hour when your stomach is less likely to pitch it back at you. Was that too crude? I think you know what I mean…

Of course, when you think of breakfast or brunch, invariably, you will think of eggs, bacon, coffee with cream and sugar. That is, you will think of foods that are the opposite of vegan. I swear to you though, a vegan brunch as familiar as your old standard of bacon, eggs, and toast with butter, is totally possible and delicious.

Not pictured, the vegan bacon — yes, bacon

I may have mentioned previously that I used to LOVE poached eggs when I was an omnivore. It was a loss I grieved, but only for so long. I immediately turned to tofu scramble and found a recipe that *hit the spot* for the egg breakfast craving, but that was only the start. Soon, it felt like there was no breakfast I couldn’t veganize. Does that sound arrogant? I’d like to think of it as a healthy and motivating confidence!

Caveat: it is a lot easier to make vegan breakfast alternatives if you can eat tofu. I happen to LOVE tofu, and my body can tolerate the organic, non-GMO kind just fine. However, if you don’t like tofu, or don’t eat soy — I still have options for you… just not as many.

I recently decided to share my love of vegan brunchery with some close friends and the results were fantastic. Here was my menu:

  • Vegan Chai Infused Cinnamon Buns
  • Tofu, Cheeze, Mushroom, and Spinach Quiche with Potato Crust
  • Vegan Bacon
  • Vegan Scones with (homemade) Raspberry Blackberry Jam (and vegan butter)
  • Hashbrowns (store bought, vegan)
  • Veggies with (homemade) Vegan Ranch Dip

As I’ve said, I love tofu — so my go-to for vegan egg substitute is easily tofu. I have, however, seen recipes for vegan quiche made from chickpea flour. To be honest, I can’t personally endorse any as I eat chickpea only sparingly. Vegan Richa has a popular recipe for a vegan frittata that I’m sure would lend itself well to a tofu-free quiche.

I will share my recipes for the menu separately, so this post doesn’t get too crowded. However, I will leave you one recipe as thanks for reading.

So, let’s start where everyone wants to start: bacon. There are many vegan bloggers that have posted their own version of this recipe, so no offence meant to the others, but the one I follow comes from the Edgy Veg: The Best Vegan Bacon. It’s super easy, and effective. It satisfies the bacon flavour cravings and the crunch (or chew) feel. It won’t fool you for the real thing, but this version is a satisfying alternative, and way healthier for you and the lil piggy.

Rice Paper Vegan Bacon

Photo from the Edgy Vegan because I ate mine before photographing… The shame!

This recipe should make two sheet pans of bacon, but if you aren’t planning to serve it all at once, you can save the leftover marinade for later and just make as much bacon as you want in the moment.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes, depending on how much bacon you are making.

Cook time: 8 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 pieces of rice paper (the kind used for spring rolls)
  • 2 tbs olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbs (organic) tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbs smoked paprika **
  • 1/2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

** The original recipe calls for liquid smoke, but I’m not comfortable using it, so I substitute smoked paprika and love the result. If you’d rather liquid smoke, use 1/4 tbs. Or, use 1 tbs of BBQ sauce.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line one or two sheets with parchment paper.

Prepare your marinade in a bowl. Mix all ingredients, except rice paper, together until thoroughly combined.

Next, prepare your bacon strips! Depending on your preference for crispy or chewy bacon, you will layer either two or three pieces of rice paper. Thoroughly wet your sheets (I like to layer two — three is too chewy for me), two or three at a time and lay on top of each other. Let them rest and soften. Warm water helps the process move faster. As the rice paper softens, it will start to stick together. This is what you want.

Once you have a stretchy merged rice paper pile (again, only two or three at a time), cut it into your bacon strips using a pizza roller or very sharp knife. You will want to be careful about cutting, as the rice paper will sometimes stick to the knife and start to roll. Then you will have a big mess of stretchy nonsense. Make sure the strips lay flat as you cut them.

When you have your strips cut, start to coat them in the marinade and lay on the baking sheet. I find the fastest, easiest way to do this is to use my fingers. It makes a mess, but it gets the job done. Repeat until you have all the bacon you desire.

Then bake your bacon for 7-9 minutes, depending on your crunch preference. You will likely find the strips start to bubble in between the rice paper layers (this gives the real bacon look). I like to flatten bubbles with a fork before they are done baking, but you can leave them if you prefer the bubble crunch. If you prefer chewier bacon, take the pans out when the bacon is still somewhat floppy, at 7 or 8 minutes. If you prefer crispier, leave for at least 9 minutes, and take out when there is some stiffness to the strips. They will firm up as they cool, too.

Let the bacon cool for 2 minutes before eating, then enjoy!

Vegan Chai Iced Cinnamon Buns

The other brunch favourite is, of course, the decadent and buttery baked goods. For me, cinnamon buns were the ultimate brunch treat, but I assumed they needed egg. I was wrong. Check out the recipe for these yummers over here.

Tofu, Cheeze, Mushroom, and Spinach Quiche with Potato Crust

This recipe may be even more involved than the cinnamon buns, but it is highly nutritious, delicious, and makes top notch leftovers. I cobbled up this recipe from a few others that were meant for different purposes, but found this one well. This quiche is so smokey and savoury... writing about it makes me wish I had some to munch on. If you want to try this one (and I highly suggest it), find the recipe here.

Stay tuned for the Tea Party entry for these lovely scones.

I hope this post as inspired you to have your own vegan brunch! xo

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