Bountiful Brunch - Show #102

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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 onion, chopped

5 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced

1⁄2 bell pepper, any color, chopped

1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu, drained

1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne

1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

1⁄2 cup grated vegan cheese (optional)

Freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the peppers and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the tofu in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until crumbly. Add the turmeric, cayenne, salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the tamari. Mash until the tofu resembles the color and texture of cooked scrambled eggs.

Add the tofu to the skillet, adding more oil and a bit more tamari if the mixture seems dry. Cook, stirring frequently, until the scramble is heated through and the tofu is lightly browned on the edges. Scatter the optional vegan cheese over the top and season with pepper to taste. Cover the skillet tightly, remove from the heat, and let the vegan cheese melt for 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


Blueberry Mini-Biscuits


A friend once told me that I should sell these biscuits so everyone could have a chance to taste them. Better yet, I’m providing the recipe so you can make them at home. They’re easy to put together, even if you’ve never made biscuits before. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, they have a delicate flavor that makes a pleasing addition not just to breakfast and brunch, but also to lunch or an evening meal.

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

2 teaspoons brown sugar

11⁄4 cups unsweetened nondairy milk

1⁄3 cup vegan mayonnaise

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

11⁄2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil two twelve-cup mini- muffin tins.

Put the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the wheat germ and brown sugar and stir with the whisk to combine.

Put the nondairy milk, vegan mayonnaise, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth and well combined. Pour into the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated and lump-free. The mixture will be quite thick. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden.

Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each biscuit with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the biscuits. Serve warm or at room temperature.

PLAIN MINI-BISCUITS: Omit the vanilla extract and blueberries and proceed as directed.

SAVORY HERB MINI-BISCUITS: Omit the vanilla extract and blueberries and add 4 to 5 leaves of fresh sage, minced, and 8 to 9 leaves of fresh basil, minced. Savory Herb Mini-Biscuits pair well with any savory meal.


 Cashew French Toast


After numerous failed attempts at making vegan french toast, I was determined to develop a foolproof version. I discovered that cashews make a rich, thick mixture, perfect for dipping the bread into. Voilà! Vegan french toast that rivals the best of conventional recipes. Serve it warm, liberally drizzled with maple syrup.

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup water

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 to 6 slices sprouted whole-grain bread

Maple syrup, for serving

Put the cashews, water, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl or pie pan. Dip both sides of each slice of bread into the cashew mixture until thoroughly coated, then place them in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Use a fork to poke several holes in each slice. Spoon any remaining cashew mixture over the bread. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes to allow the bread to completely absorb the cashew mixture.

Put a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, put several slices of the bread in the skillet, cover, and cook until the underside is golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip each slice and cook until the other side is golden brown and crispy, adding more oil as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to a serving plate. Cook the remaining slices the same way. Serve hot, with maple syrup on the side for drizzling.

NOTE: To keep the first batch of french toast warm while the remainder is cooking, transfer it to a baking sheet and put it in an oven preheated to 300 degrees F.


Tomato-Basil Pinwheel

2 to 3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

20 to 30 fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

5 or 6 short basil sprigs, for garnish

Place a slice of tomato near the edge of a 10- to 12-inch plate or serving platter. Arrange alternating tomato slices and basil leaves around the perimeter of the platter, overlapping them slightly and spiraling inward to form a pinwheel pattern. Sprinkle with the salt. Drizzle the oil evenly over the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 hours, until serving time. Garnish with the basil sprigs if desired. Serve immediately.


Fancy Fruit Salad

2 to 3 cups cubed cantaloupe

2 to 3 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup fresh blueberries

Basil sprigs, for garnish


Put the cantaloupe, watermelon, and blueberries in a large bowl and stir gently until thoroughly

combined. Serve chilled or at room temperature, garnished with the basil sprigs if desired.