Champs and Vegan Treats

tofu_benedict_champschicken_waffles_vegan_champs There are so many great vegan brunch spots, but Champs holds a special place in my heart. A quick trip to New York over the weekend meant brunch was first on the agenda. While I was tempted to get the monte cristo like last time, I went for something new and tried the tofu benedict. I was not disappointed. The hollandaise sauce was perfect and so was the combo of faux ham and tofu. Shawn got the “chicken” and waffles which were equally as awesome.

pb_tandy_cake-vegan_treats We also made the trek out to Bethlehem to go to Vegan Treats. It’s always worth the trip to get some freshly baked items. I got a peanut butter tandy cake which was ridiculously rich and lovely.

vanilla_custard_soft_serve-vegan_treats 230This was the first trip where we’ve been able to get soft serve. The vanilla custard soft serve was so good. Best soft serve in recent history without a doubt and perfect with the chocolatey peanut buttery cake.

cheesecake_vegan_treatsdonut_pretzel_vegan_treats I’m always impressed with how beautiful all the cakes are at Vegan Treats. I love that there are always new things to try. They now have a lot of gluten free options as well as lots of fun doughnut variations like the donut pretzel above.

I guess it’s a good thing that these places are on the other side of the country so that I can’t eat at either all the time. Then again, that might not be so bad.

mother’s day

We had a lovely mother’s day this year. I made tofu benedict and strawberry parfaits for brunch. We played Rummikub and watched A Shot in the Dark and spent a nice relaxing day with my mom. Hope all you mamas out there had a wonderful day full of celebration and love.

Tofu Benny

After seeing two awesome bloggers post scrumptious photos of the Tofu Benny from Vegan Brunch I knew I had to make it. Not to mention I’m slightly obsessed with making tofu benedict.

I was super impressed with every detail of this recipe. It was all timed out so that you could serve it up without having to wait for one of the elements to be finished. It was particularly good for me at the moment as I am working on my mise en place in the kitchen

Mostly I was surprised at how much this sauce was like hollandaise made with real eggs. It had that stretchy elasticity of raw egg that is rare in a vegan dish. Honestly it was kind of freaky, but definitely cool.

tofu benny

I just happened to wake up particularly early this past Sunday and used the opportunity to marinate the tofu needed for the recipe so that it could all be prepared by the time everyone was awake.

I opted to use some thick toast instead of the home style potato option, mainly because I love toast. I also added in a bit of steamed spinach, just for fun. Spinach is fun, right?

tofu benny

The tofu was awesome, I was able to grill it up with breaking it or getting it stuck to the bottom of the pan (for once!). I had a nice light flavor that was complimented well by the hollandaise sauce and the hint of liquid smoke on the tomato.

I would say that this is probably the most authentic vegan tofu benedicts that I’ve had. I’d be interested to try it with some sort of vegan ham. I enjoyed the tomato, but perhaps would like to grill it up a bit. In fact, I think I’d just like to try a million different versions of vegan benedict and have it for brunch every weekend.

Vegan Benedict – AGAIN!

I just can’t help it, vegan benedict (tofu florentine, whatever you like to call it) is just one of my favorite breakfasts. It is in fact one of my favorite prepared meals altogether. If there is a vegan restaurant that serves this dish for breakfast I always order it, even if there are other delicious breakfast options. It’s just that good. Obviously, one cannot just go out to breakfast all the time, especially for such a basic dish. I’ve tried a couple different versions in the past but this is by far the closest to the real thing, not to mention it was super easy.This attempt came out really well. Satisfying and yummy all at once. The cayenne gives it a bit of a kick and all the flavors compliment each other wonderfully. I suppose that is the nature of the dish. Definitely a perfect way to start the morning. I ended up having a bit of hollandaise leftover and just mixed it with some tofu to make a tofu salad sandwich, which was also excellent.

I really love how this recipe came out but I think I’ll continue to experiment.

Vegan Benedict

sourdough english muffins
tomato (I used roma), sliced
olive oil
hot sauce
garlic minced
onion powder
vegan hollandaise (recipe follows)

To prepare the tofu, slice into 1/2 inch slabs. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan and warm over medium heat. Add minced garlic and let brown a bit before adding the tofu slabs. Sprinkle the onion powder, salt and pepper onto the tofu to taste. Pour a bit of the hot sauce on the tofu as well. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned and flip carefully onto other side. Again season the other side of the tofu with a bit of hot sauce and let cook until brown. Flip one last time and lower heat. Add the spinach, a large bunch, into the pan and stir until softened.

Vegan Hollandaise

1/2 cup vegenaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
lemon juice from 1 small lemon
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
approx 1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)

Mix all the ingredients until combined.

Toast the english muffins and spread with a bit of Earth Balance. Lay a slab of the tofu on top, then a slice of tomato, then spinach and top with the hollandaise.



Breakfast of champions

Although I’m partial to making desserts, my other specialty is breakfast. This is the a sort of benedict-like tofu dish, but mostly just in looks. English muffins topped with seasoned, grilled tofu and tomatoes. Instead of hollandaise sauce, they’re covered in a creamy polenta cooked with onions and lots of garlic. I’m still going to have to experiment with some vegan hollandaise recipes but this was delicious in a whole different way.