Oh how I love brunch! It is my favorite meal – and what’s not to love? It generally takes place on a weekend, holiday, or some other type of day off. It’s essentially breakfast fare but occurs later so as not to interfere with sleeping in on said day off. And the menu is a perfect combination of savory and sweet that doesn’t make it’s way into our everyday breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
On Sunday we hosted Easter Brunch for a dozen of our closest island-dwelling friends. Since adopting a plant based diet, going out to brunch has lost some of it’s appeal for me because in most cases it means making exceptions to my normally egg and dairy free diet. Thus, I was beyond excited to host brunch where I could make the delicious favorites I enjoyed in my pre-veg days, but do so using plant-healthy ingredients! I also seized upon the opportunity to try out not one, but two new BabyCakes recipes. Read on for details on my menu.
BabyCakes Blueberry Crumb Cake (Page 113)
Although slightly overdone (I really need to approach baking times with more skepticism), this was still pretty good. It contains three ingredients – blueberries, cinnamon, and lemon extract – that I never would have thought to combine in one recipe, but it was a genius combination that really worked. The crumb topping is derived from the BabyCakes Vanilla Cupcakes, so I started the process by making a small batch of those. I also had vanilla frosting, which had really turned out as a sauce, left over from the Gingerbread and it worked out perfectly for the icing.
While I enjoyed the vegan version below, I’m told this was delicious! Hubby helped me out with this one – apparently he is more experienced than I at adequately whisking eggs.
After finding the strata recipe at Whole Foods, I was left with the question of what savory dish to serve that I would eat, as well as something that would accommodate one of my guests who cannot eat dairy or gluten. The solution: a genius named Sarah Farsh who converted the Whole Foods recipe above to be entirely plant based, and was kind enough to leave a link to her creation in the Whole Foods comments section. I simply subbed the bread for a gluten free almond flour bread (with egg replacer), which was so easy to make and worked out great in the recipe.
Oven Roasted Herb Potatoes
One of my favorite side dishes – for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is a large recipe because I was feeding a dozen, but you can adapt accordingly.
5 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl until potatoes are well coated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread potatoes on baking sheet in single layer and roast at 350° for 60 to 90 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and begin to brown.
BabyCakes Spelt Biscuits (Page 37) with Vegan Clotted Cream and Jam
I was so excited to make these biscuits and have literally been looking forward to this part of the brunch for weeks. I love biscuits, especially with clotted cream and jam – a taste I fell in love with while visiting London a few years ago. After giving up dairy, I thought my days of enjoying clotted cream were over. But then I bought a recipe book called Vegan Yum Yum and discovered it was incredibly easy to make a vegan clotted cream that was just as delicious! And the author has posted it online. Enjoy!
Unfortunately we missed a picture of the final product, so I only have the pre-baked version from my iPhone. I initially failed to add enough water to the dough so the first few were very tough to get rolled out (notice the very “cracked” looking egg above). But I kept going back and adding water to the dough so by the end they were looking more like proper biscuits.
I have room to improve on this recipe, specifically add a lot more water next time. I also have leftover clotted cream and jam in my fridge as we speak so I just might have to try a remake sooner than later.
There you have it! My friends were kind enough to add fresh fruit and a few other pastries to the table – it was an absolutely delicious spread and was in every way as magical as the brunch menus I so loved in my pre-veg days.