Mother’s Day Brunch Goes Vegan

What do moms want most on Mother’s Day? Speaking from experience, I think most of us would agree that a day filled with relaxation and family tops the list. And of course, we want to enjoy delicious food that someone else prepares.

If your mother follows a vegan lifestyle, consider treating her to a delicious homemade brunch. As more and more people adopt a plant-based diet, restaurants are increasingly accommodating nutritional preferences. Still, it can be a bit of a hassle ensuring what you’re eating indeed meets your requirements, especially on a busy holiday.

Be a star, avoid the crowds and let mom relax while relishing brunch in her jammies!  Surprise her with a lovely meal of homemade biscuits, veggie sausage gravy, and tofu scramble. Satisfying, healthy and easy to make.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 4 t baking powder
  • ¼ t baking soda
  • ¾ t pink Himalayan salt
  • 4 T frozen butter, grated
  • 1 T vegetable shortening (I use Nutvia buttery flavor)
  • ¾ to 1 cup cashew or almond milk
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Combine nut milk and lemon juice and let sit about 10 minutes. This is your buttermilk.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture, add the vegetable shortening and using a pastry blender cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like crumbs.
  • Add the buttermilk, starting with ¾ cup. Stir just until the dough comes together. Dough will be sticky. If it is too dry add a bit more buttermilk.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and using as little flour as possible, fold the dough over on itself a few times. Press into a 1-inch thick rectangle, cutting the biscuits with a 3-inch cutter. I use a drinking glass. Use the scraps of dough to form one or two more biscuits, handling the dough as little as possible.
  • Line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper and place biscuits so they just touch each other.
  • Bake until biscuits are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Let’s start with the biscuits. Perfect for slathering with butter and jam or topping with savory “sausage” gravy. What’s the secret to perfect biscuits? Freezing the butter before you make them! Cold butter releases steam as the biscuits bake, helping lift and form flaky layers. Several vegan butters are widely available. My favorite is Miyokos…it’s flavor and creamy consistency rivals that of premium traditional butters. Seriously!


Vegan butter that tastes better than traditional!

 

Using the pastry blender, work the dry ingredients together with the grated frozen butter and shortening until it achieves a crumbly consistency as pictured below.

 


Crumbly and ready for wet ingredients

Add the liquid ingredients and mix gently to combine. You want to work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible; remember, colder dough equals flakier biscuits! Sprinkle a little flour onto a cutting board and using your hands instead of a rolling pin, gently shape the dough into a rectangular shape, folding over two to three times at most. Use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut out circular shapes.

Vegan dough

 

Important tip! Do NOT twist the cutter when cutting out the biscuits. Lift straight up and your biscuits will be fluffier. Place the biscuits close together in the pan or on a cookie sheet.

 


Ready to bake!

 

Veggie Sausage Gravy
Veggie Sausage Gravy

Ingredients

  • ½ pound vegan sausage
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 cups cashew or almond milk, room temperature
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Directions

  • Heat olive oil and brown veggie sausage in skillet over medium heat.
  • Whisk together the milk and flour and add to the hot pan.
  • Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes until gravy thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve on top of warm biscuits.

 

Once you pop the biscuits in the oven, it’s time to make the gravy. First, brown the sausage including a bit of olive oil because plant-based products are naturally low in fat. Guiltless gravy…score! Cashew milk gives the gravy a creamy texture. Let it come to room temperature before whisking in the flour to minimize lumps.

Vegan Gravy

Guilt-free gravy…ready to top biscuits

Tofu Veggies

Tofu Veggie Scramble

 

Ingredients

  • 12-ounce package of extra firm, organic tofu
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups portobella mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ t Himalayan sea salt
  • 1-2 t turmeric
  • 2-3 t liquid smoke
  • Siracha, optional
  • Fresh sliced tomatoes and/or avocado, optional for topping

 

Directions

  • Press the tofu for 20-30 minutes to expel excess water. Clear out a space in your sink because water will drain from the tofu during the process. Put the block of tofu on a dinner plate between several sheets of paper towels or a lint free dishtowel and place it in the sink. Put another dinner plate on top of tofu and then put something heavy on the top plate (I use my small cast iron skillet).
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté red peppers and red onions. After a few minutes add shallots and garlic until slightly browned.
  • Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until they begin to brown.
  • Crumble tofu by hand and add to vegetable mixture in skillet. Season with salt, turmeric, and liquid smoke, stirring to combine.
  • If you like spicy, add a splash or two of siracha!
  • Serve warm, top with sliced tomato or avocado if you have them on hand.

 

saute the vegetables
Keeping an eye on those biscuits, sauté the veggies for the scramble.

 

Starting with onions and peppers, sauté in a medium skillet with a bit of olive oil. Remember to add the garlic and shallots AFTER the onions and pepper begin to soften; they brown quickly. Add the mushrooms after about 5 minutes and continue to cook until slightly browned.


Turmeric
Turmeric gives the tofu a golden color and has anti-inflammatory properties!

 

Crumble the tofu by hand and add to the veggies in the skillet. Sprinkle with turmeric for color and, “bonus!”, health benefits. Season with salt, and liquid smoke. Add a dash of siracha if you prefer a bit of heat.

All in all, this brunch takes about an hour to prepare. Now that your culinary skills have been put to the test, don’t forget that presentation is key! Serving breakfast in bed? Place all the goodies on a tray, choosing pretty plates and include a small vase of flowers. A cloth napkin is a nice touch. And perhaps a mimosa or fresh pressed juice to ensure mom’s total happiness. Most important detail…be sure to clean up the kitchen before the end of the day!

 

Lori Rodgers – Lori’s passion for food and fine dining began at an early age. She started reading Gourmet at 8, and was fortunate to have a father who included her in his travels to cites across the US, often frequenting restaurants she had read about in the magazine. After studying hotel and restaurant management at FSU for two years and thoroughly enjoying the summer program in Switzerland, she graduated with a degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish. Lori owned and operated the family business, Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate for 25 years, indulging her cooking hobby by whipping up meals for family and friends on the weekends. She has two teenagers who have adopted a vegan lifestyle, adding a new challenge to Lori’s cooking repertoire. Lori recently sold the business and is embarking on a new chapter and new career, returning to her true calling, cooking and exploring the multifaceted world of food!

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