Vegan Breakfast Casserole

Photo: Dave Irving

This is one of the most searched for posts on The VeganAsana, so it is always good for a repost, and we had it last night for dinner!

It’s an easy recipe, but it does take about 2 hours to cook. I  use a half-steamer disposable foil tray for cooking this, just because it is a little hard to clean out of a pan.

If you want to be extra, you can use fresh potatoes, shredded, but we like it with tater tots. We are just classy like that.

Breakfast Casserole

2 blocks firm or extra firm tofu, drained
¼ cup unsweetened soy milk
1 package of your favorite faux sausage (this time I used Lightlife)
1 package frozen hash browns or tater tots
1 medium onion, diced
Other veggies to taste: red pepper, spinach, kale, mushrooms
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
Daiya or other cheese (yesterday, I used Follow Your Heart)

Depending on the form of your fauxsage, you may want to fry it first. Most of the “patties” don’t require that.

Place tofu in food processor or blender with the soy milk. Pulse until fully broken up and liquidy. You actually *can* stop earlier if you want your tofu to be more chunky and to sit on top of the potatoes. We like ours to sink between the tater tots, but that does require additional baking time to wait on it to set up.

Fold in nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin, and salt.

If you are using a standard baking dish, cover the bottom with parchment paper. Add veggies (except spinach/kale – that you would place in a layer on top of the tofu) to hash browns or tater tots. Add tofu mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle on or place sausage. Cover with vegan cheese.

Cover with foil and cook at 375* for an hour. Remove foil and continue cooking until heated through and the tofu has mostly firm back up.

Remove from oven and allow to settle (covered) for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

YUMMY!

Vegan Friendly Challah Bread

After reading about 150 online recipes for vegan challah, this is what I ended up with. It’s the closest to a recipe from My Darling Vegan. To my delight, it came out quite well. The recipe below makes 2 large loaves, so don’t hesitate to halve it if you don’t need so much. Note that, because there is not an egg wash, you won’t get quite as much browning – even with the wash substitute – as you would with a standard challah loaf.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 135 g + 4 tsp sugar (or 2/3 cup + 4tsp agave)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water or soy milk
  • 120g chickpea flour whisked with 1 cup water until frothy
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 24g salt
  • 950-1050g all purpose flour

Wash” Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Process

Whisk together yeast, 4 tsp sugar, and 2 cups lukewarm soy milk or water. Allow 5 minutes or so for the yeast to activate, which should result in some frothing at the top and a yeasty smell.

In a separate bowl, whisk the chickpea flour and water until it foams and thickens up a bit. This will function as the egg replacer in the recipe.

At this point, you can use your stand mixer with a dough hook, if you have one. If not, this is possible to do by hand.

Add the olive oil and chickpea mix into the yeast liquid.

Add the rest of the sugar and the salt and mix in.

Then add flour gradually until the dough comes together.  If you are using a stand mixer, be sure that all the flour doesn’t end up on the bottom, making it hard to tell when it is enough. For my loaves today, because it’s pretty humid in NJ in the summer, I had to add near the whole amount.

Once your dough has come together knead on low for 5 minutes, or by hand for about 10 minutes. It should be firm and soft, but not really sticky. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky.

After the kneading, place the dough in an oiled bowl in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled.

Punch the dough down and allow to proof for another 30 minutes.

Take your dough out of the bowl and cut into even pieces. How many you will need depends on your braid type. I did a very standard braid, so I needed 3 pieces for each loaf.

Preheat oven to 375*

Gently make the divided pieces into log-like shapes and let them sit for 5 minutes and then roll into long ropes. Keep an eye on your baking pan/sheet as you decide how long to roll them, but about 18 inches seems approximately right.

Once you have rolled them out, allow ropes to sit for 5 minutes to relax.

Braid your bread! There are many videos for how to do a braid, but if you have ever braided hair, the standard 3 piece braid works a treat. When I next do this, I’ll probably do a 4 piece braid to be a bit wider and less long.

Once your loaves are braided, combine wash mix and brush loaves liberally and then allow them to rise for an additional 45 minutes. 

Brush with glaze again and bake for 30-45 minutes until top is at least golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 209* F.

Note: While almost all of the recipes that I read said 30 minutes, my bread was still not browned on top at 45 minutes and was probably in closer to 50. I have an oven thermometer coming tomorrow to determine if this is an oven issue.

Allow bread to cool most of the way before cutting. Enjoy!

Vegan Thai-Style Curry Soup

Amusingly, just after I planned this for dinner, my youngest (adult) child said she had re-watched a Hello Kitty episode about red curry today. I guess it was meant to be!

Ingredients

  • 4+ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 container of tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes or wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 6 cups faux chicken broth – I like the “Better than Bouillon” brand
  • 2 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 (12-ounce) package rice noodles
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes

On the side: 

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • diced avocado
  • hot sauce (sriracha?) 

Process

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender
  • Stir in red curry paste, turmeric, and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes
  • Add broth, brown sugar, and coconut milk
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, pan fry the tofu in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned  and then add to broth after it has simmered for 10 minutes
  • Cook the noodles al dente according to directions, and then toss lightly in a bit of olive oil or leave in a cold water bath until plating
  • Remove soup from heat and add lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve the soup over the noodles with avocado, green onions, cilantro, basil, and hot sauce to preference