TOAD IN THE HOLE (vegan): Breakfast Food with Funniest Name gets a Plant-Based Makeover

Growing up in a Polish household meant I ate my fair share of “Pigs in the Blanket”, but it was only a few years ago while visiting Brooklyn that I discovered Toad in the Hole. 

Are you done giggling? No? That’s ok, read on… the folks I was with (two of which lived in Brooklyn) took us to Flatbush Farm for Sunday brunch, and while I was happy and satisfied with tofu scramble and greens, I couldn’t stop staring at my friend’s plate – her Toad in the Hole dish looked like a little handmade craft project more than a breakfast, a circle carved in the toast and an egg fried right into the middle.

Parker Posey came in and ordered it, too. I can verify at least the first half of that statement. Anyway.

I never knew you could make this vegan (fried eggs are, um, half of it after all) but that’s only because I had a lapse in memory and momentarily forgot that you can make a vegan version of nearly anything. This proves it.

Vegan Toad in the Hole, photo by VKRees

Last week I found this photo of a Toad in the Hole dish from a food blog… and as I continued to read I was shocked (along with many other people, as per the comments) that THIS DISH IS NOT MADE WITH EGGS. Go on, look at that photo. Amazing, right?

I had to do it for myself! So here’s my successful attempt to make the recipe from the VKReesPhotography Blog. (I highly encourage you to read the whole post  – not only for the breathtaking food photography, but to see a nearly concise list of all the other funny names people have for this dish, including: Birdie in a Basket; One-Eyed Jack; and the curious Elephant Tracks.)

VEGAN TOAD IN THE HOLE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup extra firm (or firm) tofu
  • 10 – 15 Tbs unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 cup Kabocha squash, steamed (*I roasted butternut squash)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric, optional
  • 5-6 pieces of bread
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

*Do this ahead of time! I used a butternut squash as that’s what I had on hand. Cut in half, brush the inside with olive oil, and roast in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. Allow to cool at least 15 mins to make it easier to handle.

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One cup of tofu is about half a block. Cut into a few thick slices and lay on a towel to press out the water. Add to a food processor along with 5 TBSP of nondairy milk, and process until silky smooth but not too thin.

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Put in a bowl and set aside. Do the same with the squash – one cup of squash plus 5 TBSP nondairy milk. I added some turmeric and a little salt to the mix. Set aside in a bowl.

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Place your slices of bread on a flat surface. Using a drink glass, press the rim of the glass into the bread to cut a hole in the middle.

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Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Place the bread in the pan, and fill the bread with the tofu mixture. Let it cook 5-6 minutes until the bottom of the tofu is cooked and firm. Flip and let the other side cook.

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Use a spatula to plate the bread. Put a dollop of the squash mixture on top to make a “yolk”. Season with salt and cracked pepper. (And hot sauce.)

Vegan Toad in the Hole breakfast

Looks convincing, right? I was surprised at house easy this was. This would be SUCH an impressive dish for a large brunch party.

Once again, I can’t take credit for the recipe as I found it HERE and this person deserves allllll the credit, but I hope you will try this and let us know what you think! 

BREAKFAST IMPROV: Banana Pancakes with Apple-Walnut Chutney and Peanut Butter Drizzle

I will never be able to enough about the bright, shiny, glorious weekly happening that are: Sundays. 

Perfect for sleeping in, farmer’s markets, books and movies, magically chores become somehow pleasant and enjoyable – no, domestic in the best way- and of course the much-anticipated BRUNCH!

When Ryan and I first started dating, I used to make banana pancakes for him all the time. For some reason I haven’t in a while, so this past weekend I brought ’em back into the rotation.

Behold:

Pancakes with Grilled Bananas, Apple-Walnut Chutney and Peanut Butter Drizzle

PANCAKES – I used the Banana Pecan recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance, minus the pecans, for the basic batter

Slice some bananas (in addition to the ones used in the batter), and once the batter is poured into the pan and starts to bubble, add the banana slices just before flipping. Flip the pancakes and allow second side to cook. When you take them out of the pan, the banana slices should be “grilled”. (It’s not a girll, I know, but you get it.)

PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE – Put a little water into a microwave safe bowl, and heat until water is really hot. Put a generous spoonful (or two) of peanut butter into the hot water, and mix until saucy consistency. The water should melt the peanut butter and water it down enough to be a thick drizzle. Add more water or peanut butter as needed for texture.

APPLE WALNUT *CHUTNEY– Super Easy! Peel an apple, and dice into small cubes and put in a bowl. Add in dried fruit and/or nuts of choice. I used walnuts, obviously. Add some agave and cinnamon. Pile on top of the pancakes.

*”Chutneys” are usually made with vinegar, so I am sort of lying by calling it that, but you get the idea.

Where is my sunshine, my only sunshine?

First things first – A huge thank you to YOU (yup, you there!) for stopping by! Every day our little Save the Kales community grows bigger and with it, my heart. Corny but true. I’m a sap. “Thank you” is the point, sincerely. Onward…

Am I the only one that loves rainy days? I was having a hard time planning todays post because I’m so excited about whats coming up later in the week, so today is all about:

A Rainy Day Well-Spent

For starters, let’s talk comfy clothes! If you have the luxery of being in bed all day, you want to be comfortable, kinda sexy, and eco-friendly if possible! This adorable and beautiful camisole (with panties sold seperately) from SandMaiden Sleepwear fits the bill. Made partially from organic cotton, you can choose your color from swatches available in the shop. There’s no reason you can’t feel glamorous and cute, even if you spend the day under a comforter! Camisole is $66, panties are $36. Go here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sandmaidensleepwear

I love a good cup of coffee. I like dark coffees but need cream, so let’s all say a little prayer for Turtle Mountain and their So Delicious Coconut Milk creamer! It’s very smooth and creamy and doesn’t taste like coconut milk (which is only half disappointing… mmm, coconuts), though it comes in several flavors and makes a great alternative to dairy half-and-half. The company makes a million other wonderful products including ice creams and yogurts, so look for them in your health food store or your local grocery store – they are turning up all over the place!

That would take us to brunch! The best meal ever invented! If you must go outside, do yourself a favor and find some yummy and warm food to quiet your grumbling belly. If you’re in the Lehigh Valley, that would mean going to my favorite brunch place ever ever EVER on earth, Blue Sky Cafe. Blue Sky Cafe is a gorgeous urban bohemian restaurant with the friendliest waitstaff around and the most delectable menu. They have something for everyone, but are VERY veg-friendly, and if you’re vegan, I recommend something from the All Stirred Up portion of the menu, without eggs. My favorite is the Jon Solomon’s veggie stir, and be sure add soy sausage to it! Heaven on a plate, I swear. Everyone that works there is adorable and creative, and it’s also a fine showcase for local art. Check out the full menu here: http://www.theblueskycafe.com/menu.html

Next, something I’m very excited about, especially on a day like this – BOOKS! It’s absolutely impossible to pick favorites, but here’s some that really stand out to me at this moment in time.

This Must Be the Place by Anna Winger –   If you liked “Lost in Translation”, you’ll love this. It has the same melancholy, rainy-Sunday feel to it, but is written with so much eloquence and beauty it has really stood out to me as one of the best books I’ve ever read (I can’t choose one, but I can pick many!). Ex-patriots in a foreign city, living parallel lives and questioning their situations. If you’re one of those people that judges a book by the cover AND the first paragraph (I am), let this whet your appetite:

“Ninety years is not such a long time in the scheme of things: the life of a person, if they are lucky; a room just wide enough to touch both walls with outstretched hands. In other places such a building might have seen only the soft swell of progress, but here? Ninety years of drama, followed only by this… “

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn – I’m just not talented enough a writer to give a review of this book that would do it any justice. I can easily say it’s one of the most perverse, disgusting and graphic books I’ve ever read. Many reviews of the book are from people who admit they couldn’t finish it because it was just too much. But beyond the shock there lies a story of purity and innocence. It’s about a family of sideshow freaks and the influence they come to have on their audiences, as well as struggling to live in a world of “normals”. Trust me when I tell you it will haunt you long after you have finished it. I came to actually love the characters like real people and was heartbroken to have finished it. Start it, and then please stay with it and finish. Your life will be richer.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – I’ve had this on my “to read” list for years, inspired primarily by my love of World’s Fair antiques that came from my father. This is a true story of the building and organizing of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, paralleled with a story of a serial killer who became very prominent in Chicago and got away with many well-calculated murders before anyone discovered them. It’s a story of community-building, architecture, politics and manipulation. It’s a historical book that reads like a novel. I only have 50 pages left, so as you can see, this is how I’ll be spending part of my afternoon. I finally found it for one dollar at the library book sale, but you can get it on Amazon.com for less than a dollar!

What are some of your favorite rainy day rituals?