Hello, Friday and hello, weekend! The best thing about the weekends are long evening bike rides, challenging afternoon hikes in the woods, and a lazy mid-morning brunch. After all, weekends are like rainy days. They give us an excuse to slow things down a bit. Why get up and shoot into the day with peanut butter toast when we can ease into it like stepping into a warm whirlpool? Before I was vegan, one of my favorite brunch options was Eggs Benedict. I would go to a café near my home (or occasionally IHOP), wait in line with the others who still hadn’t eaten at 10 am, grab a coffee, and linger in a booth until brunch arrived. Admittedly, it couldn’t have been more of a gut bomb since it’s basically egg yolks and butter poured over eggs and Canadian bacon, and sitting atop a white English muffin. (Did I say IHOP? I meant I-Waddle.) With a glut like that to start the day, it’s amazing that I got anything done at all outside of rolling myself back to the couch for an afternoon nap.
There’s no reason that the bright and creamy flavors of the Benedict can’t still be enjoyed, while leaving the pigs, chickens, and cows out of it. Plus, this version is light enough that brunch can be followed up with all of the bike trails and tree-lined nature walks that Saturdays deserve. Cauliflower and Great Northern beans are back to work their smooth magic on a guiltless hollandaise, while the flavors of freshly squeezed lemon juice make the flavors pop.
I serve it over an easy lemon baked tofu that doesn’t even need to be marinated. (FYI: the tofu also makes an excellent sandwich filling or salad topper.) I chose to use the vacuum-packed Wildwood super firm tofu, because it’s just the right size for an English muffin. Plus, no pressing is necessary. However, feel free to grab the water-packed tofu instead if that’s what you prefer. Just press it for an hour before hand, so that it really soaks up those lemony flavors. Add a slice of tomato and a handful of parsley and serve with a mound of cherries for good measure. Brunch is served…
- 2 English muffins, broken into halves (I use Food for Life Gluten-Free English Muffins)
- 1 recipe Easy Lemon Baked Tofu
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 recipe Caullandaise Sauce
- Parsley, chopped (garnish)
Toast English muffin slices in a toaster. Top each toasted half with one slice of tofu and one slice of tomato. Cover with caullandaise sauce, top with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
Easy Lemon Baked Tofu
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
- 1 10 oz. block Wildwood extra-firm tofu, sliced into 4 slices (1 14 oz. package of extra firm water-packed tofu will also work, but it should be pressed first.)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine extra virgin olive oil and tamari in an 8×8 glass baking dish or pie plate. Lay tofu slices in the tamari mixture and then flip, so that both sides are coated. Bake for twenty minutes and then remove from oven. Flip tofu slices and add lemon juice to the baking dish. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Makes approximately 4 cups of sauce
- ½ head cauliflower (approximately 2 heaping cups), broken into florets
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ¾ cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup Great Northern beans
- 2 tsp white miso paste
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (If you’re making it at the same time as the tofu, feel free to roast at 400 degrees instead, but it may need to cook a little longer.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cauliflower florets with one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and lay evenly across baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for 20 minutes, stopping once to toss for even roasting.
While the cauliflower roasts, heat a skillet under medium heat and add 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil to pan. Sauté onions and garlic in pan for 5 or 6 minutes, until very soft, fragrant, and translucent. (Turn heat to low if they start to stick.)
In a Vitamix or other high-speed blender, combine the roasted cauliflower, onions and garlic with the remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth and light. (You’ll likely have leftover sauce. Use it over steamed or roasted vegetables as a side, or toss it with pasta for dinner.)
In keeping with this cruciferous theme, don’t miss Kristy’s post about my creamy cauliflower quesadilla over at Keepin’ It Kind. She made a nectarine and red bell pepper salsa to go with it that looks fantastically fresh.
Also, congratulations to Heather Price for winning the salad spinner from OXO! I predict many tempting leafy greens in your future!