Welcome to another Virtual Vegan Potluck! I’m so excited to be participating again, joining the virtual party with nearly 150 other bloggers across the globe. This potluck is the brain child of Annie from An Unrefined Vegan and always proves to be a truly enticing affair.
The first year I participated, I brought a Roasted Delicata Squash and Persimmon Salad.
For this year’s potluck, I’m bringing an appetizer that would be just right for a brunch get together – Breakfast Nests. These nests were inspired by a dish that I got at A.N.D. Café in Portland last spring. They’re made with a layer of hashbrowns and topped with tofu scramble dotted with onions, bell pepper, garlic, and kale. They are then drizzled with a creamy vegan queso.
I can’t think of a better way to start the morning than by gathering with friends for hot coffee or tea and a platter of breakfast nests. Slice through soft scramble, hit the crunch of the hashbrowns, and sneak your fork through the nacho cheese on your way off of the plate.
These nests can be served as one or two to a plate for an appetizer, or make it a meal with seitan bacon and fruit.
To make them for your next brunch affair, start by grating two baked potatoes. (I got the idea to use baked potato, as opposed to uncooked from a non-vegan recipe at Pioneer Woman.)
Then lightly oil a muffin pan, put three generous tablespoons of grated potato into each cup, and loosely press the potato into a cup shape. (Be careful not to press too hard, though.) Keep in mind that the potato will shrink as it cooks, and so it’s okay for it to spill over the top. Lightly oil the top of the grated potato and add a dash of salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the tofu scramble. Remove the muffin tin from the oven, and top the potato mixture with a healthy helping of scramble, until it reaches the top of each tin. Put it back in the oven for ten more minutes.
Once the nests are done, carefully remove the nests from the tin with a spoon. The hash browns may come apart a little as you remove them. Don’t worry about it. They will still be delicious!
Drizzle the nests in a creamy vegan queso (also known as vegan nacho cheese sauce) and serve!
Makes about 10 Breakfast Nests
- 2 medium-sized Russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling potatoes and muffin tin
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 leaf curly kale, rib removed, roughly chopped small
- 1 14 ounce package firm tofu, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 batch Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Garnish: cilantro (optional)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub two Russet potatoes and prick several times with a fork. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes directly on the oven rack, turning each potato over half-way through. (It's okay if the potatoes are slightly underdone.) Remove them from the oven and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Peel and grate the baked potatoes. Lightly oil the cups of a muffin tin. Loosely pack 3 Tablespoons of grated potato into each cup. Lightly oil the potato mixture in the cups. Cover each cup with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the muffin tin into the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic until fragrant and translucent, about five minutes. Add kale to the pan and continue cooking until it wilts, a few more minutes. Crumble the drained firm tofu into the pan. Add turmeric, black salt, paprika, cumin, and nutritional yeast flakes. Full combine the tofu mixture with the spices, so that they are spread evenly throughout the scramble, and continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and cover the grated potato with tofu scramble, until the scramble reaches the top of each cup. Put back in the oven and bake for ten more minutes.
- Once the Breakfast Nests are done, remove them from the oven and carefully remove each nest with a spoon. Cover with a drizzle of Creamy Vegan Queso (link to recipe above), garnish with cilantro, and serve.