Sunday, January 10, 2010

CHALLENGE: Create a delicious vegan breakfast

CHALLENGE: Create a delicious vegan breakfast

MODIFIED CHALLENGE: Create three delicious vegan breakfasts in 24 hours

ACCOMPLISHED: Created two delicious vegan breakfasts and one imaginary one in three hours

BACKGROUND: I deeply admire my vegan friends and their commitment to abolish animal suffering caused by the human diet. But I've always considered breakfast nearly impossible to make without using animal products. So I challenged myself to create some morning meals that were free of dairy and eggs, yet still satisfying and nutritious. And I did it!

I invited some friends over at noon on Saturday, and had hoped to spend Friday night and Saturday morning getting ready. However, my Friday night went off-track and I ended up with only a little bit of time on Saturday morning. I am listing the three breakfasts I planned to make below, but I had to give up on "The Sweet Tooth" because I didn't make the oatmeal the night before. This is usually an extremely delicious way to start the day, but it does require a little bit of forethought.

1. Crockpot Oatmeal
2. Toast and Peanutbutter - your favorite brands
3. Fresh Fruit - your preference

1. Grits - store bought, following instructions on the box
2. Sweet Potato Home Fries (recipe below)
3. Sweet Potato Biscuits - note: I also made "Buttermilk" Biscuits but this one was the clear winner and MUCH easier to make
4. "Sausage" Gravy or Mushroom Gravy - note: there was no clear winner between the gravies. It would be quite simple to create your own using your favorite ingredients from each - they are both very simple to make. You can even ignore the instructions to shake some of the ingredients together in a jar. Just mix them together and see what you get.

1. Chilaquiles (recipe below)
2. Corn Tortillas - store bought
3. Pinto Beans - store bought, sauteed with a touch of onion and jalapeno

I am amazed at how easy it was to make so much food in so little time, none of it involving animal products. I set the various components on the table with a tub of Earth Balance Spread and voila! Delicious vegan breakfasts.

Recipe for Sweet Potato Home Fries - my apologies for losing track of who gets credit for this.
You will need:
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1/2 cup leek, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Plenty of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into bite-sized chunks. Steam them until just tender, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Plunge them into cold water to stop cooking.

Transfer sweet potatoes, leek, garlic, and rosemary into baking dish. Cover liberally with olive oil, preferably extra virgin. Toss in some salt.

Bake at 500 degrees until they look delicious, about 15-20 minutes. Serve.

My Very Rough Recipe for Vegan Chilaquiles

You will need:
Enchilada sauce (use this recipe or just buy it at a store - Rosarita is the best brand according to our blind taste tests)
Corn tortillas
Plenty of vegetable oil
Yves Meatless Ground Taco Stuffers
An onion, diced
Half a jalapeno, diced

First, heat a couple of inches of vegetable oil in a saucepan. Cut the tortillas into strips and fry them in the oil until crisp, but not quite as crisp as a tortilla chip. Dry the tortillas on a towel.

In another pan, sautee the onion and jalapenos in a bit of oil. Add spice as you see fit - I put in some cayenne and some chili powder. Once the onion is transluscent, add the package of Yves Meatless Ground. Sautee a few more minutes then add enchilada sauce until the mixture is the consistency that you desire.

Serve over the fried tortilla strips and enjoy!