Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vegan Eggs Benedict

If you get the VegNews newsletter or recipe club emails, you are likely to have recently seen an extremely appetizing picture of a vegan eggs benedict. Since trying the Renedict at Bouldin Creek Cafe in Austin, I have been intrigued by the idea of vegan eggs benedicts so Zach and I gave this one a try.

It consists of smoky tofu, sauteed spinach, fried tomatoes, and an eggless hollandaise sauce.  And we found it to be pretty good. We found vegan whole wheat English muffins made by Rudi's that we toasted, then topped them with the sauteed spinach, fried tomatoes, and marinated tofu. Then we poured this rich, creamy Hollandaise sauce on top. In the end, I felt like it needed something else -- maybe some tempeh bacon or something, but overall it was pretty good. And it looked so pretty.

Tip: we used the TofuXpress tofu press to press our tofu first, then marinated it in the container. The container is the size of a block of tofu so it marinates quite well in there. On to the recipe!

Vegan Eggs Benedict
Serves 4

For the smoky tofu
  • 1 16-ounce container firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into 4 slabs
  • 1/4 cup wheat-free tamari
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

For the Hollandaise sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 3 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the fried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup coarse grind cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp whole fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 large vine tomato, cut into 4 slices approximately 1/2-inch thick
For the spinach
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups tightly packed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 English muffins
  • Freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh chives, for garnish

For the smoky tofu, press it for 30 minutes. Then mix the tamari, water, agave, and liquid smoke together and pour it over the tofu. Cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

For the Hollandaise sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, add coconut oil, brown rice flour, and turmeric and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until a thick sauce has formed. Add almond milk and stir until smooth, then lower heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, and salt. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm until ready to use.

For the fried tomatoes, in a bowl, combine cornmeal, fennel seeds, garlic powder, paprika, and salt until well combined. In a small sauté pan on medium heat, heat grapeseed oil. Dip the tomato in the cornmeal mixture and then sear one side of tomato until golden brown and crisp in the pan. Flip tomato and cook on other side for 1 to 2 minutes, then set aside. Repeat with others.

For the spinach, in a sauté pan over medium heat, heat grapeseed oil. Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until garlic just begins to brown. Add spinach and toss well to wilt. Add wine and cook until it evaporates. Season with salt and set aside.

To serve, toast English muffins until crisp. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat grapeseed oil and sear both sides of tofu until lightly golden. Divide toasted English muffin slices equally between two to four plates. Top with spinach, fried tomatoes, and tofu. Ladle a generous amount of Hollandaise sauce over each, and garnish with pepper and chives.

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