Category Archives: Breakfast/Brunch

Chocolate Zucchini Cake French Toast

For our End of the World brunch (held on the same day that Harold Camping predicted the Rapture would take good Christians to Heaven while the rest of us suffered rolling earthquakes, the plagues of the Apocalypse, and then death as the world ended after five months of literal Hell-on-Earth), we wanted to make deeply decadent foods befitting of transdimensional spiritual passengers leaving their earthly bodies behind. When our friend George suggested chocolate cake French toast, I was just blown away… what an idea! (Pun intended.)

In order to make it a touch healthier, I made chocolate zucchini loaves – but we still topped them with a sweet strawberry coulis, sweetened browned Earth Balance, and icing sugar.

chocolate zucchini cake french toast with strawberry coulis, brown butter, candied walnuts, and a chocolate dipped strawberry

I actually used this awesome VegWeb recipe submitted by user jessesmum. I screwed it up a bit by adding a bit more baking powder than I was supposed to, but it turned out beautifully. It was flavourful, moist, and cut well into slices. I altered her recipe, below, as I did when I prepared it.

Chocolate Zucchini Loaves – Makes 2 loaves

5 tablespoons ground flax + 10 tablespoons water
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cane sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9×5″ loaf pans. For flax eggs, microwave flax meal and water for 30 seconds, stir, microwave, 30 more seconds, and stir again. (Or use hot water, stir, and let sit til gummy.)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add vegetable oil, and use a fork to stir. It will be dry but stir as well as possible. Then add the flax mixture. Continue to mix.

Add milk and vanilla, and stir until well blended. Add zucchini and chocolate chips and blend them in. The mixture should be nice and smooth and moist looking.

Spoon into prepared loaf pans. Bake 55-60 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and it will keep for days (if your family doesn’t gobble it up).

Spinach Parathas

These are the easiest thing EVER. My friend Satjeet made cauliflower ones for the Indian brunch we had, and I was amazed by how easy they were. Parathas are stuffed Indian flatbreads – like roti, but with vegetables and spices and yumminess. Inspired by Satjeet, I made some of my own. I used Manjula’s video to help with the process, so maybe you want to, too!

spinach parathas

This is a really unglamourous photo, but I was drinking wine while I made them, so I hope you will forgive me. My whole world was blurry, in fact, not just this photo.

Spinach Parathas

1 cup flour (white, whole wheat, or a mix)
1/2 cup water

For the filling:
1 bunch fresh spinach
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 white onion, sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt, to taste

Oil, for brushing

Mix the flour and water together until it forms a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly oiled or floured surface; oil your hands so the dough doesn’t stick. Knead it until it’s soft and pliable – a few minutes. Return to the bowl and cover with a cloth; let it rest for ten minutes.

Shred the spinach and cilantro, and mix with the rest of the filling ingredients. You can get creative here – add whatever you want – or keep it simple. You could add mashed potato, cauliflower, ginger, whatever. Be liberal with your salt. Throw it all in a frying pan on medium-low heat; your goal is to cook as much of the water out of the spinach as possible. Wilt it and let it steam a bit, then remove it into a metal strainer or colander with small holes and use the back of a wooden spoon to press all the liquid out. Be merciless! The more water you press out of the filling, the better your parathas will be.

Now, you should have roughly similar volumes of dough and filling. Split the dough into 6 evenly sized balls; it works best to split it in half, then in three. Roll each chunk of dough into a ball on a floured surface.

Now, flouring your surface as you go, take one of the dough balls and roll it out so it’s a bit bigger than the palm of your hand (assuming you have average-sized hands). Spoon about a sixth of the filling in – again, it should be roughly the same volume as your dough ball. Pull the sides of the dough up and pinch it closed like a dumpling, or, like, a handkerchief in which you have enclosed marbles. Make sure it’s sealed and set aside.

Repeat for all 6 dough balls. It’s best if the balls sit for a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan up on medium-high. You want the pan to be hot before you use it. Roll one of the filled balls out until it’s as flat as you are prepared to make it – if filling spills out the edges, it was probably a bit wet, but no loss. Dry-fry it until the edges start to change colour, then flip it. Brush the cooked side with oil, and when the bottom is done, flip again, let it cook a bit with the oil on, then remove to a plate covered in paper towel or non-paper towel.

Repeat this with all 6 parathas. You can roll the next one out while the first one is cooking, and so on. It’s a very fast process once you get going.

These are best eaten hot, spread with Earth Balance or dipped in chutney or homous. We used them as “buns” for some masala veggie burgers we got at TJ’s in San Francisco – super delicious.

masala burgers on spinach parathas with watercress and cilantro chutney marinated onions and butter mushrooms - and curry fries

Breakfast Calabacitas

Breakfast calabacitas

Ever since we were little our dad has had a garden. When the squash and corn would be ready to be harvested my dad would always make calabcitas. His recipe included bacon and topped with cheese.  I decided to make this traditional new mexican side dish  healthier ,vegan, add a potato and have it for breakfast.

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Restaurant Review: Little Bird, San Francisco, Tenderloin

Strangely enough yesterday was the first time I had ever ventured into the Tenderloin. I had heard fables and tall tales abut how awful and scary the Tenderloin is, equivalent to Vancouver’s Surrey. In fact, the Tenderloin is a gem and only those daring enough to adventure into it’s decrepit belly are going to experience an important part of San Francisco history.  My friend from Albuquerque (Kayla) just so  happens to live in the Tenderloin so she invited me to her neck of the woods for brunch on Sunday morning.

I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops and cafés in my day, all of which have either be part of the homogenous blob of capitalism or unique to their own neighbourhood. Little Bird is a perfect example of a small café that keep true to the vibrance of their neighbourhood by keeping there menu simple, but versatile and having the walls  be a stage for Tenderloin art and artists.

I had no idea what to expect when I visited this gem in the heart of the Tenderloin. Upon entering I immediately realized that almost every item on there menu was veganizable. Hell yeah! Their options for sandwich fillings were also incredible, house roasted tomatoes, hummus, avocados, garlic, vegan pesto, daiya. Amazing!!

After I ordered, the woman making my sandwich came and sat down next to me to inform me she was out of tofu scramble for the sandwich, but would make me a sandwich with avocado, daiya, hummus and roasted tomatoes. It was $4, panini pressed, delicious! I couldn’t be more happy in my surroundings with the service and with the food. Next time I go back I’m going to be prepared to try everything I can on the menu, especially this thing they call a kombuchosa, locally-made kombucha mixed with oj!

Thank you little bird for putting faith back into small cafés for me. Vancouver take note!

Vegan Smoky Fennel Apple Sausage

0.5 cup cooked or canned beans, drained (I used pinto because I had them)
1 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce (I only had 2 tsp Braggs, but wish I could have used 2 tbsp soy sauce)
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
2 cloves garlic, pressed, minced, or grated
1.25 cups vital wheat gluten
0.25 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with a knife – some whole, some crushed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground celery seed
Freshly grated pepper
1/4 cup diced green apple

I would recommend playing with the spices… I wasn’t totally sure what to do here. It’s good but could probably be more mindblowing!

I followed the technique for the Cherry Sage Sausage recipe from Vegan Brunch. Get ready to steam – get your water boiling. I usually steam with a metal strainer (or more recently, a drop-in metal steamer) set into a big pot with a lid. Also, have four pieces of tinfoil ready.

In a large bowl, mash the beans until no whole ones are left. Toss the rest of the ingredients in and then mix it all together with a fork. Separate into four even portions, then roll each one in tin foil – as a tube. Twist the ends to make sure your tin foil tubes are sealed.

Steam the tin foil tubes for 40 minutes.

After steaming.


After I finished steaming them, I put 3 in the fridge and opened the fourth. I cut it into slices and fried it up with my tofu scramble. One sausage was so much more than I needed that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself. Groan, I guess.

rock creek cider and vegan brunch

Blueberry Ginger Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

vegan mischief saturday brunch - gluten-free blueberry ginger pancakes

I was reluctant to let this recipe go, but as any good cook knows, it isn’t the recipe that makes a good cook. It’s the passion and creativity that goes into the creation of each element. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, it’s the best pancake recipe I’ve come across, hands down.

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Southern Brunch February 5th

I love southern food and I love whiskey. Two loves come together to bring you this week’s southern style brunch menu.


Moist, southern-style cornbread topped with barbecue tempeh, tomato, caramelized onion, and a fresh shaved fennel and cabbage slaw. Served with scalloped potatoes.

Rice and buckwheat flour gluten-free pancakes flavoured with orange and currants. Served with a decadent whiskey butter sauce and fresh fruit. This option is gluten-free.

Creamy baked beans and maple-soaked greens with homemade fennel and apple sausage. Served with potatoes, coleslaw, and a piece of cornbread. This option is soy- and gluten-free.

Vegan Mischief Brunch Success

Last Saturday (January 29th) we hosted our fourth Vegan Mischief brunch, but the first that was entirely managed by Kaylie and I. It went swimmingly! I was really impressed with everything – we had a great group of friends and strangers come out to eat, and everyone loved their food. It went well enough that we’re going to do it again this weekend – and good thing, too, because we had reservations piling up for February 5th before last weekend’s brunch was even on the table!

I was way too busy to be taking photos, but luckily my lovely friend Jocelynn grabbed the camera and shot a few pictures of our first seating at 10:30am. I’ve also included some photos I took with my phone.

Vegan Soft Egg Yolks from Airy Way

This is totally brilliant. Zoa of The Airy Way devised this incredible recipe for vegan egg yolks, which I made last night, and it is absolutely mindblowingly incredible. As a long-time vegan who misses runny yellow egg yolks more than anything else in the world, I would like to say that this recipe may have changed my life a little. And it was incredibly easy.

Airy Way photo

I made a few alterations to the recipe, so I’ll post my version here. For hers, visit her post. She does hers in the microwave, but I prefer to do things on the stove – plus I have a really small saucepan. This recipe bears doubling quite well.

Vegan Egg Yolks (makes 2)

1 tbsp Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
1/2 tbsp Vegenaise
1+ tbsp vegetable juice (I used V8)
2 tbsp vegetable broth (or 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp water)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp tapioca starch
1/8 tsp black salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in your smallest saucepan over medium heat. Whisk slowly but constantly until it’s got a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, re-mix, then use as yolk. I spooned mine on top of some tofu scramble.

Malloreigh’s Semi-Famous Tofu Scramble

malloreigh's tofu scram

I won’t lie – this is one of my most successful dishes. I perfected the recipe about four years ago and haven’t looked back. It employs several of my favourite ingredients, which you will find in many of my signature recipes. For more information about what these ingredients are and where to get them, check out our ingredients & tools page.

In lieu of fenugreek leaves, you might want to try tarragon, or even basil.

1 block firm tofu, drained
3+ tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1+ tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 onion, diced
1+ tbsp vegetable oil for frying
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 handfuls mushrooms, bite-sized or chopped
1 crown broccoli, separated into bite-sized pieces
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, chopped

Note: omit some vegetables if you like, or add different ones – mind your cooking times.

Crumble tofu into a bowl. (It’s easier to crumble a block of tofu if you slice it first.) Add nutritional yeast, fenugreek, salt, mustard, and 2 – 3 tbsp of coconut milk. Mix until the tofu is evenly coated. Add more nutritional yeast or fenugreek here.

Sauté onion in oil in a medium-sized, deep-walled frying pan over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms; toss and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tofu and cook, tossing regularly, until golden – about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, and the rest of the coconut milk, mix, and cover. Let it steam for 5 – 6 minutes until the broccoli is bright green and tender.

Serve with hot EB’d toast.