By Aileen McGraw, VRG intern
Breakfast and lunch: the two ingredients behind brunch, a well-loved culinary hybrid. This sturdy, satisfying meal makes the morning wait worthwhile. A fusion of comfort food and morning and afternoon staples, brunch brings opportunity to mix flavors and classic dishes. Make comfort food compassionate with a vegan brunch – it’s definitely do-able! With resources found via VRG and well-honed creativity, a cruelty-free brunch tastes as delicious as ever.
In planning your mid-morning menu, draw inspiration from daily meals. What are favorite vegan breakfasts and lunches? Use pantry essentials like bagels, English muffins, oatmeal, and granola or branch out with dishes like Jamaican Gingerbread that bring together breakfast’s sweetness with the spicy kick of ginger and cloves. I love getting creative with classics like peanut butter; its saltiness allows me to give typically syrup-laden dishes like waffles new dimensions. Thinking back to childhood family gatherings, I remember fruit adding a light, vibrant taste to our coffee and cream dominated brunches. Begin and finish off a hearty meal with fresh fruit – there’s no better way to bridge the flavors of breakfast and lunch. Craft a seasonally unique brunch by visiting local farmer’s markets or grocery stores for in-season fruit.
From fruit selection to presentation, brunch caters to personal style. Be it continuing a tradition or starting a new adventure, try hosting a weekend late-morning brunch. Put on a lazy Sunday potluck and share the work and preparation; serve brunch buffet-style or design your own table settings; capture the brunch hour spirit with a theme like All-American Diner, Mexican-inspired ‘Huevos’ Rancheros or ‘Chicken’ Chilaquiles, or a protein power brunch.
Feeling adventurous? Explore close-by restaurants and cafés, using the VRG Restaurant Guide as a starting point! Fill up on vegetarian activist Marla Rose’s vegan brunch survey of her native Chicago, Vegan Brunch Options in Chicago, for ideas on how to approach your own city brunch-scape. Take breakfast-lunch delicacies to exotic heights and delve into the links found on VRG’s Bed & Breakfasts and Retreats.
Hungry for more inspiration? See below for articles and brunch recipes aimed to please any palate, sweet or savory. Read Jennifer McCann’s review of Vegan Lunch Box and peruse the VRG Bookstore to find brunch-friendly resources like Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz ($19.95).
Helpful VRG Articles and Links:
Not Just for Breakfast: Light Pancakes and Waffles
Vegetarian Journal 2009 Issue 1: A Relaxing Weekend Brunch
Vegetarian Journal 2004 Issue 1: Super Savory Breakfasts
Vegetarian Journal May/June 1998: Cereal – It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!
VRG Brunch Recipes:
Cranberry Tea Punch
Tofu Scrambled ‘Eggs’
Smoky Scrambled Tofu
Apple ‘Sausage’ Stir Fry with Beans
Breakfast Banana Cake
Stovetop Rice Pudding
Breakfast Tofu Links
Potato Tofu Breakfast Hash for a Week
Whole Grain Vegan Quick Breads
Vegan Comfort Foods