As the weather gets warmer, social gatherings seem to pop up more frequently. Don’t let your friends have all the fun planning and throwing parties- organizing an event can be just as fulfilling as attending them. Use this spring as your opportunity to rise up as the Host or Hostess with the Most-est by throwing a delightful brunch get-together.
No more ordering a bowl of oatmeal while your friends feast all around you. Here is my ideal spring brunch menu.
-Mimosas (of course!)
Nothing says “brunch” like this classic drink. To make, simply combine equal parts orange juice and sparkling wine (or seltzer/sparkling grape juice, for a non-alcoholic version). If you want to embrace your inner Martha Stewart, trade out store bought OJ for fresh squeezed. Maybe even using oranges from your garden!
-Coffee with Fixings
Because no mid-morning meal is complete without a fair dose of caffeine. Even I, who generally stays away from coffee, will partake for an occasion such as this. Provide your guests with a variety of milk and sweetener options and they will love you forever. Steamed almond milk and stevia are my favorite add-ins, but that’s just me.
It’s best to eat fruit before any other foods, because it digests the quickest. Start out your meal with some springtime favorites like berries, melon, or stone fruits (cherries, apricots, etc.)
-Cucumber Slices Topped with Vegan Cheese
This combo is classy and tasty, not to mention pretty simple to prep. Use whatever cheese you fancy. May I suggest Aged Cashew Cheese with Blue-Green Algae or Soy Feta? Perhaps you would like to make your own Pepper Jack or Mascarpone.
Brunch out with my family as a kid always involved quiche. Always. It’s hearty, creamy, chock-full of good stuff-basically the perfect meal. For a more rustic dish, try my Tofu Quiche Casserole, below. (For an allergen-free recipe, try this Soy-Free Vegan Quiche).
1+1/3 cup bulgur wheat
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 package (12 oz.) lite silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
Sprinkle of paprika
2 compari tomatoes
1 small zucchini
Preheat oven to 350º
Spray round pan with non-stick cooking spray
Put bulgur wheat in mixing bowl and add boiling water
Whisk with fork until “fluffy”
Add olive oil and stir well
Press into greased pan
Put tofu and soy milk in food processor and blend
Add nutritional yeast, spices, garlic, lemon extract and pulse until smooth
Pour tofu mixture over bulgur crust
Slice tomatoes and push them into the top of the quiche
Blend zucchini in food processor and spread over the top
Bake for 45 minutes
-French Toast Bar
Treat your guests to a creation of their choosing- you provide the basics and they add the toppings. For a simple, vegan french toast, you will first need to choose your bread. Cinnamon-raisin, sourdough, sprouted wheat, gluten-free, whatever.
Next, dredge the bread in this simple french-toast batter: 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice + 1 tsp. vanilla + 1 tbs. Ener-G egg replacer, chickpea flour, or non-GMO cornstarch. (Feel free to double or triple ratios as needed).
Now you are ready to transfer your bread to a non-stick skillet (oiled or non-dairy buttered if you wish). Cook bread until each side is golden brown and slightly crispy.
Serve with an abundance of toppings! Some suggestions include:
Chia Jam (1 cup of fruit, mashed, combined with 1/2 tbs. lemon juice + 1 tbs. chia seeds)
Nut butter (sunflower and cashew are my favorites)
Chocolate Spread like this one
Avocado + cracked black pepper (if you want something savory)
Now that you have your menu all set, it’s time to decorate. Mismatched patterned dish ware looks adorably shabby-chic; especially when set atop fabric doilies. Some flowers on the table will add a touch of nature, not to mention a nice fragrance. Finish everything off with the perfect playlist- Brunch!
Then sit back, relax, and enjoy what you have created.
Also by Quincy: Is It Time For an Adventure in Your Life?
More brunch recipes: Vegan Blueberry Cake with Vanilla Icing
Photo: Dennis Wilkinson via Flickr, Zach Inglis via Flickr, Quincy Malesovas