Monday, June 16, 2008

Bunch of Brunch

This weekend I attended: 1 high school graduation ceremony, 1 BBQ party, 2 brunches, 1 wedding, 1 graduation party, and 1 family dinner. How you like them apples!? That's a lot of partying.

As far as food goes, the most noteworthy pictures came out of the two brunches.

Sunday morning we had my cousin Monique and her friend Rachel over for brunch. They've both just graduated from college and are preparing for all the adventures that their lives will bring!
Of course, I made Susan V's Mini Tofu Crustless Quiches. I did some searching on the PPK boards, and from what I found, it seems like every vegan makes these every time they have a brunch! I love these babies. But I must say, they *always* stick to my pre-oiled non-stick cupcake pan. Any tips?

I also made grilled pineapple, cashew-peach-strawberry ice cream, and a bowl of fresh organic strawberries. (recipes below)

Oh yeah, and I made a big mess of crepes. Of course!
Here's my plate, before I really got going. .

Grilled Pineapple
I used a mix of recipes off the internet. I think the marinade could've been stronger, but here's what I did:
1 pineapple cut in 1" thick slices
2 c water
1/3 c rum
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

marinate pineapple slices 30m-1hr. Grill on high heat about 1 minute per side.

Peach-Strawberry Cashew Ice Cream
(I used the recipe found here)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups diced fresh peaches
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place cashews in blender and grind to powder. Add remaining ingredients and blend well, at least one minute. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. SO freaking good.

This morning my friend Kristy and I co-hosted another brunch. Kristy is a great cook and made some really rad food, including some awesomely perfect vegan zucchini bread. These here were my contributions:

Fruit salad - it is a federal offense to have brunch without fresh fruit

Lemon Coconut Tart - from Peter Berley's "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen." I've made this many times, but this one came out better than ever. I used 2 tsp agar powder instead of 2 Tbsp agar flakes, and also used an extra 2-3 Tbsp soy yogurt. The texture was much creamier and less gelled/firm than before. Great!

Isa's Broccoli Quiche - from the PPK blog. Nice recipe. In a party full of omnis, and people feasting on bacon, this one got tons of compliments and was entirely devoured. Not a crumb left. wooo hooo! I did make a few substitutions, because I thought it was in jeopardy of being a bit bland and dry.

Here's her recipe, with my changes in italics

Classic Broccoli Quiche

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups finely chopped broccoli (see note)
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
healthy dose fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 pound extra firm tofu
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp white or yellow miso

a handful or cherry or grape tomatoes for decorating

1 9 inch prepared pie crust
I used the oat/sesame crust from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen"

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. In the meantime, start preparing the filling.

Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, thyme, tarragon, tumeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until broccoli is soft. If it starts to look dry add a tablepoon or 2 of water. (I used about 4 Tbsp)

Meanwhile, process the cashews in a food processor into fine crumbs. Give the tofu a squeeze to get rid of some of the water, then crumble it into the food processor along with the mustard. Process until relatively smooth. When the broccoli mixture is done cooking, add one cup of it to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the rest of the broccoli mixture and combine. Taste for salt. Stir in miso, lemon juice, and olive oil. Use a rubber spatula to get everything into the pie crust and smooth the top out. Place cherry tomatoes around the perimeter of the pie and one in the center for maximum Good Housekeeping adorableness. Bake for 40 minutes, until edges of the pie are lightly browned.

I suggest letting the quiche sit for 20 minutes before you dig in. I think it tastes best when it is moderately warm, not piping hot. It’s also great at room temperature.

Tip: The broccoli pieces should be tiny, anywhere between the size of a pea to the size of a dime. As you chop, the florets might become crumbs. That’s just fine! Scrape them up with your knife and use them.

(end of Isa's recipe)

Check it out!


Bonus! Dinner with Grandpa and my Great Aunt!

Tonight I made dinner for my grandpa and his older sister, who is gracing us with her presence. They are such wonderful people, and they deserve a wonderful dinner!

I made pasta, spring peas, steamed beet greens, and a big green salad. Oh, and toasted homemade whole wheat sourdough bread.

This pasta turned out so great. I used a recipe from Vegan Planet as an inspiration, but ended up doing my own thing. Something like this:

1 lb pasta
2 bunches of asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium-sized tomatoes
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tbsp white wine
1/3 c fresh basil, chopped up
1/4 c pine nuts
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil the asparagus pieces and roast them for 8-10 minutes until bright green. Remove from oven when done.

Meanwhile, get your water boiling and get started on the sauce. Once the water is boiling, pop in your noodles. The sauce will cook quickly.

In a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and saute 5 minutes or so. Add the tomatoes, scallion, & white wine. Simmer away until your noodles are ready. At the last minute, toss in the roasted asparagus bits, the basil, and pine nuts, and cook 1 more minute, stirring to integrate. Salt to taste.


This lovely dish came from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen" - it's called "Mess O' Peas," which is fun. It's a cup of sugar snap peas, chopped up. 1 cup of snow peas, chopped up. 1 cup of shelled peas. 1/2 c of water. 1 Tbsp fresh mint. 4 scallions, thinly sliced. 1 tsp Earth Balance. Bring to boil. Cover, simmer 4 minutes. Really nice, fresh, light, springy, green.


  1. Oh my, everything looks SO good! I should make those mini quiches sometime.

  2. My goodness, what a busy, fun-filled, delicious weekend you had!

  3. Wow... that's a TON of obligations for one weekend. I hope you took Monday off! :)

  4. Yum! I recently made both the Isa quiche and the mini-quiches, and they were both delicious. I had the same problem with the mini-quiches sticking to the pan, though.

  5. That IS a lot of partying for one weekend. Hopefully it was at least all fun. The brunch foods and dinner look mighty tasty. I use silicon muffin pans for the quiches to avoid stickage.

  6. I just got (really, today!) Modern Vegetarian Kitchen and now I have a couple of really great places to start! What a fabulous post (as usual!)

  7. Anonymous12:28 PM

    I bake Susan's crustless quiches in a metal muffin pan lined with silicone cups. That way they never stick. ;)

  8. That is one action packed weekend but the food more than makes up for it! I've never made the mini-quiches but I think I'll need to try soon. How fun!

  9. Wow, that's one seriously crazy weekend, with lots of food!! Both brunch photos look really yummy. Grilled pineapple sounds like a great brunch addition! Oh, and I think I'm convinced now that I need to make that broccoli quiche for a dinner party tomorrow night. Quiche is okay for dinner, right?

  10. I make my mini quiches in the muffin pan with cupcake liners. They don't stick at all. Hope it helps... I do suggest waiting a good 5 minutes or so after they come out of the oven so they can firm up just a bit.


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