Smoked Tofu Benedict with Mushrooms and Arugula

Last month I posted about the Frosted Blueberry Cake I made for my sisters’ birthday. What I didn’t mention, is that I also made a birthday breakfast for my sister Jem, her fiancé Dan, and myself, as it somehow turned out that we all had the morning off work. Jem loves eggs benedict and will happily eat tofu, so I decided it would be the perfect occasion to try out some vegan ‘eggs’ benedict. I’ve never liked hollandaise sauce, but I had Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe for Hollandaise Sauce (from The Vegan Table) on hand for just such an occasion.

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Our Smoked Tofu Benedict consisted of whole wheat english muffins, arugula, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed slices of Soyganic Smoked Tofu, and Hollandaise Sauce. Dan doesn’t like mushrooms, so had his without.

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Smoked Tofu Benedict with Mushrooms and Arugula
Whole wheat english muffins
Baby arugula
Cremini (or white) mushrooms
Fresh ground black pepper
Smoked tofu (We love Soyganic)
Braggs Liquid Aminos
Hollandaise Sauce

First, slice mushrooms and tofu. I cut the block of tofu in half across the widest side, then cut each piece into 4 slices.
Cut english muffins in half.
Set out all of the ingredients for the hollandaise sauce and set oven to warm (just enough ensure everything stays warm until you are ready to serve).
Make hollandaise sauce and keep covered on the stove at the lowest heat, or place pot in oven to keep warm.
Heat two pans over medium heat. Place mushrooms and a splash of water in one pan and the tofu slices in the other.
If you need to do more than one round of english muffins in the toaster, start now. Place toasted ones on a plate in the oven, until the mushrooms and tofu are done.
Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add fresh ground black pepper if desired.
Cook the tofu slices just a few minutes on each side, until warmed and a little browned. Turn off heat, add a splash of Braggs Liquid Aminos, and move slices around in it.
Assemble your Tofu Benedict, according to the photos below, making sure to stir the hollandaise well before serving.
Enjoy!

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I was super pleased that this breakfast turned out exactly as I’d hoped and I would absolutely make it again. We all thoroughly enjoyed it! The flavours of the smoked tofu, peppery arugula, earthy mushrooms, and hollandaise complemented each other quite well.

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I was also really surprised by how much I like the Hollandaise Sauce. I’m not sure how it compares to non-vegan hollandaise, as I don’t remember what that tastes like, but it was really delicious. I used unsweetened almond milk, and Soy-Free Earth Balance in the recipe.

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This was definitely not the healthiest breakfast, but compared to a standard eggs benedict, WAY better! Not something I’d make all the time but perfect for a weekend brunch or special occasion. Also, pretty easy to make gluten free: just use gluten free bread or bun in place of the english muffin and ensure your smoked tofu is gluten free.

Sidenote: You may have noticed Jem’s name popping up a lot in the past few months, and its because as of January, we are now living in the same house again. It’s so nice to have someone around that’s willing to eat my vegan food and join me in my cooking and baking adventures, so I’ve been taking full advantage. 🙂

I’ve shared this with Healthy Vegan Friday #44 and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday (6/11/13).

Have you made a memorable vegan meal for a special occasion?

Have you tried any vegan benedict recipes?

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Crazy for Coconut: Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars

Blueberries are definitely one of my most used fruits. In the summer I like to buy large quantities of fresh local blueberries and freeze them for the fall and winter months. Having this supply has meant that I’ve learned to love blueberries in almost everything I bake: muffins, breads, cakes, and crisps. They almost always make an appearance in my smoothies as well.

The inspiration for these bars came when I saw this recipe for Blackberry Coconut Bars. I liked the idea of making fruit bars, which I’ve never actually done before, but I knew I wanted oats in my bars as well. After looking at a few different recipes I ended up using the base/topping from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Date Bars (page 128) in The Joy of Vegan Baking, adding coconut (shredded, sugar, and oil) and making other changes to make it healthier than the original. For the filling I tossed frozen blueberries with some cornstarch, agave, and vanilla, as I’d seen done in a few different recipes.

These bars are moist, crumbly, and only slightly sweet. They are quick and simple to make, and I really loved the combination of blueberries and coconut. The coconut craze seems to be in full swing and, as you can probably tell by the use of 3 forms of coconut in the following recipe, I have become a willing participant.

Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars
Base/Topping:
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
4 tsp ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C coconut sugar (sucanat or brown sugar would work)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup water
Filling:
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and lightly grease a 9-inch (23cm) square or 9×13-inch (23x33cm) pan. For the base/topping, in a large bowl thoroughly combine the oats, coconut, ground flax, salt, sugar, and flour. Heat the coconut oil (I use the microwave) until it is mostly liquid. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients, and add 1/4 cup of water. Stir together until totally combined. It should be moist but not wet, and will form little clumps. Add more water if needed. Press half of this mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan. For the filling, combine the blueberries, vanilla, and agave in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and stir until coated. Spread this mixture out on top of the base (it might not look like enough filling, but when cooked it will be). Crumble the remaining half of the base/topping mixture over top of the blueberries. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is slightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into bars. Enjoy!

Sorry, for the bad picture, but you get the idea! I love that deep purple blueberry colour!

When you cut these bars you will probably end up with quite a bit of crumbles left in the dish. My suggestion: add them to your next bowl of oatmeal, cereal, or granola for a nice breakfast treat. That is if you can stop yourself from eating them right out of the pan!

Questions:
Have you joined the recent coconut craze? Do you have a favourite form of coconut to bake/cook with?
I’ve started baking with coconut oil and I really like the results so far. I love using coconut milk to make creamy sauces, and I really enjoy the brown sugar-like flavour of coconut sugar.

Do you have a favourite recipe that showcases coconut (in any form)? Please share.
I love this Pineapple Coconut Bread, but these bars are a close second.