Sunday, 9 September 2012

Mother's Day Brunch from Party Vegan

Every year for Mother's Day or her birthday I ask my mother what she would like me to make for her special dinner, and every year she tells me baked beans and cornbread. And I sigh a little because I want to make something new and exciting! This year my mother allowed me to choose (with her final approval, of course). We decided on brunch, so I pulled out a bunch of menu options from different books. Finally she chose the Mother's Day Brunch menu from Robin Robertson's book Party Vegan.

This was very exciting for me, as it was the first time that I had cooked from this book. I haven't had much time for making full menu plans lately. I actually won this book during the closing days of 2010's VeganMoFo from a competition - the only blog competition I have ever won. The book was sent all the way from Canada and arrived on the afternoon that the Brisbane floods began at the beginning on 2011. There's a certain amount of shock that sets in when you watch large parts of your city being swallowed up by water, so the book remained unread for a while.

When I finally got around to reading it (I read all my new cookbooks like novels first, and cross-reference recipes within them) I was very happy. Lots of exciting menu plans with lots of make ahead and quick options so you don't get overwhelmed trying to do everything at once! And being that Robin is one of my favourite cookbook authors, I knew that it would not disappoint.

Anyway, back to brunch!

Mother's Day Brunch: Strawberry Carpaccio with Balsamic Syrup; Aspragus Quiche-Me-Not; Tempeh Bacon Triangles (with Raspberry Lemon Muffins)

It's a pretty beautiful spread, and was a lovely morning. The drinks you can see are virgin mimosa's, since I don't drink alcohol. Essentially just fresh orange juice (OK, I cheat a little and use Nudie's Nothing But Oranges so I don't have to squeeze it all out myself) with some soda water added for a bit of sparkle.

Strawberry Carpaccio with Balsamic Syrup

Strawberry Carpaccio with Balsamic Syrup
Brunch started with an elegant but simple plate of thinly sliced fresh strawberries with a sweet balasamic vinegar and fresh mint. The balsamic vinegar is really delicious (just don't over cook it as it will go a bit too thick) and I have a desire to try it over vanilla ice cream.

Asparagus Quiche-Me-Not

Asparagus Quiche-Me-Not
I was never really interested in egg-based quiches in my pregan days, but I love vegan quiche now. One of the great things about vegan food is that I can enjoy so many more options, as the so called 'traditional' versions would often make me feel kind of ill. Obviously my body knew I was meant to be vegan before I did! Anyway, this quiche has a filling of cashews, white beans and asparagus with a variety of seasoning in a lovely pastry crust.

Tempeh Bacon Triangles

Tempeh Bacon Triangles
Tempeh bacon is hands down my favourite smoky brunch addition. I know there are various pre-made vegan bacons, but they never really enticed me. Since my first bite of tempeh bacon, I knew it was love. I make every tempeh bacon recipe I come across. While this recipe isn't as quick as the recipe from Robin's 1000 Vegan Recipes, the marinading time is well worth it as you end up with amazing, juicy tempeh triangles. The recipe calls for 8 ounces, but here I get my tempeh 300g blocks, so to make up for the extra tempeh I used Australian tablespoons to measure the marinade, which are larger than American ones by a whole 5mL!

Asparagus Quiche-Me-Not; Tempeh Bacon Triangles

I don't think anyone would turn away this gorgeous plate - these are two five star rated recipes right here!

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

Raspberry Lemon Muffins from Colour Me Vegan
The muffin recipe was a departure from the menu, as my mother requested a berry muffin rather than the chai muffins in Party Vegan. Of course my very soul trembled at having to go 'off menu', but as it was her day I made these raspberry and lemon morsels from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Colour Me Vegan. They are very moist little muffins, and are quite small in the muffin cups, but have a good flavour.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

These muffins are best eating the day they are made, as seem to get a bit soggy as time goes on.

Chocolate 'Pots de Creme'

Chocolate "Pots de Creme"
Back on the menu plan with a decadent finish. These little pots are made from melted chocolate, almond meal and tofu and are very rich. I couldn't make it through a whole one in one go, but it keeps well. These would also make some nice truffles, I think.

All in all, this was a great menu and my mum was very happy with it. I found it really easy to put together in time for brunch. The day before, I made the quiche and refrigerated it, as well as had the tempeh triangles marinading in the fridge. I also mixed up the dry components and wet components for the muffins into separate sealed containers. In the morning I took the quiche out of the fridge to come to room temperature, then I made the chocolate pots-de-creme first as they need to be in the fridge for at least two hours (you could make these the night before but the recipe said not to refrigerate for more than 12 hours so I made them on the morning, but the leftovers were fine in the fridge for longer). I mixed up the wet and dry muffin components and baked the muffins. Then all I had to do was slice strawberries, make the balsamic syrup and fry up the bacon. Easy! I even had time to go to the gym that morning!

Chai-Spiced Muffins

Chai-Spiced Muffins
Because I wasn't able to make the muffins from the menu on the actual day, but I still wanted to complete the menu, I made the chai-spiced muffins the next day for work snacks. These have a really subtle spiced flavour that is really nice.

So one menu completed, and one Mother's Day brunch success! I'm really looking forward to making more menu plans from this book. I know I am late posting this (Mother's Day was back in May), but I hope everyone who celebrates Mother's Day had a really nice day with their mothers, or their children (including the non-human kind!).

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Possum in the Garden

A photo of our family kitty Possum, who is enjoying a morning recline in the bark underneath the palm trees.