by, Kelly Behr
Native Foods Cafe
Breakfast seems to be one of the more perplexing meals for non-vegans when thinking about what us vegans are munching on in the morning. They probably assume just fruit and granola, both are good options but we are not limited to just these things. When they think of breakfast they automatically think, eggs, sausage, bacon…wait you can't have any of these things they exclaim.
Once my friend stayed over at my apartment when she was in town for a wedding and I told her I would be happy to make breakfast in the morning. When she woke up I was half way through my Brussels sprout hash and side of polenta. What are we having, she inquired, dreams of eggs and bacon dancing in her head. I told her what I was preparing. (I was actually replicating a dish I had had once at a very nice brunch spot and not trying to be extra vegany.) "Brussels sprouts for breakfast?! Oh yeah, I forgot I was staying with a vegan."
To this day she still brings up her breakfast experience while staying at my place, she admits it was very good just not her "typical" breakfast. But who wants to be typical right?
Anyway to prove that vegans are not limited to weird veggie combinations in the morning, I decided to make biscuits and gravy for my family while I was home for the holidays. Nothing warms you up like the comfort food of good biscuits and gravy and they are super easy to make.
First start with the biscuits. You can find great recipes all over the Internet for homemade vegan biscuits. I used the recipe from The Minimalist Vegan Baker. My parents however did not have a circle cookie cutter, but they did have a heart shaped one, which made them all the more special when serving them.
Now for the fun part, the gravy. I have been making gravy since I was a kid. My father always made great creamy gravy so I learned from him and it is a very simple thing to make. All you need is a sausage substitute, a cup of all purpose flour and unsweetened non-dairy milk. I use soy.
My sausage substitute of choice is Upton's Italian sausage seitan.
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Since you are not working with real sausage that contains a lot of grease you will need to add some oil to the seitan. Crumble the seitan into small pieces so it resembles ground beef. I then add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the mixture. Cook in a large skillet until the oil is heated. You can now begin to add your flour, make sure the seitan completely coated in flour, this will help the mixture stick. Once the flour is added, (about 1/4 a cup) you can gradually start adding the soymilk. I start with a cup and add as needed for desired thickness. I like my gravy a little on the runnier side so I add more and more of the soymilk. But if you like your gravy thicker you can add less of course. Really, it is whatever floats your (gravy) boat. However, keep in mind that as the gravy cools it will continue to thicken.
Now you can add salt and pepper to taste and boom, you have yourself some gravy. How easy was that?
Once the biscuits are finished baking it is time to wow your family with your delicious biscuits and gravy dish. And remind them of all typical food items you can actually eat for breakfast!
I like to serve them with a side of fruit, I find it refreshing after a heavy meal. So enjoy and now you have an answer for when someone asks, "But what do you eat for breakfast?"