Tag Archives: french toast

Good Morning, Rabanada!

I’ve tried many of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks, but in the short amount of time I’ve owned Vegan Brunch, I’ve utilized it more than the nearly six months I’ve owned Veganomicon or the many years I’ve turned to Vegan with a Vengeance. Aside from the Sarah Kramer cookbooks, which I have turned to on a regular basis since 2008, Vegan Brunch has been the most prolific presence in my kitchen since I purchased it in early April.

Part of the reason is that it has a perfect blend of savory and sweet foods that work well for any meal. But the biggest reason by far is the simple fact that the recipes are damn good. They’re inventive but casual, not requiring a vast array of ingredients or a large prep time. There are some more advanced recipes, but for the most part, these are dishes that are easily prepared in an hour or less and that serve a whole host of functions, be it a lazy Sunday afternoon brunch with my partner or a potluck or even, on the rare occasion where I actually make something special for myself, a solo treat.

Because of my particular affection for pancakes and French toast, I’m always on the lookout for good vegan variations of these dishes. [Of course, the definitive list of pancake options appears in the fantastic Eat Me, a collection of recipes and general retrospective of Shopsins in New York, which features tremendous feats of pancakery such as the macaroni and cheese pancake. But more on Shopsins another time.] Browsing through the options in Vegan Brunch, one recipe caught my eye.

In Brazil, rabanadas is prepared to celebrate the birth of a child, as well Christmas, Easter, etc. The tradition of preparing rabanadas is so ingrained in the culture, bakeries sell special loaves around holiday time, called “Pao de Rabanada.” The prep includes soaking the bread in milk or water to soften, then dipping the slices into egg and frying in a small amount of oil. So, yeah, not much different from how French toast is prepared stateside.

Vegan Brunch‘s recipe offers a few very innovative (and tasty) vegan changes. Instead of egg, the stale bread slices are soaked for twenty minutes in a banana-almond milk custard. I made a few slight changes to the recipe, but basically prepared it as specified in the book. So, thanks in advance, to Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and this great recipe that made me and my partner pretty darn happy this past Sunday afternoon.

Brazilian Rabanadas

– 1 stale loaf of bread (she specifies baguette, but I used a stale Italian loaf and it worked fine)
– 2 ripe bananas
– 1 1/2 cup almond milk
– 3/4 tbsp Xanathan gum
– 1/2 tsp almond extract
– Vegetable oil for frying
– 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– Strawberries (or other fruit) for garnish

– Slice stale loaf into eight thick slices. Lay out slices on a flat baking pan.
– In a food processor or blender, combine the bananas, almond milk, Xanathan gum, and extract. Process until mixture is smooth, then pour mixture over the slices. Allow to soak for ten minutes, then flip slices and let sit for ten minutes more.
– Once slices have soaked for twenty minutes, heat oil on a pan and prepare as normal, keeping the cooked slices in a warm stove or microwave until all are finished.
– Combine the cocoa powder and cinnamon in a sifter, if you have one, or if you’re like me, use a small measuring cup and hope for a steady hand. Lay out finished slices on plates and dust with the cocoa/cinnamon mixture. Top with berries and add syrup and vegan margarine.

Bonjour, French Toast!

Last Saturday, I bought a giant round of bread at Mancini’s then proceeded not to use it. The blessing and the curse of fresh bread. It’s a pleasure beyond nearly anything else on the table, but its expiration date is imminent by the time you bring it home from the store. Even wrapping it up tight and storing it in the fridge will only keep it for so long.

Luckily for us, a large, sturdy loaf of fairly stale bread was just what we needed for some terrific vegan French Toast this past Sunday morning. (Well, stale bread and a couple of ounces of fresh blueberries.)

Sunday Morning French Toast

– 1 1/4 cup silken tofu
– 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
– 1/3 cup water or orange or apple juice
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp almond extract
– 2 tbsp oil
– 6 or 7 thick slices of stale bread

– In a blender or food processor, blend tofu, syrup, extracts, oil, water, and cinnamon. Process until smooth, then transfer into a large shallow bowl.

– Dip slices of bread into mixture. Make sure to scrape down the excess.

– Heat a non-stick or lightly oiled pan. At medium heat, cook the slice until the side is golden brown, then flip. (As in pancakes, you don’t want to flip more than once. If you need a glimpse of the underside, peel up one corner with the flipper.)

– Pile finished slices on a plate, then lightly dust with powdered sugar, blueberries, maple syrup, etc.

Good Morning, French Toast!

It’s not often I find myself craving a big breakfast midweek. Weekends are perfect for breakfast productions – you can wake up later, spend more time in the kitchen, and thusly, spend more time enjoying what you’ve made. Weekdays, at least for me, are the kind of get out and go mornings that make a thoughtful, hearty breakfast much more difficult to manage.

The other problem I usually have with breakfast is, unlike many lunches and dinners, you’re less likely to have breakfast leftovers that can be enjoyed the next morning when you don’t have as much time to stop and make something to eat.

Not that any of this should stop one from eating a hearty breakfast. If a bowl of instant oatmeal and an apple is your breakfast, that’s probably enough (add in a glass of orange juice and some nuts for added protein, and that’s a fairly balanced breakfast). But if you’re craving something a bit more decadent, a bit more… special for your weekday breakfast, I suggest preparing the following recipe in advance the night before, then putting it in the oven the minute you get out of bed.

I’ll Wake Up Early for This
Apples & Cream French Toast Casserole

From post-gazette.com


– 2 1/2 cups silken tofu
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup vegan margarine
– 2 tbsp corn syrup (can substitute maple)
– 4-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced.
– 1 loaf French Bread, day old, cubed
– 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
– 1 1/2 cups soymilk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (opt.)

– In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and margarine. Keep stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour into a greased 13X9-inch baking dish.

– Place apple slices in baking dish. Put half the bread on top of the apples, then add the cream cheese (don’t be worried about a smooth layer, you can just dot it all over), then the rest of the bread on top. Process the tofu, soymilk, and vanilla, then pour on top of the baking dish.

– If you want to stop here, go ahead and tightly wrap the baking dish in foil and refrigerate overnight. Try to remove 15 to 30 minutes before baking.

– For baking: set oven at 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 50 – 60 minutes.

My suggestion: set alarm early, get up, remove casserole from fridge, pre-heat oven. Go back to bed for fifteen to thirty minutes. Come back, put dish in oven, set timer for 50 minutes, then go about your morning routine. By the time you’re showered, dressed, and ready to go… well, you might still have a while to wait. Hence the getting up early part which, I admit, sucks.

(recipe veganized and adapted from Taste of Home)