With the long weekend upon us, I’m thinking ahead to a slow, lazy Monday morning full of coffee and a decadent breakfast. Enter, this Vanilla French Toast with Strawberry Sauce – a recipe from my gal Kristy’s second cookbook, But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan. Read on for the full recipe and a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself. (Squeee!)
I received my copy of the book back in November and I have loved reading through it slowly over the course of the past few months. There is literally SO much good stuff inside that it’s taken me that long to really digest it. Much like her first installation, But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan is packed with creative recipes, mouth watering photographs & plenty of charming writing full of Kristy’s warm wit.
Instead of breaking down the book by meal type, it’s divided into 20 short chapters by excuses family members might present in objection to eating vegan meals. Chapter 2, My family demands bacon and eggs for breakfast is jam packed with delicious day-starters like Mushroom-Kale Skillet Hash and the Vanilla French Toast pictured above. Look to chapter 8, aka My parents don’t understand why I won’t eat my childhood favourites for homestyle dishes, or to chapter 11, aka My sister thinks vegan baking is something only hippies do for awesome desserts everyone will love. Also, for those with dietary needs, you’ll be happy to know that each recipe is clearly labeled for gluten free, nut free and soy free options.
The first recipe we tried was The Portobello Philly Reuben (p160), and they were unreal. Mark and I scarfed down the entire thing (i.e. we each ate 2 sandwiches because it was so good and we couldn’t help ourselves). Seriously – I can’t say enough about this one… savoury, meaty mushrooms, Russian dressing, sauerkraut and an amazing melty cheese all on crusty bread? #myideaofheaven.
The Cauliflower Alfredo Baked Ziti (p209) was so yummy, the whole family ate it up – including our vegan kiddo Woodrow who is still on a sauce strike.
The Sun-Dried Tomato Linguini (p293) was a quick and easy meal. We love olives so it was a no brainer. The addition of maple syrup made me hesitate at first, but it really added a nice touch! I didn’t have any pepita on hand the night we made it, so I used sunflower seeds for the parm topping (p28) instead.
I was happy to find the BLT Summer Rolls with Avocado (p205), one of my favourite quick and easy recipes from Kristy’s blog make an appearance too. Tempeh bacon is one of my favourite ways to enjoy that protein and as a plus for me, I can sneak into the kitchen raid the prep line at Tucos Taco Lounge when no one is looking to stock up on smoky maple tempeh. Making your own though is really quite easy and Kristy will teach you how too.
Tater Totchos, Lemongrass Tofu Bahn Mi, French Onion Soup & Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches are all on my “must make” list and I’m so looking forward to trying them all. I’m also really excited to be able to offer a giveaway for this book too, thanks to the generosity of the folks at The Experiment and you can enter at the bottom of the post. Contest is open to residents of Canada & the US. Good luck! But let’s not rush, first let’s dig in to the recipe for Vanilla French Toast with Strawberry Sauce!
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup (240 ml) plain or vanilla nondairy milk (nut-free and/or soyfree if necessary)
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned coconut milk (or vegan creamer)
- ½ cup (55 g) chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Vegan cooking spray (soy-free if necessary)
- 8 vegan bread slices (the thicker the better; gluten-free if necessary)
- Vanilla Whipped Cream (see below), optional
- Powdered sugar (or xylitol) for dusting, optional
- Sliced almonds, optional
- 4 cups (520 g) chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 to 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or maple syrup; depending on sweetness preference)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Use a paring knife to make a slit lengthwise down the side of the vanilla bean. You don’t want to cut it in half—just split it open. Use the knife to scrape out the tiny seeds. Place the seeds in a large shallow bowl or baking dish.
- Add the nondairy milk, coconut milk, flour, maple syrup, arrowroot, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until combined.
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Spray the pan generously with cooking spray. Dip 1 or 2 slices of bread (depending on how many will fit in your pan) in the milk mixture and soak for 10 to 15 seconds on each side. Place the slices in the pan and cook until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to the cooling rack and place the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, respraying the pan each time before adding new slices.
- To make the strawberry sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- If you want, slice the pieces of toast in half diagonally before serving. To serve, place two slices of bread (or four halves) on a plate, topped with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream (if using), a scoop of strawberry sauce, and if you desire, a light dusting of powdered sugar. Sprinkle with a few sliced almonds and serve.
Variations ►► If you want basic French toast, you can skip the whipped cream, strawberry sauce, powdered sugar, and almonds, and just serve it doused with maple syrup.