Sunday Brunch: Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole, Whole Wheat Biscuits and White Bean Gravy

Sunday Brunch

More often than not, I end up making pancakes on the weekend, not that there is anything wrong with that. But we were both craving something a bit more savory on Sunday. I’ve made this wonderful Weekend Tofu and Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole from “The Vegan Slow Cooker” before. (Though the book has tons of great recipes, it’s worth buying just for the casserole.) I’ve also made these Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits from “Vegan Brunch” before, too.

My usual go-to gravy is a simple white gravy, but it’s not exactly healthy. So as I was looking through “Vegan Brunch,” I decided to try out her Navy Bean Gravy, but I substituted cannellini beans for the navy beans. And, wow, I think this might be my new go-to gravy. The picture you see above was taken the day after I made the gravy, so it had thickened considerably, but right off the stovetop it was a wonderfully creamy brown gravy that worked really well with the herb biscuits. And while it still has white flour in it, the beans add more nutritional value than a typical white or brown gravy.

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From the Pantry Pot Pie

This is another dish from “The Vegan Slow Cooker,” and, I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. The vegetable part of the dish was awesome, but the biscuits didn’t really turn out that well. They were kind of doughy. I propped the lid of my crockpot as the recipe suggested and even let them cook a bit longer, but they just would not firm up. So, I ended up taking the biscuits off the top and making herbed whole wheat drop biscuits in the oven, which turned out really well. The biscuit recipe I got from “Vegan Brunch.” Their texture provided a nice crunch to go with the chicken seitan and veggies. I do plan on making this dish again, but I’ll just leave off the biscuits and make a batch separately.

Vegan Food Happenings

Sorry for the lack of posts; it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the meals we’ve had recently.

Our meals have mostly consisted of finding ways to use up all the greens we’ve been getting with our CSA pickups. We’ve gotten a couple of bunches of purple kale, which is really, really good. We also got some sugar snap peas that are awesome in stir-fry.

Also, to my photographer friends out there: Can you please tell me why my pictures are blurry in the middle? I can’t figure it out.

I hope everyone is well!

Banana Biscuits from “Vegan Diner”

Mushroom and Onion Pizza

Beans, Greens and Cornbread Bowl

Mix-and-Match Stir-fry

Tofu Scramble with Biscuits and Gravy

Well, it’s not the prettiest dish, but it sure is tasty! This tofu scramble recipe, taken from the wonderful Vegan Brunch book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, has become a weekend breakfast staple for us. It’s incredibly fast and easy to make, and allows for lots of variation. I typically make mine just as the book suggests: with cumin, thyme, turmeric, garlic, and grated carrots. I also like to make the scramble with a side of biscuits and gravy, and if I’m feeling really bad, hashbrowns.

The Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits are also taken directly from Vegan Brunch, so I’m not going to post them here. The gravy, however, is my own recipe. It’s reminiscent of a béchamel sauce, but I add lots of cracked pepper. It’s certainly not the healthiest gravy (is there such a thing as “healthy” gravy?), but it tastes just like the white gravy that was smothered over biscuits I had growing up. Today, I tried adding crumbled Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage to the gravy. It tasted good, but I actually prefer the gravy without it. Anyway, this is one gravy that you’ll want to use to smother everything on your plate.

White Gravy

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

2 tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
1/4 cup of white flour
4 cups almond or soy milk (unsweetened is ideal, but original works too — if you don’t mind a touch of sweetness)
1 tsp salt
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and whisk to incorporate (you’re making a roux). Cook the roux for about a minute to remove any raw flour taste, but be sure to stir constantly. It’ll bubble a little bit, but turn down the heat if it seems like it’s getting too hot. Add your milk and salt, and whisk constantly. If you turned down the heat for the roux, then turn it back up to medium-high. Stir constantly to avoid scorching the milk. After about 8  to 10 minutes, the gravy should start to thicken. If it doesn’t add a little more flour (not too much). Likewise, if it gets too thick, add a touch more milk. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Finally, add lots of cracked black pepper — you really want to see and taste it in the gravy. Remove from heat and smother all over your biscuits, scramble, hashbrowns, or whatever you’ve got.

Enjoy!