Cary, NC — This recipe has become the one I’m known for. It all started just over two years ago when I had invited over the woman I was dating for our first meal at my place. I knew it needed to be something fresh, something healthy, something impressive — but also something that I couldn’t screw up.
I had spent hours diving into blog posts and trying to find the perfect dinner, and as luck would have it, I did. I still make it regularly for both of us more than two years since that night. Now I’m not saying this is the magic food of romance, but hey, worth a shot!
Cary, NC- On Christmas morning, I like to pop an eggy-cheesy casserole in the oven and let it bake while everyone is opening presents. A few years ago, that routine got a little more complicated when our youngest daughter decided she would eat a plant-based diet. You know, #GoVegan.
No more eggs, milk, bacon, sausage or any of what I typically think of as a “traditional breakfast”. For a while, our eldest complicated things further when she went gluten-free. Oh, and I don’t eat beef… welcome to my life!
This year I did some quick research for Vegan Breakfast ideas. I found a few that needed fake sausage or bacon, but I chose the following one because the ingredients were all readily on hand.
VEGAN ZUCCHINI BREAKFAST STRATA
I like the idea of a Strata, which literally means layers. This recipe consists of layers of zucchini and tomatoes as well as mashed potatoes. Prep time is about 30 minutes, baking time is under an hour. You can prep it all the night before and stash in the frig til you are ready to bake it. To make this gluten-free, just choose a GF bread (like Udi Bread which is available at any Trader Joes).
- 2 medium zucchini (cut into thin slices)
- 1 tomato (seeded, and diced)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning (Oregano, thyme, marjoram, dry basil)
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
- 10 leaves basil plus more for garnish
- 1 C cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice plus zest
- 4 med russet potatoes (boiled and peeled)
- 4 leaves, sage
- 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped finely)
- 5 slices of your favorite bread (cubed)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large skillet, add the olive oil, then saute the garlic for just a few seconds. Then add the zucchini, tomatoes, and onions. Add pepper and Italian seasoning. Saute for 5 minutes or until zucchini softens but is not mushy. Let the liquid in the pan evaporate by turning on the heat to high if necessary.
2. Turn off the heat.
3. Make the basil sauce: In a blender, add the drained cashews, 2 cups of water, lemon juice, basil, and jalapeno. Blend and add salt to taste.
4. To make the mashed potatoes: With a fork or potato masher, smash up the boiled potatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt, sage and lemon zest.
5. In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini mixture, the bread, and half of the potatoes. Place this mixture in a 9″ x 12″ baking pan.
6. Pour the sauce over everything evenly. Press down to make sure the bread cubes are soaked evenly.
7. Scatter the remaining mashed potatoes on top.
Now it can be refrigerated overnight if needed.
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place pan in the center rack and bake for 40 minutes.
3. After 40 minutes, move pan to top rack, turn oven to broil at 450 degrees. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes and bread are a nice golden brown.
4. Remove from oven, garnish with basil and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe comes from Holy Cow! Vegan recipes.
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