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The Last Brunch… Closing Out Summer With Style

By August 29, 2018 Food, Lifestyle

As the pending change of seasons begins to make itself known and our summer experiences turn into memories, I believe we should take the time to create a celebration to close it all out. The simple joys of a warm weather brunch with those you cherish combines nourishment and connectedness, a quintessential human experience that is so desperately needed today.

Brunch, as with most culinary traditions, has a hazy history of origins. Some believe it to be from the English hunt meals of the 1800’s and other say it is from the Catholics, fasting before mass and then indulging post services.

According to Jesse Rhodes of Smithsonian.com, “What does seem certain is that the word ‘brunch’—that playful blend of ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’— first appeared in print in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. In ‘Brunch: A Plea,’ British author Guy Beringer suggested an alternative to the heavy, post-church Sunday meals in favor of lighter fare served late in the morning. ‘’Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,’ Beringer says. ‘It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.’”

So before the frenzy of the school year begins, let us take the time to reach out. Make the plan, have your friends bring their favorite dish that they have filled with love in anticipation of sharing with those closest to them. Let us get grounded, filled with love and appreciation for one another so we can charge forth with confidence into the next chapter.

If suggestions are needed of what to bring, here are a few delicious, plant-based and gorgeous editions to any well stocked family-style brunch, Mimosas included! Cheers to the last brunch of Summer! Cheers to school starting and cheers to the pending season of giving! *Clink!

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Crepes with Strawberries

Tofu Breakfast Tacos

Deviled Tomatoes

Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

Sweet Potato Tempeh Hash

Lemonade Mimosas with Blood Orange

Mexican Pomegranate Mimosas

Vegan Crepes

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cornmeal

2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer whisked into 3 tablespoon water

1 cup soymilk

1/4 cup water (or less)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil (and more for frying)

1 pint trimmed organic strawberries

powdered sugar for dusting

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cornmeal in a large bowl. Stir in the whisked egg replacer, adding soymilk in 1/4 cup increments until you get a smooth batter.

Add water, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, stir well. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat a lightly oiled pan on medium-high heat. Add a ladle full of batter and turn the pan to spread it evenly. When you can’t see any moist spots anymore and the rim of the crepe is crisp, turn the crepe over (either by flipping the pan over onto a plate, using a spatula, or doing the skillful pan-flip).

It’s helpful to keep a plate in a pre-warmed oven, so that you can stack the crepes on it to keep them warm until serving. Serve with strawberries and dusted with powdered sugar.

(Recipe inspired by VegAnna on VegWeb, photo by brunet.xox on VegWeb.com)

Tofu Breakfast Tacos

1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

8 corn tortillas, warmed

Salsa

Toppings of choice: onions, cilantro, greens, potatoes, avocado, etc.

Drain tofu and place the block on a plate. Cover with another plate and weight the top with a food can or other object of about 1 pound. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes to extract excess liquid. Pour off liquid. Crumble tofu and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle with flour, yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric and toss. Sprinkle with liquid aminos and toss again.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat until hot. Add tofu mixture and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently with a spatula to prevent sticking, until tofu is browned and crisp in places. Serve with the warmed tortillas, salsa and toppings of choice and let diners assemble their own tacos.

(Recipe and photo from WholeFoods.com at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/tofu-breakfast-tacos)

Deviled Tomatoes

15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons yellow mustard, or more, to taste

1 teaspoon curry powder, or more, to taste

Pinch of ground cumin, or more, to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or scallion

8 to 10 ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes or other small tomatoes

Paprika for topping

Shredded romaine lettuce or baby greens, optional

Combine the chickpeas, mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, curry powder, and pepper in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse on and off until the mixture is nicely melded, but don’t puree—leave a little texture.

Add the chives or scallion through the feed tube and pulse on and off a few times to whirl in.

If you don’t have a food processor, simply mash the chickpeas well in a bowl, and stir in the mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, curry powder, pepper, and chives.

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seedy center with a spoon. You’ll be left with a neat shell (save what you’ve scooped out for another use, such as blending into a juice or sauce).

Stuff the tomatoes generously with the chickpea mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Arrange on a platter atop a bed of lettuce or baby greens.

(Recipe and image from Nava Atlas on VegKitchen at http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegetables-all-year-round/tomato-heaven/deviled-tomatoes/)

Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your fave non-dairy milk)

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and allspice into a mixing bowl. Mix in the oats. Make a well in the center and add applesauce, milk, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir with just until combined.

Let batter rest for 5 minutes or so, it will thicken a bit. Fold in the blueberries.

Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer directions. In my 8 inch waffle iron, I use a heaping 1/2 cup of batter. Remember to spray or brush the iron with oil in between each waffle.

(Recipe and image from Post Punk Kitchen http://www.theppk.com/2012/10/blueberry-oatmeal-waffles/)

Sweet Potato Tempeh Hash

2 sweet potatoes, cubed

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper

6 ounces tempeh, cubed

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place sweet potato in a lightly oiled or nonstick pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. In a wok over medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic in oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add pepper, tempeh, and a bit of broth and stir frequently for 2 minutes. (Keep broth handy and always have 1/2 to 1 centimeter of broth at the bottom of the wok.) Add sweet potatoes and paprika, and slowly add remaining broth until it has all been absorbed by the tempeh and potatoes. Then add soy sauce, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix well and serve.

(Recipe and image by Shape http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/6-amazing-vegan-brunch-recipes)

Lemonade Mimosas with Blood Orange

Sugar and Charm Lemonade Recipe

1 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

3/4 to 1 cup sugar or a sugar substitute (You can add more or less depending on how you like it!)

6 cups water

Lemonade Mimosas with Blood Orange Directions

Add 1 1/2 cups fresh blood orange juice to the lemonade.

Pour equal parts blood orange lemonade and Champagne into each glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice.

(Recipe and photo from Sugar & Charm http://sugarandcharm.com/2014/02/lemonade-mimosas-with-blood-orange.html)

Mexican Pomegranate Mimosas

1 ounce orange juice

1 ounce pomegranate juice

.5 ounce lime juice

1.5 ounce tequila blanco – 100% agave

2 ounces champagne

1/2 teaspoon agave, (optional)

Pomegranate arils, (optional)

If using the agave shake vigorously with the orange juice to combine. If using the arils place 4-5 in the bottom of the glass. Pour the orange juice into a standard 6 ounce champagne flute and top with the pomegranate juice, lime juice, tequila, and champagne.

(recipe and photo from the Wicked Spatula http://wickedspatula.com/mexican-pomegranate-mimosas/)

Here is a great summer Champagne to enjoy alone or raise the standard in your Mimosas

Champagne J. Lassalle Cachet d’Or Brut Premier Cru, $35 (https://www.kermitlynch.com/our-wines/champagne-j-lassalle/)

Now send that email to get the ball rolling. Remember, at Life with Moxie (www.lifewithmoxie.com) planning is everything!

Cover Image by One&Only Hayman Island (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-3638988/One-review-Inside-Australia-s-exclusive-island-hideaway-beloved-Oprah-Johnny-Depp-Chris-Hemsworth.html)

Have ideas you’d like to add to the list? Need more suggestions? Let me know!

Julie Koester is CEO of Life with Moxie, a Lifestyle Revolution Company www.lifewithmoxie.com and Host of Life with Moxie Radio, Saturday’s at 1pm on 98.9 WGUF in Southwest Florida. You can reach her at Julie@lifewithmoxie.com

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