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Saucy Brunches

November 30, 2010

No, that’s not my new nickname–but I do think that the key to a great brunch is a great sauce. Let’s look at some examples: fig bread with white pepper gravy, and eggs florentine.

A few days ago, I really wanted toast with white gravy–something that many Southern Americans eat when they’d like biscuits and gravy, but don’t feel like making the biscuits.

So, I went out and bought a loaf of fig bread, which I sliced, toasted, and then slathered with white gravy. There was a tofu scramble involved, too.

If you want to make your own white pepper gravy, try this:


2 Tbsp oil/veg margarine
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 C milk (I used oatmilk, which worked out very well)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (or more)


1. Heat the oil and add in the flour. Mix it all together to make a roux. The roux will start to stick to the pan quickly, so only heat it for a few seconds.
4. Add in the milk, and whisk. As the liquid heats, it should become thicker. (If for some reason it doesn’t thicken, you can try adding in more flour, or some cornstarch. If you do that, take out a small amount of the warm liquid, put it in a small bowl, and then whisk the flour or starch into that small bowl. Once the liquid in the small bowl isn’t lumpy, you can whisk it back into the sauce pan.) You may want to lower the burner temperature.
5. Add salt and pepper.
6. If you want to make your white gravy extra special, you can melt in another slice of margarine at the last minute.

See? Easy. And it’s awesome with fig bread.

Another example of a great, saucy brunch food is eggs benedict, or eggs florentine, in this case–I decided that I really wanted spinach with it, which I gather makes it into eggs florentine.

I think that eggs florentine usually involves both eggs and ham, neither of which I’m too keen on, obviously. So, instead I used smoked tofu, which I fried with an agave glaze. It’s sort of like combining an egg with some ham, right?

For the spinach, I just sauteed some onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil, and then threw in the spinach along with some salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I let the spinach cook down completely.

For the most important part–the sauce–I used Isa Moskowitz’s hollandaise sauce recipe from Vegan Brunch. It’s delicious.

I was eating this meal for dinner, not for brunch–but a normal person would eat it for brunch, and it relies on a delicious sauce. Thus, it qualifies as a saucy brunch.

You know what else is good saucy? Dessert.

One of the easiest, sauciest desserts you can whip up is chocolate fruit fondue. Just take some dark chocolate chips, or chunks, or squares, and measure out how much you want to use. Then into a pan pour half as much vegan milk/cream–so, for instance, if you have 1/2 C of chocolate, pour in 1/4 C of milk. Once the milk begins to steam, turn off the heat on your stove (you don’t want to burn the chocolate!) and stir in your chocolate until the mixture is smooth. Then you can dip in your fruit!

There’s just one more thing I need to share with you: I was recently a witness to an epic cat-rescue!

I was feeling sleepy, and so I took a little nap. As I drifted off, I thought that I heard a cat meowing; but I was awfully sleepy, so I thought I was merely drowsily reminiscing about Twila

Twila’s standard lounging pose

and Lopez.

Climbing Skillz

Lopez’s glamour shot

But when I awoke from my nap, I realized that I really did hear a cat meowing–nearby! This was disconcerting, since we’re on the fourth floor, and none of our neighbors have cats. I looked out our window, and saw this:

The fire department had come to save a little white cat who had trapped itself on a fourth floor ledge (I have no idea how that happened), and a crowd had gathered to watch the rescue.

Of course, the rescue was successful, and the crowd erupted into cheers.

If you look carefully, you can see the cat’s head

And the cat was reunited with its human companion. So there you have it: a totally happy ending.

But now I miss my cats. Fortunately, they’re safe and sound in Indiana, with a lovely person who neither lives on the fourth floor nor has ledges, as far as I know.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Bosch permalink
    November 30, 2010 7:37 pm

    Dear Saucy Brunch,
    In the US, the “human companion” would likely receive a whopping big bill for this service!

    • December 3, 2010 2:57 pm

      Really? That’s too bad.

      Fun “fact”: I recently heard that healthy cats can generally survive falls with lighter injuries when they are either from *under* 5 stories or from *above* 9 stories–when they fall from under 5, their bone flexibility will usually save them, and when they fall from above 9 (sometimes up to 30!) they’re able to properly position themselves for the impact in mid-air (I think that they also reach terminal velocity when they fall from about 9 stories, and so it no longer makes much of a difference if they fall from an even greater height). Of course, this just has to do with the level of injuries suffered when cats survive falls–most cats who fall from great heights are injured. So don’t go tossing your cats!

      But that little white kitty was getting pretty close to the 5th floor “danger” zone…

  2. patricia leach permalink
    December 1, 2010 3:02 am

    Wow! What an amazing rescue and how sweet…
    We went to Red Bamboo on Saturday and I think the kinds of things you have been making put their menu to shame. It was fine but all seitan so-called chicken, pork, and beef. I’d prefer just honest veggies and tofu… and any of your cupcakes…. to their menu….Where are Amelia’s chocolate chip cookies when you need them?!

    • December 3, 2010 2:45 pm

      That’s so sweet of you to say. I really like Red Bamboo, especially their little tofu fish cakes! The fake meat stuff is fun once in a while, but most of the time I’m with you–fill me up with some veggies! And cookies.

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