We had a quiet Sunday lined up and, rather than heading out for another cafe breakfast, I decided to reinvigorate our home-breakfast game (which used to be quite strong). I let Cindy take charge of the menu planning, and then set to work delivering on her choices. The plan wound up being to make little eggy muffin treats - inspired by the oven-baked mini-omelettes in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Isa Does It. These turn out to be very similar to the classic version from Vegan Brunch but made much less stressful by the use of a muffin pan and the oven rather than a frying pan and flipping skills.
Cindy knew she'd seen a recipe for little breakfast sausage patties to really kick these eggy muffins up a notch. She dug it up from Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day and I got cracking. A bit of planning would have made this a lot easier - the tempeh is supposed to marinate for a couple of hours, which is not something you want to read at 9am on Sunday when you're getting excited about breakfast. I cut back the time the patties got to soak up the flavours, but balanced things out by pouring the marinade over the patties while they were frying. It worked out okay in the end - they were spicy and smokey and generally pretty ace. I think cutting the tempeh into 8 thinner patties would work better, but the thick version is clearly aiming at mimicking a fat sausage patty. We added in some wilted spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes for colour, but this is really all about the sausage and egg.
This was an excellent breakfast, and one that would be super easy if you were organised the night before. The omelette mix is a simple food-processor job and would keep in the fridge overnight and the tempeh patties would benefit from the long marinating time. Then all you'd have to do in the morning would be to bake up the omelettes, toast some muffins and fry the tempeh.
Country sausage patties
(slightly adapted from Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes' Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day)
225g block of tempeh, quartered into four thick squares
1/2 cup veggie stock
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
oil for frying
Simmer the tempeh chunks in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Mix together the stock, liquid smoke, oil and spices in a medium sized pan or baking tray. Add the tempeh patties, flipping them around to get them coated in the marinade. Refrigerate for as long as you can - the recipe suggests at least 2 hours, but we were disorganised and could only wait for 1. Overnight would be best if you're aiming for breakfast.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the tempeh - about 5-8 minutes on each side until they brown up nicely.
Serve, on English muffins with mini tofu omelettes, wilted spinach and your condiment of choice.