Brunch is my favorite meal, yet I rarely have it. Luckily Mother’s Day provided the perfect excuse!
The original plan was to go out to brunch at Great Sage, a local vegan restaurant, because I had a little mishap:
Yes, in my infinite skill and grace, I slammed my finger in MY OWN FRONT DOOR and broke it. Because I am a GENIUS. (Coordination has never been my strong suit.) Then, of course, when anyone asked, I had to share the fact that I’m a complete moron.
But I digress. By the time we figured out exactly where we wanted to go for brunch, there were no reservations left. Luckily, Jeff is a great cook, and he was game for the challenge, since I was one hand down. So we put together a quick and easy spring brunch menu—leaning heavily on the farmer’s market—and I thought it would be fun to share it.
It’s not entirely whole-food, but it’s plant-based and relatively healthy for special-occasion food. It’s also not entirely spring-themed: the entree was meatless sausage stuffed butternut squash, which is definitely more autumn than spring. However, my mom requested it specifically, and on Mother’s Day, what Mama wants, Mama gets. 🙂
So without further ado, here’s a gluten-free, vegan, spring brunch menu that comes together quickly and tastes great. (Mom-approved, no less!)
Gluten-free vegan brunch menu
Fresh fruit salad
Simple. Classic. Easy.
Farmer’s market salad with edible flowers
Crisp red and green lettuce studded with edible nasturtiums (be sure to buy these flowers from a source that uses food-safe growing practices), multicolor cherry and grape tomatoes, and microgreens made for a refreshing springtime mix. We served it with an oil-free garlicky tahini dressing from Whole Foods.
Roasted asparagus with lemon-herb mayonnaise
The key to perfect asparagus: bend the bottom of the asparagus until it breaks off naturally. That eliminates the stringy bottoms without any waste. Then Jeff roasted the asparagus at 400F for about 10 minutes.
To make the mayo, finely chop a few tablespoons of your favorite herbs (we used parsley and basil), then add to low-fat vegan mayo with a little lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Magnifique!
Vegan sausage-stuffed butternut squash
Inspired by Kimmy’s wild rice, spinach, & tempeh-bacon stuffed squash on Rock my Vegan Socks, this recipe has rapidly become a family special-occasion favorite! Given my low-fat and soy-free restrictions, though, I had to tweak Kimmy’s recipe, which I hated to do, because it looked amazing the way she made it. The biggest swap was using Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles instead of tempeh. While I usually avoid meat replacements, for special occasions, I love these crumbles, which have a decidedly sausage-like flavor. They’re gluten free, soy free, not too high in fat, and delicious.
The dessert wasn’t the best I’ve ever made, nor was it the healthiest. (Confession time: gluten-free Bisquick and store-bought vegan CocoWhip!) While it was still a nice finish to the meal, I’d love to come up with a healthier version using whole grain flour. Until then, I suggest this delicious oil-free, gluten-free, and no-added-sugar almond poppyseed cake from Straight Up Food. Or check out any of the recipes on my Low-Fat Gluten-Free Vegan Desserts board on Pinterest.
So there you have it: a tasty, plant-powered spring brunch that’s perfect for Mother’s Day.
Now I want to hear from you in the comments: What’s your favorite plant-based brunch recipe? Bonus points if you leave a link so I can try it!