Okay this dish has me particularly excited because it’s not only unbelievably delicious, but It’s SO easy. Easy like Sunday morning. And it’s perfect for Sunday mornings. Cause it’s totally a brunch dish. See where I’m going with this? I struggled with my relationship with eggs for years. I’d love them for a time, and during those periods Eggs Benedict was my jam. All of the hollandaise all over everything. And then one day I couldn’t stomach the eggy taste. Just like that I’d be turned off and I couldn’t eat anything that had enough eggs in it that I could taste those nasty little fetuses. But it was a cycle, and eventually I got over it again. And then I’d hate them. And then I’d love them.
When I got to Australia, I was on good terms with eggs. They were alright by me. But in Australia, they’re unpasteurized. I couldn’t handle them. I’m not going to go into gruesome detail but it became very evident very quick that my body couldn’t handle the eggs. So I just stopped eating them for the sake of my digestive system, and since returning back to America I just don’t eat them at all. They are pretty terrible if you think about it. Sure, they’re great for baking but there are so many awesome alternatives you just don’t need them anymore. So I’m done. SO DONE. I NEVER NEEDED THEM ANYWAY! Okay, calm down Jenn.
There’s a spectacular place in Providence, RI called Julians that hands down has the best brunch in the whole city. And it goes all day! (Or until 4 maybe but still that’s fricken sweet!) They have a vegan eggs benedict dish that is the cats pajamas. I love it. So so much. But since I no longer live in Rhode Island and am now nestled up in Hicksville, PA (that’s not actually the name of the town it’s just really, really redneck here) there isn’t a plant based restaurant for miles, and cooking is kind of my job so I decided to come up with my own version.
Alriiiight good lookin let’s get cookin! First, we need to sort out the tofu. The best method is to slice it into thick slabs, pat them dry; or at least at much as you can. Lay them out on a paper towel and put them in the freezer. You’re going to leave them in there for a few hours to freeze dry them. I didn’t leave them in for very long because I was eager and they came out just fine so don’t stress over them being too dry. Take them out and let them thaw while you prepare everything else. Now you’re gonna gather up all of your other ingredients. You’ll need English muffins (duh) tomatoes, garlic, kale, and oil. Throw some avocado in the mix if you’re feeling sassy. And whatever else you like on your benny’s.
Cool beans. Now for the sauce! (Pronounced like SOWSE as gruffly as possible). You’re going to need some raw sliced almonds, almond milk, turmeric, mustard powder, coconut oil, lemon juice, and salt. You can use white pepper if you like (yuck) I personally think it tastes like a goat poop (how I would imagine it to taste that is) but if that’s your thing go for it. If not, crack some fresh black pepper over it when you’re done. Throw all of the ingredients into a high powered blender, or use an immersion blender like I did. It’s much easier to control and an easier clean up in my opinion but if you’re making a big batch then the big blender is the way to go for sure. Once the oil begins to emulsify the mixture will become creamy and shiny. Taste it and adjust the seasonings if you so prefer.
Now! Add a little oil to a sauté pan, and sear your tofu slices to a nice golden brown. Remove them from the pan and onto a paper towel while you sauté the kale. Again, add a bit of oil to the pan, add a bit of garlic and sauté it until it starts to smell delicious. Lastly, add your kale with just a teeny tiny bit of water to steam it a bit. Season it if you wish, and remove it from the heat. You’re almost ready to plate! Yippee! Just one more thing. The hollandaise. You need to warm it up before serving, but you don’t’ want to hit it up directly in the pan because it will start to cook. So what you want to do is heat it up using a double boiler, don’t have one? Not to worry! I’m all about improvisation. Just use a makeshift one! Fill a sauce pan half way with water and bring it to a simmer. Pour the hollandaise into a metal bowl and place it into the water, whisking quickly to ensure it doesn’t cook. Once it is heated through you can remove it from the heat and start plating!
We’re going to work from the bottom up. First, the English muffin. Then the kale, then tomato slices, followed by the tofu. Then drizzle the hollandaise allll over that deliciousness! I garnished with some chili oil and chives but you can feel free to add whatever tickles your fancy! Enjoy that ish. It’s sooooo so good.
The Best Benedict
Extra firm tofu
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard powder
- Cut tofu into 1/2 inch slabs, pat dry and freeze if you desire a dryer tofu.
- Combine almonds, almond milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric powder, mustard powder, and sea salt in a high powered blender. Or use an immersion blender if it’s strong enough.
- Blend until the oil emulsifies and the mixture becomes creamy and shiny.
- Thaw the tofu, pat dry.
- Heat oil in a saute pan, sear both sides of the tofu to a golden brown.Remove from pan, and transfer to a paper towel.
- Using the same pan, heat some oil, add some chopping garlic and saute until it becomes aromatic.
- Add kale with a little splash of water. Cook until wilted.
- Slice tomatoes, toast English muffins. Butter with Earth Balance if desired.
- Using a double boiler, heat the hollandaise through.
- Plate by layering the muffin with kale, tomato, and tofu. Then top with hollandaise, garnish however you like.