My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Veggies Benedict

Mary McDougall's Veggie Benedicts (that's what she calls them, but I call them Veggies Benedict) are what they served us for breakfast on the last day of the McDougall 10-Day Live-in Program, and they're now a favorite treat that we enjoy for breakfast or brunch on special occasions. What qualifies as a special occasion isn't usually definable, we just know it when we see it, usually when one of us blurts out, "Hey, let's have Veggies Benedict today!" :-) (We'd eat this nearly every morning if we could, but it's too rich for that and we don't often have avocados and English muffins on hand).

Veggies Benedict
seasoned with freshly ground rainbow peppercorns.

Here's Mary's recipe, with my notes in red...

Cashew Milk

I have been making this for about 28 years now and it is still the best flavor for rich sauces and "french" toast. Make sure you use raw cashews, not roasted ones, and make sure you blend this thoroughly and then strain it to remove any pieces that did not get blended.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Servings: makes 2 cups

1/2 cup RAW cashews
2 cups water

Place the cashews in a blender jar with 1 cup of the water. Process until very smooth.
Add the remaining water and blend until no large pieces remain. This may take a minute or two.
Strain after processing to remove any remaining pieces.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

I make a half batch of this for the Benedicts recipe, and I don't strain it. I just beat the crap out of it in the blender till it's smooth. :-)

Veggie(s) Benedict(s)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2-4

For the sauce:
1 cup cashew milk (see recipe above)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/16 tsp turmeric
pinch of paprika
1 TBSP cornstarch mixed with 2 TBSP cold water

Place the cashew milk in a saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Set aside. (If you need to reheat this just before serving, do it slowly while stirring with a whisk.)

For the base:
1 vine-ripened tomato*
1/2 avocado
4 fat-free English muffin halves**

Slice the tomato into 4 medium-thick slices. Peel and slice the avocado. Toast the muffin halves. PLace the tomato and the avocado on the English muffin halves. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the sauce over each muffin half and serve.

Hints: The sauce may be made 1 day ahead of time and slowly reheated. This saves time on a busy morning. The sauce is also great with asparagus, other vegetables or potatoes.

*When the only tomatoes available are pitiful hothouse ones, we use canned organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes. About one can of those, drained (and heated, if you'd like) is good for about 5 Veggies Benedict.

**We use Food for Life's sprouted whole grain English muffins.


And my little mice friends asked me to remind you...
that Daylight Saving Time ends today!
Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour,
and make your weekend last that much longer! :-)


  1. The benedict looks soooo good. We have a restaurant that serves Vegan Benedict and it's addicting.

  2. I've never had Benedict, vegan or otherwise, but this looks really good, Laurie! I'll have to put this on the menu for a weekend. :)

  3. Wow, that looks so yummy! I've also never had Benedict before and will have to give this a try. Is it really important to use raw cashews? I only have roasted ones. :-/ Guess it'll have to wait for the next trip to the store!

    Hope you're having a lovely Sunday. The Wheekers send their xoxoxo.

  4. Those look delicious...I can almost taste how yummy the sauce must be from the photo! I really like the cashew milk idea...I've made vegan Hollandaise on a couple of occasions, that involved margarine...this is so much healthier and I bet tastier too!

    I love the ezekiel breads...we eat those almost exclusively here, except for the odd "treat" of some bakery bread sometimes. Oh, and the rainbow peppercorns are great too!

    Thanks for the reminder on Daylight Savings...we were unaware. I'll turn the clocks back this afternoon about the time when I start to feel bummed that the weekend is almost over...that way I'll get an extra hour of Sunday afternoon.

    Looks like your Sunday is off to a great start! Hope the rest of the day is equally wonderful! <3

  5. Roni ~ You have a local restaurant that serves vegan Benedicts? Dang, lucky you! Are they similar to these? They are very addictive indeed! I won't tell you how I had seconds during that final McDougall breakfast and THEN smuggled another plate of them to my hotel room! LOL

    Molly ~ I can guarantee that if you like tomatoes, avocados and Hollandaise sauce, you'll really enjoy these! And they're perfect for a weekend breakfast. I'm eager to hear how you like them!

    VW ~ Mary is quite adamant that the cashews must be raw. I can't be certain, because raw are all I've ever used (in this and other things, like homemade vegan ice cream), but I'd bet using roasted would completely alter the flavor. The raw cashews really have no flavor, which is why they make such an excellent base for the milk. I think it's worth the wait till you can go grocery shopping again, I think you won't be disappointed! You and Molly are in for a treat. I'm ashamed to admit how addicted I was to evil Eggs Benedict for a short while about 25 years ago. These are so much better, and not just because they're vegan! :-) As Roni observed about her local ones, they're addictive!

    And by the way, the sauce is also really good on steamed cauliflower! :-)

    It's a busy Sunday so far, but it's been a lovely one indeed. I hope yours is too! You give those darling Wheekers kisses from Auntie Laloo! :-)

  6. Rose ~ You are quite right, that sauce is awesome! In fact, I lick the whisk and get every drop I can out of the pan. :-) It's just as good warmed up, too. And isn't it a pretty color? It takes a few minutes to turn that yummy golden shade, and there have been times I've had to resist the temptation to add more turmeric as it cooked, but it always comes through prettily for me in the end. :-)

    I think Ezekiel bread, toasted, makes the absolute best TLTs! Awesome vegan French toast, too!

    I love your plan for waiting to turn the clocks back. LOL! And I'm glad you won't be showing up to work an hour early tomorrow, too. :-) I think only one of our calendars mentioned the time change, I wonder why it's been kept so discreet? Good thing we have mice to keep track of these things for us. ;-)

    It's been a pretty day, our last sunny one for a couple of days and the last one with these ridiculous summer-like temps for the foreseeable future, so we've been taking advantage of it. I hope you're enjoying a restful day after all that traveling, cooking and partying this week! :-)

  7. The sauce is a really delicate color...looks superb. Getting the right color from a sauce or a soup can be difficult. Well done!

    Yes, thanks to the little time keeper mice!

  8. Can you please come & make me breakfast?? I will wait patiently in my cozy warm bed. :)

  9. Hey Tex-
    Finally got my new computer so I'm speed surfing in to say hey.
    My mother loves avocados. I should make this for her sometime. For this non-vegan would almond milk work in lieu of the homemade cashew milk? Just wondering.
    Hope all is well. I'm going to back track thru a few of your posts while things are quiet in the office (hopefully that will last long enough to let me read, and not too long-I need to make $$)

  10. Rose ~ You'd think it would be difficult to get a consistent color with this recipe, as I have to estimate 1/16th of a tsp using my 1/8th tsp measuring spoon (the smallest I have), and I won't pretend my "pinch" is exactly the same every time! Yet, it always comes out that same pretty color. To Mary McD goes all the credit.

    Izzy ~ Well, you might as well get out of bed, girlfriend, because I couldn't possibly get to your kitchen till Thursday morning at the earliest. ;-)

  11. Sue ~ Congratulations on your new computer! Doesn't it make a huge difference? Between our new iMac and our new ISP (as of last Thursday), everything is blazing fast (though still nowhere near Broadband or DSL!), and I can do so much more! Like watch Netflix videos instantly! Whoo-hoo!

    Your mom and me both! Avocados are a favorite treat 'round here. Bet she'd love this!

    I don't know about subbing almond milk for cashew milk, I've never done it and I'd be hesitant. For one thing, I'm not sure how much it might alter the flavor of the sauce. For another, I've read that almond milk is grainier than cashew milk and definitely needs straining (like I said in my notes, I blend this cashew milk in my blender, which is pretty old now and nothing special, on high for several minutes and it's never been grainy nor needed straining. Not sure if the same would be true of almond milk). If you do decide to try it with almond milk, do use homemade, since the stuff in stores will all be sweetened, and use raw almonds, not roasted.

    By the way, most cashew milk recipes I've seen call for soaking the cashews for anywhere from 1 hour to overnight before blending. But this one doesn't, so I never have, and it comes out just fine.

    Other than that, things are pretty good but busy in my little corner of the world - BW is on vacation this week and we're painting the living room. I'm on this thing because my part is done, I'm letting the tall guy do the brush work near the ceiling! :-) And while he's rolling on the first coat in a bit I'll be making Smoky Refried Bean Soup and "Cranana Bread!" Tomorrow's a marathon day in town with errands and various appointments, so we're trying to cram a lot into today.

    Thanks for stopping by and have a blast with your new computer!

  12. Sure does look yummy! I've had vegan eggs benedict before but not for ages--there is a restaurant in Seattle which does them. It almost makes me wish I could cook, but I suspect I'd never do it so it looks or tastes like these.

  13. Jamie ~ Welcome! I hope you didn't drool on your keyboard and short it out ;-) but the VBs are indeed mouth-watering.

    Daphne ~ Oh, I'll bet you could make them look and taste exactly like these! Believe me, I'm no Tal Ronnen! This recipe is quite simple, as are almost all the recipes I embrace. It just looks (and tastes) rather posh! :-)

    Rose is from Seattle, wonder if she knows of this restaurant of which you speak? What's its name?

  14. The restaurant was in Seattle, but it has been so long that I can't remember the name at all. Sorry! And thanks for your confidence, but truly you've never seen my kitchen disasters! It is a good thing that I no longer have a stove. But I'm lucky to know good cooks and after all, none of us can do everything. I'd just rather quilt or weave or play video word games or read or just about anything but cooking!

  15. Daphne ~ My mom feels the same way about cooking, as do several friends. In fact, I never liked to cook until I became vegan! And I am not always in the mood (like on pretty days, or when I'm more in the mood to blog or read!)

    You are lucky to have friends who enjoy cooking vegan meals for you! When we lived in California (I was just 1 or 2), my mom had a deal with her friend Sue. My mom loved to iron (a little something I definitely did NOT inherit), and Sue hated it. Sue loved to cook and bake, which Mom despised. So they'd regularly trade those chores with each other! :-)

  16. I like your mention of cashew milk. I'm not a vegan, have been in the past, but now I am back to being a vegetarian again. I have eaten only organic food for many years. I feel that Americans would be healthier if they ate healthier food. I have not heard of black rice as a food source. I am going to see if I can find organic black rice. The grain that I eat every day is quinwoa. Delicious -- fulfills my protein needs. I do go on about food. You have some great ideas using healthy foods! -- barbara

  17. Barbara ~ The cashew milk is wonderfully versatile, but then I think the nut and grain milks are all terrific. We're big fans of quinoa too, and especially love the Inca Red, which we buy by the case! In fact, I'm making these "Beanwa Burgers" for supper tonight! One of the many delicious uses to which we put quinoa. :-)

    I agree that Americans (and others!) would be much healthier if they ate healthier foods. It stands to reason, what we put in our bodies three times (or more) a day to feed our cells and burn as fuel would have a profound and cumulative effect on our health. People who wouldn't dream of putting crap in their car's gas tank will put the worst kind of gunk in their bodies! It perplexes me. We learned a lot about eating well and healthily from people like Dr. McDougall, T. Colin Campbell ("The China Study"), Howard Lyman and so many others from attending their lectures and reading their books, and am forever grateful. We're vegan mainly for the sake of the animals, but we're animals too and want to feel good, live long and prosper! :-)

    I have some recipes scattered throughout the blog you might enjoy (including a delicious quinoa salad!), if you type "vegan recipe" in the search box you should be able to find them if you're interested. I just recently cleaned up my tags, I had no clue what I I was supposed to be doing with those the first couple of years I was blogging and they were a dreadful mess! LOL

  18. We finally made these today! Oh my are they good!! This is definitely a keeper that we'll be making again & again. Mmmmm....

    Yesterday, we ate a restaurant in Milwaukee (The Comet Cafe) for brunch & they had a vegan benedict on the menu, so I tried it. It was okay, but not like this at all & I much prefer this one. Thanks for posting this, Laurie!

  19. Molly ~ Yay!! I'm so glad you made these and that you're smitten! You've made me hungry for some myself, I need to get some English muffins and avos when I go shopping this week. They'd make a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast.

    And I'm tickled to hear that these outperformed The Comet Cafés. too! Mary McD did a great job coming up with these.

    Thanks so much for this comment, Molly, I'm really happy you enjoyed them and are adding them to your repertoire! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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