I hosted a holiday brunch recently for my fellow colleagues, all Dames in the Colorado Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. I’m not usually fazed by cooking for others, but when the “others” are all esteemed colleagues in the food and beverage industries, well that can be a bit intimidating. I had no problem offering a nearly completely gluten free menu – I actually find that quite easy – but one of our members is vegan and that sent me on a chase for a recipe that would not only meet her dietary guidelines, but that all of the group would enjoy.Since I was making a large frittata-type of egg dish for the group, I decided to model my vegan entree on this style. I made a sort of crust to build upon using cooked quinoa, and for the first time ever experimented with using flax seed as an egg-substitute. (I’m happy to have this skill in my repertoire now since my daughter’s boyfriend is allergic to eggs!)Then I made a vegetable filling that was held together with pureed tofu instead of eggs……and baked the whole thing like you would any other breakfast casserole. Mission accomplished – everyone in the group enjoyed the casserole, and my vegan friend didn’t have to go home hungry. Whether or not you are vegan, this is a nice hearty brunch casserole that would be great on any holiday table this season.

Tofu Vegetable Strata with Quinoa Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 to 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 pounds silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 6-8 cups sautéed vegetables (see notes)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse the quinoa well and then simmer in 2 cups of water, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, grind the flax seed in a spice grinder and then combine it with ¼ cup water in a small dish; stir together and let it sit to become gelatinous. When the quinoa is cooked, stir in the flax seed and baking powder. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray and press the quinoa mixture into the bottom to form a crust. Wet your hands to make it easier to shape the crust. Bake the quinoa crust at 375 degrees for 20 minutes to slightly dry it out.
  2. Combine the tofu, miso, and tahini in the blender and blend until smooth. Season the vegetables with some salt and pepper, and then pour in the pureed tofu and stir until well combined. Pour the vegetable-tofu mixture over the crust, spread it evenly in the pan, and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. May be served warm, at room temperature, or cool, and leftovers may be frozen.
Notes
I used a mix of diced zucchini, chopped Swiss chard and spinach, roasted red peppers, pre-cooked hash browns, and green onions.