By Elena Johnson
For Memorial Day, I like to take advantage of the extra day off and make a big casserole that will last all weekend. Leftovers of my Breakfast Bread Pudding taste great reheated and let me have a relaxing holiday weekend without having to cook every morning. I use The Vegg, a plant-based egg yolk replacer (TheVegg.com), and silken tofu to make a rich custard for this bread pudding. Low-fat and free of cholesterol, yet packed with protein, this dish will leave you feeling full until dinner.
Breakfast Bread Pudding
1 tsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
7 slices tempeh bacon (such as Turtle Island Smoky Maple Bacon)
2 large portabella mushroom caps, chopped into ½ in. pieces
1 ½ tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. pepper, divided
1 tsp. dried thyme
8 cups whole grain bread, cut into ¾ in. cubes and lightly toasted in the oven
4 cups The Vegg liquid mixture
12 oz. silken tofu
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add tempeh bacon and sauté until browned. Add mushrooms, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and dried thyme. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until juices release and evaporate. Remove from heat.
Place The Vegg liquid mixture, tofu, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in blender. Blend on high until smooth.
Cover bottom of an oiled 13 x 9 in. casserole with half of the bread. Pour about 1/3 of the tofu mixture over the bread and mix gently to ensure all pieces are coated. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the bottom layer, pressing down gently. Pour approx. ¼ of the remaining tofu mixture evenly over the vegetable layer. Spread the rest of the bread across the top, pressing down gently into the tofu mixture. Pour remaining tofu mixture evenly over top, ensuring all pieces of bread are coated. Sprinkle with a little more dried thyme.
Let casserole sit for 10+ minutes so bread can soak up the tofu mixture. Bake in a 375°F oven for 60 – 75 minutes until casserole is set and top is browned. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.
About the Author
Elena Johnson is a second-generation Filipino American living in Baltimore, MD. As a vegan chef and caterer she has been reinventing her family’s recipes and sharing these vegetarian versions of Filipino comfort food with friends, relatives, and those unfamiliar with the flavors of the Philippines. Elena is also the Special Projects Manager at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal advocacy organization focusing on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promoting vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all. Elena combines her passion for vegetarian food with a love of teaching by offering cooking demonstrations to the public. To learn more about why she went veg, visit TryVeg.com. Questions/feedback: email email@example.com.