Hey all! Sorry! I know it's been a while since I've posted a new recipe! I've been so busy lately with life stuff that it's been keeping me from cooking! Don't you hate that? It's the first thing to go when I'm too busy. Lately my diet has been consisting of so many processed foods. I can't wait to get back on track. I did finally find a new car and I sold my old car. Now I'm just looking for a new apartment and eventually a new job. Like I said before "So much to do, so little time".
I did, however, find the time to invite my parents over for breakfast and offer to make breakfast for them! I was perusing the recipes over at Food Network's website and stumbled upon a recipe by Paula Deen for a French Toast Casserole. I was officially in love. I knew I had to make it, but the ingredients list was filled with non-vegan foods, so I had to come up with my own way of making it! Speaking of which, I know Paula Deen is not a "favorite" of the Vegan community, but I actually happen to love her. I love her show, I love her personality, and she just seems like a sweet person. I know that she puts 12 eggs, half a pig, and a pound of butter in about everything she makes, but I try to see beyond that. Really, a lot of her recipes look really good. Maybe I can see her differently since I grew up in a similar household (where my grandmother cooks my grandpa's eggs in bacon grease *shudder*). What do you guys think of Paula?
Also, there's something else I must address. I was born and raised here in America's heartland (Minnesota/Wisconsin). The only time I've ever heard the term "casserole" was if my Mom or Grandmothers were making Tuna Noodle Casserole. Otherwise, we always called casseroles by a different name - "hot dish". Is that a purely Midwestern thing or are there other parts of the country that do the same thing? I find it so interesting! A friend of mine and I were in Key West, Florida a few years ago and we went to eat at a restaurant. She asked the waitress what kind of "pop" they carried there and she said "You must not be from around here". She said they called everything "Coke"! Anyway, I've gone off on enough tangents today! My parents absolutely loved the recipe - so here ya go! You have to cut the bread and let it soak in the batter overnight, so it takes a little advanced preparation, but it's worth it!
- 1 large or 2 medium French baguettes
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups non-dairy milk (I used Silk Soymilk)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Walnut Praline Topping - recipe below
Slice bread into 3/4 inch thickness. Spray a large casserole dish or baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the first layer with slices of bread. Pour a third of the batter on top of the bread. Repeat to make three layers (or more if you have enough room in your dish and enough batter!) Cover with tinfoil and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F. While the oven is heating, you can make the praline topping!
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance Spread
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Spread evenly over the french toast and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the tops are golden brown.