Bacon-less Brunch

One of the most frequent exclamations we hear in the South about being vegetarian is “oh, I could NEVER give up bacon!” or “don’t you miss bacon?”  While there is a tendency to add bacon to just about….everything…in southern cuisine, I think we’ve figured out enough techniques to get the same smoky, meaty, and complex flavors that most dishes with ham or bacon contain– without the meat. But how do you replace bacon, the actual ‘entree’, without turning to over-processed soy products?

You don’t! Who says brunch has to contain meat in any form?  Since many of our friends work in education, we did a fun Monday morning brunch this week to celebrate winter break, bringing together good friends, good food, and plenty of holiday-inspired drinks! We made a brunch so filling, so varied, and full of so many flavors that no one missed the meat!

Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Blueberries and banana come together with a touch of honey and cinnamon to make a delicious and EASY oatmeal! No stirring, no mess- just pure goodness that’s healthy but also sweet enough to satisfy the taste buds of your biggest sweet tooth!

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Whole Wheat Waffles and Mini Quiches

This is my absolute favorite waffle recipe- with coconut oil, whole wheat flour, and a touch of honey, they’re healthy but don’t taste like ‘health food’. You could easily add wheat germ or flax seed to the batter for some additional health benefits, but I like them the way they are- and no one even knows they are whole wheat! The quiches we made with onions, baby portobellos and broccoli, which we roasted then added to a mini-muffin pan with Monterrey jack cheese and  a sprinkle of cheddar. Yum!

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Banana Bread with chocolate chips and Andes mint chips

Two of our friends experimented with the normal banana bread recipe, and our favorite by far was the one with Andes chips. The combination of banana and mint (plus chocolate!) was a fun twist, especially around the holidays, and this decadent bread was a great brunch dessert!

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Scones
A rare item in our house is a box or pre-packaged mix, but D found this at World Market and we figured we’d give it a try. These were tart, sweet, and surprisingly moist– they were also really easy to make, which makes them perfect for any morning!

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We capped off our brunch with a bar stocked with cold brewed coffee (we love our Toddy!), hot apple cider, lemongrass tea, and cinnamon spice Kahlua and Irish cream. There’s nothing better than brunch with good friends on a beautiful, sunny, winter day, celebrating not being at work! Happy holidays to all!

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