Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vegan MoFo III: Ode to Breakfast

My favorite meal has always been breakfast, but I almost never have it at breakfast time.  I much prefer brunch.  There is something about rolling out of bed at noon after a night of dancing or an underground hip hop show and eating a glorious feast of breakfast foods!  Not to be outdone, brinner is always a wonderful thing.  Have a hard day at work?  How about some pancakes at 7 in the PM?!  I love it.  I could eat breakfast at any time of the day.  In fact, I'm adding two more words/phrases to the English language: brupper and afternoon brea.  Breakfast is just that good, yo.
In keeping with the theme for this week, I did brunch on a budget.  I'm not gonna lie.  The photos I took were supremely lame, so I'll just give some tips on how to do a fabulous brunch on a budget.
1. Cheap, filling foods are a great foundation.  Think beans and potatoes...even tofu.  These are things that will fill people up fast and they are incredibly cheap.
2. Make stuff from scratch.  Most everybody has the ingredients for pancakes or muffins.  You can always buy some fruit to make a specific flavor, but making your own stuff really is a lot cheaper.  Plus, a lot of baked goods can be made ahead of time so it makes everything easier on the hosts.
3. Do it buffet style.  Some people will eat more and some people will eat less, but I find that buffet almost always means there will be enough food and it won't be wasted.
4. Use foods that stretch.  Tofu is a great example because you can add a bunch of cheap veggies to it and create a lot of food.  Potatoes are also great for this.
5. Pick one thing to splurge on.  Even when you have an inexpensive brunch, you can add a nice touch like a bunch of different salsas or booze to get your morning drank on!  Or a juice/tea bar for people who don't drink alcohol.  The possibilities are endless.
6. Seasonal produce.  I always have to have at least one fresh thing with my brunch.  Often times, it's a fruit salad.  Seasonal stuff is better quality and so much cheaper.
Today's Brunch Menu (sans fruit because I forgot it)
DEOTS Cinnamon Rolls
Denver Omelet from Vegan Brunch
Paprika, Cumin, and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes from Vegan Brunch
Price Breakdown*
DEOTS Cinnamon Rolls (makes 12 rolls)-$1.21
  • margarine-$0.75
  • canned pumpkin-$0.46 
Denver Omelet made with homemade seitan (serves 4)-$4.09-$5.07
  • silken tofu-$1.98
  • chickpea flour-$.30
  • black salt-$.06
  • onion-$0.29
  • vegan cheese (I used Teese)-$0.98-$1.96, depending on how much you use
  • green pepper-$0.48
Potatoes (serves 4)-$1.42
Total spent on brunch=$6.72-$7.70 or $1.68-$1.93 per person with leftovers!
That is cheap enough to buy fresh fruit and some champagne for mimosas!  And, honestly, this is more on the expensive side for me.  I usually do a tofu scramble instead of an omelet.  But my absolute favorite is a breakfast taco bar.  For non Texans: a breakfast taco is like a breakfast burrito only way freakin' better.  It doesn't have all that tortilla getting in the way of the awesome filling.  Just picture a basic flour tortilla that you'd use for tacos and stuff breakfast fillings in it.  My favorite combos are: bean and potato, nopales, bean and cheese, and tofu and bacn.  We usually make all the components to them and set them on the table with plenty of guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheeze, and tortillas.  Then everybody makes their favorite combo.  This is pretty much a tradition at my parents house during the holidays.
Well, I hope my supreme thriftiness has helped you.  George Constanza has nothing on me, baby!
Coming up this week: a very Tarantino Movie Monday, what to eat when you only have 20 bucks until payday, making your own snacks, dinner for two pantry raid, veganizing RayRay, and Indian on the cheap.
*All price breakdowns are assuming you have basic things like flour, oil, non dairy milk, common spices, etc.  Everything else will be factored in.  Also, the price listed is based on the amount used in the recipe.


zel(da) said...

great tips! i always love budget-minded recipes and ideas - especially when geared towards entertaining and not being a hermit! and yay for getting the mornin' drank on!

Jeni Treehugger said...

brinner, brupper and brea - LOL!

Bonnie said...

Excellent tips! Too bad the pictures didn't turn out that well, but I also love these lists you post!

melissa bastian. said...

So THAT'S what Brinner is! I feel better now.

Mihl said...

This was a great post. To me it has always been interesting to compare the concept of breakfast here in Germany whith the concept of breakfast in the US or UK. Yours always seems to be so much more substantial. We mostly eat bread or müsli/cereal over here. Waffles and pancakes are considered desserts. Which makes it totally acceptable to have them at 7 p.m. :)

Anonymous said...

YUM! I love thriftiness and breakfast tacos!

Jen said...

thanks for the tips, and i'm amazed by your number crunching abilities--very sexy nerdy.

Tofu Ted said...

I love the brinner idea! The prices are also a great way to break down the meal.

Vegan Epicurean said...

Great tips. What a shame your pics didn't turn out.

Having a father from Houston I have had my share of breakfast tacos. Thanks for reminding me they are easy to make vegan.

jessy said...

you're so right - brinner can make a bad day a whole helluva lot better! i love all your brunch tips, Monique! brunch can get expensive - and i like your idea to pick an item to splurge on, and to use seasonal yummies as well. i'm totally gonna have to remember these & make dan 'n i some tasty brunch this sunday. yay!

i can't wait to read about your tarantino monday & cheap 'n tasty eatz! w00t!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Mihl-That's interesting! I think on a day to day basis, most Americans go for cereal too. But when we have the time, best believe we're eating pancakes! :)

Jen-Please tell me "sexy nerdy" is a reference to Kissing Jessica Stein?!

Anonymous said...

These are all fantastic tips. Breakfast is what I usually skip out on because of lack of time (except this month - although I am still lacking on time!), but I always have brunch on Sunday mornings.