Back-to-Back Breakfast: Vegan French Toast
December 10, 2010

Happy Friday!

I, for one, am glad that this week is over. Between holiday gatherings, work, more work, studies, clients, blogging, and my overwhelming desire to test out new holiday recipes, I’m beat. Thankfully, I have a visit from M to look forward to this weekend. In the meantime, and before I bombard you with brunch porn, I wanted to let you know about a promotion going on at one of my very favorite online boutiques: Ecolissa.

Ecolissa specializes only in eco friendly and vegan women’s clothing and accessories. As any vegan lady can tell you, it isn’t always easy to find sustainable, eco-friendly, and vegan garb that’s also fashion forward. I’m hardly a fashionista, but my job does demand that I look at least presentable every day, and I like expressing myself with clothing as much as the next girl. As my comittment to veganism deepens–and with it, my efforts to veganize my wardrobe–I struggle to find vegan apparel that suits my taste. Ecolissa is helping me, one garment at a time.

For instance, check out this adorable dress from Toggery, which Melissa, Ecolissa’s generous owner, sent me to review. As you guys know, I do not like photos of myself, but I figured I’d just have to suck it up and play mannequin for a few shots. The dress is worth it!

My kind (and decidedly confused) intern agreed to be my photographer:

Emma, this was just as awkward for me as it was for you. I’m sorry.

So yes, I’m awkward, but do you see how adorable the dress is? It’s also soft, easy to wear, and will transition nicely between spring/fall (with flats) and winter (with tights and boots, as in the photo). I love it, and I love supporting a store that supports veganism. For all CR readers who are interested, Melissa is offering you guys a 20% shopping discount–perfect for you, or for your holiday shopping needs! Just enter coupon code “eco20” at checkout, and you’ll recieve your 20% off!

Back to breakfast. I loved the enthusiasm over yesterday’s pancakes (and over carob–glad to know so many others love carob the way I do!). I also noticed that breakfast recipes happen to be the ones that M gets most excited about. In keeping with that, I thought I would share the other brunch success that M and I had over Thanksgiving weekend: my first experiment with vegan french toast.

I have to give myself some credit: when I decide to do or learn something, I take it pretty seriously. Lately, inspired in part by my breakfast-loving boyfriend, I have resolved to expand my breakfast repertoire of smoothies, chia puddings, avocado pudding, and oats, and get some vegan brunch classics under my culinary belt. Yesterday’s carob chip pancakes were a part of that, and so was the french toast I’m sharing now. But before I made it, I got really ambitious, and whipped up some gingerbread flax muffins (hey, tis the season) from the PPK first. Muffins and french toast in a single morning? A bit much, and we didn’t eat them both, but…I aim high.

The recipe for the muffins can be found here. They were tasty, and the texture was great. My only admonition would be that they’re heavy on spice, so if you have a more mellow palate, you’ll want to tone down the ginger, maybe. I mixed and I stirred:

…and I added some blackstrap molasses…

…and after some time in the oven, we had these moist, spicy, sweet little muffins to put aside for snacks and breakfasts hence:


But that came later on. Our main order of business was a French toast breakfast. After perusing some recipes online, I cobbled together one that I hoped would be simple, easy, and tasty. And it was.

Vegan French Toast (serves 2-3)

1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons flour of choice
2 tbsp agave
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp cinnamon
4-6 stale* bread slices

*If you don’t have stale bread, just leave four or six slices out overnight by a radiator. Stale bread always works better in French toast, and the dryness of it soaks up a lot of the coating! I used a hearty whole grain bread that M buys at a local health store in D.C.:

1) Mix all ingredients save the bread together in a food processor or simply with a whisk.

2) Heat a tbsp of earth balance in a skillet over medium-high heat, or simply spray a skillet with coconut oil to coat it. I would probably make it the latter way at home, but on this morning I wanted the toast to taste killer, and I knew the EB Would help me along 😉

3) Dip each slice of bread in the batter and submerge it well, making sure it soaks up some of the liquid. Lay the bread two slices at a time in your skillet, and fry them until they’re a little crusty and golden on the bottom. Flip, and repeat on the other side.

4) Keep repeating until all the bread is used. Serve with berries, and enjoy!

As you can see, I like my french toast *very* golden.

M and I tried to decide what was a more successful brunch: the pancakes or the french toast? M voted french toast, hesitantly, and I voted the opposite way, hesitantly. Both meals were tasty and perfect for a lazy and indulgent weekend brunch, and I hope to make them both again soon (when I have another lazy and indulgent weekend brunch–wishful thinking?).

On that note, I wish you all a great start to your own weekends, whether you plan on brunching, lunching, or working!


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Categories: Breakfast

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  1. Gena,
    This recipe is amazing! I hadn’t tasted french toast in years for I never realized I could make it without eggs and it was heaven in my mouth this morning the agave nectar tastes so perfect with the french toast and berries! Thank you for this awesome breakfast 🙂


    Savannah M.

  2. Just made these for today’s Sunday brunch at home – DELICIOUS! I added a generous amount of cinnamon in the mixture and on top the toast after cooking. Thank you so much! It’s been hard finding a delicious french toast recipe without banana usage (I absolutely dislike bananas!)!

  3. Hi Gena,

    I have made this recipe 2x and they come out just delicious. Thank you.


  4. This looks sooooo yummy!

    Since you are in a brunch high (haha), you should definetly try Vegan with a vengeance’s Fronch Toast recipe. I know you can agree Isa is a genious and damn it, the recipe (with chickpea flour) is simply fantastic.

  5. I just had vegan french toast for the first time this weekend at a restaurant, and I am not really sure why I’ve never made it. It was a fav food of mine in my egg eating days. I love pancakes too, actually anything sweet is fine by me 🙂

  6. Did you make your own bread? Or was it a store bough vegan bread? I haven’t even seen that, other than Ezekiel. My attempts at Vegan baking in the past have been a huge fail. My wife is wanting to try making our own bread though. Do you have a bread recipe?

  7. LOVING THE BREAKFAST POSTS! i usually try and do fruit for breakfast but for special occasions and that crave some comforty brunch the pancakes and the french toasts are my all time favorite treats! Besides having it for breakfast, im a girl who could eat that for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
    I know you aren’t much of a dessert girl you say but i was wondering if you feel like experimenting with a dessert recipe. My 21st birthday is coming up this weekend and i’d love to create a secret vegan cake that everyone can enjoy.

  8. That little black dress is adorable – the fact that it is vegan is an added bonus. And there is no need to be shy, you look cute too.

  9. Why choose?! I want them BOTH!

    I know for a fact that you’re adorable, so I’m a bit confused over whether it’s the dress that’s adorable too. 😉 Are you wearing black boots, too? Very London chic!

  10. OMG – love the dress and pics! You’re adorable!!! And, love Ecolissa. Great stuff.

    OK… french toast n pancakes??? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK ME YUMMMMM!

    Sorry ;0


  11. I love that dress–you look beautiful!

    On another note, I linked to your fabulous “This Post Will Change Your Life” post on banana soft serve today. And it did, indeed, change my life. Just FYI. 🙂

  12. Hi Gena – you don’t look awkward, you look darling! I love that dress- so versatile. It looks easy to dress up or down. I just put 4 items from Ecolissa on my Christmas list. I recently moved to New York do you know of any great vegan boutiques in the city? Thanks!Beth

  13. I never knew stale bread worked better! You posted my two favorite foods of all time back to back, pancakes and french toast. Both look incredible! Also not sure if I told you in my last comment that I LOVE carob and I actually like it much better than dark chocolate. Amazing french toast recipe, thank you! I can never decide if I like pancakes or french toast better…

  14. Aw, the pictures look great! Love the dress! I am totally going to check the site out, Christmas gifts to myself! 🙂 Thanks!

    The french toast recipe sings to me more than pancakes because that was a popular childhood breakfast. Thanks for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  15. Cute dress (you look great!) but I suspect it might not look so great this 40+ gal with a round-ish belly. I’ll have to check out the boutique to see if there is something I could try.

    Another great breakfast option, which I appreciate. In the winter we definitely eat heartier, hot breakfast around here.

  16. i have only made vegan french toast using SUPER ripe bananas (yes, those ones that practically turn themselves into liquid!) plus some almond milk, vanilla and lots of cinnamon. the nutritional yeast is such a great idea!

  17. Gingerbread flax muffins..YUM!

    French toast, another yum!

    And the pancakes…yum!

    Are you sure this is still the same Gena? Kidding! I love the new breakfast-ey, sweetish, baked goods type posts…so awesome to see the diversity in your cooking and posting. Lovely! And I bet your kitchen has been smelling awesome lately!

    As for Ecolissa, Melissa is awesome! I was lucky enough to receive and review a piece of clothing from her store about 6 weeks or so ago. And the pictures of you are adorable…I actually took my own photos using the bathroom mirror (no one else was around to help out and I wanted to get the post up). But yes, the clothing is awesome, soft, organic, sustainable…wonderful! Glad you’re enjoying your dress!


  18. Wow, I love the Ecolissa clothing! And as a side note, I love that their models are healthy sizes (not all stick thin). It really makes a difference for me and also helps me better predict how the clothing would fit! I also love that they are smiling. I hates buying clothing advertised by models who look anorexic, drugged-out, and completely soulless. I’m taking more and more to used clothing shopping- went to Buffalo Exchange again last week and my best outfits are now all used! That also helps leave room in my budget for nicer eco-friendly options like Ecolissa. Now if I could find a dress that worked on me in real life, I might try one online!

  19. Wow, I love the Ecolissa clothing! And as a side note, I love that their models are healthy sizes (not all stick thin)! It really makes a difference for me and also helps me better predict how the clothing would fit! I also love that they are smiling. I hates buying clothing advertised by models who look anorexic, drugged-out, and completely soulless. I’m taking more and more to used clothing shopping- went to Buffalo Exchange again last week and my best outfits are now all used! That also helps leave room in my budget for nicer eco-friendly options like Ecolissa. Now if I could find a dress that worked on me in real life, I might try one online!

  20. The Top Chef Herbivore sure could have used these brunch items for their challenge! Even a smoothie could have helped them out.

    As for the reader above, I wouldn’t use just millet flour only for muffins. I’ve tried it and it’s not so good. For gluten-free baking it’s best to have some sort of fluffy flour like tapioca starch or potato starch to keep it light. If all the ratios yet you confused, that is why a GF all purpose flour is great. I have heard people have good luck with grinding rolled oats down. I’ve never done it because I like my oats whole too much. (soluable fiber!)

  21. Yum– what an easy, but wholesome french toast recipe! Again, so on it very, very soon indeed. 🙂 Love the breakfast kick you’re on– keep it up!

  22. Hello!
    I was wondering if you will be offering the New Year Whole Food Cleanse as you did last year? I didn’t participate last year, but would be very interested in doing it for 2011.

    • Wendy,

      I’m not involved with it this year, but Hadley and Andrea still will be doing it. I’ll post details soon.


  23. Crap! I’m trying to take it easy on the carbs and you post back-to-back yummy breakfast recipes? Gee, thanks. No, I’m kidding.
    But I was talking with a friend who is in a new relationship about how we healthy girls get more lenient with our recipes and eating habits when we’ve got a new partner. I’m in NO WAY implying that you aren’t a completely healthy eater or that you can’t have french toast and pancakes, but it just seems to happen. For example, my friend and her new guy watch a lot of movies and eat vegan ice cream at 2-3 times a week, something she would have never done a few months ago.
    Anyway, it’s just an observation. Whether it’s a super healthy salad dressing or a somewhat indulgent breakfast, I love all your recipes!

    • Ha! Well I keep things healthy, even when it’s french toast (to wit, there’s not a ton of sugar here, and I happen to think carbs are perfectly healthy, so eating bread is nothing unusual for me). But I definitely eat more cooked, and more traditional, around M. It evens out, mostly because my meals at work or when we’re not together stay on the more raw side of things.

      What I don’t like is when I hear girls say that the eat like crap around their boyfriends, or order pizza at 2 am for no reason. Really? You can’t just make a cup of tea and call it a night? C’mon now. I do think couples have to negotiate a kind of communal culinary identity, and mine with M is never going to be an all raw identity, bc he’s just not that into it, but nevertheless I don’t eat things that I think are really lousy around him just to share, ya know?

  24. i love ginger bread or snaps! i wonder if i can de-gluten this with grinding up oats (i’m considering bringing oats back into my diet to get some soluble fiber). i love a breakfast on the weekends that is much later normal. it’s the only time i don’t have to be on the go!

    • Oh wow, I’m an idiot. I thought you meant flour for the french toast coating, not the muffins. I’d def do an all purpose GF blend, as Bitt suggested below!

    • I have found soluble fiber to be totally crucial in my IBS management!

      I’d grind oats, sure, or any other non-glutinous grain. Millet flour, for example, would rock.