Thursday, March 3, 2011

Broccoli Bread

This is one of those recipes that makes me laugh at myself, since nearly all of the ingredients called for are not vegan.  But as always, I'm convinced that one can veganize pretty much anything, and wanted to give this twist on corn bread a try - and boy am I glad I did.

I thought long and hard about the first ingredient - 1 cup egg substitute - because there are so many ways that the vegan baker can approach eggs.  Normally, I dislike using Ener-G egg replacer when more than four eggs are called for, since it has very little flavor, and it's main purpose is as a thickener.  However, unlike in an omelet or frittata recipe - for which I normally turn to tofu - the egg replacer in this recipe wasn't intended for taste, and nor was it intended to make the bread rise; it was mainly to help the cornbread set.  As a result, I did decide to use Ener-G egg replacer (the equivalent of 8 eggs), and I'm pleased to say it worked well.  However, feel free to experiment, using agar agar, flaxseed in water, or tofu substitutes for eggs.  I would love to hear your results.

  • 8 Ener-G eggs
  • 3/4 cup prepared vegan cottage cheese*
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 8-ounces packaged corn muffin mix**
  • Cooking spray
1. To start, whisk 1/4 cup Ener-G powder into 1 cup warm water in a large bowl just until foamy, to make the equivalent of 8 eggs.  Add the cottage cheese, the sour cream, the butter, and the salt.  Stir in the onion, the broccoli, and the corn muffin mix, stirring until well blended.  Pour the batter into a 13x9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 27 minutes - make sure the mixture is set before removing it from the oven.

Note: if you bake in a glass baking pan, you will want to reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Serve this yummy bread anywhere you'd normally serve corn bread.  It's particularly delicious alongside a bowl of soup - I recommend Amy's black bean vegetable or any of Amy's chilis. 

*As a reminder for my favorite vegan cottage cheese, you only need to do the following: in a bowl, combine 1 (14-ounce) package lite firm tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a few drops of vanilla extract, and a pinch of stevia; mash with a fork to the consistency of cottage cheese, then cover and refrigerate for about 5 hours before use, so the flavors have time to blend. You will have leftovers after using 3/4 cup in this recipe.

**The original recipe called for Jiffy's corn muffin mix, which is not vegan.  A good alternative is one of the gluten-free corn muffin mixes on the market, which usually (although not always, so be careful) are also vegan.  I used the Yankee Cornbread & Muffin mix from The Gluten-Free Pantry (  You won't need the whole box for this recipe, only 8 ounces, so check the serving size of whatever brand you buy and add to the recipe accordingly.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1 piece), Calories 146

Tasting Notes:
Oh my goodness.  I was expecting something mediocre - a slight twist on corn bread, but nothing more - but this was eye-roll good.  I particularly loved how forward the broccoli flavor was, and the onions were delightfully savory.  The interior was moist and dense, making this taste somewhere between corn bread and quiche, and the top of the bread had great buttery flavor, even though there were only two tablespoons of butter.  Since it is indeed so quiche-like, you might consider serving this to company at brunch - it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  The only note of caution: you won't be able to stop at just one piece.

Update: leftovers are still delicious, but tended to be a tiny bit limp after 24 hours in the fridge; to perk leftover slices back up again, toast them for a couple of minutes on each side in a dry skillet over medium heat, and they'll be good as new.


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