It’s a holiday here in Ontario today (Family Day) and that’s means a three day weekend for many of us. A three day weekend feels just about right to me and in an ideal world would probably be the norm. Let’s be honest – it takes a full day to unwind and recover from the work week, to leave behind that frame of mind, that persona. Then by the time you get caught up on various chores and errands you’re facing down the barrel of another work week.
A three day weekend also gives you much more opportunity to enjoy the ever-popular weekend brunch. While searching for some ideas to make my work-free Monday morning meal extra special and decadent, I thought of what food I’d most envied while brunching with friends and family at restaurants when my only option was a garden salad.
Monte Cristo Sandwiches are definitely one of the most enviable brunch items that I’ve seen being eaten around me. It’s basically a French Toast sandwich, usually filled with Ham and Cheese, so definitely not vegan or even vegetarian-friendly but thanks to the advent of tasty meat and cheese alternative vegans need not be left out in the cold with this one. Tofurky is my personal favourite for sandwiches slices. They even make a ham styled one, and of course, my go-to cheese is Daiya!
This recipe is also super quick and easy. You can be chowing down in only about 15 minutes!
Ingredients (Makes 5 to 6 Sandwiches):
1 loaf of French Bread
1 1/2 cup of plant-based milk
1 package (12 oz or 354 g) of soft silken tofu
1 tbsp of vanilla
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of maple syrup+more for Drizzling
1 tsp of vegan margarine
Vegan Sandwiches Slices (I used Tofurky’s Ham-Style slices)
Vegan Cheese Slices (I used Daiya’s Provolone style slices)
Vegan Mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
Powdered Sugar (Optional topping)
1. Make the french toast batter In a blender or food processor, add the milk, tofu, vanilla, cinnamon and 1 tsp of maple syrup and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
2. Melt the margarine in frying pan over low-medium heat.
3. Slice the bread and dip each slice into the batter and lay each slice out in the frying pan. Technically, you could just dip one of the bread but I like the texture and flavour of having both the inside and outside of the sandwich battered and fried. Which means you’ll have to assemble the bread in the frying pan and it also means that your bread will be in the pan for longer, so you want to make sure that the heat is not too high. A few minutes on each side should do it.
4. On one slice of the bread stack the sandwich slices and cheese. On the other slice of bread, spread on the mayonnaise and mustard and flip on top of the other slice. Fry on each side for a couple more minutes.
5. Serve hot and topped with maple syrup and powdered sugar.