Let’s face it—everything is better when it has a bit of an English spin on it, and breakfast is no exception. But because a traditional English breakfast usually has a very “meat and potatoes” approach, there’s no way a vegan could enjoy this fully stacked, mouthwatering, flavorful plate, right? Wrong! With just a few simple changes, it’s easy to turn a meat-centric item into a vegan dream. Here are our four favorite ways to veganize a full English breakfast that will have you feeling like you just sat down at a gourmet spot somewhere across the pond. Don’t forget the tea!
1. Tofu scramble
A traditional English breakfast consists of eggs, either fried or scrambled, and usually a bit on the yolkier side. To replicate this, you’ll need a 14-ounce package firm tofu, 1 tablespoon turmeric (for color and flavor), 1 teaspoon onion powder, a sprinkle of paprika and black pepper, and ¼ cup non-dairy milk (for a yoke-type consistency).
How to make: Break up your tofu so it has a scrambled egg appearance and texture. Once it’s broken up, add it to a pan coated with oil. Add turmeric, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper to taste. Finally, add the non-dairy milk. Make sure to mix your ingredients well enough so that the tofu becomes yellow (from the turmeric) and seasoned. There are three other courses to make, so try to stop yourself from digging in right then and there.
2. Tempeh bacon
The second essential to an English breakfast is bacon. But ethically, that won’t work, so tempeh is the way to go. First, you’ll need 5 ounces tempeh. Make sure to slice into strips as thin as possible without them falling apart. In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, one teaspoon soy sauce, one tablespoon agave nectar, 2–3 teaspoons liquid smoke, and salt and black pepper to taste.
How to make: Place the sliced tempeh strips in the bowl with your sweet and smoky concoction, and let it marinate for a few minutes. Coat a pan with a tablespoon of oil, place marinated strips of tempeh, and let the sizzling begin! Be sure to watch your strips diligently, or else your bacon may end up on the crisper side.
3. Vegan bangers + homemade hash
Probably the most common food term heard when it comes to British slang, “bangers and mash” consists of sausage and (you guessed it) mashed potatoes. While it’s possible to recreate a veganized version of mashed potatoes, hash seems like more of the breakfast-oriented approach to this plant-based combination. You’ll need two golden potatoes (or more, depending on how many you’re serving), 2 teaspoons onion powder, and half a clove of garlic. For this recipe, Field Roast’s smoked apple sage vegan sausage works amazing, but why not step it up and make a homemade banger?
How to make: Use a grater to shred the potato. Make sure to drain the water from the shredded potatoes, and add to a skillet with oil. Add onion powder and garlic, and then add vegan sausage. Listen for popping noise of the oil and vegan sausage links (which is exactly why the slang “bangers” came to be!). Once the sausage and potatoes look browned and crispy, it’s time to take them off the heat.
4. Beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms
This is a pretty simple step to veganize because there’s not much to do differently. When buying beans, be sure that the label says “vegetarian beans” and that there is no animal byproducts hidden among the ingredients. As far as the mushrooms and tomatoes go, a simple grilling (or “broil” in American terms) will do.
How to make: Coat a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Slice tomatoes and mushrooms (we prefer baby crimini mushrooms) and broil in a toaster or conventional oven. While that’s cooking, add beans to a medium-sized pot and stir occasionally.
Emma DeBono is a freelance journalist, vegan, and avid traveler currently based in New York City.
Photo courtesy of Cory Ingram