Eggless Benedict? I know it sounds a little crazy to attempt to recreate a recipe without using the featured ingredient (I mean, it’s right there in the name!), but what if you don’t want to eat eggs, or can’t for health reasons, or your feathered friends have taken a much-needed break from laying? Does that mean you should have to go without your favourite brunch main? No way!
My family doesn’t do anything food related by half, and it’s even worse during the holidays. Christmas morning typically involves scarfing down gooey cinnamon buns while we open our gifts, followed by an enormous brunch later that morning, which serves as a warm up for a gluttonous dinner (it’s a sickness, please don’t judge). This year, I was just planning to scramble some VeganEgg to replace the poached eggs in our requisite Benedict, but at the last-minute, I decided to try something else entirely, and ended up throwing together a few leftovers from the fridge and frying them up (‘cuz I’m fancy like that).
The result was a savoury rice fritter whose toothsome texture was the perfect replacement for the egg. Set atop a pile of glistening roasted vegetables, and smothered in hollandaise, it became a veritable feast. As my step-dad said between bites, “why would you even want anything else?”. We all agreed it was as good a Benny as we’d ever had.
You can make these Bennies gluten-free by replacing the small amount of flour in the fritters with your favourite GF substitute, and serving on top of a potato latke instead of the English muffin (this is how my mom served all of her Eggs Benedict at her popular B&B, and they were a huge hit with the guests).
I would avoid using long grain rice in this, as it might change the texture too much (farro would be a good substitute while maintaining that chewy texture). Be sure not to overcook your rice. If you haven’t already seen it, this video on the correct way to cook it is a game changer. Sneak preview: it involves a water to rice ratio of 1:1, no matter the type. Mind-blowing, right?
You can fry the fritters in whatever oil you have on hand, but Vegan Magic (vegan bacon grease) is a nice touch.
Serve these Eggless Benedicts with your favourite vegan hollandaise sauce (I like this one). I make a double batch in order to use the whole package of silken tofu. It holds and reheats extremely well, so you can save any leftovers to have over spring asparagus, or whatever else could use some saucing up.
- 6 whole wheat English muffins
- 1 recipe vegan hollandaise sauce (doubled, if desired)
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 10 large crimini mushrooms
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 bell pepper (red or similar)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked and cooled short grain brown rice (can sub farro or other chewy grain)
- 1/2 cup prepared VeganEgg (1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp powdered mix) or 1/4 cup aquafaba
- 2 tbsp flour (or cornstarch)
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped fairly fine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp mild hot sauce (I like Valentina or Frank's)
- 1/4 cup non-dairy parmesan (I like Earth Island)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Chop all vegetables to roughly the same size (about 3/4 to 1" dice).
Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Roast in a single layer on large baking sheet until everything is tender and starting to caramelize. Use two pans if your vegetables are piled too deep, otherwise they will just steam and get soft instead of browning.
While vegetables are roasting, assemble your fritters.
Prepare VeganEgg. Set aside.
Measure rice into medium/large bowl. Add all other ingredients to the rice, and stir to distribute. Add VeganEgg, and stir well to combine.
Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium/low heat. Add oil or vegan bacon grease. Take roughly a golf ball size ball of the rice mixture (a 1/4 cup measure is a good guide), and form into a 2 1/2 inch patty. (You should end up with 12 fritters; form in advance if you need exactly 12). Place on pan. Continue until pan is full (I am able to do 6 at a time in my 12 inch cast iron pan). Fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Hold finished fritters in a warm oven.
While fritters are frying, make your hollandaise, and toast your English muffins.
For each person, top two halves of a toasted English muffin with 1/12 of the roasted vegetables. Place one rice fritter on top of the veggies. Cover with hollandaise, and garnish with a dusting of smoked paprika and chopped parsley (if desired). Serve immediately.
To make gluten-free, replace flour in fritters with a gluten-free substitute, and serve on potato latkes.
These fritters are also delicious on their own, served with hot sauce and hummus, alongside your favourite veggies.
You don’t have to wait for a holiday to cook these tasty patties; they make a delicious meal on their own, served with hot sauce, hummus, and your favourite veggie.