Vegan Brunch: Walnut Maple Pancakes and Huevos Rancheros


Maple Walnut Pancakes from the Vegan Culinary ExperienceHuevos Rancheros from the Vegan Culinary ExperienceIt’s the weekend and you deserve something special. Something that you may not have time to make on those hurried weekday mornings. Perhaps a stack of fluffy pancakes or a savory “egg” dish will do? Yes, I just put the word egg in quotes. That’s because I have two brunch recipes to share from the April issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience, a free online eMagazine (see their website to subscribe). Both recipes are dairy-free, egg-free, and meat-free (okay, I don’t know of any breakfast pancake recipes that call for meat anyway), and generally lower in fat than their non-vegan counterparts … yet equally flavorful and delicious. The best part is, these recipes aren’t overly fancy. In fact, you may just have all of the ingredients on hand to whip them up right this very minute. So go ahead, indulge …

Walnut Maple Pancakes
Recipe from the April Issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience

Serves: 4
Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

2/3 cup of flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup of soy milk
½ tsp. of vanilla extract
2 tsp. oil +1/2 tsp. for oiling the pan
¼ cup of chopped walnuts
¼ tsp. of cinnamon

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a metal bowl until they are combined.
Mix together the soy milk, vanilla extract, and 2 tsp. of oil.
Add these to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
Chop the walnuts.
Coat them with the cinnamon.
Toast them on a medium heat in a dry sauté pan for about 2 minutes (until they lose their bitterness.)
Stir these into the batter.
Lightly oil a pan.
Heat it up to a medium heat.
Pour ¼ of the pancake batter onto the middle of the pan and cover it.
When the top side bubbles and is mostly firm, flip the pancake over.
Keep this on the heat for another minute to a minute and a half.
Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Top with the maple syrup.

Kitchen Equipment
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
Mixing Bowl
Food Processor or Mortar and Pestle for the walnuts

I like to add a few extra crushed walnuts to the top of the pancakes after I pour the syrup on them. I also find a white plate makes the nicest backdrop for this recipe. If you want to add a splash of color, sprinkle a green herb around the plate, like rosemary or mint.

Time Management
Toast the walnuts in the same pan as you plan on making the pancakes. That will save you a dish to clean up later on. It also has the benefit of adding just a touch of extra walnut flavor to the pancakes.

Complementary Food and Drinks
If you want to try something interesting, you can make a tofu scramble and wrap the pancakes around the tofu scramble. For a drink, this goes very well with a cup of Earl Grey tea that heavily features bergamot. It’s the perfect morning drink and the bergamot will complement the walnuts and maple syrup very nicely.

Where to Shop
You can find soy creamer at Sprouts and Whole Foods, but if you don’t have access to one of those stores or aren’t fortunate enough to have a store around you that sells it, you can easily substitute soy milk for the creamer. Baking soda is usually found in one of two places, either on the baking aisle or with the spices. As for the maple syrup, keep in mind that the better quality syrup you buy, the better the taste (you will definitely notice a significant difference.) The brand I used in this recipe came from Stonewall Kitchen.

How It Works
The baking soda, when mixed with liquid, activates and creates tiny gas bubbles, helping the pancake to expand and become fluffy. The oil makes the batter smooth. The walnuts should be toasted because they have a slight bitter taste when eaten raw and they are mixed in to the finished batter instead of added in the beginning because it is easier to combine all of the batter ingredients without having chunky walnuts in the way.

Chef’s Notes
These pancakes were so good, I wanted to eat them all, but with the walnuts mixed into them, they became incredibly filling and I could only manage to eat two!

Nutritional Facts – (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 656.5 (164.1)
Calories from Fat 293.0 (73.3)
Fat 32.6g (8.1g)
Total Carbohydrates 73.2g (18.3g)
Dietary Fiber 5.3g (1.3g)
Sugars 4.1g (1.0g)
Protein 17.7g (4.4g)
Salt 1387mg (346.8mg)
Vitamin A 6% (1.5%)
Vitamin B6 5% (1.3%)
Vitamin C 0% (0%)
Calcium 75% (18.8%)
Iron 32% (8%)
Thiamin 46% (11.5%)
Riboflavin 27% (6.8%)
Niacin 26% (6.5%)
Folate 33% (8.3%)
Phosphorous 37% (9.3%)
Potassium 10% (2.5%)
Zinc 7% (1.8%)
Magnesium 14% (3.5%)
Copper 16% (4%)

Interesting Facts
The traditional topping for pancakes in England is lemon juice and sugar.
Many former regions of the British Empire have a special day called Pancake Day which corresponds to Mardi Gras. The official name for the day is Shrove Tuesday.


Huevos Rancheros
Recipe from the April Issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience

Serves: 4
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

4 corn tortillas
12 oz. of extra firm tofu
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil
1 tbsp. roasted green pepper, diced
1/3 cup onion, sliced
½ tsp. of oil for caramelizing the onions
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tomatoes, diced
½ tsp. lime juice
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 sprig of cilantro, chopped

Heat up a sauté pan to a medium heat without oil.
Toast the tortillas in the pan until they are slightly crisp.
Option 1: Add ½ tsp. of oil to the pan when to fry the tortillas instead.
Option 2: Heat the oven up to 350 degrees and toast the tortillas in the oven on the rack until they are crispy.
In a metal bowl, mash the tofu with a whisk until it is crumbly.
In the same sauté pan you toasted the tortillas, add in the oil and the tofu and cook it on a medium high heat.
After about three minutes, add in the turmeric, salt, and roasted green pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium.
In a separate sauté pan, caramelize the onions on a medium high heat.
Once they start to brown, add in the diced tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and lime juice.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook these for about five minutes.
Once these are cooked, mix the tomatoes, garlic, and onions into the scrambled tofu and cook together for about five minutes.
Remove this from the heat and immediately add in the cilantro and freshly ground pepper.
Stir these together.
Serve this mix atop the tortillas.
Option: Add shredded vegan Monterey Jack cheese on top.

Kitchen Equipment
2 Sauté Pans
Wooden Spatula
Metal Bowl
Measuring Spoon

For an extra nice presentation, put a dab of salsa on top, add some chopped cilantro to the top, and sprinkle some freshly ground pepper around the plate.

Time Management
This is most efficiently done if you can manage to cook the tofu scramble at the same time you make the tomato and onion sauce. If you cannot do that, make the sauce first so that it can be immediately added to the tofu scramble without having to take it off the heat.

Complimentary Food and Drinks
This goes nicely with orange flavored water. Orange juice can be too acidic for this, but if you take a couple of orange slices and put them in a glass, you’ll get a very mild and refreshing orange taste to compliment the huevos rancheros.

Where to Shop
All of these are very basic ingredients and should be readily available at your local supermarket. For the best tomatoes, pepper, and onions, head over to a farmers’ market.

How It Works
Cooking the tortilla in a dry sauté pan allows it to crisp up and puts a little bit of the toasted corn taste onto the pan. When the tofu scramble is sautéed in the same pan, it will pick up that subtle toasted corn flavor. Cooking the sauce separately allows the flavors to combine before it is added to the scrambled tofu.

Chef’s Notes
I like toasting the tortillas in the pan instead of the oven because it keeps my house from heating up. Also, doing it without the oil keeps it a bit healthier, too. Lastly, if you have a gas burner, I suggest roasting your own peppers over it. Otherwise, use the cheat and buy a small can of them.

Nutritional Facts – (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)
Calories 531 (133)
Calories from Fat 153 (38)
Fat 17g (4g)
Total Carbohydrates 87g (22g)
Dietary Fiber 14g (3.5g)
Sugars 17g (4g)
Protein 10g (2.5g)
Salt 1025mg (256mg)
Vitamin A 190% (47.5%)
Vitamin B6 4% (1%)
Vitamin C 70% (17.5%)
Calcium 83% (21%)
Iron 23% (6%)
Thiamin 10% (2.5%)
Riboflavin 6% (1.5%)
Niacin 10% (2.5%)
Folate 12% (3%)
Phosphorous 127% (32%)
Potassium 31% (8%)
Zinc 12% (3%)
Magnesium 26% (6.5%)
Copper 19% (5%)

Interesting Facts
Huevos rancheros means “ranch eggs” in Spanish.
Traditional huevos rancheros can be served scrambled or as a fried egg, although most restaurants now just serve the fried egg version.
Traditional huevos rancheros is served with a salsa cooked into it.


Recipes created by Chef Jason Wyrick for April Issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience ~ Education, Inspiration, Quality. These recipes have been reprinted here with Jason’s permissions.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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