Here’s a luscious vegan French toast casserole that will delight your friends and family as a year-round weekend brunch treat.
I was delighted to learn that the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a place I enjoy visiting, had come out with a vegan cookbook all its own. If you’re an animal lover, a committed vegan, or someone who needs a push in the right direction, I highly recommend a visit if you live in or will be traveling to New York’s Hudson Valley.
A few words from founder Kathy Stevens and visitor information follow this yummy recipe for vegan French toast casserole from Compassionate Cuisine by chefs Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan.
A note from Chef Linda: “There you are on a lazy Saturday morning, sitting curbside at an intimate French café. Nearby, steam swirls upward from rich mahogany coffee. A sweet scent ignites your appetite as you wait with anticipation for a forkful of decadent French toast. Wait—France is not in your future, you say?
Then let this buttery, praline-adorned breakfast delight take you there. Without relying on unkind standbys like eggs, cream, and butter, this French toast casserole, a Homestead specialty, gets its luscious custard filling from bananas and nondairy milk. A lovely addition to special brunches and holiday mornings, this simple dish will pamper your spirit.”
Excerpted from Compassionate Cuisine: 125 Plant-Based Recipes from Our Vegan Kitchen by Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan, with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ©2019 by Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Photographs by Alexandra Shytsman.
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 large (14- to 16-ounce) French baguette, cut into ½-inch thick slices
- 2 large, ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
- 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square casserole dish.
- To make the praline topping, melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add brown sugar and syrup. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the pecans and turn off the heat.
- Leave the pot on the stove to keep warm or else the mixture will harden. If the praline mixture hardens, reheat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To assemble the French toast casserole, arrange one layer of baguette slices on the bottom of the casserole dish. Top the bread with a single layer of banana slices.
- Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas and drop spoonfuls of the praline topping over the blueberries, using about half of it.
- Add another layer of bread and bananas, and top with remaining blueberries. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over the bread in the casserole, saturating the top pieces.
- Spoon on the remaining half of the praline topping.
- Cover the dish with foil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. There should be liquid bubbling around the sides and corners when it’s done.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Make Ahead: Bake and cool the dish 1 or 2 days in advance, then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes while the coffee is brewing.
Compassionate Cuisine by Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan
is available on Amazon, through Skyhorse Publishing,
and wherever books are sold
More about Catskill Animal Sanctuary
An excerpt from founder and executive director Kathy Stevens, from the introduction to Compassionate Cuisine:
Our tagline, “Love Spoken Here,” embodies a philosophy that informs all that we do, from how we engage with each other to every public interaction, from how we welcome broken beings to this place of profound peace to how we say our final goodbyes to those same beloveds, often many years later. “With love” is how we do our work. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Let’s be clear, however, that Catskill Animal Sanctuary also wants the world to go vegan, and vegan is not always a term that’s synonymous with love. Nor do we want this change to happen someday. Nope — we want it right now.
This vision of a world free from suffering is why over five thousand rescued animals have called Catskill home since we opened our doors in 2001, but it’s also why we welcome thousands of visitors from around the globe each year. They come to learn the impact of their diet on the animals, their health, and our ailing planet; but they come, primarily, to meet the animals. And friends, that’s when the magic happens …
To visit Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, NY: Open on weekends for tours, April – November. Here’s more visitor information, and make sure to explore events. CAS also has a seasonal Bed & Breakfast called The Homestead.