Basic (vegan) french toast

French toast on a wooden cutting board with sliced cinnamon apples and powdered sugar

Pain perdu for some, french toast for others…this is a breakfast classic that takes no time at all. It’s ideal for using ingredients in your pantry and only takes a touch of love and inspiration.

If you’re like me, weekday breakfast largely entails some variation of oats, cinnamon, and nuts. However, weekends are a time to create. Having just settled into our new apartment, we woke up on Saturday morning wanting a quick, yet decadent fix. With days of moving behind us, our bodies were eager for relaxation at last. We were keen for something tasty to snuggle up with alongside our steaming mugs of coffee and this view.

Though facing an overcast sky today, we can’t complain. Amsterdam is gorgeous in the spring. It seems the sun has finally decided to show its face after months of darkness. Indeed, the winter is a melancholy scene in Western Europe, although the charm, cozy bars, and Christmas markets nearly make up for it.

In recent weeks, the city has been mellow. As the world knows, we have COVID-19 to blame. Before the global health crisis took shape, Amsterdam flooded with tourists. Inappropriate drug use at any hour of the day, inexperienced riders littering the orderly bike lanes, and overall vulgarity…the inner rings (as they call the city’s central, iconic canal district) have seen it all. Now living just near Museumplein, we’ve found peace and quiet in the newfound absence of travelers. It’s kept us sane thus far, affording a sense of focus that I’m grateful for.

Two pans on an induction stovetop with bread and slices of apple

Since the call to stay at home struck, I’m amazed at how much happiness stems from the ordinary. It took a pandemic to realize that joy is not a lavish brunch that leaves you incapacitated. It’s the bread leftover from the past week and the one remaining egg on your counter. For those who are enjoying the simple pleasures too, this one’s for you.

sprinkle of cinnamon over a slice of

Basic (vegan) french toast

Add whatever finishing toppings or compliments you like. I personally love the addition of grated dark chocolate shavings and powdered sugar. Pure maple syrup drizzled on top wouldn’t hurt either.

Oh, and I call it vegan because ordinarily, I swap chia seeds for eggs. This week, I had too many on my hands and no chia, so here it is. Your choice!

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 egg (or 1 chia egg ~ 10g chia + 35g water ~)
  • 240ml soy milk
  • 8g honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 slices whole-grain bread
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the egg, soy milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  2. Heat a pan with a bit of olive oil to coat, and dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture 1 by 1 to coat.
  3. Once soaked just enough, add the coated bread to the prepared pan.
  4. Griddle for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and the egg mixture is cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, slice a few small apples and heat on the stovetop until softened. Add a generous amount of cinnamon and after a few minutes, a splash or two of water to steam the apples.
  6. To serve, plate the french toast and top with the warmed cinnamon apples.
  7. For optional finishings, use a microplane zester to grate a generous portion of dark chocolate on top of the french toast.
  8. Finish with a poof of powdered sugar.

Voilà, you have a star-studded breakfast or brunch in no time. Enjoy!

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