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Gluten-free vegan breakfast bake

Breakfast without gluten, dairy, eggs or meat just isn’t the same. The first meal of the day was once my favourite of all: eggs, bacon, english muffins, sausages, hash browns … I could go on but I probably shouldn’t. This is a safe place after all.

Enter my delicious gluten-free vegan breakfast bake, born when I was tired of smashed avo on GF toast (jokes! Like I would tire of that. More like I ran out of GF bread), wasn’t in the mood for pancakes (more on that later) and hungry for a meal that heroed the hash brown but was more nutritionally sound than a bowl of hash browns (not judging, I’ve done it, too). The other prerequisite? I didn’t want to stand in the kitchen for hours.

What makes it so good? Well, the golden hash browns for one, but I also think there’s something about Notzarella (vegan mozzarella) that gives this dish what it needs. It delivers a saltiness that can’t be replicated by adding salt during prep. Maybe I’m too far gone in this diet to remember what real cheese is like. I’m sure you could use real cheese and it would work just fine. Probably better, in fact. But if you can’t eat real cheese, don’t be to afraid of vegan versions, especially not this one. I’ve been there, and I’m here to tell you that life is a little better with Notzarella.

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Gluten-free vegan breakfast bake
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Pinch salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups black beans
1 packed cup baby spinach
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
10 hash browns (or more!)*
1/2 cup shredded Notzarella
1/2 avocado flesh, to serve
Pinch sumac, to serve

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Whisk chickpea flour, lukewarm water, salt and pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix tomato paste with water, dried oregano, thyme and garlic in a large bowl then add black beans, baby spinach, tomato quarters, red onion and capsicum, stirring through until all combined.

Pour contents of bowl into a stainless steel baking dish then pour the chickpea flour batter over evenly. This adds a bit of extra protein and helps further bind the bake.

Place your hash browns on top and push them into the bake a little, then sprinkle Notzarella over everything.

Cook in the oven for 30 mins. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving with avocado and a pinch of sumac.

* Not sure how to make hash browns? Boil 4-5 medium to large sized potatoes until soft all the way through. Let them cook slightly and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Then add salt, pepper, dried thyme and 1 tbsp gf all purpose flour. Mix and mould into shape then deep fry.

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