Gluten-free vegan savoury breakfast muffins | Zucchini and tomato muffins

A couple of weeks ago I tried imitation Tim Tams that were gluten-free and vegan. Sadly, they were a disappointment. The real thing was always my weakness growing up. I wouldn’t be able to control myself around them; my sweet tooth took over.

Fast forward to now, my sweet tooth has been cured. Case in point when it comes to sweet muffins. I’m spending my days dreaming of savoury muffins, something the old me would have scoffed at.

These gluten-free, vegan, savoury breakfast muffins are the most moist I have ever come across. This is all thanks to almond meal, zucchini, tomatoes and – most importantly – caramelised French shallots.

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Gluten-free vegan savoury breakfast muffins | Zucchini and tomato muffins
Makes 6-8

3 large French shallots, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water)
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of a whole lemon
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 zucchini, grated
1 handful basil, roughly cut
1 bunch of chives, roughly cut (optional)
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp beetroot powder

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Heat oil in a wide pan and add French shallots. Let cook over a medium heat until shallots are starting to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 tsp water and continue to cook until onions turn golden brown and caramelise. Set aside.

Mix almond meal, brown rice flour, arrowroot flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, flax eggs, water, coconut oil, and lemon zest and juice until lumps-free. Then add tomatoes, zucchini, basil, chives, sumac and beet powder and mix until combined. Make sure the zucchini is evenly mixed throughout the flour and not sticking together in clumps.

Evenly scoop mix into an oiled muffin tin. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Knife should come out clean and top crust should be golden brown. Let cool slightly then carefully remove muffins from tins with a spoon and place on a cooling rack until ready to eat.

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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.