I never have been the athletic type.  Oh I did dance classes and stuff as a kid, but I classify that more as art than sport.  When all the other ten-year old girls were out playing netball or hockey, I was curled up somewhere with a book.  Or a series of books, to be exact.  Trixie Belden.  My all-time hero until the Wakefield twins corrupted me with their Sweet Valley High dramas a few years later.

Life has conspired to keep me out of the kitchen lately, but just like Super Sleuth Trixie Belden, I have used this time to solve one the great mysteries of the café world – what do mainstream cafés offer in the way of vegan brunch?  And can these offerings be replicated at home?

Spy camera and notebook at the ready, here’s what I uncovered…

Discovery # 1:
Hummus, diced herbed tomato, mushrooms and toasted Turkish bread wedges.  Nice!  The unexpected presentation made it heaps of fun to play with munch.  You could also add other dishes to the platter if you had friends over for a lazy Sunday brunch – spicy beans, diced avocado, roast pumpkin…

Discovery #2:
Bruschetta: hot, diced tomatoes and red onion with grilled mushrooms and baby spinach, served on toast with a balsamic glaze.  Mmmm, this was divine and definitely quick and easy enough to whip up for brunch at home.

Discovery #3:
Mediterranean toasted sandwich filled with spinach, mushrooms, roast pumpkin and sun-dried tomatoes, with a side of beet-carrot slaw.  Before I saw this, I hadn’t realised how much I missed toasted sandwiches!  I was crazy about toasted cheese sandwiches pre-vegan and this one was SO much tastier than that!  It singe-handedly inspired me to get a bit more creative in the kitchen and BRING BACK THE TOASTY!!  YEAH!!  (and yes, that is a bite out of the corner.  Couldn’t wait.  Too good.  Apologies.


Enjoy your weekend brunches, everyone!  I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Until next time,
Vegan P.I.  xx


18 Comments on Vegan P.I. and the Undercover Brunch

  1. Richgail Enriquez
    May 25, 2012 at 11:15 am (12 years ago)

    Thanks Vegan PI! Great tips, and that bruschetta does look divine! I also order that and hummus when I find myself dining in at a non-vegan cafe.

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 28, 2012 at 9:40 am (12 years ago)

      mmmmm, I’d like to try that combo combined. 🙂

  2. Lisa Nicholson
    May 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm (12 years ago)

    Oh my gosh – doesn’t discovery #2 look at treat! I am a such a sucker for brushetta.

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 28, 2012 at 9:41 am (12 years ago)

      Me too, especially when it comes with grilled mushrooms. 🙂

  3. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    May 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm (12 years ago)

    Haha LOVE this! I was such a reader too, not athletic- you should see my hand eye coordination it’s appauling!

    Some amazing discoveries there! I wish roasted pumpkin was a standard on menus over here!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 28, 2012 at 9:42 am (12 years ago)

      haha, mine is too. The sporty gene completely skipped me. mmmmm, roasted pumpkin. But hey, you have Daiya! Jealous! 🙂

  4. An Unrefined Vegan
    May 26, 2012 at 2:00 am (12 years ago)

    Heheee! Cute post and sly sleuthing, my friend! You spotted some tasty clues! (I’ll stop now.)

  5. Kinenchen
    May 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm (12 years ago)

    Do you Yelp about such adventures? I would LOVE to read your opinions.

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 28, 2012 at 9:45 am (12 years ago)

      Ooh, no, I don’t know Yelp. I only just joined the Twitterverse for the first time last week! I’m a bit behind! hehe

      • Kinenchen
        May 28, 2012 at 11:48 am (12 years ago)

        I use Yelp frequently when traveling and I’m really grateful for reviews from people who are vegan and/or gluten-free. I suppose I’m trying to repay the favor by writing my own and encouraging others to contribute. It’s a tool, like any other and is as useful as you make it. Welcome to the Twitterverse!

      • * Vegan Sparkles *
        May 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm (12 years ago)

        Ooh, I will check it out! Thanks. 🙂

  6. Kristy
    May 27, 2012 at 1:32 am (12 years ago)

    I was also the girl with the book, and I , like Gabby, had terrible eye-hand coordination!

    All of these choices look mighty tasty, especially that toasted sammie! Mmmm!

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 28, 2012 at 9:46 am (12 years ago)

      mmmmmm, toasted sammies are the BEST, aren’t they. I’m going to challenge myself to come up with some weird and wonderful fillings. Cheese who?? 😉

  7. leroywatson4
    May 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm (12 years ago)

    Nice spy-cam action! Eating out can be rough, I normally opt for the eating in option. Great to find you here, Im looking forward to reading more. Happy days! Lee (www.thebeachhousekitchen.wordpress.com)

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      May 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm (12 years ago)

      Hi Lee. I am loving your blog! Great to find you here too! 🙂

  8. vegansistah2011
    June 2, 2012 at 5:07 am (12 years ago)

    Everything looks great! I am at work drooling. lol

    • * Vegan Sparkles *
      June 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm (12 years ago)

      haha, mmmmmm, brunch……. 🙂