Delightful Waffles with Mushrooms

Guaranteed to be your new fave for Sunday brunch

Waffles with Mushrooms
Photo: Gabriel Cabrera

This playful vegan gluten-free take on chicken and waffles is the perfect sweet and savoury dish for brunch. It’s such a hit that it has remained on our menu ever since we launched our brunch back in 2014.

Serves 6

Ingredients (see recipes)

  • 6 House Gluten-free Waffles
  • 1 recipe Southern Fried Maitake Mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups Mushroom Gravy
  • ¾ cup Bourbon Maple Syrup
  • Watercress, for garnish


Lay out six plates and place a waffle at the centre of each. Top each waffle with two fried mushroom pieces.

Ladle ¼ cup gravy off to one side of each waffle, then ladle 2 Tbsp. bourbon maple syrup over the fried mushrooms and waffle. Top with 1 Tbsp. pickled shallots and garnish with watercress.

Pickling Liquid

Makes 4 Cups


  • 2 cups white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds


In a medium pot, combine all the ingredients with 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow the liquid to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain and reserve the liquid, discarding the solids. Allow the liquid to cool, then transfer to an airtight container.

Bourbon Maple Syrup

Makes 2 1/4 cups


  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups maple syrup


In a small pot on medium hot, simmer the bourbon until it has reduced by half. Add the salt and whisk in the maple syrup until everything is evenly blended. 

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Mushroom Gravy

Makes 8 Cups


  • 20 cremini mushrooms, washed, dried, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in ½-inch slices
  • 1 stalk of celery, washed and cut in ½-inch slices
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, mix together the mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil until all the vegetables are evenly coated.

Lay the vegetables out on a roasting pan lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Check to make sure the vegetables are starting to carmelize, then mix in the tomato paste and continue to roast for another 10 minutes.

Once the tomato paste begins to turn a deep brownish-red, remove the pan from the oven and transfer the mixture to a large pot on medium heat. Saute, stirring often.

When the bottom of the pot begins to get sticky, add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up the carmelized bits. Simmer until the red wine has reduced by half, then add 8 cups water and the thyme and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce and simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Working in small batches, transfer the mixture to your Vitamix. Gradually working up to high speed, puree until fully blended. Pass the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer, using the back of a ladle to press all the liquid out. If making the gravy in advance, allow it to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two months. Re-blitz the gravy in your Vitamix before reheating to serve.

Gluten-free flour blend

Makes 2 3/4 Cups


  • 1 3/8 cups brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup organic oat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. psyllium husks
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup white rice flour

Note: This tried-and-true blend is used for both the house gluten-free waffles and the southern fried maitake mushrooms. You could use a store-bought gluten-free blend.


Sift all the ingredients together into a bowl. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.

Southern Fried Maitake Mushrooms

Makes 12 Pieces


  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt and extra to taste
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3 maitake mushrooms, quartered 
  • 8 cups canola oil


In a shallow bowl, mix together soy milk and lemon juice and let rest for 5 minutes to curdle.

In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour blend, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper and sugar. 

Add the maitake mushrooms to the bowl of soy milk and lemon juice. Toss them to make sure they are well coated and let marinate in the liquid until after you’ve made the waffles (then return to this part of the recipe and follow the steps below to fry them.)

In a heavy-bottomed, high-sided pot, heat the oil to 350 F. Remove the mushrooms one by one from the marinating liquid and toss them in the bowl of seasoned flour, making sure to coat them well.

Working in small batches, fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Using tongs, carefully remove them from the hot oil and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

House Gluten-free Waffles 

Makes 6 Waffles


  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup soda water or carbonated water


In a large bowl, mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. Whisk in the grapeseed oil, maple syrup and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder and salt. Add the curdled milk to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Evenly whisk in the soda water and set aside.

Heat a nonstick waffle iron on high heat. Spray with cooking oil, then ladle about ½ cup of batter into the iron. Cook until crispy. Enjoy right away or keep warm in a 250 F oven until ready to serve.

Excerpted from Acorn: Vegetables Re-Imagined: Seasonal Recipes from Root to Stem by Shira Blustein and Brian Luptak. Copyright © 2021 Shira Blustein. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Photography by Gabriel Cabrera

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