Wednesday, July 23, 2008

'Smoked Mozzarella', Spinach, and Pepper 'Omelet' Sandwiches

I'm finally daring to try something I've been curious about for a long time - the vegan omelet. Sure, eggs are easily replaceable in baking with egg substitute and tofu makes a good stand-in for a scrambled egg. But how to make an omelet??

Well, tonight I turn to another vegan blogger, at My fellow vegan posted an ingenious recipe for an omelet that mimics the real thing, so I borrow from her here. Tonight's original recipe called for 6 egg whites and 3 eggs to make the omelet. To replace that, you're going to use: one 12-oz package silken tofu, two tablespoons nutritional yeast, two tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 tsp. turmeric for color. Add to that 2 tablespoons plain soy milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, a dash of black pepper and a dash of hot sauce. Blend until smooth in a food processor or blender and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Saute 1 cup finely diced red bell pepper and 3/4 cup chopped onion for 4 minutes. Here is where you were supposed to add the "eggs". Pour in the tofu batter, spreading to about 8 inches, and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Scoop the red peppers and onions up into the filling if you need to (the veggies tended to gather around the edges of the pan once I poured in the "eggs"). Fatfreevegan's recipe said to cook for two minutes, covered, after having reduced the heat to low. I doubled that to four minutes, since I had doubled her original "omelet" recipe, and I have to confess, mine still didn't set the way her version did, nor did it look quite so much like real eggs. To be honest, the taste was more akin to egg salad, but since I haven't eaten egg salad in over ten years, maybe that's faulty memory on my part! The bottom line is, it did set enough to make this recipe still work, so don't sweat it if, after four minutes, your 'omelet' isn't completely omelet-y. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, take 4 English muffins - the original called for sourdough, but I couldn't find a vegan version of those, so used Whole Foods' 365 brand of plain English muffins. Divide each in half, and place all eight halves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top each half with one tablespoon shredded mozzarella cheese - I used the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods, which, okay, doesn't quite have the flavor of smoked mozzarella, but close enough. Broil for one minute until the "cheese" starts to melt.

Now assemble your sandwiches. On each muffin bottom, place a quarter of the 'omelet' (a spatula comes in handy here to transfer from skillet to muffin). Divide a cup and a half of pre-bagged spinach leaves evenly among the four muffins, then top with the muffin tops. One sandwich is 300 calories, and tada! Your very own vegan Egg McMuffin sandwich.

Finally, on an unrelated note, I'm still enjoying the bounty from my friend's backyard garden. One delightful surprise was kaffir lime leaves, which I've read about but never used. I know they're supposed to work great in stir-fries, and I may try that in the next couple days, but in the meantime, I found this quick summer refresher online: for every liter of water, add eight kaffir lime leaves (make a few tiny tears in each leaf to release their flavor). Let stand about an hour, then remove the leaves and serve - add a little sugar and it tastes almost like limeade!

plain soy milk $1.49
12-oz silken tofu $2.19
nutritional yeast $4.49
red bell pepper $1.81
English muffins $2.09
'mozzarella' $3.39
packaged spinach $2.50

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance