Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Long, and Thanks for All the Laverfish

This is the last post of Vegan MoFo 2010. Sad day, but I feel very accomplished. This is the third MoFo I've signed up for, but only the first I've actually completed. October and November have always been busy months for me, but this year I planned had a few back up posts, which really helped on days when I didn't have time to cook, or felt lacking in inspiration. I wish MoFo was in March or even February.

Not only did I post every weekday, as was my goal, but I managed to post every day of the month, except the first Saturday. I actually surpassed my goal by 32%! I also participated in all but the last Iron Chef challenge. After the horror of working on Black Friday, and being sick, I just wasn't up for it. But I think the Iron Chef challenges are what I'll miss most about Vegan MoFo.

I am really glad I participated this year, and I would like to participate next year, but I did notice a few things I wasn't particularly pleased with this month. All I did in my spare time, was think about food, make food, take pictures of food, or write about food. Spending a lot of time on food is not that unusual for a foodie or a vegan (especially during the month of November...), but I did let other things fall by the wayside this month.

I posted a lot of pictures I wasn't super thrilled with, because I had to post something. I also published many posts without pictures at all, which I don't like to do. The first week was great, I had tons of ideas and was very excited about my upcoming posts, and I was baking like a mofo. i was also finding tons of new blogs to read, and catching on old favorites I hadn't read in a while. But then week one ended, and I started getting bogged down with life, work, dishes, and a huge backlog of unread posts. For the rest of the month, I only skimmed a few posts a day, usually the ones highlighted on the Vegan MoFo homepage. It seemed like Thanksgiving just pushed everyone over the edge; many MoFo-ers stopped posting due to burn out or illness.

On the other hand, Vegan MoFo enabled me to stop second guessing myself and just post the damn thing already. I usually get excited about something, and start to write, but then get too wordy, start digressing, and then never finish the post. Or I think I need to have a picture before I can post about the awesome thing I just ate/place I just visited/person I just met. VeganMoFo doesn't stop for you, so you have to just publish the post already. Another great thing is that even though I wasn't able to read much this month, I will have, literally, tons of wonderful vegan posts to read for months to come!

On that note, my final 2010 MoFo post:

Tofu McVegan, sautéed greens with shiitakes and sesame seeds, and garlic scalloped sweet potatoes.

Tofu McVegan? Egg McVegan? Veg McTofu? I don't know what to call my vegan version of an Egg McMuffin.

JD doesn't like these, so I don't make them very often. He says they're too egg-like; he never liked Egg McMuffins, preferring instead the sausage version.

I used to love getting breakfast at Mickey D's. It was a rare treat, and usually only reserved for some kind of unusal occasion, like going to see a doctor, or being on vacation. It also combined some of favorite parts of meals--bread products, potatoes, and fried foods--into one supermeal. Of course, it wasn't healthy, and it didn't include anything fresh.

Almost two years ago, while lurking on the old PPK boards, I saw some people talking about vegan eggs, and more specifically, vegan egg mcmuffin eggs. One person in particular inspired me, Ate Bit Vegan.

With his image of a tofu egg in mind, I set about trying to recreate the texture. One thing came to mind immediately: chickpea flour. I salted a few pieces of tofu, cut them into large, thick rounds, then fried them over medium heat until both sides were just slightly browned around the edges.

Then I experimented with different seasonings for the "yolk". I liked a cominbation of a small amount of sea salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and turmeric for color. I though about trying blac salt, but I really don't want my tofu eggs to smell like sulfur. I added just enough water to make a very thick, dry paste. It already looked sort of egg yolk-like. I cut off center holes out of the tofu "egg white" rounds, then filled each hole with the chickpea "egg yolk" and pan fried once more. This produced a nearly perfect vegan egg muffin-style egg! But, for some reason I never posted about it. I guess because I didn't have an exact recipe.

Vegan "Egg McMuffiin-style" Tofu Eggs
by Christina Terriquez

1 lb firm tofu
sea salt

2--4 tablespoons chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
garlic powder
nutritional yeast
optional: black salt

extra virgin olive or safflower oil

Cut tofu block into a large square. Carefully slice tofu into 2 or 3 thick, square slices. Round off edges of tofu slices, if you wish, or make square Tofu McVegan "eggs". Tofu slices should be about 3--4 inches in diameter, and 1/2"--3/4" thick. Salt both sides of each slice well and set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons chickpea flour, 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder and nutritional yeast, and a big pinch of sea salt or black salt, if using. Add 1 tablespoon water and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add more chickpea flour for texture if needed.

Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Pat tofu dry and lightly pan fry tofu until both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly.

Cut a small, 1" diameter, off-center hole in each slice. Fill each hole with chickpea "yolk" mixture. This should take about 1 tablespoon. Pan fry on both sides to heat through and gently cook the "yolk".

These are especially useful for eggs benedict or mcmuffin-style sandwiches. For a sandwich, toast vegan Englich Muffin, heat up a slice of vegan Canadian bacon or ham, add the tofu "egg" and a slice of your favorite American-style vegan cheese slice. Serve with tons of greens and veggies!

I always found egg white to be pretty bland, so I don't add any seasoning but salt to my tofu egg whites. If you prefer a more flavorful tofu egg, garlic powder, smoked paprika, or chipotle powder might be nice additions.

If desired, mash 1--2 tablespoons of tofu scraps and mix into chickpea yolk mixture.

For this recipe, I usually cut off both hard outside edges of tofu.

I hope you had a great Vegan MoFo, and that you have time to catch up on all of your reading!


Candy Beans said...

Wow that's really impressive. I love doing tofu scramble sandwiches, so I'll have to give this a try. I'll have to try it with a biscuit too.

Jeni Treehugger said...

That looks and sounds awesome. Well done on all your MoFo'ing - it certainly was a record year this year.