Breakfast Tacos with Tex-Mex Scrambled Tofu

Breakfast Tacos with Tex-Mex Scrambled Tofu
Breakfast Tacos with Tex-Mex Scrambled Tofu, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Quite frankly, I go back and forth on breakfast. Sometimes I am 100% behind the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And sometimes I get into skipping meals until lunch or later.

At the moment, I am eating mostly raw, and mostly fruit until dinner time (around 5PM) and then have a cooked meal during the work week. But on the weekend, I still enjoy a spot of brunch.

These breakfast tacos are an example of great brunch (weekend breakfast) recipe, when you have a bit more time to put something awesome on your plate. Actually, these tacos could work as lunch or dinner as well – they are rich, with tofu, beans, and corn, and they can be customized with a range of toppings like salsa, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. Actually, chopped tomatoes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime would work just as well!

Note that if you are looking for something that will taste like an egg, this is not it. Thus scramble is yummy but it is not meant to be egg-like. It stands on its own! For a more egg-like scramble you can try Just Egg – it’s good but it’s not cheap – or my recipe for a vegan scramble.

And to make your brunch a real feast, you can add a side of waffles or pancakes – here I have couple of different recipes such as snickerdoodle pancakes (gluten-free and full of cinnamon) and sweet potato pancakes (gluten-free)!!!

Enjoy!

Breakfast Tacos with Tex-Mex Scrambled Tofu

What you’ll need:

  • 14 oz (400 g) extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 4-6 scallions, finely chopped, white and green pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen but fully thawed, fresh or canned)
  • 1 15.5 oz (440 g) can, pinto beans (or black beans)
  • Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8-10 corn tortillas or 4 large burrito wraps, for serving
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • Optional: salsa, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, sour cream

What you’ll do:

  1. Drain the block of tofu and place it into a colander to continue draining while you prepare the scallions.
  2. Place a large skillet over the medium high hear, add cooking spray or oil, and add the scallions. Sauté scallions for 3-5 minutes.
  3. While scallions are browning, move the block of tofu into a larger mixing bowl and, using a fork, crumble the tofu into smaller pieces about  the size of scrabbled milk pieces.
  4. Add the tofu to scallions. Mix well, add the spices (chili powder and cumin), and scramble everything together.
  5. Add the corn and the beans. If you are using frozen corn and you don’t have time to thaw it, add the corn first, mix well, sauté for 5 minutes then add the beans and sauté for another 3-5 minutes. I do recommend that you thaw your corn first, as it will save you some cooking time.
  6. Warm tortillas in a microwave for 30 seconds, then top with the scramble and any other toppings you enjoy. I like chopped cilantro and finely diced tomatoes!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2019

 

 

Basic Vegan Waffles

Basic Vegan Waffles via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Basic Vegan Waffles, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

If you are looking to add some sunshine to your plate, look no further! The waffles are here, and they are egg-free and dairy-free, and they can very easily be made gluten-free and nut-free as well. So, these waffles are allergy friendly, yet satisfying – they will please absolutely everyone because they use only simple ingredients and don’t require fussing with egg replacements or similar.

The key to these waffles (as well as any other type of waffles) is a really good waffle iron, that you want to keep at medium high heat. And: you also want to keep it well oiled to help the waffles crisp up and reach that beautiful golden-brown stage without sticking!

Another crucial ingredient here is lemon juice – since you are not using eggs, lemon juice is essential to get the baking soda working. Remember that baking soda and vinegar volcano experiment you did in elementary school? Yes, the principle here is the same – you need some acid to give baking soda a bit of a nudge and release all that gas (carbon-dioxide) that will make your waffles puff up. I you don’t have lemons handy, a bit of apple cider vinegar or plain vinegar will also do the trick.

One tricky step here is adding the right amount of liquid. The amount will vary depending how you measure your flour and what type of four you use. Not all gluten-free flours are the same – the ingredients vary and how those ingredients mix with liquids vary. And gluten-free flours will behave differently from plain all-purpose wheat flour – so, I’m afraid, this is not one-size-fits-all type of recipe and you will need to pay attention!

After you’ve mixed (or whisked) the first cup of liquid in (milk or water), make sure all the liquid is incorporated well before adding more. And, add the rest in 1/4 cup increments, making sure all is incorporated before adding more. You want the waffle batter to be pourable but dense – so just slightly thicker than a pancake batter, a a shade thiner than cake batter. If you have not given up by now – and I hope you haven’t – once you’ve mixed the batter to the right consistency let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using.

These waffles freeze well, and can be reheated in the microwave, or a toaster oven. My favorite thick here is to get them defrosted in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and then transfer to the toaster oven to crisp up!

Happy breakfast time!!!

 

 

Basic Vegan Waffles (with gluten-free and nut-free options)

Serves 4 (2-3 waffles depending on the size of your waffle iron)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, I like King Arthur Flour (or all-purpose white flour)
  • ¼ cup raw sugar (vegan)
  • ¼ cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder (skip if concerned about allergies)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or dial down the amount if you prefer less vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or oat milk, soy milk, or water for nut-free version), divided
  • Cooking spray or some extra vegetable oil for brushing the waffle iron

What you’ll do:

  1. Place all the ingredients except milk into a large mixing bowl, in the order they were mentioned in. Mix well.
  2. Add 1 ½ cup of milk and mix, check for consistency than add ¼ cup of milk more, mix, check the consistency and add more milk if needed. The best waffle batter should pour out without resistance, but still be dense. Let the batter stand while you prepare the waffle iron.
  3. Heat the waffle iron, spray with the cooking spray if needed (my waffle iron is old and sticky so cooking spray helps a lot), then pour ¾ of a cup of the batter in (please note that this amount will depend on the size of the waffle iron you are using). The waffles should be done in 2-3 minutes – my waffle iron comes with a handy light that turns green when a waffle is done!
  4. Serve your waffles hot with butter, maple syrup, chopped nuts, strawberries, blueberries, and/or whipped cream, or if you are looking for something new: chopped pineapple and coconut for a piña colada waffles!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2019

Gluten-free and Vegan Scones with Chia and Coconut

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Gluten-free and Vegan Scone with Chia and Coconut, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

I recently had a pleasure of teaching an evening plant-based cooking class at our local technical and vocational school. I enjoyed the experience immensely and in addition to having a really very pleasant evening  I have also learned about some of the things that people who are relatively new to plant-based cooking wonder and care about.

For example, I had several conversations about vegan breakfast items and whether it is possible to make vegan pancakes (yes!) and vegan crêpes (also yes!). And based on many conversations online, people are just having hard time figuring out what their plant-based breakfast options are.

What’s for vegan breakfast?

Breakfast is not as limited as people usually think. After all oatmeal, cereal with nut milk, fruits, vegetables, toast (including with avocado), smoothies, muffins, cauliflower tofu burritos, vegan “scrambled eggs”, and many, many more options are currently available. Some require a bit more hands on preparation but the offerings are as diverse as for people that eat meat, eggs and cheese. For me, a roasted sweet potato is a great breakfast that keeps me going well into the afternoon!

How about vegan baked breakfast treats?

Of course the number of options increases vastly on those days when you find yourself with extra time to do some baking. Vegan baking is actually not all that difficult. There are quite a few vegan options when it comes to replacing eggs, and nut milks usually work just as well as dairy. Plus: there are now a couple of vegan butters on the market so if the recipe asks for butter there are now alternatives to be used (including the dreaded margarine, but I don’t recommend you go there!)

Are gluten-free vegan treats possible?

Having said all that, if you are trying to be vegan and gluten-free you may be out of luck. In gluten-free baking, gluten, a protein that makes some people unhappy yet provides baked goods with their lovely structure, is usually replaced by extra eggs to keep the levels of protein high. Unfortunately, finding a plant-based replacement for eggs in this context is not easy because most options, like flax meal, bananas, apple sauce, and various starches are not protein rich; they are mostly carb heavy.

Chia seeds as an egg replacer for gluten-free vegan baking

Enter chia seeds! These little seeds are one of my current favorites. Chia seeds can be made into a pudding and they are an excellent binding agent for making seed crackers – and in this category nothing compares to Oh She Glows Endurance Crackers, so give them a try! Amazingly, they also work in these super easy and quick scones. A critical step in this recipe is soaking chia seeds for 15-30 minutes in some warm water. This will transform them into a gel like substance that will keep your scone batter together. And that’s more than half a battle won! The rest is all about mixing things together, adding the right leavening agents to helps things rise high, and some flavors in.

Vegan buttermilk trick

A common way to help a leavening agent like baking powder and baking soda is to add some buttermilk. Acidity is what makes buttermilk so special, and what provides an extra push for the baking powder and baking soda. The easiest way to make a vegan buttermilk is to add some lemon juice or lime juice to your plant-based milk, mix it together and let it stand for 5 minutes or so. And, if you don’t have any sour citrus on hand, you can also use some apple cider vinegar as well. If you are using milk with lots of protein, like soy or pea protein milk, you may see quite a bit of curdling – that’s normal.

These delicious scone will please your entire household – so you may want to make a double batch. So, next time when someone asks you what’s for breakfast you can tell them: freshly baked scones. Enjoy!

 

 

Gluten-free and Vegan Scones with Chia and Coconut

What you’ll need:

3 tablespoon chia seeds
6 tablespoon warm water

1/3 cup almond milk, unsweetened (vanilla flavor or plain)
1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
1/6 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon psyllium powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Unsweetened coconut flakes and raw sugar, for sprinkling on top

ChiaSeedsCoconutScones_2018

 

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Mix chia seeds and warm water together and set it aside for 15-30 minutes until a sticky gel-like substance forms.
  3. Measure out the almond milk and add the lime juice to it. Let that stand for 5 minutes before using.
  4. In a large mixing bowl measure out and mix all your dry ingredients.
  5. Mix your wet ingredients (almond buttermilk, agave syrup, soaked chia seeds, and melted coconut oil), then add to your dry ingredients. Combine everything together. The batter will be sticky but not falling apart.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with some parchment paper. Place your batter in the middle of the sheet, and form a round, domed structure. Using a thin and sharp knife, cut your dough into six even pieces. Use your knife to separate the cur pieces out just a bit, but you don’t need to pull them apart. The scones will bake well and break of easily when they are done.
  7. Top the scones with some extra coconut flakes and sugar, then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let the scones cool for 15 minutes or so before serving, then enjoy with some butter and/or jam, like his 10 minute, no sugar added blueberry jam I shared some time ago.

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018

Easy, Soy-free Vegan Scrambled “Eggs”

Soy-free Vegan Scrambled Eggs, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Most of us grew up eating eggs for breakfast, and some of us (me included) have also used eggs as a quick lunch or dinner. Going vegan did not come with simple instructions on how to replace eggs. Although there are some great online resources on how to replace eggs in baked goods, it is less clear how to make a simple egg-based breakfast without eggs. There are couple of products on the market and Follow Your Heart‘s VeganEgg is pretty decent, but could do with some optimization.

I have also been seeing people commenting that tofu scramble just does not do it for them, or that they really miss their breakfast eggs or burritos, and that they are getting bored with all the oatmeal or smoothies, which all of us with plant-based diets seem to be converging on as go-to breakfast items. So, I embarked on a bit of experimentation and I think I struck gold!

Or to be more specific struck a chickpea flour-based scrambled egg substitute that works relatively well. My special “egg” mix also includes flax meal, as well as tapioca starch as two ingredients that add a bit of stretchiness to the final scramble. I also added just a pinch of turmeric because it gives these eggs a nice, bright yellow color that is very close to the original – however you can skip it if you dislike the taste.

Many egg replacers include some Himalayan black salt, which owes its color to the presence of iron sulfide, and sulfides have that well-known rotten egg smell. So, adding them to egg replacers sends a strong “egg” signal to our receptors. However, it is the smell of rotten eggs, and I prefer my eggs not in state of any decay so I recommend against it. But if you liked your nostrils being tickled by the sulfide aroma, feel free to replace the plain salt below with the black one.

Although the “egg” mix will look a bit weird and have a thick, sort of custard-like consistency that’s OK. You will need to keep stirring the scramble as it cooks to get that nice scrambled egg look and feel. One down side of this recipe is that the “egg” mix needs some help since it is pretty bland tasting on its own. Here, I add some scallions and sun dried tomatoes, which really add a lot of flavor to the scramble. The add-ons are fully customizable and you can use onions, mushrooms, pesto, asparagus, peppers, hot sauce, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, or any combination of these.

Hopefully, this recipe will bring the scrambled eggs back to your breakfast menu!

Soy-free Vegan Scrambled “Eggs”

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1 tablespoon flax meal

1 tablespoon tapioca starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon turmeric (optional, for color only)

1 1/2 cup hot water

6 scallions (green onions), trimmed

1/2 cup (50 g) sun dried tomatoes, finely sliced

2 teaspoons olive oil

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine the first five ingredients (chickpea flour, tapioca starch, flax meal, salt and optionally turmeric) in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add hot water in 1/2 cup increments and gradually, whisking as you add to avoid clumping. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid so do add the last 1/2 cup slowly. The mixture should have pudding-like consistency.
  2. Let the “scrambled egg” mix sit for 5 minutes or so.
  3. While the mix is resting, chop the scallions, both green and white bits, and the sun dried tomatoes.
  4. Place a large frying pan over the medium high heat, add the oil, and the chopped scallions and tomatoes. Brown the vegetables for few minutes.
  5. Pour the egg mix in, and stir occasionally allowing the mix to slightly brown.
  6. Serve with a slice of freshly toasted bread, an English muffin, a bagel, or wrap in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito. If you are serving with toast, use your fork to fluff the scramble up and give it a more of a scrambled egg look!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018