Keep rolling, rolling, rolling

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling

Vegan breakfast is a tricky thing. It’s not hard to find recipes for something sweet, like oatmeal topped with almond milk and maple syrup. But if you’re like me, you want something a bit more savoury, and perhaps more meaty.

If I ever commit fully to a plant-based diet and cut out eggs, I know I’ll miss breakfast sandwiches until I find a good replacement. But good news! I think I’m on the right path.

One of my favourite breakfasts to make nowadays is tofu scramble. Unlike a lot of other plant-based eaters, I just season my tofu with nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and garlic to get the flavour right. Nothing against turmeric, just not my style.

I was craving breakfast burritos, and knew I would want something like that the morning after weekend-before-Halloween festivities.

I tried something a bit new here to make them: I marinated the tofu in a mixture of warm water and nutritional yeast to season them. Then, when it came time to cook them, I actually cooked the tofu in the marinade, and let the liquid simmer off!

Take it straight from the veracious meat-eater himself: “This might as well be eggs and sausage, it tastes just like it.”

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To make four Vegan Breakfast Burritos, have all this ready:

  • 1 Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage
  • 1 package of medium-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 pico de gallo or fresh salsa
  • 1 can of refried beans (*check that it’s vegan!)
  • 4 burrito-sized tortillas (*get the biggest ones you can.)
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno, diced and with seeds removed to your heat tolerance (*more seeds = more heat)
  • 1/3 of a white onion, diced up
  • dollop of cashew sour cream (*have you tried hot for food’s recipe yet?)
  • 1/2 cup of Daiya’s pepperjack shreds
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • optional add-ins: avocado/guacamole, cilantro, diced tomatoes, whole black beans, tortilla strips, the sky’s your limit here!

Let’s get started. Drain the water of our tofu, and tear up into small chunks. Add nutritional yeast to warm water, and stir so it is thoroughly mixed. Put the chunks of tofu into a container with tall enough edges to coat each piece in the marinade, and seal. Leave it in the fridge to marinade at least overnight – which, hey, this is a breakfast dish, so it should be easy enough to try!

When you are ready to make some burritos, have all your ingredients ready – because you don’t want to be stuck scrambling for ingredients.

Pour your tofu scramble mixture into a frying pan – marinade and all – and turn it up to medium-high heat. Allow your mixture to cook the liquid off and get thicker, this will take about 15 minutes.

Diced up your vegetables, and fry the prepared white onions in a small pan. When translucent, add salt and pepper to taste, and add jalapenos.

Tear up small pieces of the Field Roast Sausage, and add to tofu scramble mixture when it has become significantly thicker.

When the mixture looks like basic scrambled eggs and sausage, you know it’s done. Take it off the heat, and get your tortillas ready!

To soften up your tortillas, microwave them in a damp paper towel for 15-20 seconds per tortilla. If you lack a microwave, either toast them in a frying pan that’s big enough to hold it, or in the oven for a few minutes on 400 F.

Grab your tortilla, and lay down a coat of refried beans. You don’t need a lot, and you don’t need to heat it up thoroughly before this step either.

The order to which you layer your burrito doesn’t matter – except for the Daiya cheese. This cheese does need to melt, or it just doesn’t work. So be sure that it’s either close to the tortilla, or close to the scramble in the middle.

Roll your burrito up, and secure it by putting the open end on a flat surface. Take a pan, and add olive oil. Put the burrito with the open end facing down, so you can seal it shut, for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.*

*Watch your burrito carefully during this step! It’s easy to get distracted and burn the tortilla, don’t follow me lead on that one.

Flip your burrito, and do your best to crisp up all side of the wrap (yes, even the adjacent sides that seem impossible. But it can be done! I’m rooting for you!)

Finally, place the burrito on a cutting board, and slice that sucker in half when you’re ready to serve it. Show off the entirety of the burrito, you’ve got nothing to hide!

Best thing about a recipe like this is that you can add as much to it, or take away as much as you want. How would you make your vegan breakfast burrito?

Taco Tuesday!

Taco Tuesday!

Really, what are tacos if you’re not going to celebrate by eating them on Tuesday? Unconstitutional.

Tacos are kind of a staple in my diet. I almost always have tortillas in my pantry, just waiting. These ones I have here today are black bean tacos. I opted for black bean tacos because I had a lot of them to use up. I got impatient with a big bag of bulk beans I bought, and cooked them all at once. But that’s another can of worms.

But a taco with beef, or pork? Or chicken? But why? I’ll tell you why.

My go-to is typically chicken or fish if I’m having one with meat, but I almost prefer the simplicity of a taco with tofu (Sofritas, maybe?) or black beans. They don’t feel heavy or greasy that way, either.

When they’re lighter, you can eat more of them. See, vegans are on to something. And that’s what these tacos are, is vegan.

How do you prepare these? Well. For a serving of three tacos, you’re going to need at your disposal:

  • one can of drained black beans
  • three tablespoons of pico de gallo
  • three tablespoons of guacamole (homemade, or store bought. I’m not picky.)
  • three soft corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup of chipotle sauce
  • a few sprigs of cilantro

ingredients you can totally use that aren’t pictured: red onion, banana peppers, iceberg lettuce, kale, tomato chunks, avocado chunks, hot sauce???? why not???

First, warm up the tortillas. If you have an oven to use, cool. Put them in there at 350 degrees for a few minutes. If not, just microwave each one for about 15 seconds.

Next, warm up the black beans, because no one like cold, nasty slimy beans on their tacos. No offense if you do. Drain your can of black beans and use about 1/2 cup for the filling. This is really up to you, stuff the tacos with as little or as much filling as you deem necessary. As you can see, mine are kind of light on the beans.

Combine the allocated beans with chipotle sauce. How do you make chipotle sauce? Buy a can of smoked chipotle peppers in sauce, put in a blender, add 1/3 cup of water to start, and blend until smooth. This makes the sauce go further, and also less atomic. Really, that stuff will burn if it gets in your eye.

(Of course, feel free to omit the chipotle sauce and use salsa or something more mild if you can’t handle spice. You’re not a failure if you can’t.)

Microwave the beans, or cook on the stove top if you’re ‘fancy.’ Once they’re hot, yay, congrats, you’re done!

Assemble the tacos. First, smother the tortilla with guacamole. Then add the beans, pico de gallo, and cilanto.

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Oh baby.

Bam! You are done! Enjoy.

Who doesn’t like pizza?

Who doesn’t like pizza?

Oh, pizza. It should be its own group, really.

By a turn of fate, I ended up writing two pizza-related posts this week, perhaps inspired by my own insatiable appetite for the stuff. But I digress.

If you’re like me and you have a love-hate relationship with cheese — in that you love it until you remember you’re lactose intolerant — this recipe might be for you. It’s pretty simple, and doesn’t have animal products in it. Really, it suits most diets. Except that of the gluten-free crowd. I’m sorry, I’ll get to you guys next time.

I first theorized making individual pizzas on pitas a few years ago. Then again, I’m positive I’m not the person who came up with it. But either way, it changed the way I make pizza at home for good.

Like most fans of a pizza pie, I don’t mind the stuff at all next day. But most homemade pizza isn’t good the next day. I think it’s a conspiracy to make you tempted to eat it all in one go and hate yourself.

Essentially, that’s how I came up with this. It’s easy to make, it’s quick to make, and it’s relatively cheap depending on the ingredients.

 

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That cheese pull, though.

Here’s what you need to keep around the kitchen to whip this bad boy up in 10 minutes flat.

  • one pita. I used a pita pocket, so the temperature might need to be different if you decide to go the route of a fluffy pita.
  • three pieces of sundried tomato in oil
  • a handful of spinach
  • 1/3 cup of daiya mozzarella shreds
  • two tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of simulated bacon bits (Totally optional. I did it for this pie just because I felt like it. If you haven’t figured out yet, that’s my style of cooking.)

First, turn your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Really. That’s all you need to cook the pizza. Or to melt the ingredients together, I suppose.

While your oven is getting ready, chop up your sundried tomato pieces into small, diced cubes. They’re not the easiest things in the world to cut up, so try your best.

If you opt to work with simulated bacon bits, here’s a tip to get more of a satisfying chew out of them: just soak them in water for a few minutes prior to use. You don’t need a lot of water, maybe a ratio of 1 part water to two parts of bacon bits. But it helps a lot to make them more tasty.

Swirl the tomato sauce onto the pita. Try to keep it evenly distributed, because the pita pocket has wrinkles that trap sauce. Sauce pockets!

Next, sprinkle your bacon bits and sundried tomato onto the pizza. Blanket it in some mozzarella shreds, and finally, assemble the spinach.

When the oven is heated and your pizza is all cleaned up, place it directly on the highest rack in your oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it. You’ll want to take it out when the cheese changes consistency. Any longer than 10 minutes, and you’ll likely burn the bottom of the pita. And that’s a no-no.

It doesn’t take long, and … yesssss. Your pizza is served.

There’s nothing you can’t do with this pizza. It’s a filling, easy-clean-up dinner when you’re in a rush, and such a versatile recipe.

What’s your favourite kind of pizza?

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey (Or not.)

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey (Or not.)

The best part of my weekend is getting to wake up later, and make an awesome breakfast. Most weekends, I make a tofu scramble with a cup of coffee. Sometimes I play tunes if I’m feeling fancy.

When I graduated from college last year, I started doing freelance writing work in the summer and had a lot more time on my hands to make healthier meals than I was eating at school. Even though I work full-time now, I try not to forget to make meals that are delicious and healthy.

One of my favourite things to make last year was an egg-white omelette with greens and some form of protein on the side. My new take on egg breakfast actually features no egg; just tofu, vegetables, and usually a piece of toast.

This is both vegan, and gluten-free — within reason. Obviously you can just substitute the toast with your favourite gluten-free type.

If you’ve never had tofu scramble, you’ve got to give it a try. It sounds perplexing, but I promise it’s not that weird. You just take some tofu, season it up, and fry it with your favourite skillet vegetables. Really, its the bomb. You can make a big batch and heat it up the next morning, and you can do whatever you want to it.

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Here’s what I use to make my tofu scramble.

  • 1/3 pack of medium-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • a pinch of salt and fresh-cracked pepper
  • a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of red onion
  • 1/3 of a green pepper
  • 1/3 of a red pepper
  • 1/3 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • a handful of greens
  • a few sprigs of cilantro (totally optional)
  • a dash of Sriracha sauce (again, optional)
  • a slice of sprouted toast (my favourite is Silver Hills bakery’s bread)

First, drain your tofu from the pack, and press any liquid out of between paper towels. This isn’t as scary as it sounds, just wrap it up and put it on a plate, with something heavy on top.

When that’s done, cut off a third of the tofu, and crumble it into a bowl. Put the rest in a container and back into the fridge. Combine the nutritional yeast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder with the tofu. Make sure it’s incorporated, but don’t mash the tofu up too much.

Next, chop up your onion and peppers into slices. Heat up the coconut oil in a pan, and fry the onions. When they become translucent, add the peppers and beans. Allow the mixture to cook for five minutes, and add the tofu for a few more minutes of cooking. When everything is heated though, take the pan off the heat and add the greens. Put the lid on, and a slice of bread into the toaster.

Lay the scramble onto the piece of toast, and add any garnishes you wish.

Congrats! You did it! This dish is best served with a cup of coffee or tea, and about half an hour to enjoy every bite of it. But you can eat quickly and run if that’s your style.