Saturday, January 14, 2012

Maple Tofu & Eggy Breakfast Sandwich

This is a picture of me taking my foot out of my mouth. What, you don't see it? Oh, right, that's the completely delicious, amazing breakfast I had today. With.... wait for it.... cheesey, eggy tasting tofu "eggs." Yes, I said cheesey-tasting. And eggy tasting. REALLY.  My husband even liked it. You may recall me saying on more than a few occasions that vegans shouldn't call things "cheesey" because it never tastes anything like the real thing. But {removing foot from mouth}, this is me letting you know these tofu-omlette stacks that go into the sandwich taste deliciously eggy-cheesey.

So I guess never say never, right? Speaking of which, I recently signed up for another marathon (my third). After a near 90 degree Boston marathon about 7 years ago, I said I'd never ever do another one. But.... wellll..... I guess I got enticed by the beautiful Big Sur marathon, and by how much I am loving my long runs right now... must be all that vegan power ;-)

Since I got Vegan Yum Yum, I've been wanting to make this awesome-looking breakfast sandwich (the book has great pictures of each recipe, a big motivator for me). I thought it would be the perfect post-run brunch as I'm beginning some longer distances. After I got back from my run, my husband pulled the cream cheese out of the fridge for his bagel. I'd say cream cheese is pretty much the only food that I maybe "miss" as a vegan. It just sat on the counter staring at me. But, I realllllly wanted to try the new recipe more than I wanted the cream cheese.

Capital-YUM. The flavors in this sandwich were just plain delicious. I had the urge to add something green in, maybe some arugula or spinach, but it was perfect as is. It kind of melted in my mouth in a maple-y, cheese-y, egg-y wonderfulness. (Although if you are looking for greens, I think spinach could work here).

Without further ado, the recipe:
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum's Breakfast Sandwiches

  • 1 bagel, muffin, or biscuit of choice (I used a whole-wheat bagel; the book includes a recipe for vegan biscuits, or I'm sure you can find one online)
  • Non-stick spray
Maple Soy Tofu (I halved this for 1 sandwich, and only used about half of that but saved the rest):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu (my favorite is Sproutofu brand)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp maple agave or maple syrup
Tofu Eggs:
  • 1 package firm silken tofu
  • 5 Tbsp soy milk
  • 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 scant Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • A little vegetable oil for pan
  1. Drain all your tofu. Press the firm tofu to remove all excess water. (See my tofu post if you aren't familiar with this prep step). Slice the firm tofu into thick rectangles.
  2. Prepare the tofu eggs: place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix well. I cut the silken tofu into blocks before adding, but it's soft so not really necessary. You will have a thick "batter."
  3. Heat about a tsp of oil in a large non-stick pan. Add about 1/4 cup of the tofu-egg/omelette batter and allow to cook maybe 3-4 minutes on one side. The batter may bubble, but let it cook for longer than you would a pancake before trying to flip. Using a thin spatula, gently flip the tofu egg mix. This will be tricky; if the batter just sticks to the spatula, it's too soon; simply reshape and allow to cook a little longer. You want it to appear to be a nice yellow color with brown from the heated side. Continue cooking these tofu-egg omelettes in batches and place completed ones on a plate. They will be thinner than a regular egg-omelette. (See my additional notes at the bottom for more tips).
  4. As you are cooking the tofu-eggs, you can mix the soy sauce and maple for the maple tofu stacks in a small bowl. Heat another non-stick pan and place the tofu slices in it, allow them to cook for a few minutes- until lightly browned- on each side. Then add the maple sauce and allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes on each side, or until the sauce thickens and becomes bubbly and has been mostly soaked-up by the tofu. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Place one of your tofu-egg omlettes on a toasted bagel or other bread and stack 2 of the maple tofu slices, followed by another tofu egg. 
  6. Enjoy!!

So how did my vegan breakfast sammy stack up compared to my old favorite standby, the bagel and cream cheese? Better. Yes, really, better. But, it took much, much longer to make. I lost track of how long. The tofu omelettes in particular were really tricky to make, and the time consuming part. The batter was hard to work with, and kept getting stuck to my spatula and not flipping right. It doesn't hold up as firmly as an egg omelette, which makes manipulating it more challenging.

Here are my recommendations for making the tofu omlettes:
*Let the batter cook for a while before attempting to flip- I wasn't timing, but it was probably a full 3 minutes. A good test is if you can get your spatula under the tofu-egg, you can turn it; if instead it just gets stuck and you end up with batter on your spatula, it's too soon; give it another few minutes. The batter bubbles up pretty quickly, which made me think they were ready to turn- but that just ends up with a messy clump. Let it get firm and a little brown on the bottom.
*I found that using a really thin spatula, and spraying it with a little non-stick spray helped me get under the omlette to flip it.
*I think it's easier if you keep them not too big- larger than sand dollar size, but smaller than a flapjack.
*Don't worry if the tofu-eggs compress or "smoosh" a little as you turn them- they don't have to be perfect circles.

Now if I could just get someone to make this sandwich for me after all my long runs.... I did store the leftover omelette batter in the fridge though. I'm guessing that making these a second time around will be easier than the first!

And a side note: You know those little flakes that tend to form on the side of the pan as you're cooking eggs? Well, the ones from these taste like thin little Cheese-its. Really. Odd discovery, but worth tasting if you are making these!


  1. Wow - I was expecting something that sounded so good to have a really complicated recipe, but that looks eminently doable. I'll definitely try this one at home!

  2. Yeah- the ingredient list was pretty simple- I already had everything but the silken tofu. I think once you get the hang of making the tofu omelettes, it's pretty easy. Enjoy! Definitely a very filling and delicious sandwich.


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