It has just been brought to my attention that October 2011 is National Vegetarian Month, and that yesterday (10/1) was World Vegetarian Day. Since it is also National Vegan Blogging Month (don’t who thought THAT one up), I’ve decided to go vegan for a month and see how I feel.
This is going to be hard for me – I am so used to having pork and cheese that I will have to be vigilant to pull this off. Not counting yesterday’s breakfast (the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich I ate before I found out it was National Veg Month), I’m doing OK so far.
Last night for dinner, I made whole wheat tagliatelle with roasted tomato and onion sauce and eggplant/tofu “meatballs”. Although the balls were a little oily, they tasted like eggplant parmesan. Next time I’ll cut back on the oil and press the tofu first (a step in the recipe that appears to be necessary, but one that I omitted). This morning I made a whole wheat breakfast pizza topped with tofu scramble, olives, Daiya “cheese” and tomatoes.
Here are two recipes I would like to share. In the first, I give the original recipe and tell what vegan substitutions I made. The second is the scramble I used on my breakfast pizza. It’s great on its own as a breakfast entree with toast and maybe some grilled tomato slices. It’s also great in breakfast burritos with cheese and olives.
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Eggplant Tofu “Meatballs”
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 med. eggplant, peeled, cut into large dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
- 1 medium onion, diced finely
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. pesto (I used sun dried tomato pesto)
- fresh parsley and basil (I used dried)
- 1/2 pound extra-firm tofu, sliced and pressed for 30 minutes
- 2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
- 1 T tamari
- 1 T flax seeds (next time I would use flax meal instead)
- 1 T nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts, optional (I didn’t use them)
- 1 thick slice Italian bread, toasted
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat panko crumbs)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used Daiya brand mozzarella style)
- 1/4 tsp. dried Greek oregano
- In a large, heavy skillet, heat 5 T olive oil and add eggplant cubes. Let brown for 7 minutes or so, tossing occasionally. The eggplant will soak up all the oil and, when cooked, begin to release it again. Smash the cubes with a potato masher or fork and set aside in bowl to cool.
- In the same pan, heat 3 T olive oil and add garlic and onion. Cook until translucent, season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down a little and add pesto, stirring to coat onions. Add about 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley and several leaves of basil, thinly sliced. (I used 1.5 T dried parsley and 1 tsp. dried basil. I also added the dried oregano at this point.) Set aside to cool. (I added it to the bowl with the eggplant and mixed it up.)
- Crumble the pressed tofu into a bowl, add the eggs, tamari, flax, nutritional yeast and walnuts. Crumble the toasted bread into the tofu mixture. Stir the eggplant mixture and the rest of the ingredients into the tofu. Start with 1/4 cup bread crumbs and add more if the mixture looks too wet. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes so the bread and breadcrumbs will absorb the moisture.
- Shape the mixture into balls about 1 1/2″ in diameter (golf ball size). They will be soft, but should hold together well when shaped.
- Place the balls in a lightly oiled baking pan or on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
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(adapted from The American Vegetarian Cookbook by Marilyn Diamond)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 small tomato, finely diced (or 1/4 cup canned petite diced tomato, drained)
- 1 pound firm tofu, drained
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 T nutritional yeast
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomato and saute briefly to heat.
- Crumble tofu into skillet, breaking up any large pieces. Stir to mix with vegetables.
- In a small bowl, mix the turmeric, curry, cumin, onion powder and nutritional yeast. Sprinkle in an even layer over the tofu in the pan, stirring to mix well and give everything a lovely yellow color. Saute tofu until hot, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
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