It’s been almost seven years and I still find it fascinating how much I ended up missing eggs when I became vegan. I thought it was chicken I couldn’t live without but eggs were the last food I gave up. The reason I find it fascinating is that had anyone asked me, I would have said I didn’t really like eggs that much. There were only two ways I ate them that I loved – scrambled and in omelets – so I really didn’t think it would be that big a deal. Yet it was. It was the one food I really struggled with but eventually, my conscience would no longer allow me to have eggs in my life. When I could no longer go to my local diner for breakfast on Sundays, I had to figure out how to bring egg dishes back into my life but in egg-free versions. That’s just what I did. Now I say, “Who needs eggs?” Here’s how to make all your favorite egg dishes without the eggs.
When I first became vegan, I remember people telling me there was this dish called a tofu scramble and that it tasted just like scrambled eggs. Skeptically, I tried to make it, failed epically and then decided to go to a vegan restaurant to see what it was supposed to taste like. It was delicious and I was surprised just how much it tasted like scrambled eggs. I set about to master the art of the tofu scramble and now I make them all the time for breakfast and for dinner. It’s fun to make them in all different styles and ethnic flavor profiles. To date, I have made about a dozen kinds including Italian, Greek, Chinese, Jamaican, Mexican, Herbed, and Southwestern. Now I can share all I’ve learned with you with my Tips for Making Killer Tofu Scrambles. Then you can try making this Summertime Tofu Scramble, Southwestern Tofu Scramble with Greens, Mexican-Spiced Tofu Scramble, Curried Tofu Scramble, Indian-Style Tofu Scramble and this Tofu Scramble with Broccoli Noodles.
The second egg dish I had to learn was the omelet. My favorite Sunday brunch was a mozzarella omelet with all the usual sides. Again, I went to a vegan restaurant and had an omelet made from tofu and filled with vegan cheese. It was so good! Then I learned how to make omelets with chickpea flour rather than tofu. Chickpea flour has a somewhat eggy taste and color so it works perfectly. Personally, I prefer chickpea omelets to tofu omelets but that’s just me. Either way, the art of making a vegan omelet is the same and more than anything, it takes patience.
Once you make your batter, you ladle some into a hot pan and swirl it around to cover the bottom of the pan. Then you have to wait…and wait…and wait for it to set. It can take a long time. My tricks are to (1) cover the pan so it creates a bit of steam, (2) keep the heat on medium so the omelet doesn’t burn and (3) leave it alone. I’m always so tempted to see if I can flip it that I end up breaking it. After 4 minutes or so, I remove the cover and spray a bit of cooking oil around the edges of the omelet. Then put the cover back on for a couple of minutes. The edges should start to brown and lift away from the pan. Then it can be flipped, filled and folded and you can be fed.
For tofu omelets, try this Low-Fat Silken Tofu Omelet and this Vegan Soufflé Omelet. If you want to make chickpea omelets, try this Chickpea Flour Omelet with Spinach, Onion and Bell Pepper and my Chickpea Omelets with Mushrooms, Greens and Vegan Swiss.
Now that I had mastered the two egg dishes I missed so much, I moved on to egg dishes I had never even tried before. I liked the idea of a frittata – a baked egg dish. To me, a frittata is like a pie made of scrambled eggs – kind of. Like an omelet, you can fill a frittata with anything you like. Use lots of fresh veggies like asparagus to keep it light, make it hearty with potatoes or make it “meaty” with vegan bacon and sausage. The tricks to making a good frittata are (1) cook the vegetables before adding them to the frittata mix so they don’t seep moisture, (2) make sure to really pack the mix into the baking dish and (3) add vegan cheese to act as a glue and hold it all together when you slice into the frittata. Ready to try making one? I would suggest this Mexican Frittata, Tofu Frittata with Smoky Eggplant Salsa, Roasted Vegetable Fritter and my Spinach, Artichoke and Vegan Mozzarella Tofu Frittata.
Quiche is another dish that I never ate pre-vegan. Now I love making them. Like frittatas, they are perfect for brunches, showers and other get-togethers. They make an elegant presentation but they are really easy to make. Again, you can choose between making quiche with tofu or chickpea flour, as I prefer. An important trick to making quiches is to cook the veggies that go into it before adding them to the quiche batter to prevent excess moisture. Also, vegan cheese helps it all hold together. Impress everyone with this Spicy Eggless Coriander Quiche, Savory Sweet Potato Quiche, Swiss Chard Quiche with Wild Mushrooms, Basil and Walnut Pesto Quiche, Simple Butter Bean Quiche, and Easy Spinach and Pepper Quiche. Make these Spinach, Tomato and Cheddar Mini-Quiches with Lemon Cashew Cream and each person can have their very own quiche.
When you really want to impress people, nothing is better than beautiful, delicate crepes filled with vegan cheese, potatoes, or vegetables and covered with creams, fruits or sauces. Crepes say you made the time and effort to make something special. The tricks for making good crepes are the same as those for omelets with the most important one being patience. You can make crepes with water but they will be fluffier if you use non-dairy milk. And don’t forget the rule: the first crepe never comes out right so that one is a snacker! See 7 Ways to Make Grain-Free Wraps and Tortillas to get my recipes for crepes made from chickpea flour, almond flour, and coconut flour. I prefer savory crepes like these Chickpea Blinis With Grilled Vegetables and Lemon Cream and my Gluten-Free and Vegan Potato Blintzes.
6. Other Egg Dishes
It seems like every day some creative vegan is figuring out a way to make another vegan version of some egg dish including the eggs themselves. If you are missing fried eggs, sunny side up eggs or hard boiled eggs, you can make them egg-free. I know it sounds incredible and it is but you can do it. Check out The Perfect Vegan Fried Egg – Sunny Side Up and The Ultimate Vegan Genius Eggs.If you miss Eggs Benedict, we have two vegan versions of the dish. Try Eggs Benny and Flo made with tofu or this Polenta Benedict made with…you guessed it, polenta.
There are plenty of reasons to kick eggs to the curb. If you have been thinking that giving up eggs would mean the end of so many of your favorite dishes, you can rest assured it isn’t so. With these recipes, you can make all your favorite egg dishes egg-free and I guarantee you’ll love them.
Lead Image Photo: Spinach, Artichoke and Vegan Mozzarella Tofu Frittata