Valentine’s Day Breakfast: Hearts-in-a-Hole

Vegan egg-in-a-hole made with tofuToday I’ve given my favorite eggy tofu a Valentine’s Day reboot. It’s a vegan take on Toad in a Hole. (It’s also known as egg in a hole, egg in a nest, egg in a basket, and half a dozen other random things.)

If you’re not familiar with the dish, it’s typically made by using a biscuit cutter to create a round hole in a piece of bread. The bread is then put into a skillet with melted butter, and an egg is cracked into the opening until fully cooked. I’ve never eaten the eggy original, but it seemed like a great option for my favorite breakfast, eggy tofu and toast.

For Valentine's Day, make vegan toad-in-a-hole for your sweetieIn honor of Valentine’s Day, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the opening into slices of bread. I then used super firm tofu that doesn’t need to be pressed, and cut it into a long slice that was the same width as the bread slice. I used the same cookie cutter to make hearts in the tofu. I then slathered vegan butter onto the bread, and let it brown in a skillet.

The first time I made them, I put the tofu hearts inside of the bread while cooking. However, unlike eggs, tofu doesn’t congeal and solidify with the bread. So for easier flipping and to make sure that the bread doesn’t become misshapen while it cooks, I recommend browning the tofu separately and then adding it to the bread on the plate. The tofu can either be browned in vegan butter or in extra virgin olive oil, depending on your preferences.

This Valentine's Day, for breakfast make your sweetheart vegan eggs-in-a-holeFor seasoning, I added kala namak (also known as black salt). It is a salt that can be commonly found in Indian grocery stores and has a sulfur-y smell and taste.

David isn’t a fan of that eggy spice, and so for his tofu heart, I used Slap Ya Mama seasoning salt. This Cajun seasoning packs some heat, and so be sparing if you’re not a fan of spicy foods.

For Valentine's Day, a sweet little vegan BLT with Upton's Naturals seitan baconYou can just eat the little toasted bread hearts as-is, or it also makes an excellent miniature vegan BLT with Upton’s seitan bacon.

Biting into the warm, crisp toast, I wondered why I don’t always make toast on the stove. You can’t beat that cooked in buttery flavor. Add the Hearts-in-a-Hole to a tray with some berries and hot coffee, and you have an excellent breakfast in bed that’s ready in no time.

For Valentine's Day breakfast, make your sweetheart vegan eggs-in-a-hole

Vegan Egg-in-a-Hole

Serving Size: Makes 2 vegan eggs-in-a-hole

Ingredients

  • 1 package of vacuum-sealed super-firm tofu (If using water-packed tofu, drain it and press it first.)*
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Vegan butter (like Earth Balance), for slathering
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, for oiling pan (optional)
  • Kala namak and black pepper or Slap Ya Mama seasoning, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into long slabs that are the same width as the bread.
  2. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts into the middle of each bread slice and into the tofu.
  3. Slather the bread and cut-out hearts with vegan butter on both sides.
  4. Bring a skillet to a medium heat and toast the bread for a few minutes, until brown. Flip the bread and toast the other side until browned. Remove from skillet, and transfer the bread to a plate.
  5. Add extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter to the warm skillet. Cook the tofu for about three minutes on each side, until slightly brown. While cooking, sprinkle both sides of the tofu with either kala namak and freshly ground pepper or Slap Ya Mama seasoning. Remember that the kala namak and Slap Ya Mama seasoning are salty, and so start sparingly and add more to taste. (I generally use about 1/8 teaspoon of kala namak on each side of tofu, but your needs will vary, depending on the size of the cookie cutter you use and your own preferences.)
  6. Remove the tofu from heat and put one tofu heart inside of each piece of bread. Serve immediately.

Notes

If your skillet is large enough, feel free to cook the tofu and bread concurrently in the same pan.

*There will be tofu left over. Put it into a covered container for later use and refrigerate.

http://cadryskitchen.com/2015/02/12/valentines-day-vegan-breakfast/

Chickpea Tacos: An easy weeknight dinner

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosI’m flashing back today to one of the first recipes on Cadry’s Kitchen – chickpea tacos. They’re an easy weeknight dinner that I’ve been making for years. (Literally. The first time I posted my chickpea taco recipe it was 2009. A young Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. I would blast I Got a Feeling while I did my hair, and the U.S. postage stamp cost 42 cents.)

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosOver time, the spices and seasonings for chickpea tacos have changed slightly. I’ve fallen in love with ancho chili powder, and I now prefer stuffing the tacos with green leaf lettuce instead of spinach.

While the little details have shifted, chickpea tacos have remained a mainstay on my table. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that always sounds good. Tacos for two (usually with enough left over for David’s lunch the next day) are ready in under a half an hour.  Plus, with chickpeas as the main component, it’s an inexpensive meal made with ingredients I usually have on hand.

With a blend of ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a squeeze of lime juice, these tacos have layers of warming, spicy flavors. I top them with guacamole or avocado, and they’re perfect with a side of rice, nachos, or as a complete meal all on their own.

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacos

Chickpea Tacos

Serving Size: Makes 6-8 tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped in even medium pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 Tablespoon) or 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1/4 cup water (plus additional if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6-8 taco shells or tortillas
  • 1 cup green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 batch of guacamole
  • Optional toppings: cilantro, jalapeño peppers, hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat. Set a tablespoon of the onions aside to use as a topping and mince them. Add the remaining onions and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes, until they are fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add chickpeas, lime juice, water, ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt to skillet. Saute for 10 minutes until heated through. If the chickpeas become dry and the spices start sticking to the pan, lower heat and add a tablespoon or two of water and combine to deglaze the pan. Smash some of the chickpeas with a fork for texture, and so that they don't roll out of the tacos. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Remove from heat.
  4. Put the shells or tortillas on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes until warm.
  5. Remove the shells or tortillas from the oven. Fill each shell or tortilla with the chickpea mixture, some of the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, and any optional toppings like cilantro, jalapeño peppers, or hot sauce.
http://cadryskitchen.com/2015/02/09/chickpea-tacos/

Chickpea tacos - vegan tacosP.S. I know that spring cleaning is usually relegated to homes, but I’m feeling it around my blog as I’m coming up on six years of writing Cadry’s Kitchen at the end of May.

In the spirit of updating and renewal, I’m in the process of getting my blog redesigned. (I’m so excited!! I can’t wait to reveal it once it’s ready.) I’m also going through old posts, hiding the ones that are no longer relevant, and polishing the ones that are showing their age. So expect to see more posts with some new-and-improved photos and refreshed recipes.