I have been loving all of the thoughtful and thorough responses to Friday’s post about eating vegan in non-vegan restaurants. (Check out the comments and chime in with your own advice, tips, tricks, or commiseration.)
Since there are only two vegan restaurants in the entire state of Iowa, I get plenty of practice ordering vegan meals in non-vegan restaurants. Admittedly, I also dine out much less often than I used to when I lived in a bigger city with more vegan restaurants.
For that reason, if I want variety in my meals, I often have to bring it myself by trying out new recipes. As I wrote in November, my current cookbook obsession is Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. In that post I wrote about the Down Home Curry, Nacho Night, the Pizza Bowl, and the prettiest dish of the bunch, Chandra Malai Kofta.
In the breakfast arena, these Muffin Pan Mini Omelets would make a brunch gathering so easy. They are made with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, chickpea flour, and organic cornstarch. The ingredients are quickly combined in a food processor and then poured into an oiled muffin tin. While they bake for 25 minutes, it’s easy to devote that time to browning a few strips of seitan bacon or making hashbrowns. (Yes, I’m still in love with the perfect hashbrowns from Olives for Dinner.)
The pillowy muffin omelets have a light cheesiness to them thanks to the nutritional yeast. They would also be great with black salt instead of sea salt for some added egginess if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am). This recipe is full of possibilities, as any number of diced vegetables could be added. I’m thinking red bell pepper, onions, and seitan sausage would be particularly good.
The recipe makes 12 omelets, and so we were able to have them for two breakfasts. The second time I added a drizzling of nacho cheese on top (pictured at the top of this post). The cheese is from a recipe in Practically Raw that I had left over from taco salads the night before.
I’m looking forward to making these again for instant breakfasts just waiting in the refrigerator or to add to an English muffin for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich. They would even make for a good packed lunch since they are so easy to reheat and keep their texture well.
In other breakfast news, scrambled chickpeas are a quick and delicious alternative to a tofu scramble. I never would have guessed that what is basically sautéed onions and garlic with mashed chickpeas, turmeric, and lemon juice could be so satisfying. (I suppose it shouldn’t be THAT surprising. The chickpea can do anything.)
The flavor reminded me of breakfast potatoes but with garbanzos instead of Russets. The recipe also calls for fresh dill, but when I was making it, I didn’t have any on hand. It was still delightful without it, but I’m sure the dill would add something extra.
I had it with toast, making it a 20-minute breakfast using staples I always have on hand. It would be great to keep in mind for that inevitable time when you return from a trip with mostly bare cupboards. Open a can of chickpeas, pull out long-lasting onions and garlic from their hideouts, add some spices, and you’re good to go.
On to lunch! This cheddary broccoli soup is another unbelievably fast recipe. (Here it is topped with roasted chickpeas.) A half an hour or less and it’s on the table. It gets its cheesiness from nutritional yeast flakes and richness from cashews and miso. With the full-on arctic freeze happening in much of the country, I find myself gravitating towards hot soups to keep me warm. This soup does the job deliciously well.
Finally, this mango fried rice will be a recipe I return to often. (It is also available on Post Punk Kitchen if you don’t have a copy of Isa Does It yet.) I love one-pan meals, and it is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, crunchy, and soft. Smattered with cashews, tomatoes, basil, and tofu (optional) this is delightful on its own and reheats well for leftovers.
The stir-fry is made by sautéing just an ingredient or two at a time, so that each one cooks at its own pace and browns perfectly. With ginger, garlic, coriander, tamari, and sriracha rounding out the flavors, who needs take-out?
Isa Does It continues to impress me with how quickly (and easily obviously) one can make a meal that tastes a step above the ordinary. The meals are dinner party worthy without the dinner party effort.
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