When you go vegan, there are a few things you prepare to live your life without.. They aren't big deals really--things you may have not even really liked in the first place, before you realized that they didn't fit into a compassionate lifestyle. For someone like me, with a mild case of oppositional defiant disorder, this could go either way.
Exhibit A: Eggs with a liquid yoke.
I liked them well enough. They played a critical role in the traditional American breakfast. But let's be honest, is having an egg you can dip your toast in worth the systematic cruelty and sociopathic exploitation that is the egg industry? I know I could never enjoy another egg that came from a helpless little bird confined in a filthy crowded cage for their entire life. How those folks over at the UEP can look themselves in the mirror is beyond me. So, I live my life enjoying the scrambled tofu version of American breakfast and sleep at night.
That is... until now! There is one motto Dan and I live our life by: We can make anything vegan!
When I first started looking through Betty's book, I have to admit there were a few recipes that stood out as being somewhat impossible. Poached eggs was one of them. The vegan poached egg seemed like a culinary trick that would be some kind of mythical beast; rumored to have been spotted at a random veg restaurant stumbled across on a road trip. One might even be inclined to call it a "Unicorn" of sorts. It takes a few steps and a nifty little tool but it was so worth it. Who doesn't love unicorns?*
SO: here is the first of many "Unicorns" featured in one of the most popular breakfast dishes of all time...
- 1 Package of Firm Tofu (drained and cut into 4 rectangular pieces)
- 1 Batch of the Cheese Sauce in our Mac & Cheese recipe (I know you will have a bunch leftover, but if you pick up some Macaroni, you'll also have lunch for a week)
- 1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream
- 3 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
- 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Margarine
- 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Braggs
- 4 English Muffins
- 1 Cup Raw Spinach (this is how much we used but really you can use more or less--up to you)
- 1 Avocado (sliced)
- 6 Pieces Tempeh Bacon (I know I usually have a few suggestions here BUT I really must insist you use the Tempeh)
- Paprika to dash across the top
- Olive Oil for cooking (around 2 tablespoons)
- Dash of Liquid Smoke
Heat oven to 400.
Make the Cheese Sauce from the Mac and Cheese recipe.
With warm water rinse your Flavor Injector. Yes, I know these things are meant for crazy meat eaters and are seriously scary looking. But I really love mine now. It has been pointed out to me that I am partial to food that has some kind of injected filling--and my response to that is "Who doesn't love pie?". OK; back to the recipe.
Fill your injector with Cheese Sauce. Take your Tofu and one at a time, slowly stick the injector in the center of one of the shorter sides of the rectangle. Make sure it doesn't go in to far [editor's note: that's what she said]. You don't want to pierce one of the sides. Then--this is key--gently move the Tofu back and forth. Don't move the needle - it will tear a big hole on the outside of the tofu. But if you move the Tofu, it creates a pocket in the tofu while keeping the injection spot as small as possible.
Fill all 4 Tofu Pieces.
On a lined cookie sheet, bake the Tofu for 20 minutes or until it is a golden brown. At 10 minutes, flip the Tofu to make sure both sides get brown. Some of the Cheese Sauce will pour out. Don't worry about that. When you pull it out ,right before you put it on the dish, slowly inject more Cheese Sauce. You're going to want to inject so much the Tofu looks like it might burst. That's why you go slow, so you can watch it.
While the Tofu is baking, make your Fake Bacon and other parts of the dish. In your beloved little cast iron skillet, cook the Tempeh Bacon in some Olive Oil and Liquid Smoke.
In a small sauce pan, mix all the Hollandaise sauce ingredients with a whisk over a low heat.
(this will thicken pretty fast so don't prepare until you are almost ready to make up the dish)
Toast the English Muffins.
Stack the dish like so: one half of an English Muffin, desired amount of Spinach, Bacon, Avocado, "Poached Egg" and then pour the desired amount of Hollandaise sauce over the top. Throw a dash of Paprika on there to top her off. This recipe should make 4 servings.
* Yeah--that is Obama naked on a Secret Service Unicorn.