Figuring Out a New Breakfast of Champions.
Do you have a favorite meal of the day? Or maybe you have a couple favorite meals of the day? My favorite meal is breakfast. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a warm hearty breakfast with a cup of hot coffee, especially in the winter.
When I switched over to more of a plant based diet, my warm hearty delicious cheesy eggs and buttery toast took a major hit. My cheesy egg breakfast lacked anything green AND I was a bit perturbed that we had twelve almost fully grown chickens eating alllllll the expensive organic food and treats they wanted, and not producing the fancy eggs I wanted to ingest (yes we were still buying eggs from the store). To be fair, chicken egg laying production goes way down in the winter due to the lack of sunlight. I could add a timed light in the girls' coop to encourage more egg production.... buttttttttt I seem to be procrastinating on this front due to slightly uncomfortable cold temperatures (being cold and rolling around in a coop just doesn't seem all that appealing). This brings me back to my original problem, finding a warm hearty plant-based breakfast that I love. The rules I made in my head for an upgraded breakfast were: I could only use the eggs my chickens laid, veggies must be included, I have to love it as much as my cheesy egg breakfast, and it has to be mostly whole foods.
Since I only want to use the girls' eggs that they lay, and there were no eggs (or very few), what does one eat for breakfast? I started off trying a savory oatmeal recipe. In the past, I haven't liked oatmeal. I've tried every kind of oatmeal, except savory, and haven't really liked the texture. Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal in cookies and ice cream, just not as a goopy morning meal.
The last time I tried oatmeal, I was probably in my early 30's attempting to feed it to one of my kids. I figured since I hadn't had it in so long that I needed to give oatmeal another shot because it is warm, hearty and can be made savory (I prefer savory breakfasts). The recipe called for old-fashioned oats, sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, seasonings, and chopped avocados.
It sounded delicious.... on paper.
I gathered all the ingredients, woke up excited to try my new breakfast. Made it and hated it. I still ate it, but I wondered what the issue was. I wasn't sure if it was still the texture of cooked oatmeal or possible the nutritional yeast flavor. The next morning I tried again, this time omitting the nutritional yeast. Yeah... I still hated it... and the search continued.
Next, I tried a Southwest Tofu Scramble from Minimalist Baker. I've been pretty hesitant when it comes to working with tofu because I simply don't know what to do with it. I read something about having to press the tofu before using it, and after that I really didn't want much to do with it. Alas, since my savory oatmeal didn't work out, I knew I had to face my tofu fears.
Whenever learning a new skill, everything seems super hard and dramatic. First, I had to figure out which type of tofu I was supposed to use for a scramble. Our commissary (military grocery store) carries a good variety of tofu. We have soft, firm, extra firm, organic and silken. After reading the recipe it seemed I need an extra firm (not silken) tofu block. Before I could make the scramble, I would need to press the tofu (uuggghhhhh the dreaded pressing of tofu).
Obviously, I made handling and working with tofu waaaayyyyyyy more complicated and dramatic than what it really is. It's actually way easier to work with tofu than it is raw meat (which honestly surprised me). To press tofu, all you have to do is wrap it in some paper towels, place it on a plate and then place a cookbook on top of it for 30+ minutes. Bam. Tofu pressed and ready to go.
After following the directions off of the Minimalist Bakers website. I made a delicious scramble. I topped mine off with salsa and a plant-based version of Skinnytaste's Peruvian Green Sauce. My breakfast was tasty, but for some reason I still craved my cheesy egg staple breakfast. Maybe it was because I was trying to pretend the tofu scramble WAS my cheesy eggs? I'm not sure. I will still make this breakfast again, but it just doesn't quite hit the spot like my cheesy eggs did.
Even though I had found a delicious breakfast, it still wasn't quite what I was looking for. While I was searching for new ways to work with tofu (since I wasn't afraid of it anymore), I came across a breakfast sandwich by Tasty. In this recipe slices of tofu are seasoned with soy sauce, garlic powder and turmeric. Once seasoned you pan fry it and build it into a sandwich. Hmmmm..... what if I pan-seared seasoned tofu and used it as a base for a breakfast taco??? THAT was definitely up my alley.
The next morning, I pressed my tofu, seasoned it, pan-fried it, used the same pan to cook half a cup of black beans seasoned with garlic powder, garlic salt and pepper. I heated up a tortilla, placed baby kale on it, put the warm tofu and beans on it, then topped it off with pico and guacamole. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD! This was the warm hearty breakfast I had been looking for! Next time I'm going to add some refrigerator pickled onions and Skinnytaste's Peruvian Green Sauce.
I'm not sure about you, but once I've figured out a way to make my main favorite meal tasty and nutritious, I feel like I can handle any of the other meals. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any changes you've had to make for your favorite meal! Connect with me on Instagram or send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org