Love never ceases to amaze me.
In the halcyon days of our relationship, when my HH and I were still in early stages of romantic life, I was sideswiped with a doozy of a diagnosis that caused me to change my diet drastically for what turned out to be quite a long time.
Still fiercely besotted back then, my HH was perfectly willing to accommodate my strange and singular dietary restrictions: no sugar, no wheat, no eggs, no dairy, no anything fermented (which included my half of those bottles of wine we’d grown accustomed to consuming with dinner), no caffeine, and on and on—for about three more paragraphs.
As a couple who habitually dined out 2 or 3 times a week plus brunch on Sundays (one advantage of meeting when we were too old for kids is the increased discretionary spending), this new diet forced us to alter our regular routine, um, considerably. All this, and my HH was still happy to comply, and even join me as I consumed cooked amaranth and tahini, tamari-marinated tofu, kamut pasta sprinkled with nutritional yeast, kale and arame salad, and every other manner of organic, whole, vegan foodstuff.
Yes, for a time, life was good in the DDD household.
After a couple of years of this regime, however, the cracks began to appear. I detected quiet rumblings of protest, as when I’d serve up my favorite tofu-veggie stir fry in almond-curry sauce: “What?” my HH would say. “This, again?” He’d eat it, but he wasn’t happy.
Soon, he imposed a veto on seaweed (unless, of course, it was wrapped around a hunk of raw eel or salmon at his favorite sushi bar). “It’s actually kinda slimy and gross when it’s marinated like that,” he’d remark of my kale and seaweed salad. Next, he tired of tofu. “That tofu stir-fry was okay at first,” he admitted, “But I think I’m maxed out on tofu for a while.” Before I knew it, he was once again craving caffeine. Up came the coffee maker from the basement, where it had been relegated for over a year, amid the piles of as-yet unpacked boxes from our previous house-move.
Almost imperceptibly, more changes took place. Stealthy, small cartons of half-and-half cream began to make their way back into our fridge. At first, they lay low at the back, behind the cartons of soymilk; later on, they declared their presence boldly, at the very forefront of the shelves. Eventually, there came the final affront: last year, the HH rekindled his mania for meat. No more pasta with veggies and walnuts for dinner, no sir; from now on, he wanted steak.
Well, what’s a vegan-loving gal to do when her HH suddenly reverts to his Neanderthal, bachelor appetites (for foods, that is)? These days, most of the time our dinner table is graced with a dual repast: a vegan main course for me, which cheerfully serves double duty as a side for him, nestled next to his hunk of animal protein. I love the guy, and he cooks his own meat, so I can live with it.
(“Steak ? Did someone say ‘steak’? But Mum, we think you should be the one to cook it. Dad never gives us as many leftovers as you do. . . oh. Sorry to interrupt.”)
This past weekend, however, I decided to whip up a tofu omelette for myself for brunch. I also thought it would be the perfect contribution to Nandita’s Weekend Breakfast Blogging event, this month hosted by Rajitha at Hunger Pangs.
I’d been reading about these omelettes ever since coming across Cozy Inside, Joni Marie Newman’s blog for her cookbook of the same name (which I promptly ordered after reading the recipe). I also found a great recipe for a tofu omelette on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s page, which was subsequently extolled by Don’t Get Mad, Get Vegan . And Vegan Ronin served up her own version back in 2006.
I had tried both the Cozy Inside and Fat Free Vegan Kitchen omelettes and enjoyed them immensely. This morning, however, I was aiming for something a little richer and a little more gussied up, something I could serve to friends as the centerpiece of a brunch buffet. So, using these three for inspiration, I played with the various elements of the recipes and devised my own concoction.
An old recipe for a regular, egg-based omelette that had always intrigued me since I first read about it years ago is a sweet version, with an apple-cinnamon filling. So that the flavors in the base wouldn’t clash with the sweetness of the filling, I decided to make the omelette itself as plain as possible, omitting any strong seasonings such as garlic, paprika, or chopped veggies.
While cooking it up (and as you’ll see, the process is surprisingly easy), it still felt as if the dish needed something more than just apples to finish it off properly. I remembered a curried cream sauce I’d created to pour over broccoli raab, as a slightly sweet contrast to the bitterness of the greens. I thought that would be the perfect accesory for this omelette, and stirred some up while the apples cooked. The final product was a delicious and filling brunch.
Once everything was completed and plated, I tentatively asked the HH if he’d be willing to taste it.
Surprise number one: “Sure,” he said. He took a big forkful.
Surprise number two: “This is delicious!” he proclaimed, and then: “Can I have half?” Well, I’ve never been so happy to share.
With great enthusiasm, he proceeded to eat it all, and practically lick the knife clean. Perhaps the tofu embargo has come to an end.
Yep, love never ceases to amaze me.
Tofu Omelette with Sauteed Apples and Sweet Curry Cream Sauce
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup (125 ml.) smooth cashew butter
1/4-1/2 tsp. (1-2.5 ml.) mild curry powder
2 Tbsp. rice milk (this adds a bit of natural sweetness to the sauce)
For the Filling:
1 large apple (I used Gala), cored and cut into half-moon slices
2 tsp. organic coconut butter or sunflower oil
dash of cinnamon
For the omelette:
1 pound (about 500 g.) firm or extra-firm block of tofu (not the kind packed in water)
1/4 cup (about 60 ml.) nutritional yeast
3/4 cup (about 185 ml.) plain, unflavored soymilk
3 Tbsp. (45 ml.) potato starch
1 tsp. (5 ml.) onion powder (not salt)
1 tsp. (5 ml.) turmeric
2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml.) almond butter or cashew butter
salt, to taste
Make the sauce:
Make the filling next:
Melt the coconut butter in a medium frypan over medium heat. Saute the apple slices until soft and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. While they are cooking, prepare the omelettes.
Prepare the omelettes:
In a food processor, blend the tofu and soymilk until it reaches a fairly smooth consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until very smooth. This should be a thick batter, the consitency of a muffin batter. (If the mixture is too thin, the omelette won’t hold together. If it’s too thin, add about 1 Tbsp. of spelt or other flour at a time, up to 4 Tbsp., until it reaches the correct consistency).
Heat a small non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add about 1/4 of the omelette batter at a time, and smooth it evenly in the pan. Allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the colour changes (it will become more yellow as it cooks) and the top appears dry. Flip the omelette (Joni provides a neat trick to do this effectively here) and cook the other side for another 4-6 minutes, until light golden. Repeat with other 3 omelettes.
Fill omelettes with apple slices, fold over the slices, then top with some Sweet Curry Sauce. Serve and enjoy! Makes 4 substantial omelettes.