Thursday, September 05, 2013

Leftovers Vegan Omelet

or 'Nomelet', as I like to call them.

In recent years I have become an oatmeal convert. Once a week I bake my steel cut oats and have eight glorious days of heat 'n eat breakfasts. I've become so enamored with the baked variety that I no longer feel the need to eat it with a heaping helping of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and berries. Nope, the banana custard that forms on the top is so wonderful that I enjoy my morning square of yummy as is with a side of fruit and enjoy a spoonful of nut butter later either as a mid morning snack or part of a smoothie.

But some mornings I wake up, the pull of my morning coffee and oats breakfast the only thing propelling me out of bed and to the kitchen, to find that I forgot to bake up my oats before the last batch was devoured. Like this morning. I won't lie. I had a little panic moment. I thought I could just make some steel cut oats and hover in the kitchen for 30 - 40 minutes, but no steel cut oats and only frozen bananas in the house meant I'd have to eat something else.

Over the years I've made  both VWaV's Spanish Revolutionary Omelet and Fat Free Vegan Kitchen's crustless tofu quiches so many times I could make either in my sleep. I love them both and have wowed many an omni with their deliciousness at numerous gatherings. Somewhere along the way I stopped following the recipes though and have made many a Nomelet sans recipe with leftovers from nights' dinners passed.

Remembering the Crash Hot Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli still in the 'fridge from the other night, as well as a half block of tofu still wrapped in a dish towel in there from my Buffalo Tofu post, my sleepy light bulb flickered.

I've never thought to create a recipe for what I do, I just put things in a 2 cup measuring cup and whizz away with my immersion blender. This is the Vegan Month of Food though and my untheme feels like it wants to be 'Every Post Has A Recipe' (not something I managed to do in blogging days of old), so I figured I should pay attention this morning and share with you one of my favorite ways to clean out the fridge and enjoy breakfast. While not speedy enough to recommend for daily pre-work dining, one could make the tofu mixture the night before and cook the morning of while getting ready. One could also make the day or night before and nuke. This stuff is pretty great leftover, cold or at room temperature, too.

You could use a food processor, blender, immersion blender or even just mush the tofu in your hands until it resembles ricotta then stir in your other ingredients. It is a pretty forgiving recipe, and I've never had one turn out badly. Sometimes I even have a pesto or sauce on hand to drizzle over it. Most often though I just blanket in fresh ground pepper and dig in!

Leftovers Vegan 'Nomelette'

serves 1 hungry person as a super hearty breakfast or 2-8 as a brunch side dish

6-8 oz (about half a block) xtra firm tofu, pressed*

1/4 - 1/2 c. plain non-dairy milk, I use Almond Breeze Original
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp onion powder
2-3 pinches black salt, this gives it an 'eggy' flavor but sea salt will do just fine
1 T chickpea flour
1 T nutritional yeast
1/2 T olive oil
approx. 1/2 - 3/4 c. leftover veggies, steamed, sauteed, or roasted
(today I had one small hot crashed red potato and about 1/2 c roasted garlicky broccoli)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Lightly oil non-stick skillet. (I use my 10 in. cast iron. make sure yours has a metal handle! ;)  I've also made these in an 8x8 pyrex casserole dish successfully but they brown best in a skillet.
3. In a tallish container (like a 2 c measuring cup), add crumble tofu, 1/4 c. almond milk, and all other ingredients but the leftover veggies.
4. Use immersion blender to blend to a thick paste. Add non-dairy milk one tsp. at a time to achieve desired consistency. It really will depend on how much of the water has been pressed out of your tofu. My tofu had been wrapped in the fridge for four days so it was fairly dry. You want a thick paste that's barely wet but workable so I added almost 1/2 cup total almond milk to achieve that. It will be sticky but fairly easy to work with. Trial and error here works best as some people may want theirs firmer or less so. 
5. Stir in leftover (cold) veggies. I have done this right in the measuring cup, but today emptied it all into a bowl to show you what it looks like all mixed up.
6. Scrape tofu/veggie mixture into oiled pan and spread evenly across the pan. Yes, it will be a bit sticky. Yes, things like broccoli will make it try to pull holes in your omelette. I often just wet my hands a tiny bit and spread and pat until it's even. 
7. Lightly spray or brush top with olive oil and put into oven.
8. Check in 25 minutes. You want it to be a nice light yellow color with browned ridges. If it's not quite ready, bake for another 5 minutes. No more than that or it can dry out.
9. Carefully remove from oven (for the love of Pete, keep a mitt right where you'll see it so you don't forget and burn your entire hand badly while boxing up your home and moving. True story).
10. If your pan is truly non-stick this should slide out easily. May require a little coaxing with a spatula. don't be afraid to just flip it onto a large plate if that feels like it will help it hold together best. And again, use heat protection. You know, just in case I'm not the only one preoccupied in the kitchen. 

The outside of these is lightly crunchy and the inside is soft and eggy. Best part, I cleaned our refrigerator of leftovers AND got a yummy, healthy, protein-packed breakfast.

Oh, and it's kitty approved.

CJ* or Ceej loves sharing breakfasts. and lunches. and oh, you get the idea.

*That's our handsome calendar kitty, CJ. Ceej knows a good Nomelette when he swipes one. We found CJ one afternoon chasing butterflies in the parking lot of our Orlando apartment about 10-11 years ago. He was bigger than your average kitty. Not fat, just big. Gorgeous coat, beautiful eyes, and swatting to catch his fluttering play thing. Unneutered, I vowed to have him fixed if I saw him again all intact and then put him back. A couple weeks later, while a crazy electrical storm was brewing he showed up outside our apartment again. This time his coat was dirty, he was still big but dirty, and still intact. Before he really had wanted nothing to do with us, but that day he came right to us and nearly crawled in the nap of a friend who was with me (Hi Bethie! you've been his guardian angel more than once!). We took him in, got him fixed, and put up flyers to see if anyone claimed him as their own the management said they'd seen him but noticed he'd been outside more often than not lately. They figured he had been abandoned by a UCF grad or someone who'd left the complex. We knew he was the newest member of our family and wondered what his name was. After a couple of days of calling him any name we could think of we figured we had to give him a new one for him to learn. (Made me sad, surely he had a name!) The Cap'n and I were sitting outside one afternoon talking it over, wondering what would best suit this beautiful but kind of aloof new love of our lives. A Citation Jet flew overhead and I asked him what kind of plane it was (he's always schooling me, I'm always forgetting), and when he told me we just knew his name was CJ. Ceej is our calander kitty, never takes a bad picture and is so beautiful. There's plenty more to his story since his joining our crew, but I'll save that for another day. 

3 comments: said...

I love how awesome tofu is! Omelettes like this are so delicious. Your kitty is adorable too.

Johanna GGG said...

I love the name Nomelet - I have only made vegan omelets a few times - which is more times than I have ever made egg omelets - yours sounds excellent - your cat wouldn't lie!

J said...

Mmmm, that 'nomelette' looks awesome; such cute pictures of CJ's kitty-approval process!