Back when I worked in Manhattan – and was still a vegetarian – I had a Friday morning breakfast routine that often followed a Thursday evening happy hour. This greasy, gooey, and guilty pleasure was quintessentially New York. Unapologetically, I ended nearly every week in the City with this pile of food porn.
When you’re a commuter working in New York City, you develop a special appreciation for deli-deliverables. On every corner, a deli-meets-convenience store can be found serving a diner’s worth of breakfast options, every day of the week. For me, it was the egg and cheese sandwich that did me in.
Now these weren’t egg sunny-side-up with a slice of cheese on an English muffin type sandwich that you’d expect from a fast food joint. These were full on omelettes, spread atop a New York sized bagel. I’m talking at least three eggs, and at least two slices of swiss cheese. To make the whole thing a little healthier, I’d always include mushrooms.
When I moved to the Boston area a few years back, I had yet to go vegan. But finding a decent bagel is hard enough in Beantown, let alone a proper bagel sandwich. Over time, I came to forget this former delight. Having gone vegan a few years back, I just assumed this would be one favorite meal I would never be able to recreate.
Egg substitutes have been a curious hodgepodge of tofu, and various grains. Bob’s Redmill sells an Egg Replacer that’s pretty good for baking, as can be apple sauce or aquafaba. But none of these is suitable for a scramble, or an omelette.
I’ve made countless tofu scrambles over the years, starting many a Saturday and Sunday with some variant of Happy Herbivore’s delicious and simple recipe.
That is, until I found Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg. This little box of yellow powder has brought back the indulgent pleasures of breakfast past. Made from an algal flour, and only eight other plant-based ingredients, this product is a game changer for those of us who believe breakfast truly can be the most important meal of the day.
While VeganEgg is fully capable of being used as a substitute for poultry eggs in baking, it has the added bonus of being able to form a batter than when cooked forms an egg-like consistency. Scrambled eggs, omelettes, and even quiche are as simple to make as with the real thing.
But for me, I found the real magic this past weekend when I assembled a vegan version of what was a Friday-morning-in-New York City-worthy breakfast sandwich.
It’s pretty simple to put together, but I’ll include the brands, and blends I used for those looking to bring some flavor back to their mornings.
- Everything bagels are my preference, but obviously go with your first choice. Just don’t get a wimpy chain-restaurant sized one. I am fortunate to have Iggy’s Bread of the World in town.
- Cook some mushrooms in a small pan. When they’re fully cooked, add the VeganEgg (see next step).
- 2 tablespoons of vegan egg yields 1 real egg when mixed with a 1/2 cup of cold water. Double that. This is a New York inspired breakfast.
- Add a slice (or two if you’re so inclined) of Daiya Swiss to the VeganEgg/mushroom mixture. Let it melt.
- Cook a hand-formed patty of Gimme Lean for good measure. I made the patty about the size of a veggie burger, but a little thinner.
- Combine on the bagel, and add ketchup.
Depending on portions, this vegan version of my old favorite weighs in at roughly 500 calories, 0mg cholesterol, nearly 20g protein, and only about 10g fat. That’s likely half the 50-75% fewer calories than the real thing.