Plant-based protein is becoming increasingly popular as more people recognize the potential health (and environmental) benefits of minimizing animal-derived foods.
If going vegan seems like a stretch, then start out simple with one of these four eggless breakfasts that are packed with protein and taste:
1. Chickpea Nomelette
Wonderfully versatile, chickpea nomelettes (a no-egg omelette) are easy to make and customize. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients, this simple dish is made partially on the stove top and partially in the oven.
Below is the basic recipe for a nomelette. I suggest a totally delicious combination of mushroom, rosemary, and leeks for your first nomelette go-round!
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp black salt (kala namak – provide an eggy flavour)
- 1 stock cube
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Olive oil to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 °F
- Mix chickpea flour with water, turmeric, black salt, stock cube, and nutritional yeast.
- Let mixture stand while you sauté your chosen vegetables in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil.
- Add the chickpea flour mixture to the pan and make sure the vegetables are evenly spread and well covered.
- Remove pan from heat and place in the oven, cooking for 25–30 minutes.
- Let the nomelette stand for 5 minutes before turning it out and serving with sautéed greens.
You can find chickpea (gram) flour at many grocery stores, often alongside lentils and curry spices. Kala namak is typically found in Asian grocery stores or at specialty markets.
2. Tofu Scramble
A classic dish that is, again, easy to make and easy to customize. I like my scrams to be on the drier side, meaning that I use firm tofu instead of softer tofu. I also pile in the nutritional yeast to add vitamins, umami, and extra protein. One of my favorite ways to make tofu scramble is to add a tablespoon of homemade or store-bought vegan pesto just before serving. Sun dried tomato tapenade is also a great option for a quick, flavorful scramble.
- 1 clove garlic
- Olive oil to taste
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 package of tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a little olive oil.
- Add tofu (scrunch it in the packet until there are no large chunks left) and fry until golden brown.
- Toss in diced zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes and cook until they soften.
- Add a handful of chopped kale and a dash of soy sauce and stir fry until the kale wilts.
- Remove from heat and add nutritional yeast.
- Serve with hash browns or whole grain toast.
3. Veg Benedict
If you’re missing Eggs Benny, we’ve got you covered. This tofu, cashew ricotta, Portobello Benedict with vegan hollandaise sauce should satisfy your craving, and it is packed with protein and other nutrients to boot!
To Make the Ricotta:
- Soak a cup of cashews overnight, then drain.
- Add to a food processor with the juice of half a lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 2/3 tsp salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 cup fresh basil, and 1/2 cup kale.
- Blitz until everything is well combined.
- Save half of the ricotta and use the rest to make the cashew hollandaise sauce.
To Make the Cashew Hollandaise Sauce:
- Using half the homemade ricotta, add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tsps mustard, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and 1/4 cup water.
- Gently heat, and stir often to avoid burning.
To Make the Veg Benedict:
- Sauté sliced Portobello mushrooms.
- Pan-sear a 1/2-inch thick round of tofu (you can use a cookie cutter to get a round).
- Toast an English muffin and spread ricotta on both halves.
- Layer them with tofu and Portobellos.
- Drizzle cashew hollandaise sauce over the top and enjoy!
4. Savory Oatmeal and Lentils
If your morning walk, bike ride, or transit ride to work takes about 30 minutes, this next eggless breakfast idea is for you!
Savory oatmeal (using quick cooking oats) or split red lentils is made using a thermos, boiling water, and a little patience. Save time in the morning by preparing your breakfast mix in advance.
- 1/2 cup of oats or lentils
- Dehydrated vegetables (or fruit) cut into small pieces
- A dash of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Pour your dry mixture into a thermos.
- Add a cup of boiling water and stir quickly before sealing the thermos.
- By the time you arrive at work, your oats or lentils will be nicely cooked and ready to eat!