September 24th of this year marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Like many of you, I grew up reading the good doctor (who could ever forget cheering on Thing One and Thing Two in The Cat in the Hat?). In honor of one of my favorite children’s authors, I thought I’d re-create one of his most famous dishes, Green Eggs & Ham. Well, okay, let me be honest here. I’d eaten “real” ham maybe a total of three times in my entire life before adopting a vegan diet, and I didn’t like it any of those times. In addition, I was never a huge fan of scrambled eggs, although I adore a good tofu scramble. So why go to the trouble of making this faux-eggs, faux-meat dish? Blame it on the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival. You see, the TO Food Festival is “the largest event of its kind” in North America, and it took place earlier this month at Toronto’s own stunning Harbourfront, with over 100 exhibitors, almost 200,000 visitors, and a very accommodating, sunny 23 C (74F) weather courtesy of Mother Nature. It was three days of vegan paradise, sampling fantastic foods from gluten-free buttercream cupcakes to Indian fare to shish-kebabs to Banana Soft Serve Cookie Dough Blizzards—all 100% plant-based--and good for you. One of the products that intrigued me was a big, 1 kilo (2 pound) bag of green pea flour. I saw the beautiful samples and listened to the vendor’s spiel about how great and versatile the flour was, and since I love chickpea pancakes, I grabbed a bag. It wasn’t until I got home that I thought, “What the heck will I cook up with this stuff?” It does provide 6 g of protein per serving for only 100 calories, albeit in a vibrant grassy green package. And then I read about the anniversary of Dr. Seuss, and it all came together. . . These “eggs” could easily be made with either yellow pea flour or chickpea flour if you didn’t happen to be charmed by a knowledgeable Food Festival vendor as I was. The texture is halfway between quiche and a tofu scramble, with a slightly sweet flavor and intermittent crunch from the chopped veggies. I loved it. And of course, the color will transport you back to your childhood for a time, to that era when breakfast was more than just food—it was fun.
Green Eggs (and Ham) [Vegan]
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) green pea flour, yellow pea flour, or chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable broth or stock
- Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 green or red pepper, diced
- 4 green onions, sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive or avocado oil, preferably organic
- Sriracha or hot pepper sauce, to serve (optional)
- Your choice of “ham” (marinated tofu or tempeh work well here)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, broth, salt and pepper together until perfectly smooth. If you don’t have a whisk, you can use a fork, or blend briefly with a hand blender. Be sure there are no lumps. Add the pepper and onion, and stir to coat the vegetables.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a nonstick frypan (nonstick is essential for this; it loves to cling to the pan). Pour the mixture into the pan and let it spread out. Allow to cook until the edges appear dry, 3-4 minutes (a few bubbles may appear on the surface). Don’t let the top dry out, though!
- At this point, it will appear to be forming a pancake. Use a spatula to scrape across the pan and break up the mixture as if you were making scrambled eggs. Flip it over and break up the pancake into smaller bits. Keep turning the pieces over and breaking them into smaller bits until you have pieces that are a size you like (I made mine about the size of dates or grapes).
- You’ll need to keep the pieces moving in the pan for about 5 minutes, until they are dry on the outside and solid but moist inside. Turn onto a serving plate and serve immediately. Drizzle with sriracha or other hot sauce or ketchup, if desired. Serve with your choice of “ham” (marinated baked tofu or tempeh work nicely). Makes 1-2 servings.