Allow me to offer a heartfelt welcome to those of you passing through the ‘ole blog today- hopefully you are staggering under the weight of all the virtual food you’ve devoured before arriving here. Some of you are already grizzled veganaut veterans, but because of the popularity of the Virtual Vegan Potluck, many of you are new to the veganaut crew. Welcome aboard!
About a year and a half ago I started this blog to help chronicle my overnight transformation from Atkins dieter to plant based dieter and eventually to compassionate vegan. It has been a wild and wonderful ride that changed me more than I ever expected. Generally this blog steers clear from posting recipes. Instead, I leave that up to the overly skilled culinary bloggers I am sharing this digital food festival with. However, having a chance to be a part of something as fun and innovative as the Virtual Vegan Potluck seems to bring out my inner Alton Brown.
In the previous two VVPs I offered up Super Awesome Guac and Emergency Black Bean Salsa, both in the Appetizers section. For this round I find myself in the big leagues with Main Dishes. To be honest, I am a little nervous especially considering the other big name vegan bloggers participating. Luckily, I have a secret weapon: Shannon.
Shannon and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary this year (thank you, thank you, hold the applause) and for more than two decades I have witnessed her using an improvisational cooking style to create and recreate culinary masterpieces. When we were on the Standard American Diet in the 90s she created amazing food using ingredients and processed components from across the edible spectrum. As we invested several years into the Atkins diet during the 2000s she became adept at inventing low carb, high deliciousness foods that, like the Atkins diet itself, seemed too good to be true. Now in this new decade, living this new life, she has become a machete wielding explorer searching for new kinds of food to eat and build recipes around.
I’d hate for you to get the wrong idea about us. We do not subscribe to the preassigned gender rolls of the 1900s in our house. It is just a coincidence that Shannon loves to cook and I really, really love taking out the garbage and changing the oil in the mini-van. I also enjoy taking pictures which is what I did when we created our dish for the VVP: ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ Burritos!
These Breakfast Burritos are filled with tofu and mushroom scramble, faux sausage, and home-fries before being covered in gravy. Did I mention Shannon was raised on Southern cooking? She would try to put gravy in our green smoothies each morning if I didn’t beg her to save it for the salads and stir fry.
This dish is modeled after the Breakfast Burrito available on the brunch menu at Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando. Since they only offer the brunch menu on the weekend, Shanon toiled away in her laboratory recreating the burrito so we wouldn’t have to wait for an entire work week to pass before having another. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend Ethos for all of your compassionate dining needs.
This pile of ingredients makes around 8 giant burritos depending on how full you make them or how many cubes of potato you eat during the preparation stages. You are encouraged to alter this recipe in any way that would make you happy. Here is what we used to make ourselves happy: 8 big flour tortillas, 12 oz. firm tofu, 8 oz. of faux sausage (we used Gimme Lean), 16 oz. sliced mushrooms, one onion, 6 medium red potatoes, 1.5 Tbsp corn starch, 1/2 tsp black salt, 1 Tbsp oregano, 1/2 Tbsp sage, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, lack pepper, 2 vegan bullion cubes, 2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbsp of Earth Balance butter substitute.
First dice the red potatoes, sprinkle them with garlic salt (optional) and bake them until done. No oil needed, but if you have guests over you may want to cover your nasty looking baking sheet with tinfoil like we did. Next dice the onion and mince 2 cloves of the garlic and toss them both in a pan with the Tbsp of Earth Balance. Move the bits around the medium-hot pan and get them ready for the next step.
Once the onions start to turn clear, dump all of the sliced mushrooms into the pan EXCEPT for 1/2 cup that you set aside for later. Saute the mushrooms until it looks like more than half of them disappeared and then dump them on a platter for later. Next take the same pan- DON’T WASH IT- and brown your faux sausage. Once that is done browning dump it next to the mushrooms and onions on the platter.
Now it is time to get the gravy started. In a blender, pour 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of raw mushroom slices, 1/4 cup of diced onion, both bullion cubes, the corn starch, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, Braggs Aminos and black pepper to taste. Hit blend for 2 minutes and take a break, you’ve been working hard.
You can dump all the ingredients in a pot directly if you don’t want to deal with a blender. Shannon uses the blender because it ensures there wont be any lumps and because she loves her new Vitamix enough to include it on the Christmas card list for this year and take it for walks.
After blending for two minutes, dump the liquid into a small pot on high heat. Add a cup of the mushrooms and onions from your platter, stir occasionally. Let it boil for a minute then turn to simmer. Take off the heat after about 10 minutes and let the thickening fun begin!
Now it is time to make the tofu scramble. Using a slightly pressed firm block of tofu, crumble it into pieces in the same unwashed pan you’ve been using. Use a wooden spoon to break the tofu down to the consistency of scrambled eggs. Next, add the black salt. Tofu scramble tastes exactly like eggs if you use black salt. If you don’t have black salt, no worries, just add salt and pepper and you will still have plenty of flavor from the sausage, mushroom, and onions.
Now you get to grab the platter with the mushrooms, onions, and browned faux sausage and scrape it into your trusty pan with the waiting tofu scramble. Mix it together and stir in one cup of your gravy mixture. Once you are done with this step you’re done with all the complicated cooking and you become a simple burrito making factory.
This is entirely up to personal preference, but we warm up the tortillas and fill them with 1/4 cup of cubed red potatoes and a rounded 1/2 cup of tofu scramble mixture. After wrapping them tightly and placing them on a platter it is time to garnish them with left over ‘taters and gravy.
These little beauties are perfect on their own but sometimes I like to pull out the sriracha and go to town. No matter how YOU eat them or how YOU change the recipe, or if YOU even attempt the recipe, it has been an honor to have YOU over to break burritos with us.
I hope you’ll find some way to stay connected with us here Jason and the Veganauts. There are a lot of options to the right of the page like receiving new posts by email and following with RSS. You could also click on links in this very sentence that connect you to the Facebook Group, Facebook Page and Twitter account. It is like vegan magic (meaning no doves or rabbits are used during the tricks).
Enjoy the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck. Thanks for coming!