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Recipe: Vegan Frittata and Shiitake Bacon

Let’s have some fun with chickpea flour! Who knew blending it with tofu opens up the world of egg-like dishes to plant-protein-only eaters? Then, prepare to be amazed by the wonder that is vegan shiitake bacon. Do I even have to tell you this entire meal is cholesterol-free?

July 11, 2014

I normally don’t appreciate it when vegan foods imitate non-vegan foods. All foods should be confident in their own personal identity. But calling this “soft and fluffy blended tofu and chickpea flour bake” is a little too honest. So vegan frittata it is. And the shiitake really do end up tasting like bacon!

Chickpea flour is no more complicated an ingredient than it sounds: chickpeas ground into a flour. You’re bound to find it in health food shops but even some larger supermarkets carry it nowadays. For recipe inspiration, look to the cuisines of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco, southern France and Italy where it’s firmly established as a staple ingredient. Just like normal frittata, this one bears many talents fitting in nicely at breakfast, dinner or as an appetizer.

If you choose to bake this in an 8″ square pan, as I did here, plan on letting it cool for about 2 hours before slicing. It will firm up during that time.

Garnishing with shiitake bacon (recipe below) is totally up to you but highly recommended.

Frittata4

Vegan Frittata

Serves 4 as a main

Inspired by the muffin pan frittata recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Unrefined Coconut Oil, for oiling pan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz package Soft Organic Tofu, drained
1/2 cup Water
2 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
Dash Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Chickpea Flour
1 Tbsp organic Cornstarch
Small handful Kale leaves, chopped into shreds

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil your 8″ square pan with enough coconut oil to cover sides and bottoms.

2.  In a food processor, process the garlic, tofu, water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, spices and salt until smooth. Add the chickpea flour and cornstarch then process another minute or so. Best to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.

3. Stir in the kale then pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The surface will crack and the edges will brown and pull away from the sides when finished.

4. Allow to cool for 2 hours before slicing. Use an angled spatula to lift the slices out of the pan…the bottom will be very tender and fluffy (prone to collapse) so give it lots of support. Garnish with slices of shiitake bacon.

Shiitake Bacon

Shiitake, at least 4 to have enough to top the frittata
Drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sprinkle of Unrefined Sea Salt

You can see how exact this recipe is…

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Stem the mushrooms (discarding them or saving them for stock) then slice the tops into thin strips. Toss these with a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt, just enough to lightly coat. The trick here is not to go overboard, you don’t want to end up with oily and way too salty mushrooms. You’ll be able to feel the oil on the mushrooms, but they shouldn’t be saturated.

3. Spread the mushrooms evenly on a baking sheet, not allowing them to touch. Bake for 20 minutes, pull out of the oven and give them a good stir. At this point they should have started to crisp up. Set aside any that have darkened and gone totally crispy. Continue baking in 5-minute increments, pulling the tray out, stirring the mushrooms, and removing the ones which are completely crisp until your whole batch is done. These are best eaten on the day they’re made, however, storing them overnight at room temperature in an airtight container is not prohibited.

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