Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vegg Trick Muffin

I recently won a $5 gift card to McDonald's. My first thought was, cool, a couple of orders of fries. But then I remembered that McDonald's fries Never Go Bad, and that kinda grosses me out. So then I realized that all I'm willing to eat at McDonald's (willing to eat...something sounds wrong with that) nowadays is the oatmeal.

Which got me reminiscing about all the things I used to love eating at McDonald's. I have fond memories of Big Macs without onions, cheeseburger days in elementary school (damn those things smelled good), the failed McDonald's pizza in high school, $1.50 McChicken days during my college years, and more recently, fruit & yogurt parfaits, Egg McMuffins and BLT breakfast bagels (add cheese and bacon for an extra hit of awesome).

Even after going Plant-Strong I would still have McDonald's fries when the occasion called for it. I was grateful that I could still enjoy that indulgence in my new vegan lifestyle. Fries aren't a nutrient-rich whole food, but they taste damn good and are made without animal products, so they were a-ok in my book in the once-in-a-while category.

And then I saw the special features of Supersize Me, wherein Morgan Spurlock tries, unsuccessfully, to see how long it takes for McDonald's fries to go bad. His intern accidentally throws them out. After 10 weeks.

Seeing those picture perfect fries, in picture perfect condition after 10 weeks was all it took for me to cross McDonald's fries off my once-in-a-while-indulgence list, permanently. I mean, holy shit, what the hell is in those things, and how the hell is it ok for whatever is in them to be in us??

Something is seriously wrong.

But just because I'm completely grossed out by McDonald's now (please God don't let there be some revelation about the oatmeal before I use my gift card) doesn't mean that I don't still long for that McDonald's-esque fix on occasion.

So I put my own spin on Strong Hearts Cafe's Egg Trick Muffin: the Vegg Trick Muffin.

At his latest excursion to Karmavore, Rob the Husband picked up a package of the Vegg.

This is essentially a mix for a vegan egg yolk made primarily from nutritional yeast. You blend it with water and it actually smells and tastes very similar to an egg yolk. It's a really interesting product, and the bag yields A LOT. I got practically a whole blender full from one pack. You can totally portion this stuff out.

For our first attempt we pulled out a block of tofu, cut out a few "egg" pucks with a cookie cutter, and followed the Strong Hearts Cafe recipe for the coating as seen in the YouTube video. We used "bacon" instead of "sausage" and added some jack-style Daiya we picked up in the States (they have Daiya blocks there...them Americans always get the cool stuff first). I assembled everything on an English muffin, squirted on some organic ketchup, and we were good to go. 

This Egg Trick Muffin was definitely a winner. The texture is just like that of an Egg McMuffin, and the flavour is actually better, as real eggs always had kind of a mlechy aftertaste, like dairy milk. The seasonings they use in the coating are perfect. I was definitely an instant fan. 

I also found my new official favourite veggie bacon....Smart Bacon. We picked up a pack to try (in the States, of course) and holy crap is this stuff ever good. I've found other veggie bacons to be pretty tough and kinda rubbery, but the Smart Bacon cooks up with a fantastic crispy texture and awesome smoky flavour. It was delicious on its own and was a perfect compliment to the TrickMuffin.

For experimental Round 2, I thought I'd make use of the Vegg and amp up the egginess of the TrickMuffin by soaking the tofu puck in Vegg after coating it. This worked out really well, as the Vegg cooked the puck and made the coating nice and crispy with less oil. I also tried doing it backwards by soaking the tofu in Vegg and then dredging it in the coating, but when I fried it up on the pan the coating just fell off, so it's better to have an outside layer of Vegg for sure. It also adds just that extra jolt of eggy flavour, making this sandwich pretty friggen perfect. 

So there you have it...cruelty-free comfort eats that give you a fast food fix and taste awesome. Thumbs up Vegg Trick Muffin.

And I'd wager it doesn't take three months to decay. 

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