Vegan Eggz Essentials – Chef’s Proprietary Formula

Vegan Eggz Essentials – Chef’s Proprietary Formula

Basic skillet-cooked eggz whites with broken yolx, sautéed baby spinach and tofu bacon.

Regrettably, due to supply chain issues, Modernist Pantry has discontinued my own Vegan Eggz Essentials product, which consisted of two individual ingredients (Eggz Essentials A and Eggz Essentials B), conveniently packaged and sold together. These two ingredients are used in several recipes in my cookbooks, most notably my egg analogue recipes in Cook and Let Live.

While I’m disappointed that my product is no longer available, the individual ingredients are still available for separate purchase from a few sources. I have decided to publish my formula for your convenience. I’ve also included a basic eggz scramble recipe and an eggz white only recipe. Whenever you come across a recipe in my cookbooks that call for these ingredients, now you have the substitute.

Eggz Essentials A is a specific form of methylcellulose (plant fiber). Methylcellulose is the food science name for purified plant cellulose or fiber. Like cellulose, it is non-digestible, non-toxic, and non-allergenic. Methylcellulose, as an ingredient in food, has the unique property of setting when hot, which makes it particularly useful for preparing egg analogues. Methylcellulose is sold under a variety of names and in a variety of forms, and each form reacts differently in cooking. In my recipes, it can only be replaced with:

  • Methocel® A4C Food Grade (methylcellulose A4C) available from ModernistPantry.com, Amazon.com, and potentially other online sources; or
  • Methylcellulose HV or LV (high viscosity/low viscosity) available from Modernist Pantry.com, Amazon.com, and potentially other online sources. In Europe, methylcellulose HV is identified as methylcellulose e-461.

Eggz Essentials B (formerly high-acyl gellan gum) is being replaced with kappa carrageenan. Kappa carrageenan functions in a similar manner to gellan gum in this application; is more affordable; and is much easier to access. Kappa carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed, is commonly used in vegan cheesemaking.

Scrambled Eggz

Cooked scrambled eggz bear a remarkable resemblance to real cook scrambled eggs – with no tofu required. The eggz mixture consists of Vegan Eggz Essentials blended with plain non-dairy milk and other natural ingredients for flavor and color and the mixture is cooked just as you would real beaten eggs.

The scrambled eggz mixture needs to be blended and refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours for proper setting when cooked, so plan accordingly. For breakfast preparation convenience, blend and chill the eggz mixture the night before.

Please note that the scrambled eggz mixture is only intended for preparing scrambled eggz and omelets; as a binder in some cooked foods; or when used as an eggz dip for battering or breading (dilute with plain non-dairy milk to thin the viscosity). The formula needs to be customized for eggz quiches and frittatas by adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or potato starch to the mixture.

The scramble mixture will not work as an egg replacer in baked goods (breads, cakes, muffins, etc), or in other recipes that rely on the protein structure of eggs to create lift (such as soufflés). For baked goods you may want to experiment with aquafaba, commercial egg replacers, flaxseed emulsion, bananas or applesauce.

After the eggz have set, try folding in some shredded non-dairy cheese that melts before serving. If desired, top with sautéed vegetables; chopped herbs; or slices of fresh avocado and salsa. For a classic American breakfast, serve with hash browns, vegan bacon or sausages and whole grain toast with non-dairy butter. For the best texture experience, serve hot! This recipe yields about 4 servings.

Eggz Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480 ml) plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Eggz Essentials A (methylcellulose; see above description)
  • 1 T nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Eggz Essentials B (kappa carrageenan)
  • 1 teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
  • scant ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • scant ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

Preparation

Add the eggz ingredients to a blender and process for 20 seconds (a mini-blender is ideal for this purpose). An immersion blender can also be used. The mixture will be pale in color (the “egg” color will develop when the mixture is cooked). Resist adding more turmeric or paprika as this will create a very unnatural finished color appearance.  Please note that the raw mixture will be thicker than real beaten eggs.

Transfer the mixture to a sealable container and chill for a minimum of 2 hours. This is essential in order for the mixture to set properly when cooked. The blended mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and then used to prepare scrambles at your convenience. After chilling, the mixture will be quite thick and somewhat gelatinous. Before using, stir vigorously to loosen the mixture and break up any air bubbles that formed during blending. If the mixture has been chilled for extended periods, let it warm up to room temperature a bit. This will also help loosen the mixture and improve flow.

Mist a non-stick skillet with cooking oil or melt a tablespoon or two of non-dairy butter or margarine over medium-low gas flame (electric stoves may require a higher setting to heat the skillet sufficiently). Spread the desired amount of the eggz mixture in the skillet (½ cup for each serving). Increase the heat to medium.

After thirty seconds, push against the edge of the mixture with a flexible spatula to test for setting. If still liquid check again in thirty seconds. Once the mixture begins to set, push and fold the edges in towards the center with a flexible spatula. Break up the mixture with the edge of the spatula and continue to fold and cook until the eggz are set. Plate, season and garnish as desired; serve immediately.

Eggz Whites

Cooked eggz whites bear a remarkable resemblance in appearance, flavor and texture to real cooked egg whites. Eggz whites can be used for preparing skillet-cooked eggz, oven-cooked eggz, and eggz whites omelets. Cold-served eggz, such as deviled eggz, are prepared differently using agar as a setting agent (please see appropriate recipes in my cookbooks). Eggz whites consist of Vegan Eggz Essentials blended with plain non-dairy milk and kala namak to impart the characteristic egg-like flavor and aroma. No tofu is required.

The eggz whites mixture needs to be blended and refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours before cooking, so plan accordingly. For breakfast preparation convenience, blend and chill the eggz mixture the night before. This recipe yields 5 to 6 eggz whites (the recipe can be doubled or tripled if desired).

Please note that the eggz whites mixture is only intended for preparing skillet-cooked eggz, oven-cooked eggz, and eggz whites scrambles and omelets. While it will work as a binder in some cooked foods, it doesn’t have the structure for creating fluffy meringues (aquafaba is recommended for meringues). It also will not work as an egg white replacer in baked goods (breads, cakes, muffins, etc.) or in other recipes that rely on the protein structure of eggs to create lift (such as soufflés). For baked goods you may want to experiment with aquafaba, commercial egg replacers or flaxseed emulsion.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Eggz Essentials A (methylcellulose; see above description)
  • 1 teaspoon Eggz Essentials B (kappa carrageenan)
  • ½ teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Preparation

Add the ingredients to a blender and process for 20 seconds (a mini blender is ideal for this purpose). An immersion blender can also be used. Please note that the raw eggz whites mixture will be opaque and much creamier and thicker than real egg whites.

Transfer the mixture to a sealable container and chill for a minimum of 2 hours. This is essential in order for the mixture to set properly when cooked. The blended mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and then used at your convenience. After chilling, the mixture will be quite thick and somewhat gelatinous. Before using, stir vigorously to loosen the mixture and break up any air bubbles that formed during blending. If the mixture has been chilled for extended periods, let it warm up to room temperature a bit. This will also help loosen the mixture and improve flow.

Cooking the Eggz Whites

Mist a non-stick or cast-iron skillet with cooking oil over a medium-low gas flame. If using an electric stove, a higher setting may be needed to preheat the skillet sufficiently.

Vigorously stir the chilled eggz whites to loosen the mixture and remove any air bubbles. For each eggz white, spoon 2 generous tablespoons of the mixture into the skillet. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture into a circular or oval shape. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the whites are firm to the touch. Flip the eggz with a flexible spatula and cook for another 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with the broken yolx mixture (recipe follows) and season and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

Broken Yolx
Broken yolx is a rich, golden liquid egg yolk alternative that remarkably resembles lightly cooked egg yolk. It’s superb for drizzling over cooked eggz whites or silken tofu to create a “broken yolk” effect. It’s also wonderful for dipping toast, vegan bacon or sausage. This recipe yields about 1 cup. The recipe can be doubled if desired and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and then reheated at your convenience.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter or margarine
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk

Preparation

In a small dish, combine the nutritional yeast, alginate or gum, turmeric, paprika and kala namak. In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over low heat. Whisk in the mixed dry ingredients to create a paste. In small increments, whisk in the milk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until the mixture is heated through. Reduce the heat back to low to keep warm until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

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Vegan Cheesy Chile Rellenos Casserole

My new brunch “go-to”, Cheesy Chile Rellenos Casserole is a quick and easy vegan version of the classic Mexican dish. Since it’s baked, there’s no deep-frying involved. Skinning and stuffing the peppers isn’t necessary either. The finished casserole can be stored in the refrigerator once cooled and reheated as needed. I like to serve it with skillet potatoes, or refried beans and rice. Garnish with fresh or cooked salsa if desired. Vegan eggless scramble is a nice addition for a breakfast/brunch dish too.

Ingredients

  • 6 Poblano or 8 Anaheim chiles, split length-wise with seeds and membrane removed
  • 2 medium sweet yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1½ cup vegan shredded cheddar, homemade* or commercial
  • 1½ cup vegan shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella, homemade* or commercial
  • 2 or 3 slices day-old crusty bread
  • 1 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

*Delicious homemade vegan cheeses can be prepared with recipes from my Non-Dairy Evolution cookbook. See my website homepage for more information at: thegentlechef.com

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

Mist a large baking dish with cooking oil spray.

Layer the bottom of the dish with half the onions. Layer the sliced peppers evenly in the dish. Top with the shredded cheddar. Layer the remaining onions and top with the shredded white cheese.

In a food processor, add the sliced bread and seasonings and process into coarse crumbs. Top the casserole with the seasoned crumbs and seal the dish with foil.

Bake for 90 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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English Muffins

Yields 8 English muffins.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams/300 ml (1¼ cup) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 450 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and yeast.

Add the flour and salt and mix until a shaggy dough develops.

Transfer the dough to a roomy, lightly-oiled container, cover loosely and set in a warm place. After 30 minutes, with a dampened hand, fold the edges of the dough into the center while rotating the container (4 folds are sufficient). Cover loosely. Repeat this folding procedure again, 3 more times every 30 minutes (2 hours total), covering loosely each time.

After the series of folds, set the container aside in a warm place undisturbed for 2 hours. At this point you can proceed with rolling and cutting the dough – or, for a more complex sourdough flavor, the dough can be refrigerated up to 48 hours until ready to use (be sure to cover the dough directly in the container with oiled plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface and seal the container before refrigerating).

Dust a work surface with flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface and dust lightly with flour to reduce stickiness. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out ¾-inch thick. Cut rounds with 3-inch diameter round cutter. Roll out scraps of dough and repeat. Lay the dough rounds on parchment generously dusted with cornmeal and then dust the tops generously with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes (1½ hours for chilled dough).

Heat a large, dry non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a spatula, transfer a few rounds of dough to the skillet; don’t overcrowd. Cover with the lid to trap steam. Cook 8 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Flip and cook another 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on a rack.

Working around the perimeter of the muffin, use the tines of a fork to split the muffins in half. Toast until crisp. While hot, spread with vegan butter or margarine, and/or other toppings as desired.

Store leftover muffins airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Bagels

Originating in the Jewish communities of Poland, bagels are a yeasted wheat bread traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring, boiled for a short time in alkalinized water and then baked until golden. They can be made plain or seasoned. 

Dough Ingredients

  • 240 grams/ml (1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 1 packet rapid rise instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 400 grams bread flour*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

*To enrich with whole wheat, use 300 grams bread flour and 100 grams whole wheat flour.

Simmering Bath

  • 3 quarts water
  • ¼ cup barley malt syrup, real maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Optional Toppings of Choice

  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • everything bagels: combination of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, granulated garlic, and coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation

If using, scatter the bagel toppings on a plate; set aside.

Whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour, vegetable oil and salt and process on low speed until elastic, about 6 minutes. The dough may wrap around the hook while processing; simply stop the motor, push the dough off the hook with a narrow spatula and continue processing. Mixing and kneading can also be done by hand. Shape the sticky dough into a ball and place into a roomy, lightly oiled container, loosely cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 6 roughly equal pieces (for uniformity in size, weigh the dough and then divide by 6). Roll each piece into a ball. To form the bagels, slightly flatten the balls of dough with the palm of your hand. Pick up a portion and poke a hole into the center with a fingertip, then using your forefingers and middle fingers, gently stretch from the interior into a 3-inch interior diameter while rotating the ring of dough in your hand. Set aside on a lightly floured work surface. Repeat with the remaining portions. Shaping takes practice, so be patient with yourself.

Let the bagels rise again for 30 minutes while preparing the water bath.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in large cooking pot and add the chosen sweetener and the baking soda. Preheat the oven to 450˚F/230˚C.

Reduce the boil to a vigorous simmer, add 3 bagels and simmer for 1 minute. Flip the bagels over with a slotted spoon and simmer another minute. Remove with the slotted spoon to a baker’s rack to drain briefly. Repeat the simmering with the remaining 3 bagels. When cool enough to handle, lightly press the top and sides of the bagels into the topping of choice and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Avoid rough handling to prevent deflation.

Bake on the middle oven rack for 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in a sealed bag or container. To serve, slice horizontally through the center. Toast until lightly browned. Top with a “schmear” of vegan butter or cream cheese as desired.

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Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo


Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo with Vegan Eggz Scramble

Seasoning Blend

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (mild)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (spicy hot), or more to taste

Base Ingredients

  • 5 oz pressed extra-firm tofu, finely crumbled
  • ½ cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Liquid Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Preparation

Combine the seasoning blend ingredients in a bowl with the dry TVP granules. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mash and finely crumble the tofu with a fork. Set aside.

Whisk together the liquid ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a brief boil. Add the seasoned TVP granules, cover and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes.

Fold in the crumbled tofu until blended through evenly. Refrigerate in an airtight container to allow the tofu to absorb color and seasonings and to blend the flavors. Store up to 1 week in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer storage. Crumble and brown the mixture in a well-oiled skillet and use in recipes as desired.

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Sicilian Panelle

DSC01470-001Panelle, also known as Panella di Ceci, are Sicilian fritters made from chickpea flour and seasonings and are similar to fried polenta. They are a popular street food in Palermo and are often eaten between slices of bread or on a roll, like a sandwich. Panelle are believed to be of Arabic origin. The panelle can be cut into various shapes and sizes before frying.

Ingredients for the Panelle

• 1 cup chickpea flour
• 2 T dried parsley flakes
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 2 cups water
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• high-temp cooking oil for frying

Ingredients for the Relish (optional)

Mix together in a bowl:
• 3 campari tomatoes, seeded and diced
• 3 T finely diced onion
• 3 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation
Oil and 8”x8” baking dish or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine the chickpea flour, parsley, onion powder, basil and garlic powder in a bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, oil and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer and sprinkle in a small portion of the flour mixture while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Continue to incorporate the flour mixture in increments. Cook the mixture until it begins to pull away a bit from the sides of the saucepan. It will be very thick.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly. Let cool a bit and then cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until completely chilled and firm set.

Cut the panelle into any desired shape and fry until golden brown in hot cooking oil. They take a little time to brown, so be patient. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot excess oil. Serve warm.

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