Vegan Menemen - Turkish Style Eggs
I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day and found this recipe for vegan menemen, which is a Turkish egg dish made with peppers and tomato.
I had 3 tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter, probably the last good ones of the season, some hot peppers in the fridge, and a package of silken tofu. It seemed like the perfect breakfast for this chilly early fall morning. IT WAS.
I've never had this dish before today, but I think it will become a frequent breakfast. Even once the tomatoes are out of season, you could use jarred or canned tomatoes, or just play around with whatever vegetables that are in season. The concept is basically to cook vegetables down, add in the eggs (or in this case silken tofu), and then serve with some chopped parsley (in this case cilantro), and bread. This is also a great way to turn leftover soup into a satisfying breakfast!
One of the great benefits of using silken tofu instead of eggs is not having to worry about if it's thoroughly cooked or not. With tofu, you don't realy need to cook it. Just warm it up and it's ready. The texture of the silken/soft tofu is different than the tofu we are normally used to which is typically firm or extra firm. This tofu resembles the smooth and luxurious texture of egg whites, and melts in your mouth. Bonus, it is incredibly healthy!
In the recipe I found, it was recommended to use Urfa chiles because they have a smoky and sweet essence. I didn't have any, so I worked with what I did have, which was a jalapeño and a cherry pepper. I also added a dash of smoked paprika to capture the smokiness, and about a teaspoon of balsamic reduction which is sweet and slightly tart. The original recipe also called for shishito peppers or long green peppers, which I simply skipped and made up for with more tomato than the recipe called for. I was only using it as an outline, after all. After making this dish, I looked into some other menemen recipes and found that many just call for jalapeños, onion, tomato - just like I made it!
Okay, here's the recipe I used, and it was delicious! So easy too, yet could be served for any meal. It looks and tastes impressive, so consider this for your next gathering!
Vegan Menemen (Turkish Style Eggs)
1-2 TBSP avocado oil
1 onion, diced small
1 jalapeño, chopped small (remove seeds if you don't want it to be spicy, or can remain for heat)
1 cherry pepper (or another jalapeño, or any other pepper), chopped small
3 medium tomatoes, diced (can alternatively use canned)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp balsamic reduction
Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper, more to taste
1 block of silken tofu
Parsley, chopped for garnish
Bread, for serving
In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, warm up the avocado oil, then add the onion and chopped peppers. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft, then add the tomatoes and balsamic reduction. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is soft and stewed. Add the block of tofu, and gently fold it into the mixture, breaking it into smaller pieces, but keeping some pieces intact (it falls apart very easily). Once the tofu is warm, it's ready to serve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (I used cilantro because it's all I had, and tasted great!), and serve with warm bread. You could also drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top for presentation. This recipe made 2 generous servings.
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