BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked


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Egg, Spelled with a “V”

Considering the frequency in which the issue of replacing eggs pops up, for both new and seasoned vegans, it’s surprisingly that few comprehensive solutions exist. There are certainly many methods, fully satisfying the need for egg-flavored dishes or the binding power they bring to baked goods, but there has been no single approach that could claim success in complete egg replication. Let’s be honest here: Mashed bananas are really not like eggs. Delicious in certain cakes, yes, but limited in their utility beyond that. Powdered “egg replacers” gave many confounded bakers a hand in converting family favorites over the decades, but these still had severe shortcomings. Lacking body and flavor, the results were never exactly the same. Such a complex ingredient seemed to have no equal, either naturally or chemically composed.

The Vegg wants to change all that. Claiming to be the “world’s first vegan yolk,” it’s currently the only product that strives to mimic not only the taste of eggs, but the physical properties unique to the yolk. One of its most impressive claims to fame is its ability to make perfectly round spheres, just like you might find in a soft-cooked sunny side-up egg, or the tender center to a poached one, bursting with golden goo when punctured.

I wasn’t nearly so ambitious though. Naturally, my first impulse was to crank up the oven and see what this unassuming powder could do. Using the prescribed 1 teaspoon of Vegg to 1/4 cup water, it’s reassuring to know that a little bit goes a very long way. Undeniably sulfuric in aroma, it was pungent enough to make me do a double-take. Of course, I couldn’t just toss it into any old cookie dough, but an egg-heavy batter that depended on the unique proteins that traditional yolks would bring to the party. After blending the Vegg mixture for a full 10 minutes, it was clear that it would not be whipped. Scratch those plans for sabayon.

Although the cookies worked, they were not the crackled, glossy-topped little numbers I had been pining after. Additional experiments to make a Vegg-based nog confirmed that it was better suited for more savory applications. Drinkable but not quite delicious, consider it an act of kindness that I’m not sharing any photos of the murky, brownish beverage.

Speaking of savory dishes, perhaps you recall the passing mention of my product and recipe article in Laika? Well, that recipe is none other than my Omelette Roulade, a large baked rectangle of Vegg wrapped around an umami-packed spinach and mushroom filling. Talk about a passing the test with flying colors- There may have been a genuine victory dance involved when the eggy sheet was fully rolled. Breakfast and brunch may never be the same with Vegg on hand. A compelling reason for any remaining holdouts to finally go vegan, this perfectly imitates the slightly salty, funky flavor that many fear they will lose when the give up eggs.

Finally, in the ultimate test, I threw down the gauntlet. Carbonara, the classic pasta preparation bearing a raw egg sauce, has proven impossible for decades. Sure, very creative vegan solutions exist, but most renditions end up erring closer to creamy alfredo than carbonara. Topping my glistening bowlful of noodles with homemade coconut bacon, the first bite was taken with great trepidation… But I can assure you, the rest were shoveled down enthusiastically. I may have little experience to base my assessment of the carbonara on, but I can tell you with certainty that A) I’ve never had anything like it since going vegan, and B) I would make it again in a heartbeat.

Linguine alla Carbonara

1/2 Pound Linguine

2 Tablespoons Melted Non-Dairy Margarine or Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 Cup Plain Vegan Creamer
1 Tablespoon Brown Rice Miso Paste
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Vegg

Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Coconut Bacon, or Any Vegan Bacon Substitute

Cook and drain your pasta according to the directions on the box; set aside.

In a medium skillet or saucepan, heat the margarine or oil over medium heat. Add in the diced onion and saute for about 3 minutes, until softened. Toss in the garlic next, and cook until aromatic and just barely golden, but not browned, all over.

Meanwhile, place the stock, creamer, miso, and pepper in your blender, and briefly blitz to combine. Then, with the motor running on low, slowly sprinkle the Vegg powder into the center of the canister to incorporate. If using a Vita-Mix, aim for the center of the vortex to prevent it from merely sticking to the sides and clumping.

Gently pour the Vegg mixture into the pan of aromatics, whisking to incorporate. Continue cooking, stirring periodically, until the sauce thickens and bubbles break rapidly on the surface. Pour the hot sauce over the cooked pasta, toss to coat, and portion out onto plates. Top with parsley and your “bacon” of choice, and serve immediately. It will continue to thicken as it cools, and doesn’t make for great leftovers. The noodles will glue themselves together after a trip to the fridge, so enjoy right away.

Makes 2 – 4 Servings

Printable Recipe

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