Sunday Brunch with Cauliflower Scramble

Do you like eggs? I really love eggs… or at least I did. Actually, now that I think about it, eggs and I have a love-hate relationship. Right now, we are in the hate zone. I will spare you all the details of my egg/no egg past, and just skip to the present. A couple weeks ago, I was eating my second breakfast (as we like to call it) of poached eggs with Mr. Zucchini Runner. I starting thinking — again — about the possibility of building a coop and raising chickens in our backyard. I have always thought about this, because I wanted to know the hens were treated properly and raised in a stress-free environment. I feel if we are going to eat animals, we at least owe them love and peaceful lives before we end their lives.

So as I sat eating my eggs, my mind wandered through a series of thoughts that went something like this:

I still want a chicken coop.
Maybe now is finally the right time, since we don’t have Rocco anymore.
I would pet them, and love them… most likely name them.
They would love it here.
They’d have a BIG backyard to roam, and a huge tree with shade.
It would be so cool to have that connection; to know where our food is coming from.
…{uhhhhhh}…
But then I eat their unfertilized eggs?
So they are essentially existing in our backyard, deprived of their own baby chicks, to provide me a tasty breakfast protein…?
How will THAT be a loving environment…?
I can’t do that to them… I can’t eat their unborn chicks…

And suddenly I felt ill.

I couldn’t eat my other egg. I gave it to Mr. Zucchini Runner, telling him how my recent thoughts had just unfolded in my head. I also explained, that I couldn’t TRULY explain every thought or feeling that lead me there, just that it suddenly didn’t sit well with me… after many years of eating eggs without issues.

I haven’t had eggs since. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss them. And thankfully we live in a world of abundance where we can go to the store and quite literally purchase food off the shelf in any form. Devoid of nutrients, or chock-full of nutrients. Today, in the modern world, we have a choice. My personal choice — at least for now — is to skip the eggs.

Introducing: The Cauliflower Scramble™

Free of all animal harm, so I can sit down to a lovely breakfast without a knot in my stomach. By the way, that TM is kiiiiinda a joke. I did a quick Google search, and to the best of my knowledge this hasn’t been done, or at least not WIDELY done and available on the first page of results. So you heard it here first people! Cauliflower “EGGS’.

I know many people who don’t eat eggs for a variety of reasons. So for all the vegans out there, and others who don’t like, or can’t eat eggs, I hope you enjoy my take on animal-free “eggs”. Truth be told, the inspiration for this one came while on a run. I smelled something delicious, it made me think of maple syrup and then I immediately made a recipe in my head for black bean sausage patties. (You totally see the connection, right?) The “eggs” came once I was already baking the patties in the oven!

So first, the patties, since they take the longest. The secret to these black bean sausage patties, are the spices, much like regular sausage patties. These are also gluten-free and soy-free, and can be nut-free if you swap out the coconut oil for another oil.

Black Bean Sausage Patties

1 – 15.5 oz. bag/box/can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup onion, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp. Real salt
1/4 tsp. savory
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
1/8 tsp. crushed pepper flakes
pinch, ground black pepper
baking sheet
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 300°F (this temperature is very important for proper baking)

  1. First, if you are making these with the cauliflower “egg” scramble below, let your bag of frozen cauliflower sit on the counter to start defrosting.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, in order listed, into a food processor.
  3. Blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or large tablespoon, place 8 balls, spaced out enough to flatten, onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Flatten each ball down to resemble a sausage patty, but using parchment paper on the bottom of a ramekin. (See image below.)
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 300°F. After 30 minutes, remove from oven, carefully flip, and return to oven for 10 additional minutes of baking. While these bake, you can start on the cauliflower recipe and also get the carrot slices ready.

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Cauliflower “Egg” Scramble

1 – 1 lb. bag of frozen cauliflower, partially thawed, and then processed to rice size bits
2 TBSP. nutritional yeast
2-4 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. Real salt
1 TBSP. coconut oil
1 large chard leaf, finely chopped
5 lg. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, each one cut in half

  1. Place the partially defrosted cauliflower into your food processor, and pulse carefully until you get rice-sized bits. I had to remove the lid, scrape and reposition a little as I went. So it takes a little patience. If you have any large pieces that refuse to break apart, simply remove and cut with a knife on your cutting board and return to the food processor. You can pulse a few more times at this point.
  2. Add the nutritional yeast, crushed garlic cloves, cumin and turmeric. Process until well combined.
  3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil on low-medium heat until melted.
  4. Add cauliflower mixture and allow to cook, while you prepare chard, mushrooms and tomatoes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  5. Add chard and mushrooms to skillet. Stir well and let cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the chard starts to wilt and mushrooms start to look shiny.
  6. Add sliced cherry tomatoes and stir well. Place a lid on pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes. {At this point, you can put the carrots in the oven.} Give it a taste to ensure all the veggies are cooked to your desired consistency.

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Broiled Dill Carrots
I did these to add color and visually mimic bacon. {hahahahaha}

4 large carrots, cut in third or fourths, lengthwise
1 TBSP. coconut oil
few dashed of dill weed

Preheat oven to 425°F (we used our toaster oven, but you can also do these once the black bean patties are out of the oven)

  1. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Use your fingers to slather some coconut oil on each carrot.
  3. Sprinkle with as much dill weed as your heart desires.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes, or until desired tenderness. We like a little crunch, so 7 minutes was good; they are also nice and bright orange this way, and not depleted of too many nutrients.

When it’s all done and plated, it’s a visually beautiful plate of food, made entirely of plants which also tastes AMAZING. I’ve been a little excited to share this one with all of you. It was SO fun to create, and was the perfect amount of food for Mr. Zucchini Runner and I. As we both sat down and started eating our first bites, we were stoked it tasted as good as it looked. Which, let’s be honest, when I get super creative in the kitchen, not going off any sort of recipe, it sometimes creates a bland end product. So as I always say, have fun in the kitchen – experiment – don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Often times that’s when you learn the most and sometimes a mistake turns into something incredible… and sometimes, you just end up with a killer plate of food.

What is your take on eggs? Do you love them, hate them, neutral?

 

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