Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sympathy for the Deviled Eggs

I love Deviled Eggs. I haven't had an actual Deviled Egg in well over 15 years. And during that time, I thought about them very often.... more often that I'd like to admit! The problem is that there are suitable vegan replacements for almost every single non-vegan food I have ever had a craving for... the lone exception being Deviled Eggs. Until now!
This is me, in my dreams, for many, many, many years...
 I have given a lot of thought over the past decade to how one would make a vegan Deviled Egg. I never tried it, because I was convinced my idea wouldn't work. My main concept was using silken tofu for the whites, and regular tofu whipped up with a bunch of stuff for the yolk. But I knew in my heart that wouldn't taste eggy at all, and they would just look like tragic little awkward squares of soy.

A year or so ago, in my quest for the incredible, edible vegan Deviled Egg, I stumbled upon this recipe for "Potato Angels"... a recipe that uses new potatoes as the base for the eggs. Which seemed like a fun idea! They look cute, and I love potatoes. And I always meant to try that recipe, but I never did.... and then, about a month ago on Pinterest, I spotted this crazy recipe for Vegan Deviled Eggs... That Look Like Eggs, That Taste Like Eggs! And I KNEW I had to try them! In fact, this recipe is what gave me the idea to give myself a Once a Month Food Challenge for 2013.

Yesterday, I discovered what happens when you use 2 magical ingredients in Vegan Deviled Eggs: Agar Powder and Kala Namak. I was so skeptical of both! How would 2 tsp of agar powder in 2 cups of boiling almond milk really firm up enough so that one could mold it into egg shapes and pick them up with one's fingers?!? And I have long heard vegan rumors of the inherent eggy-ness of Black Indian Salt (Kala Namak), but really, how eggy can *salt* possibly be?!?

The results were stunning! When I opened that sack of Kala Namak, it smelled so much like eggs, it was actually unsettling! And the agar powder worked like a dream, giving me totally solid little egg cups (of course, I don't have any egg shaped molds, so I used mini muffin tins, which worked out perfectly!). Behold, here are my very first Vegan Deviled Eggs!
And unlike real eggs, these stand up all by themselves, without needing a special plate! :-)
But the million dollar question..... how did they taste?!? Is it really possible that one can transform almond milk and tofu into Deviled Eggs?!? The answer is a resounding YES! These are AMAZING! So, so, so realistic! Yes, I haven't had an actual Deviled Egg in a decade and a half, but these brought back so many good memories! And this is not just my skewed vegan perception. My husband was historically not a fan of Deviled Eggs..... however, you may remember that he also spent last year learning to like all of the foods he hated along with me, so he finally ate Deviled Eggs last year, and liked them just fine. So, as a non-vegan and a recent consumer of Actual Eggs, he confirmed they tasted exactly like Actual Eggs, and that if he were blindfolded, he would have thought he was eating Actual Eggs.
Here's my husband after his first bite of Vegan Deviled Egg... he was saying, "FREAKY!!!"
So, yeah. These were completely life changing! I'm thankful I found this recipe, and was able to FINALLY quench my craving for Deviled Eggs!!! This won't be the last time I make these delightful treats!!!

Oh, and I guess I need to close this particular entry with an explanation, because I know most omnivores are shaking their heads, and wondering why on Earth would anyone go through the trouble of making a vegan Deviled Egg instead of just eating a couple of goddamn real eggs?!? It's very simple. NO ONE is vegan because they don't like the taste of meat, dairy or eggs. We all have different reasons for eating a vegan diet, but it is never that we don't appreciate the flavors associated with animal products. As for eggs in particular, while I obviously do not wish to support conventional egg producing practices, I personally have no ethical problem with someone eating eggs from a well cared for chicken (meaning, if you have a pet chicken and you love her very much and take good care of her, I don't find it immoral to eat her eggs), but I would still not eat those eggs. Plain and simple, the concept of eating an Actual Egg disgusts me. They are chicken's periods and they are creepy, and thinking of eating them makes me feel yucky inside. So, Actual Eggs = disgusting, but tasty. A combination of almonds, soybeans, salt and olive oil made into Vegan Deviled Eggs = not disgusting AND tasty! :-)

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