The Edgy Veggie

Edgy Veggie: Eggless ‘Egg Salad’


Main dish

Eggless Egg Salad

So basic, it’s barely a recipe, so creamy and comforting, you’ll forget it’s eggless. Firm tofu stands in for hard-boiled eggs, offering all of the protein and none of the cholesterol. Mustard, turmeric and nutritional yeast add a depth of flavor and echo the sunny color in egg yolks.

Feel free to customize with favorite egg salad add-ins such as sweet pickle relish, chopped olives, a dash of paprika or curry powder or a tablespoon or two of your favorite fresh herbs, finely chopped.

8 ounces (1/2 block) firm tofu, pressed to release excess water and blotted dry

1 stalk celery, diced

1 tablespoon scallion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast*

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mash tofu with a fork as you would hard boiled eggs, until the tofu is crumbly but still has some texture.

Add the diced celery and chopped scallion. Stir in vegan mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, turmeric, mustard, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Makes 2 to 3 servings. Recipe doubles easily.

* A fabulous dairy-free cheesy-tasting golden powder available in the baking section of Whole Foods and many other natural food stores. Vegan bonus — several brands are B-12 fortified.

Per serving: 84 calories (53 percent from fat), 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 1 g monounsaturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 92 mg sodium.

This must be the egg industry’s favorite time of the year. There’s Easter eggs, egg-rich Easter cakes and cookies, Easter brunch omelets, casseroles and eggs Benedict (eggs atop English muffins and in the Hollandaise sauce). Eggs also play a big part at Passover. They’re on the Seder plate and in matzo balls, kugels and Passover desserts. Eggs, though, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for cholesterol avoiders, allergic folk (eggs are among the top eight food allergens) and vegans. Plant-powered egg alternatives mean we still get a place at the holiday table.

• Flax seed. One tablespoon not only ups your omega-3 and fiber, but when whisked together with 3 tablespoons of water, creates vegans’ favorite plant-based egg substitute in baking.

• Tofu. Smash firm tofu and scramble the same way you scramble eggs. Add spices, veggies, anything you like.

Vegan mayonnaise

Four plant-based brands offer traditional mayonnaise’s rich flavor and texture without the cholesterol. They’re chicken-pleasingly eggless and proudly non-GMO verified, too.

• Creamy soy-based Nasoya’s Vegan Nayonaise (15 ounces, $4.39), has 30 calories per tablespoon, 3.5 fat grams and 115 milligrams sodium. The tangiest vegan mayo, it’s the lowest in calories and fat and, alas, the highest in sodium.

• Earth Balance Mindful Mayo (16 ounces, $4.29) and Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (16 ounces, $4.99) both follow the Hellman’s mayonnaise model. They’re more thick than creamy, and like Hellman’s contain 90 calories and 9 fat grams per tablespoon. The edge goes to canola-based Earth Balance. It has richer flavor, is lower in price and sodium (70 milligrams as compared to soy-based Vegenaise’s 85 milligrams) and contains no soy (another major allergen).

• The new plant-based mayo on the market is Just Mayo (16 ounces, $5.79). That’s just as in righteous. It’s the priciest, with the most fat (11 grams per 90-calorie serving) and the least sodium (65 milligrams per serving). It’s also the most mayolike in flavor. It’s canola-based and soy-free with a luscious whipped texture.

Find Just Mayonnaise and its vegan mayonnaise peers in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods, natural food stores and some supermarkets. Like traditional mayonnaise, they get their bright flavor from lemon, vinegar and mustard. What they don’t have — preservatives or traditional mayo’s 5 milligrams of cholesterol per tablespoon. Everyone wins. Even the chickens.

Ellen Kanner is the author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner.

Ellen Kanner is the author of “Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner.”

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