November 18, 2012
This vegan omelette has been a regular on my menu for over two months - it's super delicious, filling, really easy to make, budget-friendly and nutritious. I came to know Andrea - the author of Chocolate and Beyond - thanks to a recipe contest and I've been a fan of her simple and creative recipes ever since. The omelette is listed among her 12 Yummy Vegan Breakfast & Brunch Ideas (scroll down to no. 5). This dish has taken my love for chickpeas to such extremes that there have been days when I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with little else in between - it is that good.
I have found this to be quite similar to the Italian farinata di ceci (cecina), the Spanish tortilla de garbanzo, the French socca and the Indian besan cheela or puda. However, while these ones mostly use water and oil in the batter, the omelette uses milk (non-dairy) for an enriched taste and texture, and it's really soft and moist.
Anyone transitioning to veganism who misses eggs would love this. I once made it for someone who is not vegan and was very surprised to hear that they actually thought it was an egg omelette. I don't miss eggs and being the huge chickpea fan that I am I love this for what it is: a crazy-good chickpea dish.
The basic chickpea omelette is extremely versatile in all its simplicity and ease of making. I will show you the versions I've made so far, hoping to inspire you to try your own. For the recipe please head over to Andrea's post. You might find my tips and tricks useful, so please read on.
The first I tried was Andrea's original recipe (pictures above), with cayenne pepper instead of green chili. The combination of mushrooms, spring onions and chickpea is incredibly delicious. Now, Andrea suggests half omelette per person. I don't know about you, but I simply can't get enough of it, so I eat the whole thing. I did reduce the amount of spring onions to 2-3.
The non-stick pan I use is thin, so the cooking time is greatly reduced, especially since I like to up the heat a bit to get some crispy edges. My omelettes are about 18 cm in diameter, so when I stick with the initial amounts they come out a little thick, which makes them easy to slice and perfect for a packed lunch (they're great even cold). After making the batter once or twice it's easy to just eyeball the amounts and even reduce them to make thin omelettes.
For kids, you can add the cooked veggies to the batter and make pancake-like mini omelettes.
This is the mushroom version, very high in protein and fiber. My favourite type are the chestnut. The constant in all the omelettes I've made is garlic. I really love a crispy texture and for that I use a combination of sunflower oil and vegan margarine (the one I use has a high fat content, so it's more like butter).
I first cook the mushrooms in 1 tsp margarine on medium heat for a few minutes until they're golden-brown and glossy, then add the garlic and stir for a few seconds so it doesn't burn, lastly I add a little oil and the batter. I up the heat a bit and when the edges are crispy and the top almost dry I flip it over using a spatula.
Chickpeas are a low calorie food, with zero cholesterol and a low glycemic index, rich in protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. You can serve the omelette with a vitamin C-rich salad to better absorb iron. I sometimes like to drizzle a little lemon juice over the omelette, that tastes really good. For more information about the health benefits of chickpeas and fiber please read my notes on Chickpea Nuggets and Burgers.
Tender, slightly caramelized red bell peppers make an exciting contrast of taste and texture in this savoury dish. I use half a large pepper per omelette and follow the same method as above.
The omelette is very soft, moist and a little crispy here and there. I've used unsweetened soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk with equally great results. Coconut milk has to be the carton type, as the canned one has too much fat and the omelette doesn't cook well. I use sea salt or Himalayan.
This was madness! Spring onions, mushrooms and red bell pepper, a symphony of flavours!
I first cook the peppers in a little vegan margarine, then add the mushrooms, when they're tender and golden I add the chopped spring onions and finally garlic. A little oil right before pouring the batter, a little shake and done, heat does the rest.
A substantial meal in one simple dish, this omelette is so gratifying despite the little effort to prepare it. Additional spices I like to use are smoked paprika, nutmeg and sumac.
And lastly, the plain, garlic-flavoured version (I still add the spices). This is for those times when you want something quick and simple, no complex flavours, no hassle preparing and cooking vegetables, just good food. You can top it with shredded vegan mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, ketchup, oregano, then roll it up and make yourself a nice pizza omelette roll:)
This three-fold omelette is a simple way to impress guests.
I hope I've convinced you to try this amazing recipe and would love to know which version is your favourite.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
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