Pssst! Don’t tell your abuelita…
I figured out how to make vegan huevos con chorizo (pronounced “WEH-vose cone cho-REE-so”), or vegan “eggs with spicy Mexican sausage”! If you’re from Spain, let’s not start a debate about the origins of chorizo. Let’s just be friends.
But wait a minute, do you mean to say that a dish traditionally made with scrambled eggs and sausage – (two things that don’t remotely resemble plants) – can be veganized??
I grew up eating “huevos con chorizo” almost every week.
It was one of those meals that my mom would make when she didn’t have the time or energy to make anything more complicated. She would just throw some sausage in a pan, scramble some eggs with it, put the mixture in a tortilla, and call it a day. The chorizo itself was spicy and flavorful enough that you really didn’t need to add any other seasonings, not even salt. In California, you’ll see chorizo burritos on any taco shop breakfast menu, but at home we would eat it any time of day.
The tricky thing with chorizo is that some brands taste great, others are awful.
Once you’ve had “bad” chorizo, it’s hard to build back your trust enough to give it another chance. Not only that, as I entered my early 20s, I started getting kinda grossed out by how greasy chorizo was. Even if the pan was totally wiped clean after sauteeing the sausage, sometimes I would bite into a chunk in my taco and a bunch of orangey grease would ooze out. Not very appetizing.
So I stopped eating chorizo long before I even became vegan, until…
I came across Kristy Turner’s “Sunflower Sausage” recipe (See her book, But I Could Never Go Vegan! – highly recommended), with a variation for chorizo, and the light bulb went off in my head. I had already figured out how to make very convincing tofu “scrambled egg” (thanks to Minimalist Baker).
I put 2 and 2 together and – BAM!
The rest is history. I now had vegan huevos con chorizo in my life. Granted, this recipe takes a little more time than my mom’s, but it has all the spicy goodness without any of the nasty grease or resulting heartburn. Plus, you can feel good knowing that it is entirely plant-based – better for you, the animals, and the planet.
I do have to make a DISCLAIMER before you attempt to make these vegan huevos con chorizo…
My wonderful hubby was helping me in the kitchen, blending up the sausage mixture like a manly man, when suddenly, our parents’ prized 15+ years old Vitamix blender gave up. Just stopped. All revival attempts in vain. Thankfully, hubby and I had our own relatively new Vitamix motor in storage handy, so we were able to finish making dinner that night. But hubs let me do the rest of the blending 😉 So DO be careful not to work your blender/food processor too hard. Give it little breaks, stir up the contents, add a few tablespoons of water if needed.
By the way, Señor VP really liked the finished product – he scarfed down his first spicy taco in about 2 bites. Even my fully Mexican mom approved of my vegan remix of this weeknight classic.
¡Ten cuidado y disfruta! (Proceed with caution, and enjoy!)
- 3-4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided (if using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes below, use the oil from the jar)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 2 cups raw shelled sunflower seeds OR walnuts OR combination of the two
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated if hard)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Water, as needed to make blending easier
- 1 block (14-oz.) extra-firm organic tofu
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1-2 Tbsp water
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Flour or corn tortillas (the batch is enough for a good 8 tacos)
- Salsa or hot sauce, optional
- Refried beans, optional
- Prepare tofu by draining excess water from package. Then, wrap in paper towels, put on a plate, and place a heavy object (such as a cast-iron pan) on top to press out more water. Let sit while you prepare the rest.
- Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat; saute onions for about 3 minutes until they start to soften. Add pressed garlic and saute for another minute. Remove from heat.
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tsp of the oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, sage, fennel seeds, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Pulse, stopping often to scrape the sides/bottom and redistribute ingredients, until broken down and combined. Be VERY CAREFUL not to overheat your motor (see disclaimer above); add a few tablespoons of water if needed to make it easier to blend. Add the garlic/onion mixture and continue pulsing until mixture is sticky and no piece is larger than a lentil.
- Discard soaked paper towels covering tofu block. Break up the tofu into large chunks with your hands into a medium sized bowl, then use a fork to crumble into "scramble"-sized pieces. In a small bowl, combine the "huevos" spices with 1-2 Tbsp water to make a pourable sauce.
- Heat 1-2 tsp oil in same frying pan as earlier over medium heat. Add the crumbled tofu; stir and cook about 2 minutes, until some of the edges start to brown. Pour the sauce over the tofu and stir to coat evenly; continue cooking about 2 more minutes. Remove from skillet back into the bowl; set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the pan, then dump in your sausage mixture. It will be really sticky at first, but use a wooden spoon to break it up as much as you can. As it starts to brown, it will get easier to maneuver. Keep stirring, browning, and breaking up the mixture for about 5 minutes until it starts to resemble chunks of sausage. Add the tofu scramble back into the pan and stir to combine.
- Heat tortillas over a flat pan (or in the microwave). Fill with "huevos con chorizo", beans (if using), and serve with salsa or hot sauce if desired. ¡Buen provecho!
Nutrition information below is for 1/8 of the vegan huevos con chorizo mixture (enough for 1 taco); does not count tortillas, salsa, or other accompaniments.