Waffle Makers and the Minimalist Paradox

So last weekend while shopping with Maciej, we happened upon this factory warehouse. While he took a gander at man toys, I headed straight to the back with the dimly lit sign labelled, “Kitchen”. This section is usually where my husband can find me at most department stores … Winners I’m talking to you … heh. Anyway, while browsing the mish-mash of items and reiterating the internal self-control narrative of necessity, I saw something that I have always wanted to try but felt it an unnecessary kitchen appliance. A waffle maker. And not just any waffle maker … a Star Wars waffle maker for $10.

Sorry about the waffle evidence above … I sent this photo to one of my good friends while I was too excited to clean it after use. Anyway, needless to say, I bought it. I figured for $10 I could try it out and if it was not for me or if I did not use it enough to justify the space it takes, I can donate it or give it away to someone who can get more value from it.

Now my husband saw this purchase and rolled his eyes while smiling with an exaggerated sigh (he is a Star Wars fan as well, after all). On the drive home, I discussed how we could have waffles for dinner. After using my verbal imagery to describe waffles stacked with berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, the works, Maciej commented, “that doesn’t sound like dinner” much to my disappointment. Men.

Alright, savoury waffles that need to be vegan and gluten-free? Bring it on. Pinterest here I come. The flavour combo that I found appealing was “Cheese and Chive”; however, cheese is not vegan, and I am not a fan of Daiya – I find the texture unappealing and the taste unconvincing at a higher price point. After some thought, I came up with this delicious hit. These cheezy waffles are the perfect texture and do not contain any dairy! Nope, these are vegetable-based! Seriously! Don’t even get me started on the fantastic creamy egg yolk flavour and texture in the vegan Hollandaize sauce. Furthermore, this recipe is mostly pantry ingredients making it easy to make when your fridge is looking empty before grocery day!

Kudos to my husband for taking a chance at the food photography above! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Who said you couldn’t have waffles for dinner! If you try the recipe, share below!

Vegan Cheddar and Chive Waffles with Savoury Hollandaize Sauce

These cheezy waffles are the perfect texture and not a lick of dairy. They are also gluten-free and vegan! Don't even get me started on the amazing creamy egg yolk flavor and texture in the vegan Hollandaize sauce. Furthermore, this recipe is mostly pantry ingredients making it easy to make when your fridge is looking empty before grocery day! I strongly recommend weighing your ingredients as it is more accurate
Servings: 8 Waffles

Ingredients

Cheezy Chive Waffles

  • 360 g red potatoes peeled and diced (approx. 2 1/2 C)
  • 140 g carrots peeled and diced (approx. 1 C)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp light oil olive oil, grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 C almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 C cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 C chives I keep freeze-dried chives in my pantry; however, you can use fresh chopped

Hollandaize Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 2 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 C water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable boullion powder
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric

Instructions

Chezy Chive Waffles

  • Peel and chop the potatoes and the carrots* and place into a medium-size saucepan.
  • Fill the saucepan with water and place on the stove on high. Bring the potatoes and carrots to a boil for 5-7 minutes until tender.
  • While the potatoes and carrots are boiling, add one clove of garlic to a blender and turn on to chop finely.
  • In a small cup, make a flax egg by mixing the ground flax seed and water and letting it sit until ready to use.
  • When the potatoes and carrots are boiled, drain the water and place them into the blend with the garlic clove.
  • Add nutritional yeast, light oil, almond milk and apple cider vinegar to the blender then blend on high for 3 minutes**.
  • Preheat your waffle maker.
  • While the blender is running, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. That is the gluten free flour, cornmeal, baking powder and chives.
  • When the blender has pureed the cheezey sauce, pour it into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Add the flax egg and hand mix the batter using a rubber spatula until consistent.
  • When the waffle maker is ready, pour your batter and shut the waffle maker. Most waffle makers have a "ready" light when the waffles are done; however, if not, these waffles take 5-7 minutes to cook***.
  • Remove the waffle from the waffle maker when it is slightly browned and allow the waffle to cool for 3-5 minutes.

Hollandaize Sauce

  • Place a medium-size saucepan on the stove at medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Finely chop garlic and onion and saute until transluscent (not brown).
  • While the onion and garlic are sauteeing, prepare your measuing cup of almond milk.
  • Add the arrowroot starch to the garlic and onion. When it starts to thicken, pour the almond milk a little at a time while quickly stirring so that it forms a gravy-like texture.
  • In your liquid measuring cup, mix the water and vegetable boullion powder together and slowly add the mixture to the cheezy sauce.
  • Whisk in lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, ground mustard and turmeric so that the sauce is well blended.
  • Heat the sauce on medium high until it thickens ****.
  • Pour the sauce into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  • Top the waffles with this Vegan Hollandaize sauce as well as chopped chives and enjoy!

Notes

* I like to place my pot on my electronic scale and weigh the potatoes and carrots as I go along.
** literally set a time for three minutes, it is essential that the potato and carrot puree into a thick and cheezy sauce.
*** these waffles are quite steamy! Do not be alarmed (like I was when I thought the recipe was a funk). Make sure that you leave the waffle maker to do its thing and don't open it to check on it for at least 5 minutes.
**** you should be able to see the metal at the bottom of your saucepan when you run a rubber spatula over the bottom. You are looking for the consistency of a thick gravy.

A Good Night’s Sleep? Not This Week … or maybe?

On Sunday I woke up uncomfortable with a pinched nerve in my shoulder blade. Let me tell you; the body can turn on you quickly. Something as simple as a knot in my shoulder blade was completely disabling! It made simple tasks, like trying to check my blind spot while driving, painful.

Like the workaholic I am, I took an Advil and pushed through the pain. Update: this was a big mistake. This morning, I woke up and literally could not move! It was no longer a pinched nerve. Instead, it was three pinched nerves in my shoulder blade and neck! Do you know that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda is laying on her bathroom floor unable to move? Her character resonated with my soul this morning! The pain was unbearable!

So what do I do? I try an Advil again and it is not touching the pain. So like a big grown-up adult woman, I texted my mom to complain. She recommended trying some essential oils – gotta love that hippy. This reminded me that I had a “Deep Muscle Relief” blend. Skeptical, I tried it. Not too shabby. Still in pain but some relief. I threw it in my bag and headed to work. By the time lunch break rolled around, I could not move. Desperate, I pulled up a 10-minute yoga video on the new Deliciously Ella App for iOS and combined the routine with my essential oils. After lots of cracking, groaning and deep breathing, I am feeling much better! I also invested in a new side-sleeper pillow and I am hoping it will ensure that this pain does not last longer than needed. Bonus, it smells like lavender!

The truth is that sometimes you need to do the work and be temporarily uncomfortable before you can relax.

In a less painful version of this lesson, I have gotten into the practice of meal prepping on Sundays so that my work week goes smoothly. This is a game changer for the working gal! I am not one to make a bunch of preportioned packs (I have tried but I find it too much work). Rather, I like to focus on making ingredients using a sheet pan. You would be surprised what you can do with a sheet pan in terms of batch cooking. I have made eggs for breakfast sandwiches for a week using one of these bad boys.

When it comes to tofu, I like it to be crunchy and flavourful for lunches. This way it can be put in a rice bowl, tossed with a salad or eaten as a snack. This recipe for sheet-pan tofu is versatile, low maintenance and will last 5 days in a Tupperware in your fridge!

Are you a batch cooker? Do you have any other flavour combinations? Share below in the comments section!

Crispy Baked Tofu

This recipe for sheet-pan tofu is versatile, low maintenance and will last five days in a Tupperware in your fridge!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 5 Servings

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 2 Blocks Firm Tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Flavour Options*

  • 2 tbsp jerk seasoning Jerk Tofu
  • 2 tsp of each soy sauce, chilli flakes and tahini Asian Flavour
  • 2 tsp of each nutritional yeast, paprika, chilli powder and cumin TexMex
  • 2 tsp of each garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper Lemon Garlic
  • 2 tsp of each cumin, paprika and turmeric Savoury

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Press the two blocks of tofu for 15 minutes**.
  • Standing your tofu up on its edge, slice the tofu in half. Lay it flat then cut the rectangle in half and split each half into 9 squares (2 cuts in each direction). With two block of tofu, you will end up with 72 cubes of tofu.
  • Place all cubes of tofu into a mixing bowl and add oil, cornstarch and one flavour option of choice**.
  • Using a lid or plate, cover the mixing bowl and shake the tofu.
  • Pour the tofu mix onto a sheet pan and make sure that each tofu cube is separated.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and shake/ flip, then bake for 15 more minutes.
  • Allow tofu to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Notes

* Each line of ingredients is one flavour choice. I do not recommend putting all those ingredients into the bowl, LOL! It is wise to mix the flavour spices together before adding it to the tofu.
** I press tofu by wrapping 1 block of firm tofu in a paper towel or two and stacking my cast iron fry pan on top of it with a bunch of cookbooks. It works. You can also buy a tofu press.