I’m still batting what seems to be the week-long headache from hell. I’m not sure what’s causing this–could be the change of diet, or this site suggests I might have sleep apnea. Well, I don’t think I necessarily have sleep apnea, but I do have very bad allergies that make it difficult to breathe. As a result, I’m probably snoring at night (I’ve been waking up with an extremely dry mouth the past few nights–red flag that I’m probably sleeping with my mouth wide open). I’m going to try to take my neurologist-from-yester-year’s advice and take some vitamin B12 and D supplements–he surmised that my lack of anything else fatally wrong with me could point to a vitamin deficiency that is playing a big role in my frequent headaches. Especially now, I assume that’s got to be the case–I haven’t done anything to ensure better consumption of B12 in this past week, so I suppose it’s time to start.
So, since I woke up with an aching head yet again, I sent my boyfriend to the store to pick up a few quick things to make some improvised vegan oatmeal waffles. I didn’t feel up to looking up a recipe from scratch, and since I’m not in possession of any “binders” (like flax), I figured the easiest route would be picking up premade mix that doesn’t require the addition of eggs and we’d be good to go. A few weeks ago, when I wasn’t trying to eat a vegan diet, I improvised and made these waffles by simply adding a few ingredients to the box mix and some oatmeal, and they were delicious! I wanted to replicate that.
Well, if you’ve ever tried to make vegan pancakes or waffles from the box, you’re probably shaking your head and saying, oh, you naive little thing. It’s damn near impossible to find vegan mix in a typical grocery store. Everything contains whey! and casein! I figured there had to be SOMETHING–whole wheat mix, perhaps? And that’s the conclusion my boyfriend had, too. He arrived home with Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Blend. All is fine, right? Wrong. He failed to read the instructions–which require an egg!–and with my previously mentioned lack of binders in the house, I had to improvise. Here is what ensued. By no means am I a chef, but my intuition is starting to really kick in in the kitchen. I think these were the best vegan waffles I could have come up with given the circumstances.
Improvised Vegan Box + Oatmeal Belgian Waffles
Yields: 2 to 3 large belgian waffles
Note: The waffle instructions are on the side of the box. Do not follow the pancake instructions, which are in plain view on the back of the box.
1 1/4 cups pancake mix
1 1/4 cups milk (I used Silk vanilla soy milk)
1 egg (I substituted 1 extra tbsp soy milk in place of the egg)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Mix until all large lumps disappear. Then, add:
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (I used Quaker)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkle cinnamon to taste (I use quite a bit)
At this point I tasted the batter. It wasn’t quite sweet enough for my taste. So, I added:
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
Then, the batter was a little too thick, so I added:
1/8 cup water
I gave the mix one more big stir and added it to my waffle iron, which I had already preheated and oiled with vegetable oil. A note on waffle irons: I don’t know about you guys, but my waffles ALWAYS stick to the iron and trying to remove the waffles in one piece is a huge challenge. I love my waffle iron (it actually isn’t mine–I got it for my boyfriend for his birthday because he wanted one so badly, and this one seemed really high-quality and a little bit on the expensive side, so I had no idea the waffles would have such a major sticking problem). We thought the problem was skimping on the vegetable oil when preheating the iron, so we now dump a gratuitous amount of oil–so much so that oil spills out from the sides. It’s disgusting. And it still doesn’t help the sticking, especially today (I assume this is because there was nothing binding the waffles besides soy milk, so the batter was maybe a little looser and less willing to detach from the iron in one piece).
After fighting with the waffles to get them out in one piece (they didn’t look too badly beat up by the end of it), I served them with some Smart Balance light margarine and maple syrup, some southwest spicy hashbrowns, and a cup of coffee with Silk soy creamer. This batter really absorbs syrup, so if you like your waffles syrupy, you might be pouring it on a few times throughout the meal!
I’ve made several vegetarian-friendly waffle recipes in the past (a few from scratch–including pumpkin spice waffles, which my boyfriend loved), yet he said to me this morning that these were perhaps the best waffles I’ve made. Now, granted, this is largely from a box, full of preservatives, and not healthy at all–but it just goes to show you that it IS possible to “veganize” familiar meals, even enough so to please your omnivore love. 🙂 He didn’t even think it tasted like soy milk!
What familiar meals have you “veganized” lately?