Many people choose not to use eggs in their diet. About 70 percent of the calories in eggs are from fat, and a large portion of that fat is saturated. They are also loaded with cholesterol—about 212 milligrams for an average-sized egg. Because eggshells are fragile and porous, and conditions on egg farms are crowded, eggs are the perfect host to salmonella—the bacteria that is the leading cause of food poisoning in the U.S.

Eggs are often used in baked products because of their binding and leavening properties. But smart cooks have found good substitutes for eggs. Try one of the following the next time you prepare a recipe that calls for eggs:

  • If a recipe calls for just one or two eggs, you can often skip them. Add a couple of extra tablespoons of water for each egg eliminated to balance out the moisture content of the product.
  • Eggless egg replacers are available in many natural food stores. These are different from reduced-cholesterol egg products which do contain eggs. Egg replacers are egg-free and are usually in a powdered form. Replace eggs in baking with a mixture of the powdered egg replacer and water according to package directions.
  • Use 1 heaping tablespoon of soy flour or cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons of water to replace each egg in a baked product.
  • Use 1 ounce of mashed tofu in place of an egg.
  • In muffins and cookies, half of a mashed banana can be used instead of an egg, although it will change the flavor of the recipe somewhat.
  • For vegetarian loaves and burgers, use any of the following to bind ingredients together: tomato paste, mashed potato, moistened bread crumbs, or rolled oats.

Scrambled Tofu
Makes 2 1/2 cup servings

This nutritious golden scramble is especially good with toasted English muffins. You can also wrap it in a whole wheat flour tortilla for a delicious breakfast burrito.

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 pound firm tofu, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add tofu, garlic granules, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring gently, for 3-5 minutes.

Nutrition information per 1/2 cup serving: 137 calories; 10 g protein; 4 g carbohydrate; 10 g fat; 2 g fiber; 177 mg sodium

French Toast
Makes 6 slices

This cholesterol-free French toast tastes great as it adds beneficial soy and whole wheat to your diet.

1 cup fortified soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 slices whole grain bread
vegetable oil cooking spray

Combine milk, flour, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour into a flat dish. Soak bread slices in batter until soft but not soggy. The amount of time this takes will vary depending on the bread used.

Cook in an oil-sprayed nonstick skillet over medium heat until first side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook second side until brown, about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per slice: 129 calories; 6 g protein; 23 g carbohydrate; 2 g fat; 4 g fiber; 191 mg sodium

Missing Egg Sandwich
Makes 6 sandwiches

These sandwiches have the flavor and appearance of egg salad without the saturated fat and cholesterol.

1/2 pound firm reduced-fat tofu (1 cup)
1 green onion, finely chopped, including green tops
2 tablespoons pickle relish
2 tablespoons Tofu Mayo (see following recipe) or vegan mayonnaise
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
12 slices whole grain bread
6 lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices

Mash tofu, leaving some chunks. Add green onion, pickle relish, Tofu Mayo, mustard, soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, and garlic powder. Mix well. Spread on 6 slices of bread. Garnish with lettuce and tomato slices, and top with remaining bread.

Nutrition information per sandwich: 246 calories; 15 g protein; 38 g carbohydrate; 6 g fat; 6 g fiber; 452mg sodium

Tofu Mayo
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Use this low-fat mayonnaise substitute on sandwiches and salads.

1 12.3-ounce package Mori-Nu Lite Silken Tofu (firm or extra firm)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

Combine tofu, salt, sugar, mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar in a food processor or blender, and process until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Chill thoroughly before using.

Nutrition information per 1 tablespoon: 6 calories; 1 g protein; 0.4 g carbohydrate; 0.1 g fat; 0 g fiber; 93 mg sodium

Recipes by Jennifer Raymond from PCRM’s Healthy Eating for Life book series

Spicy Spinach Frittata
Makes 8 servings

Frittatas are a popular menu item for breakfast and brunch. Have your own dining-out experience by making this dish at home, it’s hearty, filling and can easily be doubled for family or friends.

1 pound raw spinach
1/4 cup soy creamer
1/3 cup vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2” cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

1. Remove spinach leaves from stems. Reduce spinach until it is thoroughly wilted by sautéing in a large pan on medium heat with the soy creamer and vegetable broth. Once spinach is reduced, add potatoes and garlic. Cook until potatoes are soft.
2. Preheat oven to 375 F while potatoes and garlic are cooking.
3. Purée half the tofu with turmeric, salt, black pepper, and chipotle powder in a food processor. Crumble the other half. Combine puréed tofu, remaining crumbled tofu, and spinach-potato mixture in a 6”x6” baking dish and mix thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow frittata to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I didn’t know that: Using an iron skillet can cut down on cleaning extra pots and pans because you can sauté and bake in your skillet. This frittata can go right from the stove top to the oven.

Per serving (1/8 of frittata):
108 calories
4 g fat
0.4 g saturated fat
31.2% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
7.6 g protein
12.6 g carbohydrate
1.7 g sugar
2.3 g fiber
110 mg sodium
160 mg calcium
3.2 mg iron
10 mg vitamin C
2198 mcg beta-carotene
0.8 mg vitamin E

Spanish-Style Scrambler Wrap
Makes 4 wraps

This delicious and hearty faux egg wrap is good enough to serve to the most traditional breakfast seekers. Serve with a side of black beans and plantains for an even more authentic feel.

1/2 cup water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound fresh spinach
1/2 cup salsa
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas

1. Heat water in a non-stick skillet. Add bell pepper and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.
2. Add tofu, 1/4 cup broth, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric. Sauté, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until done to your liking. Add spinach and remaining ¼ cup broth and cook 1 minute.
3. Add salsa and stir.
4. Divide tofu mixture evenly among the tortillas and wrap it up.

I didn’t know that: Pressing tofu really helps get a nice, chewy, consistency. Here’s how to do it: drain the tofu and place it between 2 plates with a heavy bowl or book on top, hence pressing it. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, drain the plate, and you are done.

Per wrap:
213 calories
6.8 g fat
0.8 g saturated fat
26.7% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
15 g protein
28.8 g carbohydrate
4 g sugar
6.4 g fiber
484 mg sodium
276 mg calcium
6 mg iron
30.4 mg vitamin C
4625 mcg beta-carotene
2.4 mg vitamin E

All-American Scramble on Pumpernickel Bagel
Makes 4 servings

Who doesn’t enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast ritual? Here’s one for the whole family, a delicious tofu scramble with all the fixings on top of a toasted pumpernickel bagel.

1/2 cup water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pumpernickel bagels
4 slices vegan cheese (optional)

Heat water in non-stick sauté pan. Add bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms and sauté until onion is translucent. Add tofu and sauté, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until done to your liking. Add nutritional yeast, turmeric, and black pepper and stir. Toast bagels, divide scrambler mixture evenly among bagels, and top with vegan cheese slice, if using.

I didn’t know that:Pumpernickel bread has a lower-glycemic index, which allows it to absorb into the blood stream slower than it’s white and wheat counterparts.

Per serving (1/4 of recipe):
418 calories
6.2 g fat
0.6 g saturated fat
12.5% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
18.5 g protein
74.6 g carbohydrate
10.4 g sugar
7 g fiber
361 mg sodium
175 mg calcium
5.5 mg iron
22.9 mg vitamin C
76 mcg beta-carotene
0.4 mg vitamin E

Vanilla French Toast
Makes six 2-slice servings

Start your weekend off right with this delicious French toast that is simple to prepare and oh-so-tasty. For a variation, try substituting bread with chunky nuts and grains. Serve with sliced fresh fruit.

8 ounces low-fat silken tofu
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
nonstick cooking spray
12 slices whole-wheat bread

1. Purée tofu, soymilk, agave nectar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender. Pour tofu mixture into a pie plate.
2. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Dip each slice of bread into the tofu mixture and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

I didn’t know that: Agave (ah-GAH-vay) nectar is most often produced from the sap of blue agaves that grow in Mexico. Agaves are large, spiky plants that resemble cactus, but they are actually succulents similar to aloe vera.

Per 2-slice serving:
178 calories
2.6g fat
0.5g saturated fat
12.8% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
10.5g protein
28.5g carbohydrate
8.6g sugar
4.2g fiber
313mg sodium
109mg calcium
2.1mg iron
0.1mg vitamin C
2mcg beta-carotene
0.6mg vitamin E

Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 4 pancakes

2/3 cup organic flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon soymilk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Blueberry syrup (optional):
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together in a metal bowl until they are combined. Add soymilk to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in blueberries.
2. Spray skillet with cooking spray and turn on medium heat.
3. Usinga 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour batterinto skillet. When top side bubbles and is mostly firm, flip pancakes over, and cook for another minute to a minute and a half. Repeat with the rest of the batter, if you are not able to fit all 4 pancakes in the same skillet.
4. To make blueberry syrup, if using: In a small pot, combine blueberries and syrup and stir occasionally over medium heat. Be sure to stir so syrup does not burn. As blueberries soften, press them down with something flat like a spatula until most of them mash into the syrup. Cook syrup for another minute, take off heat, and let cool. Serve on top of pancakes.

I didn’t know that: Blueberries are full of nutritional value while low in calories. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals.

Per pancake:
112calories
1g fat
0.1g saturated fat
7.4% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
3.8g protein
22.3g carbohydrate
3.1g sugar
1.6g fiber
417mg sodium
194mg calcium
1.7mg iron
1.9mg vitamin C
6mcg beta-carotene
0.7mg vitamin E