(Adopted from “Vegan With A Vengeance” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz )
Most folks prefer the scramble with nice big pieces in it. It’s crumbled, yes, but not completely in crumbles. Just kind of torn apart and then broken up a bit when cooking in the pan. Garlic, some cumin, a little thyme – that is the base. From there you can do countless variations using whatever is in your fridge that morning. In this episode, I used mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, peppers and avocado.
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
1/2-teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4-cup nutritional yeast
Fresh black pepper to taste
First stir the spice blend together in a small cup.
Add water and mix. Set aside.
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat.
Sauté the garlic in olive oil (or just water) for about a minute.
Break the tofu apart into bite-sized pieces and sauté for about 10 minutes, using a spatula to stir often.
Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don’t let it stick to the pan, that is where the good, crispy stuff is.
Use a thin metal spatula to get the job done, a wooden or plastic one won’t really cut it. The tofu should get browned on at least one side, but you don’t need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the ban. If that is happening, turn the heat up and let the water evaporate.
Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and fresh black pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.
You can include these additions to your scramble by themselves or in combination with one another. All of the veggies add more nutrition, taste and variety of textures to the dish.
Broccoli – Cut about one cup into small florets, thinly slice the stems. Add along with the tofu.
Onion – Finely chop one small onion. Add along with the garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Proceed with recipe.
Red Peppers – Remove stem and seed, finely chop one red pepper. Add along with the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Proceed with recipe. You can also roast them first and then add with tofu.
Mushrooms –slice or chop about a cup of mushrooms. Add along with the tofu.
Olives – Chop about 1/3 a cup of sliced olives. Add towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast.
Spinach – Add about 1 cup of chopped spinach towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast. Cook until completely wilted.
Carrots – Grate half of an average sized carrot into the scramble towards the end of cooking. This is a great way to add color to the scramble. Saffron will also do it.
Avocado –Just peel and slice it and serve on top.
Scrambled tofu is one of the most mundane vegan recipes there is. But for anyone experimenting with plant based eating, it’s one of the most important dishes to learn. For many, it’s a staple.
You don’t have to stop at breakfast, or limit yourself to a plate of scramble and hash browns Here are a few ways to spruce up your scramble, or use up your leftovers.
Serve in a squash bowl: Serve in half a baked squash. Caramelized onions would be nice, too.
Breakfast burritos: Wrap up with potatoes, fresh salsa and guacamole.
Add to mac and cheese: Use up leftover scramble (or make some scramble just for the occasion!) by adding it to your favorite vegan mac and cheese recipe.
Lettuce wraps: Tuck scramble into lettuce, serve with fresh tomatoes and drizzle with vinaigrette
Make a sandwich: A scramble sandwich with avocado, red onion and sprouts.
Make a knish: Make potato knishes and add a layer of scramble
Stuff peppers: Mix with a can of black beans and some salsa. Stuff into red peppers, bake and top with a little vegan cheese at the end.
Crepe filling: Serve in a crepe, with a vegan hollandaise sauce.
You can read more about the health benefits of tofu in my Thanksgiving Faux Turkey Breast recipe.
Here are just some of the health benefits of the veggies I used, but as I said earlier, the variations are endless!
Tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant & scientific research has found a link between lycopene & lower levels of certain cancers. Lycopene has also been found to be beneficial to the heart & blood vessels, skin, & bones. When tomatoes are cooked, as in this rendition, the lycopene levels are higher & easier for the body to absorb.
Other vegetable toppings contain nutrients that promote better health.. Onions contain chromium & vitamin C, & can help regulate blood sugar, blood pressure & cholesterol. Bell peppers contain high levels of antioxidants & vitamins C, B6, & A, which help keep cells healthy. These vitamins also support the immune system, metabolism, digestive health & good vision. Mushrooms contain zinc, riboflavin & potassium, all necessary for many important functions in the body & help keep the central nervous system healthy. Combined, these nutrients go a long way to protect your heart & prevent disease.