Lately, I’ve been on a crusade to include more vegetables and whole grains in my diet and to eat meat only occasionally. Because of this crusade, I’ve tried to substitute vegetables, grains, or legumes in place of the meats in many of the dishes that I routinely make. I have been surprised at how many dishes turn out just as well when I remove the meat or substitute it with something else. In fact, my children who are meat lovers did not notice that I hadn’t served meat for about 2 weeks before they finally caught on to the change in their diet because we were having many of the same meals we had had prior to my change.
In my journey for new recipes and ideas for meat substitution that are not astronomically expensive, I’ve looked at many vegetarian and vegan dishes. So, when I saw The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano in the library, I decided I wanted to peruse its contents and try something new out. The recipe for today is Simple Scrambled Tofu which is given in the book as a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Simple Scrambled Tofu
8 oz. firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp turmeric or curry powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lightly oil a large nonstick skillet and place it over medium heat.
Crumble tofu into the skillet using your fingers. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric over tofu, and stir well with a spatula.
Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from heat, season with salt and black pepper, and serve.
Variation: If you prefer a soft-scrambled tofu, substitute 1 (12-ounce) package firm or extra-firm silken tofu. You can also add chopped veggies such as mushrooms, onions, green onions, peppers, tomatoes, or greens to your tofu mixture as it cooks, and add a little shredded vegan cheese at the end as desired.
Yield: 2 (1/2 cup) servings
I made this for my own personal lunch one day. It is meant for more than one person, but I ate it all myself. There is definitely plenty to share though. For those of you who are unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, this is not the same thing as the yeast that you make bread with. It is a deactivated yeast that has a strong flavor reminiscent of cheese and is often used as a cheese substitute by vegans. You can find nutritional yeast flakes in the bulk food section of Winco. I used curry powder because that’s what I had on hand and I used extra-firm tofu. I followed the directions as given and it worked out pretty well. The texture was very similar to scrambled eggs and the taste was reminiscent of scrambled eggs, but it did have it’s own flavor. For those of you afraid of tofu because you are used to flavorless blobs added to a dish to make it vegetarian, this is very different from what you’ve seen. Tofu absorbs the flavor of whatever you mix with it and as long as you cook it with seasonings and cook it separately from the rest of the meal, tofu can be very tasty. This meal was very satisfying and did have flavor. I probably would add more garlic powder and onion powder next time, but overall, I really enjoyed it and it was great with a piece of whole wheat toast.