Tofu, man. My relationship with the stuff has done a 180 over the years. It was one of those things that during my pre-vegan days, I just couldn’t stomach the texture, even if it was crispy fried or small unnoticeable bits in something like Pad Thai. I think a good portion of that was due to my ignorance and just not knowing what the heck it was and my brain not being able to process it.
Then there was the time I went on vacation as a new vegan and reluctantly ordered a tofu scramble for breakfast. It ended up being my favorite meal of the trip and one of my favorite meals of all-time. This was early in my vegan game when I still had not adjusted to vegan alternatives, so that says a lot. But the first time I purchased it as a new vegan to craft some magic with it at home, I stared at this spongy brick swimming in water with a bewildered look on my face wondering how it would go from that to something appetizing. A little googling helped to teach me how to press all of the water out of it, how to cut and marinate or season it for my needs, now I never meet a tofu dish I didn’t like. I could happily eat it for every lunch and dinner, and a tofu scramble is something we whip up fairly often. It’s a very forgiving dish to make, it’s hardly the exact same recipe twice, high-protein, low-carb, and it can be as hearty or light as you want to make it.
There are plenty of tofu scramble recipes in existence already but it turns out, my son and I are kind of picky with ours, the husband not so much. I have, what I call, a sensitive palate and too much seasoning or certain flavors turn me off, (nooch and turmeric for example). So this one might be kind of bland to you at first, this is just how I like it, but feel free to season to your heart’s content. Basically, everything in this recipe is optional and can be substituted except for the tofu, and I’d say the onion and turmeric. And probably some salt. The beauty of tofu scrambles is they can be whatever you want them to be, this is a really simple and basic foundation. Read why it’s important to rid your diet of eggs below the recipe.
*note, I originally used the tofu pressing method of wrapping in a towel and stacking the heaviest objects I could find on top until the water was drained. But after my beloved food processor went crashing to the ground one day, we invested in this $20 press from Amazon. It works wonders.
- 1 block of tofu, pressed
- ½ medium onion, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ can of black beans (or dried, pre-cooked)
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper (or to taste).
- 1 tablespoon of oil or water for sauteing
- 1. Prepare the tofu by pressing it and then either cutting it until finely chopped or my preferred method for a scramble, crumble it with your fingers by almost smooshing it between them. The idea is to recreate the texture of scrambled eggs. Set aside.
- 2. In a heated sauté pan with oil or water, add in the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add in the tofu, seasonings, and beans. The point of the turmeric is to give the tofu an egg-like coloring. It’s a pretty strong flavor so maybe start with 1 tablespoon and add another if needed until desired preference.
- 3. Stir until spices are evenly distributed and everything is heated through. Add water by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking.
- 4. Once everything is lightly heated, add in the spinach, stir, and cover with a lid for a few minutes for spinach to wilt. Always add more spinach than you think you’ll want since it cooks down to practically nothing.
- 4. Once spinach is wilted, taste to adjust seasonings and serve!
- Optional add-ins: Everyone likes their scrambles differently, here are some other popular add-ins and substitutions: swap black beans for a different bean, add in sauteed mushrooms, other leafy greens, nutritional yeast (nooch - I’m probably one of the few vegans that doesn’t care for nooch), jalapenos, top with hot sauce, serve with avocado, potatoes, on toast or in a wrap…the list goes on.
- If you want to take your tofu scramble to the next level and make it as egg-like as possible, swap out sea salt for Kala Namak otherwise known as Indian Black Salt. It has a distinct sulfurous aroma resembling hard boiled eggs, which really helps to give it a more egg-like effect.