I had an amusing experience at one of my very favorite restaurants, Bean Vegan Cuisine. They recently added all-day Sunday brunch and I was excited to check it out! I ordered the “Bean Bowl”, which included scrambled tofu, grits, fried potatoes, and “sausage.” When they brought it to me I just stared in bemusement at my bowl for a few minutes, at the round scoop of fluffy stuff that resembled eggs. I’ve been making my own brand of tofu scrambles for so long, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, that I’d forgotten most people do not do it that way!
I think I do it that way because I REALLY did not like scrambled eggs as a child. (Perhaps because my mother, otherwise a wonderful cook, would always scramble the eggs to the consistency of rubber.) The only way I could force myself to eat scrambled eggs was with lots of tomatoes (and later, Texas Pete hot sauce and/or copious amounts of salsa). One of my dads, John, would make omelets for me and I discovered those were almost good with all the cheese, onions, green peppers, spinach, and other vegetables he would throw in.
And there, I suspect, lies the foundation of my later penchant of adding lots of things to egg scrambles and, later, tofu scrambles.
When making a tofu scramble, tomatoes a must. You can never go wrong with adding onions, either.
After that … anything goes!
Let your creativity rule!
I like to “theme” my scrambles … Mexican scrambles (salsa and “chorizo”); SouthWestern scrambles (chili powder and beans); Indian scrambles (garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, and garam masala); and Greek scrambles (everything that would go in a Greek salad). If I knew a bit more about Chinese or Thai cooking I’m sure I could come up with a pretty good Chinese or Thai scramble, too.
Today, I share my Italian scramble!
- 1 Block Tofu
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 Red or Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Spice Blend (OR 1 teaspoon each dried basil, parsley, oregano)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, or to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Capers
- 1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
- 1 Bag or bunch Baby Spinach (12 – 16 oz.)
Drain and begin pressing your tofu.
While the tofu is “pressing,” prep your ingredients – chop your onions, press or mince your garlic, and combine all spices except for red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the tofu in crumbled handfuls. Add spices except for red pepper flakes. Stir well to coat – the tofu should look yellow and speckled. You shouldn’t have any white lumps of tofu. (Ugh – how unappetizing.) Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add capers. Stir. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir. Cook another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften.
Add the baby spinach. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
Add more salt and red pepper flakes to taste, if needed. Add another spoonful of capers, if desired.
Serve immediately and eat while hot.
- You can skip the turmeric if you don’t have it – it doesn’t really add taste, just gives the tofu a much more appealing, egglike color.
- I used grape tomatoes here because that’s what I had on hand and it makes for a pretty presentation. However, you could also use 3 diced Roma tomatoes. Or half a can of diced tomatoes. Sometimes I enjoy using canned tomatoes because they make the scramble really saucy.
- If you don’t have capers, you can substitute 1/4 cup sliced black or green olives.