Sorry. I know the picture I took is terrible. It was dark when we sat down to breakfast this morning and I knew I wanted to write about something that is enjoying a renaissance in our kitchen. It is something that I have never cooked myself. This is something my boyfriend used to cook all of the time for his own breakfast but it is something he stopped eating years ago. All of a sudden this tasty breakfast item is back and even though I never get to have it, I was treated to it today.
Sunday morning is grocery-shopping day or I should say grocery-shopping hell. Although we love eating home cooked meals, we don’t like to shop. I don’t like to go by myself and my boyfriend sees it as something that wastes perfectly good weekend relaxing time. Both of us are committed to shopping at our farmer’s market because the produce is mega fresh and reasonably priced and we love the idea of eating local and supporting the farmers. But…the farmers market adds time to the whole shopping experience, which includes two stores. Why two stores? Well, the best meat, cheese and dairy products come from our local high end grocery store but we are cheap bastards who would rather pay much less for staple items so we hit Trader Joes too. Thus, shopping hell. Things are crowded, and our tempers begin to flare in anticipation of the whole ordeal. So the picture is lousy because we decided to add making French toast and this yummy scramble to the already stressful, time strapped morning. I don’t feel bad about the picture. This tasty breakfast entrée is impossible to photograph anyway. It looks soupy, it has strange angles, which catch the light in odd ways. It is completely unnatural looking. There was really nothing I could do about the photo.
So… ew…what is it? My friends, you are looking at tofu scramble (with a side of non-vegan sprouted grain French toast). Now before you decide to go find another blog to look at, hear me out. This stuff is really, really good. The whole story starts in the early 90’s with a natural foods market on the east side of Santa Barbara. The store called Follow your heart started out as a tiny whole foods store up the block from where it ended up. It had a really great deli in the old days. In the early 90s a shopping center was built up the street from them and a space was made for a full size grocery. They moved into the space and opened a restaurant to go with the excellent deli. The restaurant was open for breakfast and we went there often because they had the most amazing vegetarian breakfast items I have ever seen in my life. I was so, so sad when they finally closed their doors a few years later. One thing they did well was tofu scramble. It had spices and a wonderful yellow color. They served it as a scramble, in benedicts and burritos. I managed to stumble onto a recipe that produced a very similar product in the kind of magazine they give you for free at the health food store and my boyfriend who loved tofu scramble began making it at home. During the week, I am a bowl of cereal kinda gal. My boyfriend has to have more than cereal, so tofu scramble became his recipe, which is always made during the week. So today was a treat for me. He cooked it for me! I was happy to have it.
As I said, my boyfriend suddenly began making tofu scramble again. Out of the two of us, he is the one who consistently keeps a healthy outlook. He gets regular exercise and eats very healthfully. I asked him why he became interested in making tofu scramble again. He told me it is because it contains brewer’s yeast, which is difficult to add to your diet in other ways. Brewer’s yeast is loaded with B vitamins and he wanted a dietary way to ensure he was getting enough B vitamins.
Aside from how healthy it is, tofu scramble is also delicious. This recipe has plenty of onion powder and garlic powder and miso paste. It is creamy and flavorful and it is filling. The other day we had leftovers. I sampled a little bit of the leftovers cold. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I think cold leftover tofu scramble would be wonderful as a substitute for another egg favorite. It would make an incredible egg-less egg salad sandwich.
One 14-16 oz container of firm or extra firm tofu, drained
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp light miso
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp onion powder
Garlic powder to taste (optional)
Pepper to taste (optional)
Olive oil for sautéing
Coarsely crumble the tofu into a bowl. Sprinkle yeast over tofu and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the optional pepper. Set aside. Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium high heat. Pour in the tofu mixture and then pour in the miso mixture. Sauté and carefully turn the mixture with a flat wooden spatula or spoon. You don’t want to break up the tofu too much. The mixture should turn a nice uniform yellow color. Cook until completely heated through. Season with pepper if using and serve immediately.