Life is a lot like tofu… it is what you make it!!!
Mmmm I just love tofu. I love it fried, baked, sautéed… in sandwiches, as spreads, as a side or as a main course. When it comes to cooking tofu, there are literally so many ways to cook it since it basically takes on the flavor of whatever you mix it with, the possibilities are endless. It is an incredible source of protein & is incredibly easy to use in the kitchen. (Plus, no need to worry about salmonella!)
Most of the time, when people say they don’t like tofu, I find it is basically because they had no idea what to do with it or how to cook it and they ended up with something… wierd. Here’s my advice: Start simple. Try a few recipes and you will come to love this versatile protein! A few of my favorites using “regular tofu” are sesame sweet tofu, golden tofu, & v’egg salad. (When I say regular tofu I just mean not silken tofu -you can find “regular tofu” in the refrigerated part of the healthy foods section of your grocery store – I almost always use extra -firm or firm tofu unless a recipe calls otherwise.)
Now… onto breakfast & scrambles! My kids & I really love Fantastic Foods Tofu Scramble mix. They will eat it for any meal, any day of the week. It is a great addition to any pantry for a super quick breakfast that requires no thinking. However, I love to occasionally cook my own tofu scramble, but as you will find, flavor can vary greatly depending, which is hit or miss if you have kids. Unfortunately, my kids aren’t much like “Mikey”. (You remember -” Mikey will eat anything!” Sorry Life Cereal, but that’s not really a good marketing slogan! Its like Checker’s “You gotta eat”… you know, since you have to eat something, eat this! lol!)
The fun thing about making a homemade tofu scramble, is that you can go Indian (curry), southwestern (add salsa, hot sauce, peppers), Italian (add pesto and olives)… its all up to your mood! What mood are you in?
Usually when I make a scramble I just add some of this and some of that until it turns out just the way I want it. I don’t really have a recipe with measurements figured out. This morning, I wanted that to change, so we decided to have ourselves a little homemade tofu scramble taste test – I basically wanted to try two different scramble bases, to find one the kids liked best so that we could build on and add veggies to… Today we used a curry-based recipe from the book ‘Vegan Brunch’ by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The other was a quick one I threw together (with similar flavors in our favorite fried tofu) using sesame oil, soy sauce & nutritional yeast.
I started out by sauting some onion and garlic in some olive oil. Then I added the tofu, crumbled into big chunks. Once it browned a little, I split the mixture into two pans and seasoned them separately.
This is only ONE block of tofu, divided equally, the top is the curry blend.
Results: My son LOVED the curry based tofu, which was a total surprise! I thought maybe it would be too heavily flavored for the kids. I actually preferred the sesame/soy one. My daughter was a little pickier about her tofu this morning… she tends to prefer my ”old fashioned” scramble - this is when I just go for broke into my spice cabinet, adding dry herbs (dashes of basil, oregano, thyme), heavy on the dry mustard, dashes of soy sauce, nutritional yeast (and that onion/garlic mixture - shhh! don’t tell her!)… see what I mean about no measurements? Anyway, Id love to hear which one YOU like the best!
The recipes below are for a full portion (using 1 full block of tofu each).
Basic Scramble #1, Curry-Style, compliments of ‘Vegan Brunch’
F0r the spice blend:
- 2 tps ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tablespoons water
For the tofu:
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb tofu, extra firm, drained
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1) Mix the spices together in a small cup. Add the water. Set aside.
2) Preheat a large pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Break the tofu apart into bite sized pieces and sauté about 10 minutes, until it starts to brown. (Keep it moist by adding a splash of water occasionally if necessary.)
3) Add the spice blend mix and incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and cook about 5 more min. Serve warm. (Feel free to add other veggies or make alterations – there are a bunch of great variations/add-ins in the book!)
Basic Scramble #2 – Super Simple Sesame & Soy Sauce
You will need:
2 Tbsp soysauce
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 block tofu, extra firm, drained
- nutritional yeast (a couple tablespoons)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small-medium onion, chopped to your liking (minced or crescents)
- 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1) Saute a small/medium onion (I like mine minced so my kids wont know they are eating it!) and 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced) in a little olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes until onion turns translucent. Set aside.
2) Heat 1 Tbsp or so toasted sesame oil in a pan over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu and cook until tofu starts to brown lightly.
3) Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce and mix gently, trying not to turn all your chunks into crumbles. Sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast, sauté about 5 more minutes before serving. You can drizzle a little more sesame oil over the top if you so desire.
Again, feel free to add veggies or anything you’d like! Toasted sesame seeds, some leafy greens like kale, even some minced ginger. Get creative and then… DEVOUR!!
Looks like we needed TWO protein sections this morning! :)