Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Scrambled Tofu and Garlic Toast

Last night I didn't feel like cooking anything very complicated, so I decided to make some SCRAMBLED TOFU. The good thing about this dish is that it is all in one pot, so there is an easy clean up afterwards. It also lends itself to various additions, so it is something you can make every week or so, changing the flavor if you want. We like having turn around days, with breakfast for dinner, but scrambled tofu is good any time, really.

The problem many people have with tofu is that it is white, flavorless and flabby. This recipe will solve all three issues. I like to make a lot of something, if I am going to the trouble of doing it at all, and having the leftovers in the refrigerator for the next day or two is a nice bonus, so I used three tubs of tofu last night. A person living alone could get two meals from one tub.

If you don't want liquid forming that you'll have to spend some time cooking away, then you could press your tofu between some dishtowels with a weight on it. You don't want it to get too dry, though, and some of the liquid will reabsorb into the tofu after it's cooked. I only mention this because one of my boys seemed to have a problem with it last night, calling it tofu soup.

After shooing everyone out of the kitchen so you can cook in peace, shake about a tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet. I use cast iron pans for this, but use whatever you have. If you don't mind the texture of onions and garlic, chop up one onion and maybe 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and add to the oil once you have heated it (you don't want it to start smoking, so don't begin heating it until you have smashed the garlic cloves (for easy release of the contents from their papery coverings) and peeled the onion). Otherwise, you can use onion and garlic powder, added with the rest of the seasonings.

As soon as the onion begins to brown, add the block of tofu to the pan. At this point you can either chop it up with your spatula into small pieces, or mash it right in the pan with a potato masher, depending which texture you prefer. Now you have gotten rid of the flabbiness, for the most part.

Turmeric is essential for this dish, lending a lovely yellow color, and getting rid of the whiteness. About half a teaspoon should be enough.

Tamari soy sauce (I use San-J's gold, which has no wheat added) adds some flavorful saltiness, and I use about a tablespoon. You should use whatever tastes good to you.

I throw in some nutritional yeast, about an eighth of a cup, because it has vitamin b-12, for one thing, and because I happen to like its cheesy flavor on everything (including popcorn!)

I used a sprinkle of oregano last night, but basil or other herbs would also be good.

I added maybe a teaspoon of a smoky Serrano hot pepper sauce, but if you don't have any of that, some cayenne pepper would do. By now you have gotten rid of the tasteless tofu problem.

Then, what makes this dish a one pot meal is that I then chopped up and added some kale and some diced tomatoes. If it is breakfast, and not brunch, lunch or dinner, you can certainly leave this part out. But, as I said before, I like to eat some dark green leafy greens every day, and the lycopene in tomatoes is good for the prostate. Not that I have one, but still. What with the yellow, the green and the red, you now have a dish fit for a Rasta.

Stir it all around and let it stew while you make some GARLIC TOAST to go with it.

Pour about a quarter to half a cup of olive oil in a small pan. You mind as well make some extra to use another time while you are at it, I always figure. Chop up a bulb of garlic, and again, squashing each clove individually first speeds the peeling process. Add the garlic to the oil, along with a sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of oregano, if you'd like. Heat just until it begins to look crispy and just beginning to brown.

Slice up some whole grain bread, or a baguette if you have one around, and use a designated little paint brush, or a pastry brush if you are so lucky, to spread some of the oil on at least one side of the bread. One person can toast it on a tray in their toaster oven, but with more people to feed, you can spread it out on cookie sheets in the oven at 350 and toast it there, turning over once, until it is crispy. If you've preheated the oven, it shouldn't take longer than fifteen minutes, or even less. If you are in a hurry, you could broil it, again being sure to turn it over once.

Jar up the extra garlic olive oil for another night and refrigerate for up to a couple of weeks, and if you've made extra scrambled tofu, that easy night could be tomorrow.