Book Launch Dinner Party at Plant

The day after we launched The No Meat Athlete Cookbookwe kept the celebration going with a dinner party at Plant to benefit the Literacy Council of Buncombe County. Heather Crosby, author of YumUniverse Plate to Pantrywas our co-host.

Jason Sellers is a culinary genius, and Plant is consistently voted one of the best vegan restaurants in the country, so to have him and his team interpret my recipes was a true honor. The food looked more beautiful than ever, and everything was fresh and delicious, of course. The entire night was gluten-free as well as vegan!

The chefs at Plant

Jason made our Switchel (aka The Original Sports Drink) into mocktails & cocktails. This is the mocktail version.

After starting with carrot-cauliflower tots from Heather’s book (gobbled too quickly for a photo!), it was salad time. This was my favorite course! Baby gem romaine & hidden treasure avocado salad. (The avo was stuffed — Jason, you know me well!) Plus pickled carrots, cucumber, lentils, smoked almond & olive mignonette, with chipotle ranch.

A ‘banzo bake, which is a chickpea flour quiche. This one has zucchini, asparagus, shallot & almond ricotta, plus mushrooms cooked with bitters, a baby Asian green salad and green on greens dressing (recipe in my book)!

Dessert! This was a mashup of my cheesecake and Heather’s, as well as Plant’s famous recipe. The crust was a sneaky mocha brownie, and the toppings were cacao candied peanuts, sharewell coffee, anise oil and a toasted sesame cookie. (Needless to say, such accoutrements are all Jason’s doing!)
It was perfect, but I was too full to manage more than a bite, so Sam ate it as a snack the next day. (And, confession: I’d rather have a glass of wine or an extra serving of salad than dessert

Me, Heather, Matt & Jason — such a fun night. My favorite local yoga teacher, Lewis, came, as well as my dear friends Rebecca, Jennifer and Christi!

“The No Meat Athlete Cookbook” Launch

After years of recipe development and writing and months of navigating the publishing process — which I can say does get easier the more you do it — our cookbook is finally out in the world! The No Meat Athlete Cookbook officially launched on May 16 (and promptly went out of stock due to unforeseen demand — yay and more on that another time).

May 16 happened to be the launch of another plant-based cookbook from the same publisher, YumUniverse Plate to Pantry. Matt and I teamed up with Heather Crosby, the author of that awesome book (which is also gluten-free and fabulous for those with allergies or food sensitivities), for a launch-day signing and panel discussion at Malaprops, Asheville’s best bookstore (it’s an indy that’s been around for 35 years!). Julie Wunder, of Running in a Skirt, was kind enough to be our moderator.  

My dear friend Sarah Whitmeyer, who also took our wedding photos, photographed the event for us.

Thanks to everyone who joined us and helped celebrate! I love chatting with readers about cooking. I look forward to more events like these!

Recipe: My Favorite Tofu Scramble

In honor of the launch of  The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, I thought I’d do something novel. I’m sharing a recipe for my best tofu scramble. I’ve been so busy working full time and prepping for the launch (and freelancing and training for a half last fall and teaching yoga again and… you know… life…) that I’ve only shared quick recipes on Instagram. I want to thank you for continuing to read — and for your support with the cookbook. (And, I’m freelancing full time these days, so expect more posts — and reach out if you’re interested in health coaching sessions!) With that, I’m sharing one of our family favorites. I hope you love it as much as Sam and I do!   

Tofu scramble is a vegan breakfast classic, so common you’ll sometimes find it on brunch menus at non-vegan restaurants. I love making it for non-vegan house guests. It’s savory and packed with protein, and it looks somewhat like eggs to those who aren’t familiar with it. It’s always a hit. That said, I have a few requirements for my tofu scramble:

  1. It must contain nutritional yeast, to give it a richer flavor.
  2. It needs to be heavily spiced — I don’t just want sautéed tofu.
  3. It can’t be too salty. Salt is the cheater’s way of adding flavor to any dish. (It also can’t be greasy. Oil is another cheat.)
  4. It needs to be packed with vegetables. I want to see a little of everything: greens, root veg and aromatics. If there are mushrooms, even better.
  5. It must be yellow — this is purely for aesthetics, but it also means you get a dose of the anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric, on its own or in curry powder (I use both).

My beloved Park + Vine (RIP) had a delightful tofu scramble that met all of those criteria, but few other places make tofu scram the way I like it, so I often find myself drowning it in hot sauce.

I used to consider tofu scramble to be a weekends-only dish, but then I started making it in larger batches and omitting the greens (see #4 — greens are a crucial part of the dish for me) so it lasted longer. Now, we eat this every other week or so, usually with avocado toast or stuffed into a whole-grain wrap and toasted. Less than an hour of work on the weekends means several weekday breakfasts are ready in minutes. Now that we get up at the crack of dawn (5ish), every minute counts!

My secret is to load up on the herbs and spices. Thyme (and I sometimes swap in rosemary or use both) lends a savory note, while curry adds depth and heat. Smoked paprika is rich in umami, and its smokiness, along with the cumin, taste somewhat bacon-y (while I was never a bacon fan, I do associate smoky flavors with savory breakfasts). Tamari (instead of salt) adds more umami, as does nutritional yeast. Yes, there are a lot of herbs and spices, but that’s what makes it so delicious!

My Go-To Tofu Scramble 

Serves 6-8

15 minutes to prep (or less, depending on how fast you chop vegetables)

30 minutes to cook

Ingredients 

1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil (optional)

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, any color, finely chopped

1 pint cremini or white button mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced

1 cup diced tomatoes or 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup vegetable or mushroom broth, divided

1 large sweet potato, chopped

2 (1-pound) packages firm or extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled into bite-size pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

To serve:

Scallions or chives

Sauteed greens or fresh baby greens

Directions

  • Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, if using.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Cook for two minutes, stirring often, until they start to soften.
  • Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes, and cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add the herbs and spices. Stir to combine, and cook for one minute, until fragrant.
  • Add half of the vegetable broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add the sweet potato, tofu and garlic. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid. Some of the tofu and veggies should be brown and crispy, and some will be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add broth as needed to deglaze the pan again (this means “loosen the stuck-on bits” — this is another secret to getting more flavor from this dish with little to no added oil).
  • Add the tamari and nutritional yeast, and cook another 10 minutes, covered.
  • Remove from heat and serve, with greens and garnished with scallions or chives.
  • Or, if you’re batch cooking, allow to cool then pack into single-serve portions. Add the greens and scallions or chives before reheating.