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.

Announcing: ‘The No Meat Athlete Cookbook’

9781615192663

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook — now available for pre-order!

The news is out, so I can officially announce the details of my next book! The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: 150 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Lifewill be published by The Experiment in May 2017.

I spent a year and a half writing this book with my friend, running and goal-setting expert Matt Frazier, using the recipes I’ve developed since adopting a plant-based diet back in 2010.

You can read more about the book here, and I’ll update this post with a cover image and more info soon.

Thyme Tea for Coughs

A week after our recent move, I got sick. Really sick. Sicker than I have been in years. I had a fever for two days, my throat was raw and my glands were swollen. I decided to test my natural health-care arsenal. Thanks to elderberry, oregano and echinacea around the clock; neti pot rinses and gargles with salt water and raw apple cider vinegar; and plenty of sleep and fluids, I am finally feeling better. This sickness always follows the same pattern for me, starting with a tickly throat and overall malaise on day one. Then next two days I get increasingly sicker, with an alternating runny and stuffy nose, insomnia and brain fog. On day four things shift, with my throat feeling fine but a relentless dry cough. Day five, I’m fine and oh-so-grateful for the ability to breathe and carry on my normal activities.

That dry cough is the annoying kind that makes your throat itchy and prevents good sleep. I didn’t have any throat lozenges, so I decided to brew up some thyme tea. Thyme has antiseptic properties, and its essential oil is an ingredient in the yellow mouthwash we all dreaded using as kids. Thymus vulgarisor common thyme, is likely an ingredient you already have in your kitchen. I love using culinary herbs in new ways.

Lucky for me, I had dried thyme last summer and fall, so I placed one whole bunch (about 1 cup) in a medium saucepan and covered it with water. I added 2 tablespoons raw sugar and brought it to a boil, the reduced heat and covered with a lid, letting it simmer for 15 minutes. I strained some into a cup to enjoy immediately, then let the rest cool and strained it into a jar. I sipped my thyme tea, a few ounces at a time, over the next couple of days. The taste is pleasant, and you could swap in honey if desired.

If you find the tea too strong in flavor, dilute it with hot water. It’s also delicious with a squeeze of lemon, which can help cut through the crud.

Disclaimer

The information on this website is intended to be general information for my readers. I am a health coach, not a medical doctor or dietitian. Please consult a health-care professional before beginning any weight-loss or fitness program — and always listen to your body.

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