Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend Tofu Scramble!

Okay, this was seriously delicious! The words "tofu scramble" don't usually elicit cravings from most folks, but try this flavor/texture combination before you judge. Above is a shot of the beginning of the cooking process, where you can see all the ingredients I used. Below is the delicious scramble right before I wolfed it down, yes, all of it! These amounts made two of these big bowlfuls.

Here's my recipe:

Weekend Tofu Scramble

1 block extra firm, silken tofu (other kinds will also work, I just like this texture)
oven fries from one medium potato, diced (leftovers work well for this, but the recipe for the fries is also below)
3 Tbsp. diced purple onion
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 c. chopped raw spinach
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Drain the tofu -- it's not necessary to press the liquid out of the silken tofu. It will quickly evaporate during cooking. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute all ingredients, stirring periodically to avoid burning. It is okay to let it sit for a while in between stirring so bits of the ingredients get a little brown and crispy. Just be careful not to burn it, though. The scramble should be thoroughly cooked after about 5-6 minutes.
Serves 2, or in my case, 1

Oven Fries
Ingredients for the above recipe (I usually make a lot more than this  though, because I love the leftovers)
1 russet potato, cut into thin wedges
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring well so that all the wedges are covered in the oil. Arrange the wedges on a rimmed cookie sheet, skin side down. Roast the wedges for 30 minutes. I advise against using a glass pyrex pan for this. The temperature is too high. I found out the hard way once as I placed the empty glass pan in a wet sink. The cool water droplets made the glass explode! We were all lucky to have avoided injury. But 450 degrees is absolutely necessary to achieve the desired crispy texture of these delicious, simple fries. So use a metal pan. 

As I said, I already had some leftover oven fries in the refrigerator, otherwise I may not have thought to include them in this scramble. I am so glad I did. If you are daunted by the extra labor step of the fries, I urge you to reconsider. Tofu scrambles are made in many different ways, and everyone has a favorite formula. This combination, though, was definitely the answer to any vegan who is nostalgic about sumptuous brunch buffets including scrambled eggs, hash browns, omelets and the like. This scramble was every bit as delicious to me as any egg dish I ever ate pre-vegan.

Some nutrition notes: turmeric is a wonderful spice, one of the milder elements of the combination known as curry. It has been touted to suppress and prevent certain cancers. The yellow color it imparts also contributes to the very egg-like effect of the tender-crispy tofu. One person consuming a whole block of tofu is probably not a great idea on a regular basis, since soy has an effect on one's estrogen balance. I rarely consume large quantities of soy, however, so I felt free to indulge. I hope you try this scramble, in fact go make some oven fries right now just in case -- they are great with ketchup too!

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