Ok, so the last couple weeks’ posts have been pretty serious and heavy. Well, this week isn’t any different.
This week, we are talking about eggs.
As a vegan, the one food I really miss is egg. I get so nostalgic just thinking about waking up in the morning before school and smelling the scrambled eggs cooking, or the delicious smell of butter and fried eggs at the greasy diner I would go to with my friends (even though I would always get a stomach ache after eating there).
Nothing I can eat now really replaces egg. I can make veggie burgers that would fool the most devout meat eater. I can make a vegan cake so moist you’ll wonder how I did it without cow juices. I can create the fudgiest, most perfect brownies out of beans. You can’t even imagine what I can do with a sweet potato. I’m pretty much redefining a creation story over here; Genesis can’t compare to what I can do with a zucchini, some soy milk and a spice rack.
Fried, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, sunny side up: these are descriptors of such a unique and amazing food item that even I can’t recreate it.
But, life goes on. We try. I try. And I make Tofu Scramble. Now, some vegans like to say that this is, “just as good as scrambled eggs” and that, “it tastes just like eggs!” This is false. It does not taste like eggs. Not at all.
But it is still tasty. Just because Tofu Scramble doesn’t taste like scrambled eggs doesn’t mean that it doesn’t taste damn good! (Especially the way I make it).
Now, most recipes try to make it “southwestern” themed, but it seems like almost every vegan recipe does this because apparently those are the only flavors people think that vegans like. But I just want a simple, savory dish that I can make easily and quickly. I also detest cooked bell peppers, so I avoid recipes containing those slug-like atrocities.
I use the recipe found on “Happy Herbivore” (https://happyherbivore.com/recipe/tofu-scramble/). It’s got flavor, it’s easy and it doesn’t try to force the southwestern theme vegans apparently love so much.
Here are the Happy Herbivore’s instructions:
Drain excess water off of tofu and place it in the center of a non-stick or greased skillet.
Using a spatula, break tofu up into thick cubes. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the tofu releases its water.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Continue to cook and stir for another 5-10 minutes, breaking tofu chunks into smaller pieces so the consistency resembles scrambled eggs. Add a splash of non-dairy milk or lemon juice if the tofu starts to dry out or stick to the skillet.
Once the tofu has the right consistency, is yellow in color and is thoroughly warm, add additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.
And here are my modified, and better, instructions:
Drain excess water off of the tofu and wrap that shit up in half a roll of paper towels and put something heavy on top of it (like a saucepan or a bowl of fruit or a spare gold bar). The water that the tofu soaks up while it’s in the package tastes like water you wring out of a 10-year-old dishtowel that you dropped one time in your basement. Leave the tofu in the paper towels for about 5-10 minutes.The paper towels will soak up all of the unwanted moisture so you don’t have to eat tofu that tastes like a musty stairwell.
Next, unwrap that bad boy and throw it in the center of a non-stick or greased skillet (I recommend greased with some delicious Earth Balance butter or a splash of olive oil if you’re feeling fancy.). Set the burner to medium heat. As the tofu cooks, break it up into chunks with a spatula. Or if you like smaller chunks like me, mash it up a little bit with a fork.
Once you start to hear a little sizzle, it’s time to add the good stuff. The good stuff does not include the turmeric listed in the recipe. It really doesn’t have much flavor, but it smells like your armpit if you ate a curry dinner and then ran a marathon, so nix that shit. Add the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, and the cumin as the recipe says. But when it comes to the nutritional yeast, 3 tablespoons is absolutely ridiculous.
Pile that shit on there. Really, you can’t get enough yeast (well, in your food anyway). Make it at least 5 tablespoons, but you can’t overdo it with this stuff. It’s that good.
Continue to cook and stir for another 5-10 minutes, breaking the tofu chunks into smaller pieces so the consistency resembles scrambled eggs. Some like it soft; some like it hard. I like it firm and somewhat dry. If you want it a little more moist, feel free to throw in a splash of non-dairy milk, but please make sure it isn’t vanilla flavored (my dad made me mashed potatoes with vanilla soy milk once. It was like eating a melted candle).
And you can be creative with this recipe; anything goes! Got some leftover spinach? Throw it in! Onion? Go for it! Scallions or chives? Yes yes yes! Bell peppers? Fuck no. Y’all know my feelings about those slimy strips.
All that’s left to do is throw it on a plate, take an Instagram picture of it (#healthy #vegan #breakfast) and chow down. Serve with some potatoes, tempeh bacon and a cup of coffee; you’ll feel like you’re right back at your favorite diner (minus the stomach ache; plus the delicious cruelty free food).