Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vegan Sunday Brunch

It's funny to think about it now, since weekend brunches are something I look forward to all week, but the meal I was most puzzled about as a prospective new vegan was breakfast.  I could see myself functioning without bacon or sausage, since I was never a pork enthusiast anyway, but I couldn't for the life of me imagine what I would be starting my day with if it wasn't eggs.  In addition, pretty much any other breakfast staple I liked, such as french toast or pancakes, generally included eggs or dairy among their ingredients.  As it turns out, the many genius vegans who have paved the way for me have found a way to veganize just about any food, so french toast and pancakes are a snap with a few substitutions.  And eggs are not as hard to replace as I thought they would be, thanks to the tofu scramble.  Probably every vegan has their favorite way to prepare this staple, and mine is certainly not revolutionary in any way, but I thought it would be a good thing to share, especially with my non-veg readers who are slightly mystified by tofu, much as I was a little over two years ago.  If I was teaching a class called "Introduction to Tofu," this would be my first assignment.

Georgia's Tofu Scramble:  A Photo Essay

 Scramble Ingredients:
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small tomato, diced
1 block of firm tofu, lightly squeezed to remove water
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
Spices of choice:  black salt*, pepper, oregano, turmeric**, garlic powder, chile powder, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast

*Black salt is a natural salt that contains additional minerals that give an eggy taste.  On its own, its taste exactly mimics boiled eggs.  Added to a scramble, it adds saltiness as well as a slight egginess.
**Turmeric is necessary here to naturally add yellow coloring to the tofu.  Its health benefits make it excellent for other reasons as well.

1.  Melt margarine in skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions and peppers until onions begin to turn translucent.

 2.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute, lowering heat slightly if onions are cooking too quickly

(Don't be alarmed if a mushroom accidentally falls into your mouth.)

3.  When mushrooms have started to brown, add tomatoes and stir several times, just to get slightly heated.

4.  Move veggies to one side, and add tofu block to pan.

5.  Break tofu block apart with spoon.  Should be in bite size pieces, but left slightly chunky, mimicking texture of scrambled eggs.

 6.  Add spices in desired quantities to tofu.  (I would recommend a couple pinches of each herb or spice listed above.)  Stir together with veggies and continue to cook over medium/low heat for five minutes, until spices are incorporated and mixture is heated through but not browned.

7.  Serve and enjoy.  Makes about 3 large servings.  Goes perfectly with breakfast potatoes and vegan-buttered toast.

As with my chili recipe, this tofu scramble is very open to substitutions and changes, depending on what you have on hand.  Sometimes I add kalamata olives, minced garlic cloves, or a handful of spinach.  Either way, it's a delicious and filling breakfast, and unlike its scrambled egg counterpart, if you have leftovers, you can refrigerate and eat it later, because it tastes just as good reheated.  It's also cholesterol free and much lower in saturated fat, so your heart will be just as happy as your tummy!


  1. Hi! I found your blog through Susan's FatFree Vegan blog, and think you have one of the most charming "About Me" blurbs I've ever seen. :-) (Thanks for the cookie!)

    I love a good tofu scramble, and it's been far too long since I've made one. Yours looks delicious! I just discovered Kala Namak last year and love it in our tofu eggless salad, so can't wait to make scramble with it. I also got a Tofu Xpress for Christmas, which will be great to use on the tofu in this. So thank you for the reminder and inspiration!

    It's also a relief to hear that I'm not the only one who experiences the strange phenomenon of mushroom pieces falling into my mouth. (Black olives tend to do the same thing). Must be some warped gravitational field around them, I don't know. Maybe we should get a grant to study this... ;-)

    Happy blogging!!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Laloofah! It is so funny, we have so much in common. I got a Tofu Xpress for Christmas as well! I used it in for my last scramble, and it came out really good, but different. It was more of a west coast scramble, since the tofu was more chunky, but I really liked it for a change. The Tofu Xpress is pretty magical, so I think you will really like it. I noticed your birthday post on your blog, and January 3 is my birthday too, plus I love goats, so adored your birthday post. Happy Birthday!

    I originally bought the Kala Namak to use in vegan omelettes and tofu egg salad, but haven't had the chance to use it for those purposes yet. On a fluke, I tried it in the scramble, and it was fabulous, so I highly recommend trying it.

    I have the black olive problem as well!! Anytime we get vegan pizza somewhere, if the olives fall off, I have to pick them up and eat them. Can't waste a good olive!

    Thanks again for the comment, I hope you will continue to look me up once in a while. :)

  3. That's funny what she said about your "About Me" blurb. I had actually read it aloud to my husband when I first saw it, too. I like how you have a lot of veggies in your tofu scramble.

  4. Happy belated birthday, Georgia! That's too funny we share the same birthday! I'm glad you enjoyed my little Capricorny Goatapalooza! :-) I must confess that I hate having Jan 3 for my birthday... coming right on the heels of all the multiple-holiday hullabaloo - it's too much! Do you feel the same?

    And you got a Tofu Xpress for Christmas too, how great is that?! Someone loves us a lot! :-) I wanted one for at least a year - maybe two?
    (since whenever they came out with it), but recoiled at the price tag. Definitely a splurge that was wonderful to receive as a gift. I haven't used mine nearly as much as you have - just made it to squeeze the tofu for my latest batch of eggless salad (my husband complained that his eggless salad sandwiches were soggy by the time he gets to eat them - this fixed that!!), and for my latest batch of vegan mayo. I have a batch being pressed in the fridge now that I'll marinade tomorrow. I'm really eager to try that!

    I can imagine the Kala Namak is great in a tofu scramble, can't wait to try it! Have you used it in vegan deviled eggs yet? I haven't, but a friend made some and shared with me - good stuff!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for following it! I'm following yours now too, so I'll definitely be popping in from time to time. It's great to meet you!

    And hi, Jenny! *waves* :-)

  5. Thanks Jenny, I am always looking for ways to eat more veggies all day, even at breakfast :)

    And Laloofah, it's great to meet you too! Yes, sometimes I feel a little cheated with the January 3 birthday, especially because a few family members ignore it and just hand me a birthday gift with my Christmas gift, or make me feel bad for having a birthday right after they just spent money on Christmas (like that was my choice??? Haha). I do love New Year's though--it's my favorite holiday because I really love to take time to reflect and try to "start new" somehow. That's the good part. I have to admit, I'm kind of a Pollyanna, so I'm always trying to find the bright side!

  6. I can relate to some of those same birthday blues. No one's ever tried to make me feel bad about the timing (yeah, what's up with that?!), but I never did like the Christmas/birthday gift blending rip-off, nor having my birthday so often fall on the first day back to school after Christmas break (everyone was always so cranky!) I've been known to encourage my friends to stretch my birthday out over the month of January, just to put some space between it and the rest of the ruckus. Just today in fact I had my birthday lunch with a friend in town Definitely felt more special than the actual day did!

    How fun that New Year's Eve/Day is your favorite holiday, and for such a lovely reason! I'm a big Winter Solstice fan on pretty much the same grounds - it's my second favorite holiday after Halloween. As for being a Pollyanna, hey - my husband and all my closest friends are Pollyannas! You're good people to hang out with. :-)

  7. Oh, we are too much alike! I always try to make my birthday last for all of January! My MIL always wants me to celebrate with her on the day, but I always try to put it off until later. I still haven't seen all of my friends. I'm trying to avoid them until at least next week, haha. My mom's birthday and my "veganniversary" are on January 31, so I have something to celebrate then too (although my mom still lives down south so I don't get to celebrate with her in the flesh).

  8. Enjoy your last nine days of birthday month celebrating! How fun that it culminates in your veganniversary and your mom's birthday! How many years of vegan living will you be celebrating? Our veganniversary is in August, but I don't remember the date. I just remember it was in the 20's (date wise, not temperature-wise. But you never know in Wyoming! LOL)

  9. We will be at 2 years of vegan-ness. It's a real milestone, since we went into this as 2 month old vegetarian dairy fiends with no expectations at all. We went vegan for health, but what kept us vegan was animals. We made the connection and educated ourselves, and I just don't understand now how anyone could do that and then revert to being an omni.