I haven’t posted too many recipes with tofu because I am on the fence about it. Unfermented soy, which includes tofu, is not very easy to digest. On the other hand, fermented tofu, such as tempeh, miso, shoyu and tamari have all been innoculated with a good bacteria, which has started the digestion process for you, in a way. Then there’s the controversy about soy, fermented or not, and the presence of phytoestrogens which mimic estrogen in the body and can cause disruptions in a woman’s natural processes. Lastly, most of the soy in this country is genetically-modified, the safety of which is debated. Personally, I think genetically-modified foods are about as natural as and I don’t think they have been around long enough for us to really know what the long-term side effects are. See why I’m kind of not super gung-ho about tofu?
That said, I do occasionally eat tofu and fermented soy products, most often as a condiment and always organic, which implies non-GMO. I recently found a sprouted, organic tofu at my local Whole Foods by Wildwood Organics. Sprouting is a process that makes the soybean more digestible and increases availability of nutrients. This is a big plus to me. Whereas some people think that tofu is not a highly processed food, I don’t think it looks much like a soybean and that makes me think otherwise. But I do like the idea of a sprouted tofu, so on the rare occasions I eat tofu, it’s this one.
This scrambled tofu dish was really popular when I taught it in a breakfast class I did a few months ago. The idea is to create a scramble that resembles eggs, which this most definitely does. What’s wrong with eggs? Absolutely nothing. Unless you are either allergic to eggs, vegan, adversely affected by foods high in dietary cholesterol, or you are a 9-year-old who goes by the nickname “Mr. Picky.” And there are a lot of you out there who fit in there somewhere, so I thought this would be a fun way to enjoy your “eggs!” The tofu, which is nice and soft, is crumbled and then tinted with a little turmeric to turn the color a beautiful yellow. You also add a little nutritional yeast for flavor and it’s the closest thing you’ll ever come to scrambled not-eggs. I found nutritional yeast, also referred to as nutritional yeast flakes, in Whole Foods, both in the bulk bins and packaged in bags. Nutritional yeast is NOT the same yeast for baking bread or brewer’s yeast. It actually grows on the outside of sugarcane and molasses plants and is a good source of Vitamin B12, which is almost impossible to find from non-animal sources. It has a little bit of a cheesy flavor and goes nicely on popcorn, just FYI.
Although I am partial to anything in a tortilla, especially if salsa and guacamole are involved, I would also make this with spinach and mushrooms or chives and herbs. And it’s actually doable for a fast weekday breakfast if you prep in advance. (Just read the notes in the recipe to learn how.) Prepping in advance is my life. Hoping you all got off on the right foot to start off the new school year! Don’t forget to check out my Instagram page and Facebook for weekly lunch and daily dinner ideas! Nothing fancy, just keeping it real.
tex-mex tofu scramble
adapted from “True Food,” by Andrew Weil
2 14-ounce containers extra-firm tofu (I like Wildwood Organics), crumbled
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (gives the scramble a yellow color)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
Suggested accompaniments: sprouted or whole grain tortillas, sliced avocado or guacamole, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced scallions
- In a large bowl, mix together the tofu, yeast flakes, salt, cumin, turmeric and black pepper.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the tofu mixture. Mix until well combined. You can do all of this the night before and keep refrigerated.
- Cook the tofu scramble until heated through and slightly golden brown. Fold in the tomato.
- Serve warm with desired accompaniments or rolled up in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito.