Here's a new reason to serve breakfast all day long: my Saffron Scented Tofu Scramble recipe. I adore a good tofu scramble and this was my chance to put my sophisticated spin on the classic diner-style recipe. My scrambled tofu is infused with the sweet scent of saffron, a few shiitake mushrooms and diced red bell pepper to add even more nutrition, texture and taste. The scramble is served with a side of maple tempeh bacon, some sprouted grain toast and a sliced Granny Smith apple. This is a perfect breakfast to serve any time of day. Give it a try...
My Pot of Gold. To me, a traditional diner style vegan tofu scramble has always been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or the glistening mirage in the desert. I desired it, but it was always just out of reach. For the longest time I would read the words tofu scramble on numerous restaurant menus, but being that I very rarely dine out for breakfast, I had never actually tried the famous tofu scramble dish! Sigh. So eventually I think I did try a tofu scramble at a diner in Los Angeles. I don't remember the place, but I do remember that I loved it! And even during my time here in NYC, I have yet to order an in-restaurant tofu scramble, bummer. Though I hear Counter in the East Village makes an awesome one.
Why Tofu Scramble. I'll admit that even unlike many carnivores I know who hate eggs, I used to LOVE eggs. I used to have an obsessive love affair with scrambled eggs. Every night after my 9PM nutrition class in college I would get home and make some midnight scrambled eggs. I craved protein, and eggs met that craving. Until one day I just couldn't fathom the idea of eating another egg. I guess I analyzed it a bit too much. Thus another stepping stone along my 'life in food'. But my loving-obsession for eggs is eventually what fueled my quest to make the perfect scrambled tofu dish. In my opinion, this recipe is better than any boring old egg dish. Saffron, shiitakes, bell peppers, pepper, basil..what's not to love?...
Wait, what is saffron???
Saffron Scrambled Tofu
vegan, makes 2 servings
2 cups firm or extra firm tofu cubes
1 orange, juiced
2-3 Tbsp soy creamer (or plain soy milk)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4-6 strands of saffron
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fine black pepper
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1-2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
handful of chopped basil
optional: cayenne for spiciness
1) Spray a bit of olive or canola oil in your soup pan or saute pan.
2) Turn stove heat to med-high, add the orange juice, soy creamer and olive oil to your pan. Add in the saffron strands.
3) Let the liquid simmer for a few minutes, allowing the saffron strands to steep in the liquid like a tea. They should infuse a light orange color into the liquid. If the liquid steams off too quickly, add in a bit of soy milk or water to prevent burning of the pan.
4) Next add in the tofu, cumin, soy sauce, black pepper and agave or maple syrup.
5) Cover pan with lid or foil and allow the steam to cook the tofu for a few minutes. Toss pan a bit to coat tofu in the sauce that is forming.
6) Add in the veggies. I used shiitake mushrooms and red bell peppers. You can really use whatever you'd like. Cover pan again and steam cook for another minute.
7) Uncover pan and turn up the heat. Grab a spatula and begin smashing the tofu into halves, bits and chunks. Use the edge of the spatula. Work the tofu around so that a nice sizzling saute begins. You want the all the liquid to marinate into the tofu while steam burns off the excess liquid.
8) At this point you can add in your vegan buttery spread and continue the saute. I added about 1 Tbsp, but you can certainly use less (or more) depending on your desired richness of the dish. Continue tossing and chopping with your spatula until a nice soft, yet caramelized tofu scramble forms. Again, all the liquid should be absorbed, but you don't want to dry the tofu out because then it turns to rubber. Not good. Practice makes it perfect. I promise.
9) Turn off the heat. Add in a few pinches of chopped up fresh basil and a few more dashes of fresh cracked or fine black pepper. Toss the tofu a bit and plate. I even garnish with even more black pepper as well as some fresh basil leaves.
10) Plate with: tempeh bacon, fresh fruit and sprouted grain toast. The toast is a must! This is scrambled eggs guys! Have a fabulous morning...or evening.
Lower Calorie Version:
*It's super easy to make this recipe diet-friendly. Simply substitute the soy creamer with soy milk and cut the olive oil and vegan buttery spread amounts in half. Heck, you can even take them out completely and just use the soy milk and natural tofu fat content to give the dish some body. It might not be as decadently delicious, but still saffron-sweet tasty!