Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Tofu Time: Breakfast Style

 I was never one for breakfast.

Usually I was still full from the night before or I had overslept and had to get out of the house or I thought skipping a meal would help my waistline. 

And then I started making smarter choices about food, and I have fallen in love with breakfast once more.  Consuming less animal products means a better night's sleep, less bloating, and, basically, not feeling weighed down so much.

One of my new faves is a tofu scramble.  Nothing against the humble egg (in fact, I have become quite the poach master general in our house), however, one egg contains almost 70% of the daily recommended dietary cholesterol values.  Oy!  So to be a little more heart smart, I have discovered the wonders of tofu.

On its own, tofu tastes like...nothing.  But with a little bit of love, it can transform into something versatile and delicious for breakfast.  Combine with a few leftovers from the fridge (quinoa, pesto, collards, spinach, tomatoes, salsa, etc.) and you have a fast, flavorful, and nutritious breakfast ready in minutes.

Culinary Terms of the Week:

Sweat:  When you sweat vegetables, you release moisture from them and they start to smell...just like you do when you sweat.

Bloom:  Blooming a spice mean maximizing the flavor by heating the dried spice for a short amount of time. When you bloom a spice in oil, you lose the gritty texture and have a more pleasant mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel:  Perhaps one of the grossest-sounding culinary terms in the book.  It just a way to express the texture of your food (i.e. smooth, crunchy, creamy, etc).  Please, never use this in my presence.

Basic Tofu Scamble
Scrambled Tofu with Spinach

A basic recipe that's great to play with.  The turmeric provides a beautiful golden color, and makes the tofu look like scrambled eggs! Perfect with whole grain toast and fruit.

8 oz firm tofu
4 green onions, chopped
1 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp turmeric
salt n' pepper

In a large skillet, heat oil and turmeric over medium heat.  Bloom the turmeric for about a minute.  Add onions and sweat the vegetables until tender but not translucent.  While onions cook, place tofu between a couple of sheets of paper towels. Gently press to release as much of the liquid as possible.  Crumble tofu into skillet, season with salt and pepper,  and cook for about five minutes until heated through. Serves two.

Once you've mastered this basic technique, you can play around with different combinations.

Breakfast Burrito

This is perfect for those workout days.  The beans and quinoa give you an extra punch of protein.  A great way to use leftover black bean Confetti Salad.

Tofu Scramble
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, divided
1/4 cup Confetti Salad
1 avocado, sliced and halved
2 whole grain tortillas

Prepare Tofu Scramble.  Divide quinoa and beans among the tortillas.  Top with tofu and fold over.  Top burrito with avocado slices.

Tofu Scramble with Pesto Quinoa, Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes

A perfect dish for brunch! Just adjust the quantities (this recipe serves two).

Tofu Scramble
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
3 Tbl pesto
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbl olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
Basil to garnish

Prepare Tofu Scramble.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute garlic for one minute.  Add tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, and cook until they begin to soften, about five minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, no more than two minutes.

Combine quinoa and pesto.  To serve, divide pesto quinoa on to two plates, topped with spinach and tomatoes, then the tofu.  Garnish with basil.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot wait to try one of these!! Now I'm off to Google "turmeric"!