At this point in the summer I’ve officially put my nutrition counseling on hold until my DI is behind me, which feels bittersweet. I’m excited to return to the work with a wider skill set and more experience, and it’s good to rest before diving into clinical work. I’ll miss counseling, though, and the relationships it allows me to participate in.
One of the things I’ll miss most is the wonderful inspiration and ideas that I get from my clients! I can’t tell you how many times a recipe I’ve made was in response to a nutrition client’s request for a particular type of meal, or how many of them have been inspired by something a client told me about.
That’s definitely true of this tofu quinoa veggie scramble: I was first given the idea by a client who’d been making a non-vegan version, with eggs. She loved the way adding quinoa to the mix made it a little heartier and more filling. I thought to myself that it was an ingenious idea to fold grains into a scramble, and that I’d have to try a vegan version soon. Years later, I finally have.
I almost always serve my tofu scrambles over toast, and that’s still a great option here, but adding the quinoa automatically makes the recipe heartier and gives it more of a power plate vibe (protein + complex carbs + healthful fats). I like what the quinoa does for texture, too, and now I’m thinking about other grains that I’d love to try in the same way: millet, rice, and bulgur, to name a few.
Of course any tofu scramble can be seasoned in countless different ways. I often add cumin and smoked paprika, but this time I was in the mood for more Mediterranean inspired flavors, so I used oregano and garlic instead. You can definitely play around with this one and make it your own, not only in terms of the seasonings used, but also in terms of trading different vegetables for the peppers and zucchini I chose.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or a few tablespoons water or broth
- 1 small white or yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup zucchini halved lengthwise and then cut into thin, half-moon shapes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15- ounce block of extra-firm tofu crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or another grain that you’ve got leftover
- 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon turmeric this is a generous amount; you can use 1/2 teaspoon less if you don’t care for the taste but still want golden color
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- A few handfuls baby spinach kale, or finely chopped greens (optional)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- For serving optional: Freshly chopped herbs, walnut parmesan, or yum sauce
Heat the oil (or water/broth) in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and zucchini. Sauté the vegetables, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to medium low, then add the tofu, quinoa, nutritional yeast, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir everything to combine well. Add the baby greens, if using, and continue cooking the scramble, stirring it gently, until the greens are tender and wilted (about 3 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice, taste the scramble, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with any toppings of choice alongside fresh fruit, toast, or any accompaniments you like.
I’m a huge savory breakfast lover, but sometimes I fall back on baked oatmeal as my one and only make-ahead option. This recipe has reminded me that it’s super easy to make a great big batch of tofu scramble over the weekend, and then to enjoy it over the course of multiple weekdays. This one is definitely my new favorite, but there are a bunch of others I love, including tofu tahini scramble and very green tofu scramble. I have a feeling that all of them will make appearances in packed breakfasts for early shifts next year.
For the time being, though, I have the luxury of slow summer breakfasts at home, and I’m savoring each and every one. See you this weekend for the usual roundup!