Happy Veganuary! If you are just checking out the plant based lifestyle, welcome. If you have been in it for years, you are welcome, too. Either way, a plant based breakfast is a great way to start the day. Even better when that plant based breakfast is packed with protein, so you won’t think you are missing out by skipping the eggs and bacon.
Why a Plant Based Breakfast?
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’d like to suggest that there’s a side benefit to eating right when you have your first meal. The psychology of getting your day started with conscious choices is a powerful tool. I find that a whole foods, plant-based breakfast gets me into the groove, and more likely to keep on making good choices as the day goes on. Even when there are donuts!
Tofu Plus Chickpeas=Plant Protein!
These days, people have gone a little overboard with their protein obsession. The truth is that it’s not hard to get plenty of protein from plants, without really trying that hard. But why fight it? A breakfast like this will reassure you and all your compatriots that you have a solid base of protein-rich food upon which to build your day. It will keep you feeling full and satisfied, as protein foods do. Unlike the animal food breakfast, this one has plenty of phytochemicals to protect your heart and lower inflammation, and no saturated fat.
Tofu has been around for a couple of thousand years, and it has weathered all sorts of ups and downs. In the US, it has been an immigrant food, a hippie food, a miracle food and more recently, a food that people have heard strange rumors about. Always buy organic tofu, and don’t worry about the rumors. Tofu is an inexpensive, healthful plant based food.
(I wrote this article on tofu for the kitchn.)
The Key to a Good Scramble is…
As a lover of tofu scrambles, I’ve had plenty of mediocre ones. The first step to making a good one is buying the right tofu. Extra firm, water packed tofu makes a better scramble. The next step is wrapping it in a towel and pressing it. The less water, the better. Wetter tofu makes you work harder, as you try to scramble the water out by evaporation. Never use silken tofu for this dish.
The only innovation here is that I mixed in chickpea flour, which absorbs some moisture and takes on an eggy flavor as it cooks. Kala Namak is the sulfurous black salt that also adds a whiff of egg to your scramble, if you can find some.
Tahini is my favorite thing to drizzle over my scrambles, so I added some Sriracha to make a spicy sauce with very little effort. If you have some left over, try it on, well, everything.
Tofu Chickpea Scramble with Sriracha Tahini Drizzle
- 1 pound extra firm tofu crumbled
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- avocado oil for the pan
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- whole wheat toast
- mixed greens
- walnut oil and balsamic vinegar
- Drain and press the tofu, and wrap in a towel to dry as well as possible. Crumble into a large bowl. Sprinkle the chickpea flour, kala namak, vinegar and turmeric over the tofu and use your hands to gently mix and crumble the mixture. Heat a drizzle of avocado oil in a wok or large saute pan. When hot, add the tofu mixture and stir try over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
- For the Drizzle, stir the tahini and sriracha and let stand while you prep the scramble, then stir in water until smooth.
- Serve scramble on toast, with drizzle poured over it, and toss greens with walnut oil and vinegar to serve alongside.