With a little over half an hour to cook and a 6 hour drive to the beach (which became 9 hours due to bad Google directions =/) ahead of us on Monday night, I knew I had to throw something together FAST. Since my omni boyfriend, The Driver, would be sharing this meal as well, I was pretty nervous when choosing a vegan recipe using nutritional yeast. This is a beloved ingredient for many vegans (among others), not the least because it's a good source of vitamin B12 and is considered by some to impart a "cheesy" flavor. But introducing nutritional yeast to someone who's never tried it can be tricky, because many people simply can't stand its unique taste. Fortunately, I lucked out and Patrick really liked this scramble. He praised it for being full on flavor and even noted (without prompting) that the brightly colored vegetables made for a nice presentation. There's reason to hope that I'll make a foodie out of him yet!
This scramble is based on the Basic Scrambled Tofu recipe (p. 19) from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I altered it to be slightly healthier (less oil) and to use up the vegetables I had on hand. All those veggies released their moisture while cooking, so my version turned out less dry than the original. It's slightly embarrassing to admit this is the first recipe I've made after owning Vegan Brunch for almost 3 months, but now I'm super excited to try more. Even if you don't own it yet, Isa's been so cool as to post a bunch of sample recipes on her site. She's also author of several other awesome cookbooks: Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Veganomicon. Her recipes are generally spot-on and really prove that plenty of great food can be made at home without any meat products. Isa's even coming out with a cookie book this winter that's already on my wishlist. Is there anything she can't do?
Zucchini Tomato Tofu Scramble [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Vegan Brunch
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme, rubbed with your fingers
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
Combine the above ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Tofu and Vegetables
1 garlic clove, minced, plus a few dashes of garlic powder
(2 of the cloves pictured above turned out to be rotten)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 pound firm tofu, drained and gently hand-squeezed to remove excess water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn.
Break the tofu into pieces of whatever size you prefer and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring only occasionally so the tofu has a chance to brown. Then add the zucchini, tomatoes, and a few pinches of garlic powder and salt. (I added more salt to balance the large volume of vegetables). Continue cooking and stirring these until the zucchini and tomatoes have softened.
Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Last but not least, add the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about another 5 minutes and it's ready to eat.