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Extreme Vegan Makeover: Breakfast Edition: Tofu Scramble with Mushrooms and Red Potato and Onion Home Fries

Like many people with food and weight issues, I never used to eat breakfast. I usually didn’t wake up hungry; in fact, too many times I woke up still tasting the unhealthy food I had eaten too much of the night before. Or I might be rushing to work, thinking I didn’t have time to eat breakfast. And then I simply didn’t like most breakfast foods. Cereal, hot or cold, didn’t entice me. I’m not a big fan of “bread-y” and “dough-y” type foods like pancakes, waffles or French Toast. For me, breakfast had to be diner-type food: scrambled eggs, cheese omelets, bacon, sausage, home fries, toast and coffee. This was a weekend type of indulgence but it was bad. Bad for my health, bad for the animals, and bad for the planet.

When I was transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, I didn’t mind giving up dairy. I quickly switched my milk and cheese to non-dairy, cruelty-free versions but I was having a hard time giving up my egg whites. When I began my weight loss journey, I forced myself to begin each day with breakfast but it was difficult because there was nothing I wanted – except eggs. I would make a spinach omelet with egg whites almost every single morning. However, when I learned about the torture of egg-laying hens and their chicks, I knew I had to give up the breakfast I had learned to love.

I heard people talk about tofu scramble as a substitute for eggs but I was not yet a tofu fan. The first time I attempted to make it, it ended up in the trash. I still don’t know what went wrong. I decided I needed to taste it somewhere else, somewhere where people knew what they were doing. My husband, Tom, and I went to The Organic Grill in NYC and tried a tofu scramble there. It had mixed veggies in it and vegan cheese and it was good. Then we had brunch at one of our favorite Vegan restaurants, Sacred Chow. OMG!! Tofu scramble with tempeh bacon on the side. It was incredible! I knew I had to learn to make my own version. And I did. I experimented and tried many different recipes and finally came up with a version that Tom and I love. Every time I make it, I change it up a bit, swapping out different vegetables, different greens, and different spices. Sometimes I choose zucchini or squash, broccoli or asparagus, kale or Swiss chard. Variety is the spice of Vegan life.

Funny thing is, we usually eat this “breakfast” for dinner. I still don’t like preparing a big meal in the morning but I have learned to enjoy other foods for breakfast. I start every morning with a healthy Vegan breakfast – whole-grain cereal with added flax and fruit, hummus with raw spinach and tomato or my new favorite comfort-food breakfast, Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter and Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese. But when I get that craving for diner-type breakfast, my Tofu Scramble and Home Fries hits the spot.

Tofu Scramble with Mushrooms and Collard Greens

1 block firm or extra firm tofu, drained
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 large bunch of collard greens, stemmed and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. chili powder
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. black salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms have browned and softened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix spices and nutritional yeast into a small bowl and set aside.

Crumble the tofu into the skillet and let cook a few minutes. Add the spice mixture evenly and toss to coat. Continue to sauté about 5 minutes.

Add the collard greens and about ½ cup of water to the skillet, cover and let the greens wilt a bit, about 5 more minutes. Uncover and toss the greens with the tofu scramble. If you like it moist, add more water. Serve at once with side dishes.

Seeing Red Potato and Onion Home Fries

3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced in half-moons
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-6 red potatoes, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining oil, then add the potatoes, garlic and spices. Mix together and press the mixture down into the pan with a spatula so it browns. Cook over low to medium heat about 25 minutes until the potatoes are softened. During that 25 minutes, toss the mixture and press down with the spatula again so each side gets brown.
Hint: to make this go faster, microwave or parboil the potatoes for a few minutes before adding to the skillet. Serve with tofu scramble.

Depending what you like, add tempeh bacon, seitan sausage, toast, fruit, etc. Enjoy!!

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8 Responses to Extreme Vegan Makeover: Breakfast Edition: Tofu Scramble with Mushrooms and Red Potato and Onion Home Fries

  1. Gary Loewenthal August 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I made this recipe this morning. Yum! I had everything at home already except for the collard greens. But I had some spinach, so I used that, ramping down the water and cook time a bit, and it worked out great!

    • Rhea August 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Gary, I’m so glad you liked it. That was my first tofu scramble recipe ever! Make sure you try all the other versions I’ve come up with since then. Love, Rhea

  2. Anonymous November 17, 2009 at 4:14 am #

    Hey Rhea,
    Your blog is awesome. You know what also really helps tofu scramble? Braggs! I have a recipe and they use a lot of it, before I had the recipe mine just wasn’t the same. But yours looks great just as it is, just thought I’d mention it. Also the seitan looks AMAZING!!!
    Lauren Krohn

  3. Ginny Messina October 28, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Rhea, have you tried black salt (which is actually pink!), also called Kala Namak? I discovered it from the book “Vegan Brunch,” and it has a natural egg-like flavor. You have to try it to believe it! I ordered mine online and I use it on scrambled tofu all the time, and also for “missing egg salad.”

    I love your blog! Great recipes and a really nice friendly writing style.

  4. Tom October 27, 2009 at 12:55 am #

    I’m so lucky, I get the best cooking and the best writing from the same person!

  5. kversteeg October 26, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    I love a tofu scramble and your looks better (probably tastes better) than mine! Can you come to Kansas and cook for me? I am going to try your recipe! Also.. I have always been partial to fried potatoes and onions. My mom always called that an Irish breakfast when i was growing up.

  6. stream October 26, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    rhea, looks so delish! and i am so full and still, i want to jump in2 the page and eat up all ur recipes. lots of love 2 u and tom.
    cliff, ur bud from the chow.

  7. Rae October 26, 2009 at 3:56 am #

    Looks great and really shows that vegan eating is wonderful as usual. Thanks for sharing this with us

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