All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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OK – I will confess – I am a recovering tofu bigot. I gave up meat in the eighties – way before there were ANY vegetarian faux meats and even using the word “vegan” was a decade away for me. The only fake meat out there was stuff like Bacos – that were accidentally vegan. OK – fine – they had seitan in health food stores but it was bland & unconvincing & I was not yet skilled enough to make it really work. So – tofu emerged as potentially the most versatile vegetarian meat substitute. I experimented a bunch but the results were always iffy and, frankly, the taste & texture of tofu sorta bummed me out & seemed not worth the calories involved. The only tofu things that were any good were deep fried appetizers doused in rich peanut sauces at Asian restaurants. So – I kinda let tofu go.
When you are a vegetarian as long as I have been – you quickly grow increasing annoyed by the question, “Do you eat a lot of tofu, then?” and “Where do you get your protein?”
Fuck tofu! Being vegetarian doesn’t mean I live on tofu. And I have NEVER made any effort to increase protein in my diet. Vegetables & beans & nuts etc all have protein but I never bought into the whole protein myth. Look at some of the largest mammals on earth – gorillas, elephants, rhinos, hippos, cows, horses, bison, giraffes and some whales – all vegetarian or vegan. So fuck protein & fuck tofu.
Then, my vegan friend asked if I had a vegan scramble recipe & I did not. Eh – fine. I will scramble some fucking gross tofu for the hippies out there. Tofu scramble? Blech! Slimy & wet – tasting all tofooey. Ugh. But – for the sake of this blog – I did it. I made Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below – and they were a revelation!
Emboldened – I get more and more adventurous with scrambling tofu until I got to the point where I would scramble some with spinach and S&P and wrap it in a tortilla & eat it with salsa every morning before work. Scrambled tofu really is almost indistinguishable from scrambled egg whites but without all the cruelty involved.
As to this breakfast burrito – I added the things I did because I had them. You can make yours with any of your favorite omelette ingredients. A little turmeric makes the tofu yellow & becomes even more visually convincing that you are not eating tofu – but eggs. I recommend trying it at least once! You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
Sorry, tofu! I had you all wrong!
Also – I used Daiya shredded mozzarella in this. In some photos – you can see the gooey melted cheese in the burrito. The Daiya shreds melt very well when used like this. The taste is distinctly NOT mozzarella but it is not unpleasant. You can use your favorite brand – or skip cheese altogether.
Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese
Makes 2 burritos
2 large tortillas
1/2 block of firm tofu
4 mushrooms – diced
1 tomato – diced
2 handfuls of spinach
fresh or pickled jalapeno – diced (quantity to suite your taste)
2 TBS chia seeds (optional)
1 pinch each of: ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper
Garnish with salsa
In a nonstick pan, or a pan sprayed with cooking oil, heat everything up (except avocado & cilantro – if using) – mashing the tofu into everything. Really – that’s it. Once the spinach wilts & the tofu is heated through – adjust seasonings and wrap that shit up in your tortillas with some avocado & cilantro. Serve with some salsa! YUMMY!