Scrambles and Hashes to Nourish the Tired Vegan (and Everyone Else, Too)
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serves 1 generously, or 2 lightly (see starch option)
1 generous TBSP chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 TBSP olive oil
A couple handfuls of any of the following (all frozen, unless you prefer to prep your own):
cut green beans
optional flavor boost: fresh scallions, white and green parts, roughly chopped
14 oz soft (or firm, if you prefer, or have higher calorie needs) tofu, drained
8 oz tempeh, in small bite-size cubes (use a knife or your hands)
9 oz (1/2 tube) prepared polenta, in bite-size pieces (use a knife or your hands)
Herbamere or salt, to taste (try a generous 1/4 tsp)
freshly cracked black pepper
2-3 TBSP nutritional yeast, or to taste
optional flavor boost (pick one): 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp dried sage, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garam masala, a few dashes liquid smoke
1 TBSP capers in brine, drained
1-2 TBSP salted smoked almonds
1-2 TBSP pickled jalapeno slices
1/4 cup kimchi or sauerkraut, very well drained
Optional Starches to Stretch/Boost:
toast (spread with nondairy butter, or hummus, or pesto, or nut/seed butter with maybe a light touch of maple syrup added), as desired
6-inch corn tortillas, store-bought (or if you have them, day-old), as desired
To serve (optional, pick one):
hot sauce, pico de gallo, maybe even a little warmed marinara, avocado cubes
Heat tomatoes in oil (or just oil) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-medium-high heat (on an electric range, turn the heat up until the pointer is pointing at about 315 degrees on the circle that is your range knob). Add frozen vegetables and cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to come to life/brighten in color. Add scallions, if using, along with your chosen seasonings.
Add base of choice:
For tofu, tear off hunks and squeeze it roughly through your fist, letting it fall into the pan. Break up any too-large chunks with a spoon, stir to incorporate seasoning, and spread everything in a single layer as best you can. Let cook, undisturbed, five minutes. Toss well (the tofu that was in contact with the pan should look a bit golden now) and add pieces of torn corn tortilla, if using. Let cook, undisturbed, three minutes. Add finishers, toss again, let cook another two minutes undisturbed. If your tofu isn't browned to your liking, let cook a little further, tossing every minute, being careful not to burn. Serve with hot sauce.
For tempeh or polenta, add the pieces to the pan, stir to incorporate seasoning, and spread into a single layer as best you can. Let cook, undisturbed, for about two minutes. Toss. Continue that pattern, stirring every minute or two (let your nose be your guide on when to give it a toss) until the bits are all nicely golden. This will take 5-7 minutes overall, but cook longer if needed to brown your base, being careful not to burn. Add your finishers during the last two minutes of cooking. Serve with topping of choice, if using.
The vegetables listed above are suggestions. Feel free to swap your favorite, but note that any vegetable that releases a lot of water will interfere with the browning of your base. Likewise, if using kimchi or sauerkraut as a finisher, set it aside in a sieve to drain thoroughly while you prepare everything else to avoid adding excess liquid to your dish.
Garlic powder is particularly effective in a tofu scramble.
Some favorite combinations you may want to try: tempeh with collards, tofu with broccoli, polenta with edamame (polenta can also be combined with a single handful of veg and half a block of tempeh or a handful of cooked beans to increase protein content, if desired), and either polenta or tofu with green beans.