By: Yukiko Sato
Tofu is one of the most versatile ingredients in plant-based cooking. I use this protein-packed ingredient in everything from appetizers to desserts in ways that I would not have thought of when I lived in Japan.
In addition to serving it simply pan-fried or baked, tofu can be deep-fried and stuffed, mashed and reshaped into patties, made into dressings, puréed to make quiche ﬁllings and sweetened to make frostings. In a nutshell, it is a great alternative for those who are avoiding eggs and dairy.
Turmeric is added to give this easy-to-prepare dish a yellow color resembling scrambled eggs. The combination of nutritional yeast and ume vinegar adds a rich cheesy ﬂavor. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast available in the form of ﬂakes or powder and is often fortiﬁed with B vitamins. Ume vinegar is a salty, sour and fruity seasoning that is made from ume plums, salt and purple perilla (shiso) leaves. Nutritional yeast and ume vinegar are both staples in my pantry.
This dish is seasoned with Italian herbs, and the addition of artichoke hearts and baby arugula make it extra yummy. Served with whole grain toast, scrambled tofu makes a festive meal to start the day.
1 TBS olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 block extra ﬁrm tofu (about 1 lb), drained
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered (canned or frozen; thaw overnight in the refrigerator if using frozen)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 TBS ume vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups packed baby arugula fresh parsley, minced black pepper
1. Press the tofu by putting it between two plates for 30 minutes to remove excess water. Crumble the tofu by hand or with a fork.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until the onion becomes translucent. Add carrot and cook for a few minutes. Add the crumbled tofu and artichoke hearts and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer.
3. Stir in olives and season with nutritional yeast, ume vinegar, oregano, thyme and turmeric. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add arugula and cook until just wilted. Stir in fresh parsley and ﬁnish it with freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm.
Yukiko Sato is a foodie specializing in vegan and macrobiotic foods. Interested in the relationship between health and food, she created the Berkshire Vegan blog in which she shares her many delicious creations. She is also the author of The Peaceful Dessert Book.